Temu targeted in EU consumer group's complaint to EU tech regulator

Illustration picture of e-commerce platform Temu

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Chinese fast-fashion e-commerce retailer Temu was hit with a European Union complaint on Thursday over a potential breach of online content rules by the PDD Group-owned business.

Under the European Union's Digital Services Act, online marketplaces and intermediaries are required to fight illegal and harmful content as well as counterfeit products on their platforms.

Pan-European consumers organisation BEUC said it has lodged a grievance with the European Commission while 17 of its members in countries including France, Italy and the Netherlands have also filed complaints with their relevant national authorities.

Temu, with 75 million monthly EU users as of March, often failed to provide consumers with crucial information about the sellers on its platform and whether their products met EU product safety requirements, BEUC said.

The complaint said that Temu uses manipulative practices such as dark patterns to get consumers to spend more than they may want and that there was insufficient information on how it recommends products to consumers.

"Temu is being complacent here because it is breaching the EU's Digital Services Act," BEUC Director General Monique Goyens said in a statement.

"Products sold on marketplaces, whether online or offline, whether they are European, American or Chinese, must be safe and comply with European law if they sell to European consumers."

Temu, which entered the EU market just over a year ago, said it actively adjusts its service to align with local practices and preferences and that it is committed to full compliance with the laws and regulations of the markets where it operates.

"Regarding the BEUC complaint, we take it very seriously and will study it thoroughly. We hope to continue our dialogue with the relevant stakeholders to improve Temu's service for consumers," the company said in a statement.

(Reporting by Foo Yun CheeEditing by Richard Chang and David Goodman)