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Temu app: is it legit, scam concerns, and how to download

Have you been looking for an Amazon shopping alternative? Outside of getting in your car and heading to your local brick-and-mortar establishment (scary, we know), one smartphone and tablet-friendly shopping tool you could take for a spin is Temu. 

Launched in September 2022, Temu prides itself on its cost-friendly approach to buying stuff online. But is it a worthy stand-in for Amazon, or should you stick to the Almighty A for your household must-haves? Let’s find out!

What is Temu?

Temu logo on an iPhone.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Temu is an online shopping app akin to Amazon that claims to host the best deals you can find online. With more than 250 different categories to choose from, it functions as an all-encompassing shopping app, as opposed to one for specific interests. Temu claims to be unique, however, by having lower prices than those found at other online sellers. While that’s not always the case with non-discounted items, the items sold at full price are — at the very least — sold at similar, if not the same, prices as they are on sites like Amazon, Target, or Walmart.

Frequent sales and multiweek deals are common on the app, however, which means it’s worth taking a look there first before buying anything online to see if you can get what you’re looking for a little cheaper. Take note, however, that not all major brands are selling on Temu yet, as it’s still an up-and-coming marketplace. There are still plenty of big brands that are already selling there, however.

Is the Temu app legit?

As mentioned above, there’s been a fair amount of skepticism aimed at Temu, which is completely natural. Any time an app deals with sensitive information — like your credit card numbers and home address — it’s good to have some trepidation. However, concerns regarding Temu’s legitimacy are easily put to rest. Although new, the app is backed by PDD Holdings Inc., a multibillion-dollar company that has many years of global commerce experience.

In terms of other forms of verified legitimacy, Temu supports several forms of secure payment methods, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and most credit cards. Temu seems to be as legit as all other major online retailers.

Is Temu a scam?

Screenshot of the PDD Holdings website. It reads: "PDD Holdings is a multinational commerce group that owns and operates a portfolio of businesses, including Temu, an e-commerce marketplace in North America, and Pinduoduo, a social commerce platform in China with agriculture as one of its pillars. PDD Holdings aims to bring more businesses and people into the digital economy so that local communities and small businesses can benefit from the increased productivity and new opportunities. PDD Holdings has built a network of sourcing, logistics, and fulfillment capabilities, that support its underlying businesses. One of them is "C2M" (Consumer to Manufacturer) process that helps sellers produce products according to consumers' preferences and drive cost down further."
Digital Trends

In short, no, Temu is not a scam. It’s a perfectly legitimate online shopping marketplace that has faced skepticism from people, as all new online retailers do.

There seems to be an additional amount of unfounded fear toward the company since the other major company that Temu’s parent company, PDD Holdings Inc., owns is Pinduoduo — a Chinese-based agriculture company. However, there’s plenty of evidence to show that both PDD Holdings Inc. and Pinduoduo are legitimate companies and that there’s nothing to be suspicious of.

Per a Temu representative who reached out to Digital Trends, “PDD Holdings Inc. owns and operates a portfolio of businesses globally, including Temu in the U.S. and Canada and Pinduoduo, the social commerce app in China. Pinduoduo is Temu’s sister company.”

How to download the Temu app

Downloading the Temu app is simple regardless of whether you’re using a phone running on iOS or Android since it’s offered on both. Head to the app store on your phone and search for “Temu.” The app icon is orange with white text and four small symbols. In the store, the app will be listed as “Temu: Shop Like a Billionaire.” Select the prompt to download the app, and you’ll have Temu on your phone whenever you’re looking to do some discounted shopping.

If you don’t want to download the app, Temu is fully functional in-browser as well. Simply head over to Temu.com, and you can access all of the features you’ll find on the app.

Download Temu for iOS

Download Temu for Android

Do you have to download the Temu app?

Absolutely not. If you’d rather do your shopping from a laptop or desktop PC (or you’d prefer to use your smartphone or tablet’s web browser), you can head to Temu’s website instead.

You’ll be able to do everything you can do in the Temu app, including category filtering, order tracking, inputting a payment method, and more.

Why are Temu prices so cheap?

Based on the company’s own responses to this question, Temu is able to offer much lower prices than competitors like Amazon, Best Buy, and Target because of its supply chain structure. 

Employing a seller to consumer approach, all Temu’s products are sold through third parties. There’s also no product manufacturing taking place outside of China, so Temu isn’t held to the same regulations as US product developers.

Does Temu offer protection for user data? 

This is a bit of a gray area at the moment. As part of Temu’s security and privacy terms, safeguarding customer info is a pretty big priority for the company. That being said, Temu has recently come under fire for mishandling user data.  

A class-action lawsuit was filed against the company in February 2024 by the Hagens Berman law firm. Representing plaintiffs from Illinois, California, Massachusetts, and Virginia, Temu faces accusations of employing spyware and malware to access and share user data with third parties.

In a response to CBS 2, Temu asserts that they do not share customer data with third parties. 

We’ll keep you posted on the ongoing lawsuit as it continues to unfold.

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Courtesy by: Digital Trends

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