EU considers stricter rules for Chinese e-commerce platform Temu

Temu, a subsidiary of Pinduoduo, has been scrutinised for privacy issues and misleading practices in Germany. While it already complies with some Digital Services Act rules, its size could result in additional obligations under the EU supervision.

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A significant shift in oversight may be on the horizon for the popular Chinese e-commerce platform Temu as it discloses its monthly European user base of 75 million. Temu, an extension of China’s Pinduoduo, has attracted attention for its privacy and cybersecurity practices, facing recent scrutiny in Germany for alleged consumer misrepresentation. Although Temu was already subject to specific Digital Services Act (DSA) regulations, its newly declared scale could trigger more stringent obligations under European Commission supervision.

Online platforms exceeding 45 million users within the EU must undergo external audits and risk assessments, evaluating their efforts to combat illegal content like counterfeit goods or hazardous products. Violations could lead to fines amounting to 6% of their global turnover. The European Commission is tasked with formally designating such major online platforms, providing four months for companies to prepare for intensified regulations. When queried about Temu’s potential designation, the Commission remained non-committal but acknowledged engagement with the platform.

Meanwhile, the European Commission is gearing up to designate Shein, a Chinese fashion platform boasting over 108 million European users, further signalling the EU’s intent to assert regulatory oversight over large-scale digital platforms. The move underscores the EU’s commitment to enforcing stricter content moderation rules and consumer protection measures within the digital sphere, particularly in response to the expansive reach and influence of major online platforms like Temu and Shein.