vzbv warns online marketplace Temu

Objection to several problematic practices

  • vzbv has identified several problematic Temu practices
  • These include misleading discounts and manipulative designs
  • Legal warning issued following website evaluation
Smartphone in der Hand vor Laptop, Onlineshop auf Handydisplay in weißer Schrift auf orangen Hintergrund

Credit: 123rf / garagestock

The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband – vzbv) has issued Temu with a legal warning. vzbv had previously identified various problematic practices on the online marketplace for Chinese products. Temu leaves consumers unaware of how it arrives at the major discounts offered. Furthermore, vzbv objects to the use of prohibited manipulative designs. The company behind the platform, Whaleco Technology Limited, has reacted to the warning. However, it has not officially agreed to cease such practices. vzbv is currently considering whether to take further legal action.

“In Germany and the European Union there are consumer protection laws that all companies must comply with. The Temu platform misleads and exploits consumers with discounts that appear arbitrary, questionable reviews, and manipulative designs. These practices must stop. It is necessary to protect consumers against such business practices,” says Ramona Pop, Executive Director of vzbv.

Legal warning covers several aspects

vzbv’s warning to Temu covers several aspects, including:

  • Temu offers discounts of up to 70 percent for some products. No further information on the reference prices is provided.
  •  Temu claims that the CO2 footprint is reduced if consumers allow their products to be delivered to a local delivery station rather than directly to their home. However, the products have already travelled a great distance by the time they are delivered.
  • During the order process the online marketplace issues numerous messages such as “Hurry! More than 126 people have this article in their basket” or “More than 54 users have bought this product repeatedly. Why not order 2 at once ...”. Manipulative designs known as dark patterns have been outlawed in the EU since the Digital Services Act entered into force on 17 February 2024. 
  • In vzbv’s view, Temu does not provide enough information as to how they ensure the authenticity of product reviews. However, such platforms are obliged to provide this information.
  • In addition, we also found that there is a lack of information on product vendors.

Alongside the legal warning issued by the Federation of German Consumer Organisations, the Consumer Associations also advise caution when shopping online on Temu.




Press and Media Relations

presse@vzbv.de +49 30 25800-525


Rosemarie Rodden

Rosemarie Rodden

Policy Officer Team Litigation

info@vzbv.de +49 30 25800-0