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Consumer organizations in the European Union want the European Commission (EC) to take action against emerging Chinese e-commerce platform Temu. They want the platform to have stricter measures imposed according to regulations stipulated in the Digital Services Act (DSA).

European consumer organizations have filed several complaints about Temu with the EC through the European body of consumer organizations BEUC. According to the European consumer advocate, several of its e-commerce platform activities violate European DSA laws and regulations.

According to the complaints, Temu is mainly in violation of DSA rules on seller traceability. BEUC also alleges that its platform’s design is highly manipulative to entice consumers to buy more and that transparency around its algorithms for recommending products is lacking.

In addition, 17 of the individual consumer organizations involved have filed the same complaints with their national regulators.

Screenshot van een promotiepagina op een Nederlandse website met zomerdeals. De koptekst toont illustraties van zwemmende mensen en tekst waarin vroege Temu-zomerdeals worden gepromoot. Hieronder zijn verschillende productcategorieën weergegeven.

Stricter measures against the platform

BEUC says the EC should subject Temu to the more stringent versions of DSA laws and regulations. To this end, it needs to accept the status of a Very Large Online Platform (VLOP). This would mean complying with additional regulations, such as giving more transparency about the algorithms it uses and more accountability measures.

Alibaba, Amazon, Booking.com, Google Shopping, and Zalando are well-known (e-commerce) platforms already named VLOP and must comply with stricter DSA rules.

Furthermore, European consumer advocates believe Temu should already be fined for violations committed under its current status. Even if it has no intention to hold Temu accountable according to stricter DSA standards, the EC should already impose financial penalties on the Chinese e-commerce platform for this reason, the organisation believes. Fines for failing to comply with the DSA can amount to 6 percent of annual sales.

Temu’s response

In a response, Temu says it is a ‘newcomer’ to the market and is eager to comply with the requirements of consumer groups and the EC, writes TechCrunch. Therefore, feedback from customers and other advocates is always taken very much to heart, the company claims.

Temu promises to thoroughly study the BEUC’s complaint and make any necessary policy changes in the interest of consumers. Recently, the store reached an agreement with the German regulator, which would remove several points of contention from the BEUC complaint.

Also read: How do you prepare for the DSA or DMA, if it applies to you?