Temu, the latest Asian app that seeks to sweep Amazon by being even cheaper than AliExpress and Shein

China is being a great rival for the big Western tech companies, but within the Asian country there is also very notable competition . The owners of Pinduoduo, one of the largest ecommerce companies in China, has launched into the United States market with a platform called Temu. This will not only affect Amazon, but will also fight against a company within its borders: Aliexpress or Shein.

Temu became the most downloaded shopping app in the United States on October 17. But the competition has not stopped there and the owners of TikTok also intend to remove Shein’s position as an ultra fast fashion e-commerce platform, with If Yooou, whose main target audience is Europe (especially the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy).

Alibaba’s replacement in China that will unseat Amazon in the West

As detailed in the China Report of MIT Technology Review, Temu is a global version of Pinduoduo, founded in 2015 and which within the Asian country competes against large firms such as Alibaba. In 2020, it replaced said rival as the company with the most ecommerce customers in China and currently has more than 730 million monthly active users.

Much of its success is due to the fact that its products are sold at surprisingly low prices. However, in the US Temu is barely mentioned on social networks and even so it has had many downloads in a short time. “I think it’s almost entirely due to ads ,” says Juozas Kaziukėnas, founder of e-commerce analyst brand Marketplace Pulse.

Temu stands out for its affordable products, which arrive in about 10 days.

Temu stands out for its affordable products, which arrive in approximately 10 days.

It seems that Americans are seeing Temu advertising everywhere. In fact, Meta notes that more than 11,000 ads for the new platform have been published since September , in English and Chinese. Meanwhile, other Chinese websites like Shein and Aliexpress have only been shown a few dozen times.

The app is available on iOS, where ads are primarily targeted at the US and Canada, and on Android, where ads appear in seven other countries. Temu allows you to get earrings for 60 cents , security cameras and wireless headphones for almost 4 euros and sports shoes for less than 6 euros .

Such low prices is not something we are not used to. Aliexpress also often offers items on its website for cheaper prices than what they initially cost, but in Temu, they also promise to deliver them soon. When a user buys on Aliexpress, he knows that the product will possibly take months to arrive, but 80% of Temu supposedly arrives in 10 days.

Times may be longer than those offered by Amazon or Inditex, which take less than a week to deliver orders. Despite this, Temu offers price advantages without waiting dates as exaggerated as those of Aliexpress or Shein.

Temu will be like Shein or like Aliexpress

The big Chinese e-commerce platforms that have succeeded in the West are Shein and Aliexpress. However, its public acts differently when choosing the brand to buy: users choose the Alibaba international version when they know they want something cheap and open the online clothing store to see the latest trends and get them.

Zeyi Yang, a reporter from MIT, believes that Temu will have to “go further” to differentiate itself from existing brands. Its Asian version Pinduoduo does just that: “It’s known for being an addictive, sometimes manipulative app that incentivizes people to share what they buy on social platforms for even bigger discounts.” 

Although the idea of ​​this ‘social e-commerce’ has had favorable results in the Asian market, it is unknown how it will play out in the US industry, which has very different consumers. “Maybe it suggests that the West is just a much more established environment, economically and technologically, so it’s unlikely to see these kinds of massive disruptions like you saw in China,” Kaziukėnas said.

If Yooou, the TikTok app that aims to surpass Shein

ByteDande, the company that owns TikTok, has launched another platform, but one that is especially focused on ultra fast fashion . It’s called If Yooou and it was launched on the European market earlier this year, although little has been heard of it. 

The algorithms they use in If Yooou are quite similar to Shein.

The algorithms they use in If Yooou are quite similar to Shein.If Yooou

The truth is that there are many Internet users who use their own social network, TikTok, to share their orders in the online Chinese clothing store. Somehow, ByteDande is promoting its own competition from the app.

If Yooou is almost identical to Shein, with algorithms that predict trends for different countries and relatively affordable prices. Despite this, this platform is not having the same success as Temu in unseating its competitors.