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Ever heard of TEMU?

Richard Cranium

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5:35 AM
Feb 20, 2012
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Is Temu legit? Cybersecurity expert warns it's not the bargain you want, coupon codes aside

Kim Komando
Special to USA TODAY

Temu is a popular shopping app in the U.S., but cybersecurity experts warn it collects lots of information.

Seemingly overnight, everyone’s talking about Temu, an online shopping app full of deals that seem too good to be true. You’ll find $17 wireless earbuds, $1 “gold” necklaces and $23 wedding dresses.

No wonder Temu is the second-most popular shopping app in the U.S., behind only Amazon. But most of us know little about the app's origins. Like some other apps, it’s tied to China.

I did some digging into whether it’s safe to use. Here’s what I found:

Where did Temu come from?

This app isn't some fly-by-night operation. Temu (pronounced "tee-moo") is based in Boston by PDD Holdings Inc. PDD is headquartered in Shanghai. PDD also owns the e-commerce platform Pinduoduo headquartered in – you guessed it – China. (More on Pinduoduo and its shady app below.)

Over 50 million Americans have downloaded Temu since it launched stateside in September 2022. You might remember its expensive Super Bowl ads promising to let you “shop like a billionaire.”

Searches for terms like "Is Temu legit" surged once Americans saw just how cheap the prices are. Not surprisingly, you get what you pay for.

What you need to know before using Temu

First, you're buying goods directly from manufacturers in China and other parts of the world. That's why shipping times are often much longer than on sites like Amazon. You might get your stuff in a week, but that could be more like 12 days.

For the most part, the prices are low because the goods are cheap. The pictures of what you see advertised may not be what you actually get.

Online reviewers seem to agree: Cheap is nice, but not when the quality is too shoddy to use. Temu’s BBB rating is 2.25/5. Reviews at TrustPilot are interesting, with 38% 5-star reviews and 41% 1-star reviews.

But that’s not the worst of it. As you shop, Temu collects lots of information.

What is Temu?:What we know about the e-commerce company with multiple Super Bowl ads

It gets worse

Temu isn’t unique in all the info it wants to capture from your phone, of course. Most apps out there want as much as you’ll give up. But considering its ties to Communist China, the permissions seem even more frightening to me.

Temu collects, among other things:
• The info you provide, such as your name, address, and phone number.
• Details you enter, such as your birthday, photo, and social media profiles.
• Your phone or computer’s operating system and version, your IP address, GPS location (if you allowed it), and browsing data.

They also gather more about you from third-party sources, including Temu sellers, public records, social media, data brokers, credit bureaus, and marketing partners.

Americans using Temu are selling the country out for bargains that really aren’t worth it. I say you delete it. Here’s how:

On iPhone, Long-press an app, then tap Remove App > Delete App. Tap Delete to confirm.

On Android, touch and hold an app, then tap Remove App > Delete App > Delete.

Temu is not alone

While Temu collects a lot, it’s nothing compared to Pinduoduo. Remember, they are owned by the same company.

Cybersecurity researchers found it wasn’t just tracking device info and activity – malicious code allowed it to bypass cellphone security settings to spy on other apps, read notifications and messages, and even change settings.

Pinduoduo gains full access to all your contacts, calendars, and photo albums, plus all your social media accounts, chats, and texts. In other words, literally everything on your phone.

Why? Company insiders told CNN that it’s a way to spy on users and competitors to boost sales.

No shopping app needs this much control, especially one tied to Communist China. If you’re using Pinduoduo, delete the app from your phone ASAP. It’s also reportedly hard to remove everything, even after you delete it.

Pro tip: If you downloaded Pinduoduo you really need to do a full factory reset on your smartphone to wipe out any remaining code or tracking.
Been around for a while.

Direct from China bypassing middlemen.

A few months ago a radio morning show was trying to find the weirdest stuff on there.
LOT of "unusual" dildo related items....cheap.

I learned during the superbowl ad for it that it's pronounced teh-mu, not tee-mu as I had thought and heard others say.

I'm not really interested in purchasing anything but you know how most people are.

Temu collects, among other things:
• The info you provide, such as your name, address, and phone number.
• Details you enter, such as your birthday, photo, and social media profiles.
• Your phone or computer’s operating system and version, your IP address, GPS location (if you allowed it), and browsing data.

Nothing more than most of the other phone apps, especially shopping apps, collect.

EDIT- it would be kind of silly for them NOT to collect "info you provide" and "details you enter", now wouldn't it?
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Got suckered in for a damn cap!!! Took almost a month to get here and then it wouldn't fit...FOOK them...cr8crshr/Bill :usflag: :usflag: :usflag:
Hmmm good to know - but I’ve already fallen into the trap. I use it fairly often - but have learned not to use for anything electronic or anything in which you want quality. I buy a lot of very low level stuff - yes the prices are ridiculously cheap and when you decide you don’t want to keep an item they just refund you and tell you to keep it, toss it, donate - everything but return it. So there are times I’ve purchased and changed my mind - they auto refund and I keep the item anyway. They never question you. Seeing this post on it I’ll now change some things things such as an unable to track email address etc. Altho they probably already have all they need from me by now anyway. But I never allow “notifications”. Of course you knew it was coming from China - no secret there.

Update: I just checked my acct info. I had already set it up on a duckduckgo email which peels all trackers off and forwards those mails sent to the duck address to your real email address. So they theoretically don’t have your real info. Except obviously your CC # and delivery address. Everything else is closed off.
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Chinese garbage. If that’s what America wants, they deserve to get screwed
Their ads pop up frequently on this site when I view without logging in...
Yeah, sadly (but I needed it) I got a Moen faucet handle off Temu
when at the time I didn't even know they existed,
when I put in the info/part # on DuckDuck.go
it redirected me to a page with Moen listings everyone was outdated/not available
One was NOS from Moen itself, on Temu
(usually that search site Temu seems to be mostly all Chinese junk)
I was looking specifically for 'a new extended-reach chrome handle/sprayer'
the type on a hose
mine was leaking, from the handles main body & nothing wrong with the rest
chrome all good etc., is all just fine
& I didn't need to spend $350+ now

It was only place that had a '15 year old version' for the $300 Moen Faucet I have
it was $11 & shipped free, I was supecious to say the least
But, I got it quick, it looks like NOS in a Moen box & bag inside the box,
extremely inexpensive, looks exactly like the Org. too, for $11...
That's a $100+ part on the newer faucets, go figure
works great too, going on almost a year later now...

I've since blocked (almost immediately) all e-mails/spam for/from Temu,
I started getting like 3-4 a day, mostly trinkets crap, $0.99 specials Chinesium
A bunch of lil' independent sellers/some actually in the West, East or Midwest
& Real American/s selling stuff...

I got a 72 RR Diecast of Petty's NASCAR racecar 1:18:1 scale
from a private seller, strange part is he asked;
"if I saw his site on Temu ?", he has a bunch more listed there"
I responded via e-mail, I told him;
"no", I block all that stuff
that I saw it on a link off DuckDuck.go, when I entered the search criteria"
That Diecast, it came to me directly from somewhere IIRC Oklahoma
right out of his collection still in the unopened org. box,
along with a hand written thank you note
It is perfect shape/condition NOS from the later 1990s

I suspect much like TikTok, Temu it's owned ran by the CCP,
with some Americans using it to sell their stuff, giving out CC info etc.
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I've seen a thousand temu adds, they appear on all my games. I will never, EVER buy anything from them. I don't even like amazon.
I use Opera browser and am fairly careful about where and what I do on the net.
I have never seen an ad or even knew this tea-moo existed.
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