he US authorities has mentioned that there’s an “extraordinarily excessive danger” that merchandise bought on Chinese language cut price procuring website Temu have been produced utilizing compelled labour.
A report, printed in June 2023 by the US Choose Committee on the Chinese language Communist Social gathering (USCC), raised “severe considerations in regards to the continued presence of merchandise made with compelled labour contaminating American imports”.
Having been downloaded hundreds of thousands of occasions within the US, the procuring platform — which carries the tagline “store like a billionaire” — has now made its method throughout the pond.
The corporate has spent hundreds of thousands on advertising, with a heavy deal with social media, so it wouldn’t be shocking for those who’ve come throughout Temu in your scrolls.
However with gadgets costing simply pennies, sceptical clients are questioning: is Temu too good to be true?
What’s the Temu app?
Temu is a Chinese language ultra-low-cost procuring app that launched within the US final September and has expanded into the UK.
It has been in comparison with different low cost e-commerce websites, like AliExpress and Want, which additionally promote a variety of things at extremely low costs.
Temu’s costs are made even decrease with its “lightning offers” and varied gross sales, together with offers promising as much as 99 per cent off.
For instance, on the time of writing, Temu’s “lightning offers” included a hoop for 77p and a bracelet for 89p.
In line with a report by the US-China Financial and Safety Evaluation Fee (USCC), Temu positioned greater than 8,000 advertisements throughout Meta platforms in 2023, and spent round $14 million (£11.2 m) on two adverts throughout the Tremendous Bowl.
The app additionally depends on influencer advertising, rewarding its associates with procuring perks and rewards, and encourages customers to share the app with buddies for offers in return.
The place is Temu obtainable?
Temu was beforehand solely obtainable within the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Cell intelligence agency Sensor Tower reported that Temu was downloaded 19 million occasions within the first quarter of 2022, and was essentially the most downloaded app on the Apple and Google Play shops within the US.
As of April, Temu is out there within the UK in addition to quite a lot of different European international locations, together with France, Spain, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, as reported by Reuters.
Who owns Temu?
Temu is owned by multinational commerce group PDD Holdings, which was based by Chinese language billionaire Colin Huang.
It’s the sister website of the Chinese language e-commerce platform Pinduoduo, which was valued at $200 billion(£160 bn) in 2021, in line with the Monetary Occasions.
In March 2021, Huang stepped down from his govt roles at Pinduoduo and turned over the voting rights for his 29 per cent stake within the firm.
In 2020, Huang was briefly ranked the second-richest individual in China because of a surge in gross sales at Pinduoduo, as reported by the BBC.
Temu is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.
Why is the US authorities involved about Temu?
The US authorities printed a report this month saying there may be an “extraordinarily excessive danger” that Temu makes use of an internet delivery loophole to keep away from necessities of compelled labour screenings.
The report, printed by the US Choose Committee on the Chinese language Communist Social gathering (USCC), raises “severe considerations in regards to the continued presence of merchandise made with compelled labour contaminating American imports”.
“Temu doesn’t have any system to make sure compliance with the Uyghur Pressured Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). This all however ensures that shipments from Temu containing merchandise made with compelled labor are getting into the USA regularly,” it continued.
The claims are a part of an ongoing investigation into compliance with a 2021 US legislation that bars the import of products made utilizing compelled Uyghur labour.
Nike, Adidas and Chinese language ultra-fast vogue model Shein are additionally being investigated.
The US authorities additionally accused Temu, alongside Shein, of “information dangers, sourcing violations, and commerce loopholes,” in a report printed by the USCC in April.
The report additionally raises considerations round high quality and copyright: “Like Shein, Temu’s success raises flags about its enterprise practices.”
Temu has 2.9 stars on Trustpilot, with 43 per cent of critiques ranking the platform one star.
Unfavorable critiques complain in regards to the high quality of the merchandise and the variety of notifications the app sends.
Temu additionally has a 2.37 ranking on the Higher Enterprise Bureau, the place reviewers say they didn’t obtain the gadgets they ordered, or that they acquired defective gadgets.
As of April 2023, the app had acquired 235 complaints with the Higher Enterprise Bureau.
The USCC report additionally says that PDD Holdings has been accused by China’s Labour Watch of forcing staff to work “excessive additional time”, and that CNN reported that subtle malware was discovered on the Pinduoduo sister-app (although Temu itself was not implicated in both accusation).
A report by CNN Enterprise additionally raised considerations about Temu’s sustainability, with the corporate telling CNN that it offsets emissions for each order with “carbon credit which assist wildlife conservation efforts” within the US.