E-commerce platform Temu quizzed by Irish regulator

Irish authority is conducting a sweeping review of companies within the scope of the DSA.


Online marketplace Temu, operated by Chinese e-commerce company PDD Holdings, has received additional questions about its business related to the Digital Services Act, the Irish Digital Services Coordinator told Euronews.

Temu, which first launched in the US in 2022, has its European headquarters in Ireland.

A spokesperson for the Irish authority – Coimisiún na Meán – which is responsible for the country’s oversight of the Digital Services Act, said that Temu is part of the agency’s sweeping review of companies in the scope of the EU’s platform rules.

“Coimisiún na Meán is currently contacting companies in Ireland who might have services which are within scope of the Digital Services Act to request certain information, including user numbers. Temu has been contacted by the [us] as part of this process,” the spokesperson said.

Under the DSA, companies with more than 45 million users are considered Very Large Online Platforms (VLOP) meaning that they face stricter rules to fight illegal and harmful content and counterfeit products on their platforms. Platforms that don’t meet the threshold fall under the remit of the national authorities.

The commission designated a first group of 19 platforms, including Booking.com, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon and Zalando in April last year, and a second batch of pornography websites in December.

Monthly active users

Temu mostly offers heavily discounted consumer goods shipped directly from China; it expanded since 2022 to 49 countries, of which some are European. It said in its latest user figures published in September 2023, that it does not meet the DSA user threshold to be considered a VLOP.

However media reports suggest a steep rise in popularity and users; statistics by data.ai suggest that Temu overtook US online retailer eBay in Europe last October with 51 million monthly active users on Android and Apple devices. 

A spokesperson for the European Commission told Euronews that it keeps “monitoring market developments and is liaising with digital services coordinators”. The commission is ultimately responsible for designating VLOPs under the DSA.

Last week, media outlets reported that Chinese fashion website Shein is set to face stricter EU online content rules, after the company declared that it has 108 million monthly active users in Europe.

Shein previously only said it provides retail services and as such it did not fall into the scope of the DSA.

A commission spokesperson told Euronews also that it’s “in contact with Shein in view of a possible designation in the future. The procedure is ongoing but a timetable cannot be indicated.”

Temu did not reply to a request for a comment.

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2024-03-13 13:08:22

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