May 21, 2024

Lawmaker demands FTC probe Temu parent company over alleged CCP ties


A Republican lawmaker is urging the Federal Trade Commission to probe the China-based parent company of quick trend retailer Temu over its alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., on Tuesday despatched a letter to the FTC calling out PDD Holdings Inc. and its subsidiaries, Pinduoduo and Temu, for “harmful business practices here in the United States.” The letter urges the FTC to research after a pair of sophistication motion lawsuits have been filed over issues in regards to the Temu app and knowledge privateness. 

“Whether it’s Tiktok or Temu, behind these friendly English words hide three nefarious letters — CCP,” Mast instructed FOX Business in an announcement. “We need to be clear, if you’re a company operating within the U.S., you don’t get to hide your links to the Chinese Communist Party. That’s why I’m asking the FTC to probe Temu’s parent company for their links to the CCP and their questionable business practices.” 

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PDD PDD HOLDINGS INC. 113.52 -0.77 -0.67%

Temu is an e-commerce website launched in 2022 that provides items shipped from China at closely discounted costs. The company made headlines earlier this yr with a pair of $7 million Super Bowl adverts that inspired American prospects to “shop like a billionaire,” which was a part of a $3 billion advertising and marketing push to compete with U.S. corporations like Amazon. 

TEMU’S SUPER BOWL ADS SPARK BACKLASH OVER CHINA-BASED FIRM’S FORCED LABOR ALLEGATIONS

Temu App

A cell phone shows the Temu APP interface in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China, Oct 28, 2022. Temu, a cross-border e-commerce platform of Pinduoduo, was launched within the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Canada and different abroad mar (CFOTO/Future Publishing through Getty Images / Getty Images)

The adverts prompted a number of members of Congress to name out Temu’s knowledge practices and hyperlinks to forced labor in China

Mast’s letter cites a pair of class-action lawsuits in Illinois and New York that allege the company deceptively collected buyer knowledge by means of permissions that allowed it to entry Bluetooth and Wi-Fi community data in addition to biometric knowledge, and that it didn’t adequately safeguard that knowledge.

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Brian Mast

Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., takes his seat for the House Foreign Affairs Committee listening to on Thursday, March 23, 2023. Mast on Tuesday despatched a letter to the FTC urging the fee to probe e-commerce website Temu’s alleged ties to the Chinese Communist (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc through Getty Images / Getty Images)

He urges the FTC to query Temu about any monetary advantages the company has obtained from the CCP to subsidize its advertising and marketing efforts within the U.S. and to boost questions on how the company handles knowledge safety.

Temu didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. The company has beforehand denied that it didn’t correctly safe buyer knowledge in response to the lawsuits.

 SHEIN SUED BY RIVAL TEMU FOR ‘MAFIA-STYLE INTIMIDATION’

Temu Pinduoduo

The Temu web site organized in Hong Kong, China, on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. (Photographer: Lam Yik/Bloomberg through Getty Images / Getty Images)

The House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the U.S. and the Chinese Communist Party has investigated hyperlinks between Temu and Shein, one other China-based e-commerce platform, and merchandise made with pressured labor from Uyghurs and different persecuted ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang province. 

In June 2023, the committee launched an interim report that discovered that Temu and Shein have exploited U.S. de minimis provisions to evade customs enforcement. De minimis guidelines permit practically all of their merchandise valued below $800 to enter the U.S. uninspected and free from duties that almost all American clothes manufacturers pay. It additionally discovered that Temu lacks a system for guaranteeing compliance with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.

The U.S. and a number of other different nations have accused China of committing genocide towards the Uyghurs and different Muslim minority teams in Xinjiang. The Chinese Communist Party has engaged within the mass detention of Uyghurs in “reeducation camps” and compelled them to work in factories. The CCP denies these allegations, claiming these camps are for “vocational training.”

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Mast encourages the FTC to probe Temu’s “business nexus” with the Xinjiang province, citing the company’s personal admission that it “does not expressly prohibit third-party sellers from selling their products based on their origin in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region.” 

He asks the FTC to refer Temu to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security if the company is discovered to be in violation of federal legislation. 

Fox Business’ Eric Revell contributed to this report.



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