Temu Prices Are So Low It's Scary — Who Owns the Company and Is It Safe to Shop?

If you’ve stumbled across the Temu app, you're probably wondering who owns it and why the prices are so low. Temu products come from Chinese vendors.

Jennifer Farrington - Author

Feb. 13 2023, Published 4:38 p.m. ET

Temu app
Source: Twitter/@shoptemu

If you’ve stumbled across the Temu (tee-moo) app and its amazingly low prices (and we mean low), there’s a good chance you questioned its legitimacy. After all, it isn't every day you find Lenovo earbuds for $8.49 or a 12-pack of kitchen sponges for $2.48.

While Temu has gained quite a reputation in the U.S., especially after it paid for two ads during Super Bowl LVII, people still want to who owns Temu and if it's legit.

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Temu claims to offer lightning deals and free shipping on your first order. Its prices are among the lowest online for household goods, toys, electronics, clothing, and even beauty products. But, when you’re presented with an offer this good, you have to question how safe it is to purchase from the app and why the prices are so low. So, we decided to investigate.

Here’s what we found out.

Who owns Temu?

Temu shipping box
Source: Twitter (@shoptemu)

Temu is certainly making a splash in the e-commerce space. It’s currently one of the most downloaded apps in the U.S. and despite only being four months old, it's already being compared to online marketplaces like Shein and WISH. Temu was founded in Boston, Mass. in 2022 and it's owned by PDD Holdings Inc.

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Formerly known as Pinduoduo, PDD Holdings Inc., Temu’s sister company, is public and operates in China. Temu sells anything from air fryers to press-on nails to car accessories. Simply put, Temu carries thousands of items in nearly every retail category.

Is Temu legitimate?

Like all companies, Temu has received its fair share of “hate” from consumers but overall it's liked by many. Despite consumer criticism, Temu is a legitimate company with over 55,000 ratings on Apple’s App Store. Apple users also rate it 4.6 out of 5 stars.

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Now, although Temu does have a functional website, many choose to shop via its app. In December 2022 alone, Temu was downloaded 9 million times in the U.S., coming close to e-commerce competitors like Amazon. In 2021, PDD says it generated $14.7 billion in revenue.

Although Temu is only being offered in the U.S., it's reportedly plans to expand to Canada in the coming weeks.

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How is Temu so cheap?

Temu is able to offer unbeatable prices and constant deals to consumers due to its access to PDD’s network of merchants and logistic partners, the company’s website notes. Like Temu, PDD offers a similar platform for consumers in China to shop, allowing them to access various items priced substantially lower than top retailers

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Where is Temu based?

Although Temu is headquartered in Boston, items listed on its website are shipped from Chinese factories or warehouses. This is how Temu is able to keep its prices so low. Instead of Temu setting up shop in the U.S., it uses its marketplace to connect consumers with China-based vendors, which allows them to offer products at a fraction of the price you’d normally pay.

Because Temu ships internationally, it can take as long as 15 days to receive packages. However, some consumers have praised the e-commerce company for getting items in their hands in as little as three days.

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Temu package
Source: Twitter (@shoptemu)

Here’s how consumers are rating Temu.

Temu has received mixed ratings since it launched four months ago. While plenty of YouTube and TikTok Temu haul videos show the company offers real products, the BBB (Better Business Bureau) has received 113 complaints so far, some of which have already been resolved.

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Many of the complaints filed with the BBB seem to either stem from packages marked “delivered” but weren’t actually delivered or the inability to get a refund in a timely manner. Some also say Temu’s customer service is lacking.

While Temu is a real company that offers crazy deals and free products (if you play games on the app), if you aren't sure as to whether you should order, read through the complaints filed with the BBB as well as YouTube videos that can provide some insight on what it is like to shop at Temu.

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