Handelsverband Deutschland (HDE) calls on politicians to be stricter towards cheap marketplaces from China, including Temu. The interest group advocates for strengthening customs and suggests a digital platform where every shipment must be registered.
According to HDE, Temu and similar platforms can operate relatively undisturbed, leading to unfair competition. “Neither the European nor the German legislative bodies are in a position to fully enforce their regulations and laws against Chinese companies”, said HDE’s deputy director, Stephan Tromp, to the German Press Agency (dpa).
HDE points out the inadequate product safety of electrical appliances being traded on Temu, that opened an office in Dublin last spring. The trade in counterfeit goods is another major concern for the interest group.
Supply Chain Act
HDE also highlights an uneven playing field in the enforcement of the German Supply Chain Act. This regulation aims to ensure compliance with human rights among suppliers. “The responsible federal authority is not lifting a finger to enforce the requirements for Chinese companies – which also sell to end customers and thus compete directly with German dealers”, Tromp added.
‘The enforcement authority is not lifting a finger’
HDE clarifies that they do not want platforms like Temu to be excluded from the German market. “If everyone has to adhere to the same rules, competition occurs to the benefit of the consumer. Then the better solution wins.”
Customs and a digital platform
HDE calls for strengthening customs, which are responsible for package handling. “Customs are simply overwhelmed by the enormous quantity”, says Tromp. A digital platform where every shipment must be registered could also be a good starting point, according to him. Pre-registration would make it easier to check packages from retailers who do not comply with the rules.
Temu in Europe
Temu, backed by the Chinese tech giant and Pinduoduo owner PDD Holdings, made its entrance into Europe last spring. In many countries, including Germany, it was the most downloaded shopping app last year. Temu, which does not sell products itself, recently announced that it will open its marketplace to sellers from the United States in March. Shortly after, it will also add European sellers. Meanwhile, Temu is working on expanding its European delivery network.