Wish.com removes most Confederate merchandise, citing policy against hate, but it still sells items glorifying dictators

GettyImages 1129009698
The online retailer Wish.com formally prohibits the sale of “hate symbols,” but many still slip through the cracks.

  • Before Christmas, visitors to the online retailer Wish.com could purchase a number of items celebrating the Confederacy, from flags to shirts to hats.
  • After Insider pointed out the items last week, the company removed most but not all related merchandise.
  • “Wish prohibits the listing of products that glorify or endorse hatred towards others,” a company spokesperson said Monday.
  • But visitors can still purchase items that violate the company’s policy, including merchandise glorifying dictators Bashar al-Assad and Saddam Hussein.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

This holiday season, visitors to Wish.com – the online retailer whose name is featured on jerseys worn by LeBron James and other members of the Los Angeles Lakers – were able to buy an item that is officially prohibited for promoting hate: the battle flag of the defeated Confederate States of America.

Paid ads on the site actually featured Mississippi’s recently scrapped state banner, which included the Confederate flag in the top left corner. In the ad, the symbol of the Confederacy, and the lost cause of chattel slavery, is featured prominently; hundreds of people purchased these items, according to the site.

Following an inquiry from Insider, most but not all of that merchandise has now been purged.

wish dot com
Confederate flags were available for purchase on Wish.com throughout the holiday season.

“Wish prohibits the listing of products that glorify or endorse hatred towards others,” a company spokesperson said Monday, noting it “deploys a number of measures to prevent these types of listings and removes them if prevention was unsuccessful.”

Led by billionaire and former Google engineer Peter Szulczewski, the e-commerce site, akin to eBay and Amazon, brought in just under $2 billion in revenue in 2019. It also raised $1.1 billion when it went public on the stock exchange in November 2020.

Like its competitors, Wish has an explicit policy on “hateful symbols“: it does not allow them. Nazi memorabilia, the alt-right “Kekistan” flag, and “dictator glorification” are all expressly prohibited.

The company’s policy threatens to impose a $10 fine on those who sell prohibited items. The company spokesperson did not immediately respond when asked if the penalty had been imposed on those who listed the Confederate merchandise.

Although Wish has a clear policy against symbols of hate, enforcement is uneven.

In 2019, for example, Wish and Amazon were both forced to apologize after The Auschwitz Museum revealed that the sites were selling Christmas tree ornaments with photos of the concentration camp, as Wired reported.

Confederate merchandise also remains just one quick search away, including a “Confederate States Cavalry” flag and matching baseball cap, despite the renewed effort to clean up the site.

Screenshot_2020 12 28 Saddam Hussein Wish
Items celebrating the Confederacy continue to be listed at Wish.com, despite a policy prohibiting their sale.

As of Monday night, visitors could also purchase t-shirts, hoodies, and face masks celebrating Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian strongman whom the US concluded used chemical weapons along with indiscriminate bombing campaigns that have killed hundreds of thousands and forced millions of other people to flee their homeland.

Screenshot_2020 12 28 Wish   Shopping Made Fun(1)
Numerous items featuring Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad are available to purchase at Wish.com.

Users can also buy t-shirts and cell phone cases featuring Saddam Hussein, who over the summer of 2020 was featured in a seemingly algorithm-driven social media campaign from the company that highlighted a $20 framed photo of the deceased Iraqi dictator.

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Lakers, which announced a corporate partnership with Wish in 2017, did not respond to emails requesting comment.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

Read the original article on Business Insider

Wish falls as much as 16% below IPO price in trading debut after raising $1.1 billion

NYSE Trader
  • Wish parent company ContextLogic fell as much as 14% in its trading debut on Wednesday, giving the e-commerce company a market valuation of about $15 billion.
  • The company raised $1.1 billion when it priced its IPO at $24 per share, giving it an initial market valuation of $17 billion on a fully diluted basis.
  • An IPO frenzy has quickly materialized in the fourth quarter of 2020, given the eye-popping surge in recent trading debuts for Airbnb, DoorDash, and C3.ai. 
  • Watch Wish trade live here.

Wish parent company ContextLogic fell 5% at the open of its trading debut on Wednesday, giving the e-commerce company a market valuation of about $15 billion on a fully diluted basis.

The stock opened at $22.75 and hit an intraday low of $20.05, representing a decline of 16% from its initial public offering price of $24.

Wish priced its IPO at $24 per share, raising $1.1 billion in proceeds at a valuation of $17 billion. That’s well ahead of the company’s last fundraising round as a private company in August 2019, when the firm raised $300 million at a valuation of $11 billion.

Wish was created by former Google engineer Piotr Szulczewski. The e-commerce platform relies on a personalized visual browsing experience rather than the traditional search and go shopping habits facilitated by a search bar.

Wish’s catalog has grown to more than 150 million items, and it sells nearly 2 million items per day, according to its S-1 filing. The company did $1.9 billion in revenue in 2019 and is not yet profitable.

Wish’s IPO debut and subsequent decline is the opposite of high flying public debuts this quarter. Last week, Airbnb, DoorDash and C3.ai posted substantial gains of 113%, 86% and 174%, respectively. And in September, Snowflake completed the largest software-technology IPO in history and has been on a tear since its debut.

Read more: Fund manager Brian Barish has returned more than 550% to investors over 2 decades, and he just had 2 of his best years ever. He told us how he did it – and 3 top picks for the next 5 years.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Wish reportedly prices IPO at $24 per share, will raise $1.1 billion at a valuation of $17 billion

Peter Szulczewski
  • Wish parent company ContextLogic priced its shares at $24 each on Tuesday ahead of its IPO, Bloomberg first reported.
  • That’s at the top end of Wish’s previously expected IPO pricing range of $22 to $24 per share.
  • The offering is expected to raise $1.1 billion in funds for Wish, giving the e-commerce platform a valuation of $17 billion on a fully diluted basis, according to Bloomberg.
  • Wish will trade on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol “WISH.”
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

Wish’s parent company ContextLogic priced its shares at $24 each on Tuesday ahead of its initial public offering, Bloomberg first reported.

The final price came in at the top end of its previously expected range of $22 to $24.

Wish’s IPO will raise as much as $1.1 billion in funds for the company, giving it an initial valuation of $17 billion on a fully diluted basis, according to Bloomberg. The e-commerce platform will trade on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol “WISH.”

In its last private funding round led by General Atlantic in August 2019, when the San Francisco-based company raised $300 million, Wish was valued at $11 billion. The firm had a near $9 billion valuation in late 2017. 

The company has raised a total of $2.1 billion in private funding since its founding in 2010, according to data from Crunchbase.

Read More: Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary told us 2 concrete strategies for building wealth over time – and shared how a rude awakening during the pandemic led him to build a new investing app

Wish was created by former Google engineer Piotr Szulczewski. The e-commerce platform relies on a personalized visual browsing experience rather than the traditional search and go shopping habits facilitated by a search bar.

Wish’s catalog has grown to more than 150 million items, and it sells nearly 2 million items per day, according to its S-1 filing. The company did $1.9 billion in revenue in 2019 and is not yet profitable.

Wish will forge ahead with its IPO, unlike Roblox and Affirm, who both postponed their previously planned December IPOs following the strong showings by DoorDash and Airbnb.

According to Bloomberg data, US listings have already raised a record $156 billion in 2020, in part fueled by the rise in blank-check special-purpose acquisition companies.

Lead underwriters of the offering include Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Bank of America.

Read more: From Wall Street heavyweights to boutique investment firms, we break down what 7 fund managers and market strategists think about Brexit as the ‘midnight hour’ approaches.

Read the original article on Business Insider