Temu: ‘Our practices are fair’

Temu: ‘Our practices are fair’

Temu does not recognize itself in the criticism from German consumer organizations. They have accused the platform full of Chinese bargains of unfair trading practices. According to Temu, the company is unfairly portrayed in a bad light.

Last week, Temu received a reprimand from the Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (vzbv). The umbrella organization of German consumer organizations identified several violations. Temu, for example, allegedly does not make it clear enough to consumers on what the high discounts on the platform are based. Temu is also accused of using dark patterns, manipulative techniques that encourage consumers to engage in behavior that is not in their best interest.

Reference prices

The vzbv wanted Temu to commit to refraining from the alleged unfair trading practices. But according to Temu, the company adheres to the applicable rules. “We carefully assess all price information provided by our sellers to ensure accuracy and transparency for our customers”, a spokesperson told the German tech title Heise about the reference prices.

Dark patterns

According to Temu, there is also no use of dark patterns, which are prohibited under the European Digital Services Act. Statements such as ‘only 13 items left’ and ’29 people have this item in their shopping cart now’ are, according to the platform, based on truth. “They are intended to help consumers make informed decisions, not to be manipulative or coercive.”

‘We do not want to be manipulative or coercive.’

Based on the information provided, shoppers can make informed decisions, according to Temu, which leads to increased customer satisfaction and fewer returns. Temu further denies allegations regarding the authenticity of product reviews. “We never remove or suppress negative reviews”, the company states. Current and detailed reviews are given priority on the platform.

Criticism from Germany

Temu faced criticism from Germany earlier this year. In February, Handelsverband Deutschland (HDE) called on politicians to be stricter towards cheap marketplaces from China, including Temu. The interest group advocates for strengthening customs and suggests a digital platform where every shipment must be registered.

Temu in Europe

Backed by the Chinese tech giant PDD Holdings, Temu entered Europe a year ago. In many countries, including Germany, it was the most downloaded shopping app last year. Temu, reportedly accounting for over 30 billion euros in revenue in 2023, recently opened its platform to sellers with inventory in the United States.

Temu generated over 30 billion euros in revenue last year.

Temu will add sellers delivering from Europe anytime soon. Meanwhile, the platform is working on expanding its European delivery network.



Arjan van Oosterhout has been contributing to Ecommerce News Europe since the spring of 2023. He writes news articles for the website on a freelance basis.

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