If you often play on your phone, you must have seen the ads for this site that flood the market. Magic elastics for hair, storage boxes for your fridge, a revolutionary colander to rinse and drain your fruits and vegetables... All this can be found on Temu, the latest trendy Chinese e-commerce site, behind the myriad of already famous platforms like Wish or AliExpress.
Behind this new giant of online commerce, hides a site managed in China and registered in Ireland and the Cayman Islands on behalf of the company PDD Holdings, valued at $ 92 billion on the stock market and also owner of Pinduoduo, e-commerce site very popular in China.
From the AppStore to the SuperBowl in just six months
Launched in September in the United States, the Temu app has quickly established itself as one of the market leaders. For sale, clothing and jewelry, but also storage accessories, kitchen equipment or even musical instruments. As Time points out, the question is rather "what doesn't Temu sell?" on this huge pile of online commerce.
His credo? "Up to 90% discounts," coupon codes galore, and free products sent to customers if they promote the brand on social media or to loved ones. And it works: in less than three months, the application is at the top of downloads in the United States.
Surfing on its success across the Atlantic, the brand even has the luxury of an advertisement during the halftime of the SuperBowl. Spot price: $7 million for 30 seconds, and a heady slogan, "Shop like a billionaire." In French, "buy like a billionaire", thanks to the very advantageous prices of the site, she puts forward.
This was followed by a launch in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, before the application landed in the European Union in March: United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Germany and... France are the first six countries concerned. Again, the success is total, Temu is currently leading downloads on Android and iOS in France.
Malware and ban in Montana
But the surge of the platform on the European market does not go without several criticisms. Behind the broken prices, several customers have reported cases of undelivered packages, additional costs, XXL delivery times, erroneous orders or customer service to absent subscribers, notes Time magazine.
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Its Chinese counterpart Pinduoduo also suffered a blow: the platform was removed from the Android and iOS app stores in the spring, after versions of the app contained malware. Among Pinduoduo's requests, access to biometric data, Bluetooth or information from Wi-Fi networks, says CNBC. This creates concern about the reliability and security of user data on the Temu side.
In the US state of Montana, fears have turned into a ban: Republican Governor Greg Gianforte has banned the application on all civil servants' devices since May 17, alongside other Chinese applications, such as TikTok or WeChat, but also the Russian Telegram.
TikTok is just one app tied to foreign adversaries. Today I directed the state's Chief Information Officer to ban any application that provides personal information or data to foreign adversaries from the state network. pic.twitter.com/92Im6D9Jgx
— Governor Greg Gianforte (@GovGianforte) May 17, 2023
This ban is to be extended in the coming months to prevent the download of these apps throughout the state.