“Shop like a billionaire” is the slogan. But when you open the app, you feel like you’re at a trade fair sale.
Call signs, discounts, and “lightning offers” unload before the consumer’s eyes. The homepage has no structure. The product categories are wildly mixed up. Five pairs of socks light up for 0.39 euros, a garlic press for 1.45 euros, a silicone smartwatch for 1.88 euros, and a waist skirt for 2.67 euros.
The market shouting for the online store Temu cannot be ignored, especially on social media. At Christmas, it’s louder than ever. Temu had already stormed the app charts beforehand. This is entirely in the spirit of the Chinese inventor, who has nothing less in mind than to revolutionize online shopping. To be taken seriously? Probably yes.
Temu has been present in the USA since 2022 and has been working hard to establish itself on the European market since mid-2023. Behind it is Pinduoduo (also PDD) from Shanghai, one of the largest and most successful e-commerce companies in China. The owner is Huang Zheng or Colin Huang, as he calls himself in English. The Chinese worker’s son studied in the USA and worked for Microsoft and Google, among others. After returning to China, he founded an online mail-order business, which he is now trying to expand, both in terms of product range and across the globe. Pinduoduo’s IPO on the New York Stock Exchange has made Huang a billionaire. A bargain billionaire.
Its highlight: Temu is not a simple online marketplace but a platform similar to Amazon, only without its own distribution centers and warehouses. Instead of acting as a seller, Temu acts as an intermediary, enabling retailers to offer their products directly to end customers. A kind of emancipation of Chinese producers who can deliver to Europe via Temu without intermediaries. The principle is called manufacturer-to-consumer.
In fact, the products ordered usually come straight from the manufacturers’ factories, which reduces costs and, therefore, prices on the platform. This system also makes it possible to offer an enormous variety of products, from fashion and electronics to household goods and toys. For customers, in turn, it means that they do not know which retailer they are ordering from.
“Consignments with low value”
According to Temu, it currently handles 61 billion orders a year. Some customers are satisfied; others complain about the weeks-long delivery times and inadequate customer service. Product safety is also criticized. It is not possible to insist on a purchase contract with Temu; you conclude it with the supplier of the product. Temu takes a relaxed approach to data protection. The app wants access to user data. It is not only these circumstances that repeatedly lead to criticism from consumer protection associations.
Customs duties? Temu also cleverly avoids this “hurdle” by sending orders by post and dividing them into parcels worth less than 150 euros. According to the Universal Postal Convention, there are no customs duties for such “low-value shipments.”. Customers are happy about the free shipping. Of course, the bargain paradise comes at a high price: Temu initially generates millions of losses but is able to increase its market share rapidly.
- source: kleinezeitung.at/picture: google.com