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Controversial cheap app Temu from China is taking hold in Switzerland

Controversial cheap app Temu from China is taking hold in Switzerland

The Temu shopping app has definitely arrived in Switzerland.Image:

The popular shopping portal, which offers products from China at competitive prices, has set up a company in this country. In addition, an estimate of Temu sales in Switzerland is available for the first time.

Benjamin Weinman/Media

If you want it cheap, you'll get your money's worth at TIMO. The Chinese shopping app offers T-shirts, shoes, wooden spoons, wigs, underwear, nose hair trimmers – in other words: almost everything – at extremely low prices.

Quality is not always in doubt. This doesn't change the fact that Temu has had a meteoric rise and is steadily gaining more customers than competitors like Wish or Aliexpress, which also serve as a platform for third-party providers. This is despite the fact that Timo was only founded in 2022.

However, the company is controversial. One address The Guardian article about Timo Recently it was: “addictive, absurdly cheap and controversial”. Like the social media app TikTok from Chinese company Bytedance, Temu is an app Dishonest behavior in relation to data protection He accused his agents.

Temu started a debt collection company

This does not prevent Temu from implementing its expansion plans – not even in Switzerland. As research shows, the company founded a debt collection company in Basel a few days ago called Whaleco Switzerland AG.

Purpose according to the commercial registry: “providing services in the field of international e-commerce and related services such as debt collection.” The founding company, Whaleco Technology Limited, based in Ireland, is responsible for trading in German-speaking countries.

Twint is already available in Temu

Online trading expert David Morant from Carpathia Consulting.

Online trading expert David Morant from Carpathia Consulting.Screenshot: LinkedIn

For David Morant of consultancy Carpathia, this may be an indication that Temu orders will soon also be possible on account, and not just by credit card payment. “Temu has so far distinguished itself by responding to local conditions, and payment by invoice remains very popular in Switzerland.” The Swiss payment method Twint is already available on Temu.

Carpathia is published every year List of results for the largest online retailers in this country. Morant dares to make an exclusive prediction for CH Media:

“We assume that Temu will enter the top 10 in Switzerland in 2023 and have sales of more than CHF 300 million.”

In terms of the number of packages, Temu has already surpassed the giant Aliexpress, which was in eighth place in 2022. A cargo plane carrying Temu's goods flies to Switzerland several times a week. “In public perception, Temu has outperformed its Chinese competitors online,” Morant says.

Delivery is faster than on Aliexpress

According to Morant, Temu distinguishes itself from Aliexpress in particular through its efficient logistics services, stronger promotion and marketing activities and a better approach to local customers. “On Temu, delivery takes 7 to 12 days, while on Aliexpress you have to wait several weeks for many products.”

Additionally, items are displayed more attractively on a smartphone, there are often no minimum order amounts, and Temu is accommodating when it comes to complaints and returns. Since a return would be very expensive logistically, the online retailer prefers a refund without having to return the item.

This means that Temu is also gaining more business customers, especially in the handicraft sector. “In conversations with companies, we increasingly hear that they can sometimes get laser measuring devices, grinding machine blades or screws for up to 15 times cheaper than in a Swiss hardware store,” says Morant.

Cheap online competition from China is also causing headaches for local retailers. “It comes down to the issue of intellectual theft, supply chains, sustainability or quality defects, some of which are serious and also represent a security risk,” says Bernhard Egger, Managing Director of To SRF. Members of the association include well-known companies such as Coop, Caran d'Ache, Chicorée, Amorana, Manor, Migros and PKZ.

Timo denies these accusations

What does Timo say? Establishing a company locally is a natural step and evidence of its long-term commitment to Switzerland, the company wrote at its request. “In this way, we clearly express our desire to be good corporate citizens for local businesses.”

There is a lot of misunderstanding about Temu's privacy practices, which stem from deliberate misinformation by vested interests, as well as so-called phishing scammers who impersonate Temu to steal private information.

Temu wrote that it continues to strengthen its security and data protection measures and has taken legal action against dozens of such scammers. And: “We comply with the laws and regulations of the markets in which we operate.” The company does not provide any figures for business in Switzerland.


The cheapest toys from Teemo and Shane have been tested in the laboratory


The cheapest toys from Teemo and Shane have been tested in the laboratory

Plush toy (soft filling) from China, ordered via Temu app. Experts believe that this product is particularly problematic…

Source: Swiss Gaming Association (SVS)

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