Is A Deal On Temu Worth The Cost Of Their Unethical Business Practices?
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Jess Newman. Find her on Instagram at @_jess_n_. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There has been a ton of controversy surrounding Temu and for good reason. On the surface, the site sells anything and everything for dirt-cheap prices. Cheaper than Amazon kind of cheap. They have gained a lot of popularity because of this, but are their deals actually way too good to be true?
What is Temu?
Temu is a website that you have probably used or have seen ads for everywhere you look. They claim to be a one-stop shop for all things affordable. The company itself also claims that they are Boston-based with a “location” on St. James Avenue, but in all actuality, they are owned by a Chinese company called PDD Holdings. This company is based in the Cayman Islands. You’ve probably heard of the Cayman Islands on any TV show or movie that talks about money laundering. Needless to say, the islands do not have a good reputation. PDD Holdings Inc. claims to be a multinational commerce group that was formerly known as Pinduoduo Inc.
Problems with Pinduoduo Inc.
Pinduoduo was essentially the Chinese version of Temu. Everything was geared towards the Chinese customer. It was immensely popular with nearly 900 million users but ended up being suspended from the Google Play Store. Google announced that they had found malware in various versions of the app. Pinduoduo refuted Google’s claims but according to my research, they did not get unbanned and are still not featured on the Google Play Store. This speaks volumes to me and should be a big red flag for you as well. Pinduoduo was shut down so the company rebranded and is now marketing itself to Americans.
The more the merrier?
Not only does Temu have a villain origin story, but they seem to be hiding all of their wicked ways by giving customers bonus cash in mini-games within the app or by inviting others to shop with them. According to cyber security expert Peter Tran, the site also creates a sense of urgency by adding a timer that ticks down for when the window for free shipping is going to end and another countdown that ticks down as the supply of the item depletes. These countdowns create a sense of urgency which makes the consumer feel as though they need to ask fast. All of these tactics are used to get as many people as they can to use their website and make purchases. More people shopping equals Temu gaining more and more information. The site has thousands of vendors and these vendors also have access to this information. Tran explains that Temu hasn’t been properly vetted because it is so new, unlike websites like Amazon.
What’s the real cost?
Even though the prices on Temu are essentially dirt cheap, who is ultimately paying the price? In my opinion, everyone who isn’t Temu is paying the real price. The only way they can get these products so incredibly cheap is if Temu is using unethical labor practices such as child labor or sweatshops. The Better Business Bureau has had over 900 complaints of people claiming that they didn’t receive what they ordered in a timely matter or that they never received what they ordered at all.
Is Temu an ethical company? There are way too many red flags for it to be worth me risking my information to save a few dollars. Everyone loves a good deal and this is what Temu is preying on. Who knows what the company’s real motive is, but all signs point to something shady. They are unethical and it would be unethical of me to shop on their site.
What are your opinions about Temu? Have you purchased something on their website? Did you receive what you ordered? Share your experiences with us!