BEUC Targets Temu for Alleged Consumer Rights Breaches

16 May 2024

Temu Faces Allegations of Consumer Protection Breaches

In a significant development for the e-commerce sector, Temu, a popular e-commerce app in the EU with 75 million monthly users, has come under the lens of consumer advocacy groups for alleged violations of consumer protection laws. The European consumer rights organization BEUC, together with national bodies, has filed complaints accusing the rapidly expanding e-commerce application of engaging in questionable practices.

The core of the allegations points to the use of so-called “dark patterns,” which are design strategies that can influence user behavior in a way that may lead to unintended purchases. These tactics are not only seen as manipulative but also potentially harmful to consumer trust and choice.

Further compounding the issue, BEUC has raised concerns over the transparency of seller information on Temu’s platform. The organization claims there is insufficient disclosure about the sellers and their products, as well as how Temu’s product recommendation system operates. Such practices could be at odds with the requirements set forth by the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), which aims to foster a safer and more accountable online environment.

In light of these complaints, Temu has responded with an assurance of taking the issues raised very seriously. The company has committed to a thorough review of the allegations and to engage cooperatively with all relevant parties. Temu has reiterated its commitment to transparency and compliance with all regulations, indicating a readiness to adapt its operations to meet legal standards.

The scrutiny on Temu is not confined within the EU borders. Earlier this year, German consumer groups voiced similar concerns, and regulatory authorities in South Korea have begun probing into the company’s practices, suspecting false advertising and unfair business practices.

With the possibility of Temu being classified as a “very large” digital platform under the DSA, it faces stricter compliance obligations. This includes the need to provide regular reports on actions taken to address risks associated with its platform, setting a precedent for accountability in the digital marketplace.

As consumer protection becomes an increasingly pressing issue in the digital age, the outcome of these investigations into Temu could have far-reaching implications for e-commerce applications across the globe.

Temu, a popular e-commerce app in the EU with 75 million monthly users, is under scrutiny for potential breaches of consumer protection laws

What law might Temu be breaking in the EU?

Temu could be infringing GDPR if mishandling personal data or violating competition laws by engaging in anti-competitive practices within the EU market.

Does Temu comply with EU consumer laws amid scrutiny?

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