European Commission seeks answers from Temu and Shein on consumer protection

The European Commission wants more information from online platforms Temu and Shein on their handling of illegal products and manipulation of consumers. It submitted a request for information under the new Digital Services Act (DSA) on Friday.

The companies must provide information on the measures they are taking to protect consumers. This includes what opportunities there are to report illegal products and to what extent sellers can be traced. 

The request also comes in part after a complaint filed against Temu in May by BEUC, an umbrella organisation of consumer associations including Belgium’s Test Achats. According to BEUC, the platform violates several obligations of the DSA, including using a system of “dark patterns” that encourage consumers to buy more than they intended or make it harder to close an account.

Temu and Shein must provide the information by 12 July, after which the Commission will consider further action. If the companies submit inaccurate, incomplete or misleading information, they face being fined.

Among the aims of the DSA is to ensure that platforms remove illegal content and fake products more quickly and make it easier for consumers to report such content. 

In principle, large platforms have to abide by more rules than small ones. For instance, online platforms and search engines are subject to additional obligations and controls once they exceed 45 million monthly users. 



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