Temu customers risk buying forced-labor goods, MP warns

Temu customers risk buying forced-labor goods, MP warns

Temu customers risk buying forced-labor goods, MP warns

An M.P. has cautioned Christmas consumers who order inexpensive presents from Temu that they run the risk of purchasing items manufactured using forced labour.

In 2023, the Chinese application, renowned for its extensive selection of inexpensive apparel, toys, and electronics, was downloaded 19 million times in the United Kingdom. However, the chair of the foreign affairs select committee, Alicia Kearns, told the sources that she had “long been concerned about Temu’s rise and the risks it poses.” Temu stated that the use of coerced, penal, or child labour is “strictly prohibited.”

An investigation by the United States government discovered a “extremely high risk” that goods sold on Temu were manufactured using forced labour. This prompted the warning.

According to the Senate Committee, Temu’s sole precaution to prevent this from occurring was to require suppliers to sign terms and conditions prohibiting the use of coerced labour. Pinduoduo, a Chinese e-commerce behemoth, supports Temu, which debuted in the United States in 2022.

Since its 2023 debut in the United Kingdom, Temu’s has consistently dominated app download rankings. The application has nine million monthly users, according to data analysts.

The e-commerce platform bearing the tagline “Shop Like a Billionaire” enables customers to purchase merchandise directly from Chinese manufacturers at exorbitant costs.

The organisation disclosed to the sources that it had assisted “many families in alleviating the strain of escalating living expenses” by providing more economical alternatives for commonplace commodities.

Rina, a singe mother began utilising Temu after viewing online unboxing videos of individuals opening parcels. The 32-year-old mother of a four-year-old son who resides in Bedfordshire claims that expenditures on the Chinese marketplace have enabled her to accumulate funds for rent and utility expenses.

She reports that she has spent £100 on Christmas gifts this year, compared to between £200 and £300 in the years preceding Temu. Rina, who posts a purchasing vlog on social media, claims Temu approached her and offered her £100 in exchange for an unboxing video.

Millions of dollars have been spent by the company on marketing, including social media advertisements, brand partnerships with online influencers, and a 30-second spot during this year’s Super Bowl; the price of such a prime-time slot has reached $5 million (£3.8 million).

Temu has a substantial online search presence, as products from the site consistently rank at the top of search engine results when consumers are looking for a particular item.

China has faced allegations of involuntary detention of over one million Uyghurs in Xinjiang over the course of recent years.

About one-fifth of the world’s cotton is produced in this region, and human rights organisations have expressed concern that a significant portion of that cotton export is harvested using coerced labour. All allegations of human rights violations in Xinjiang are denied by China. However, when discussing the company’s opaque supply channels, Ms. Kearns cautioned that the potential for reduced prices could be attributed to a “reliance on slave labour.”

Ms. Kearns stated, “When you investigate where Temu obtains its products from and where in China it manufactures them, you can see that these are regions where we are aware that Uyghur slave labour is used against our will.”