E-shop Temu under legal pressure as Chinese firm continues to flood Czech market

Companies and industry experts have accused the e-shop of false advertising, manipulating search-engine results, and illegally using other brand names.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 29.03.2024 11:41:00 (updated on 30.03.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

Chinese online marketplace Temu's aggressive advertising tactics are causing concern and backlash in the Czech e-commerce market, raising legal and ethical concerns. The e-shop's actions have led to increased costs for local businesses and potential trademark violations.

'Parasitizing' Czech companies online

The company, which recently majorly expanded into Western online spaces, has firmly set its sights on Czech brands and stores. However, consumer experts have accused Temu of manipulating search engine results and redirecting customers to its website, despite advertising a product as being from a different online store, Czech business news site E15.cz writes. This practice has led to confusion and frustration for shoppers, as well as financial implications for businesses.

Head of the Czech online store Ovečkárna Ondřej Machala describes the negative effects of Temu's tactics. "The firm’s behavior is definitely not standard, and it significantly damages all e-shops across the range and size," says Machala. Temu recently used the Ovečkárna brand name without the latter’s permission in the Chinse firm’s advertising.

Other businesses, such as Czech brand Vuch, have taken legal action against Temu. "We have a trademark on Vuch and all variants. We have taken advantage of this and asked Google to block Temu from using our brand name," Vuch marketing manager Kamil Brabec tells E15.

Temu's tactics have also raised concerns from a legal perspective. Tereza Formanová from the Sedláková Legal law firm explains that Temu is potentially violating trademark rights and misleading customers with their advertising tactics. "Agreement is always the best solution. But legal proceedings are certainly underway and will continue against those who violate other people's rights," warns Formanová.

Temu defends itself

Despite these concerns, Temu's media representative Sabina Nallim maintains that the company's advertising tactics are within legal boundaries. "We always try to make our ads follow the rules and respect the rights of others. When there are concerns, we act quickly and solve the problem. We are not currently facing any lawsuits related to the potential issues you mentioned," says Nallim.

In a separate legal issue, the Czech Association for Electronic Commerce recently filed a complaint against Temu for not calculating and advertising discounts according to EU-set rules and providing insufficient information about the possibility of complaining about – or withdrawing from – a contract.

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