Romanian consumer protection body begins investigation into Temu and Shein

Romanian consumer protection body begins investigation into Temu and Shein
Temu is reportedly not yet registered in Romania, despite entering the Romanian market in autumn 2023.
By bne IntelliNews April 24, 2024

Romania’s consumer protection agency ANPC has taken action to verify e-commerce sites and applications that operate the huge Chinese online marketplaces, Temu and Shein, as widely reported in the Romanian media .

ANPC reportedly suspects violations of legislation regarding product safety and consumer protection through tactics such as inauthentic discounts, aggressive practices, pressure selling and gamification.

According to a press statement issued on the ongoing investigations on Temu and Shein, ANPC essentially recommended users read the fine print, when buying from Temu or Shein, and in general, take care. 

The consumer protection body says it can provide help for suppliers registered in Romania (if any, which is unlikely) while the relevant European body can offer similar help for EU-registered suppliers. For the rest of the suppliers, the vast majority of which are based in China, the consumers are left with the option of checking for the Chinese consumer protection authority. 

Although it sells products in Romania, their quality, place of origin, and control over the order cannot be verified by a  Romanian consumer, according to Curs de Guvernare after an investigation into the terms of trade imposed by the two marketplaces.

ANPC, however, announced it will attempt to carry out such verifications.

In the past, ANPC’s technical expertise proved quite limited in less technical markets such as banking  (loan interest rate scandal) or food retail (the dyed poultry scandal).

ANPC is not the only official body late in checking the activity of Temu and Shein in Romania. According to Curs de Guvernare, the representatives of the National Authority for Communications Administration and Regulation (ANCOM) said that until this moment Temu has not been authorised in Romania. 

"We don't even think there is a need for authorisation because the platform does not do digital communication or postal activities," according to the authority's press office.

Temu entered Romania in autumn 2023. Now, the Facebook page has over 104,000 followers and the Instagram account has 5,000 followers. However, Temu is not registered in Romania.

Last month, Hungary's Competition Office (GVH) announced the launch of a procedure against Whaleco Technology, the European operator of Temu, two weeks after launching a probe.