First TikTok, Now a New Shopping App “Temu” Threatens America

TikTok has been in the crosshairs of Congress and many state legislatures nationwide. Is TikTok spyware for the Chinese government? Efforts to ban the popular smartphone app are in progress. 

TikTok’s CEO recently faced congressional committees for a grueling of what happens to the information TikTok collects on American Citizens. As of now, Temu and Shein have been able to sidestep data collection questions. 

China is also the origin of some of the top downloaded apps. In addition to TikTok, there’s CapCut, an app to edit videos, and a fashion app called Shein. 

A new Chinese app is also becoming popular in the United States — the Chinese shopping app called Temu. It’s been the number-one downloaded app since January of this year and is topping download charts again in April. 

Temu is the Chinese version of Amazon. If you can’t buy it there, you don’t need it. And the prices are very tempting when compared to prices on US retail shelves. Housewares, electronics, and makeup are just a tiny sample of Temu offerings. 

Chinese e-commerce powerhouse Pinduocuo is the parent company of Temu and launched the app in September of 2022. 

Americans got their first real introduction to Temu’s bargains during the 2023 Super Bowl in February. Temu’s tagline hook is “Shop like a billionaire.” An estimated 100 million US households saw the commercial. 

The upheaval over TikTok has caused many US merchants to distance themselves from China. However, the rise of Temu is causing worry about lost sales or fashion dominance coming from China rather than the US or France. 

Currently, China is the leader in fashion and footwear sales, followed by the United States. 

Temu and Shein ship products to the US and take advantage of US waivers on the duties charged for low-value shipments. This allows them to compete favorably with Amazon’s regional distribution centers. Products for direct orders can be received in 7-18 days. 

Will Temu and Shein find themselves in a congressional hearing in the near future?