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Temu Opens its Platform to U.S. and European Sellers

Temu made a splash at last year's Super Bowl with its "Shop Like a Billionaire" ad.
Temu made a splash at last year's Super Bowl with its "Shop Like a Billionaire" ad. (Photo courtesy Temu)

Discount shopping app Temu is giving U.S. and European merchants access to sell on its marketplace, which had previously only been open to China-based merchants.

In announcing the news, Temu not only highlighted the benefits to sellers, which it said can now “reach millions of new customers” through its platform, but also the benefits to shoppers, who as a result of the expansion will begin to see more “local options” in the shopping app.

Temu also said that it has access to local warehouses in both regions but didn’t share details on their locations or capacity. The company said that by storing goods locally it will be able to “significantly shorten” delivery times for customers in the U.S. and Europe who order from merchants in their own region.

The addition of U.S. and European sellers to its marketplace follows Temu’s expansion of its delivery network in Europe in late 2023 with Poste Italiane in Italy, Portuguese group CTT in the Iberian Peninsula and Germany’s private postal service Mail Alliance.

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Temu and fellow China-based discount shopping app Shein are in the midst of a fierce competition for Western consumers that has involved a continuous upping of the ante, numerous lawsuits and a range of governmental reviews. In the last year, Shein has added a third-party marketplace, expanded its product assortment beyond fashion and opened an EMEA headquarters in Ireland to stave off the Temu threat. Meanwhile, Temu has been steadily expanding its reach in the West, most recently with its European debut in April 2023.

Temu made its U.S. debut later than Shein, but after a major marketing push that kicked off at last year’s Super Bowl, Temu quickly overtook Shein as the No. 1 shopping app in America. And U.S.-based retailers like Amazon and Walmart aren’t immune to the growing dominance of Temu and Shein; both companies have intensified their efforts to bring in sellers to their own marketplaces, with Amazon in particular hosting a summit for sellers in Shenzhen, China late last year and dramatically reducing the seller fees for low-cost apparel sold on its site in a bid to remain competitive.

Temu and Shein aren’t just battling it out online either. The companies have both filed numerous lawsuits against each other in the U.S., and despite a detente in October 2023 when both companies voluntarily agreed to drop their respective lawsuits, Temu stirred the pot once again not three months later when it filed an inflammatory lawsuit against Shein accusing the company of “mafia-style” anticompetitive practices.

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