What is so special about Temu?



Temu is an online shopping app offering people items at cheaper prices.

Yatin Bayya

Temu is a hot new, viral digital marketplace beating the competition by offering lower prices. The app also rewards its users by asking them to refer more people for free rewards. The app eliminates the middleman by connecting Chinese suppliers directly to American consumers at the cost of longer delivery times.

This app ranks higher than Amazon and Walmart in the App Store and Google Play store for shopping. Since its launch late last year, it has gained over 50 million users. Their Superbowl ads and many viral TikTok clips had only boosted its quick rise to fame.

“Giving away free items is normal for large companies like Amazon but unusual for growing shopping apps like Temu, therefore drawing some suspicion. While Temu is able to sell goods at a significantly lower price than Amazon, it simply cannot compete with Amazon’s abundance of resources used for distributing goods worldwide,” said Ajay Chandran (‘25).

Most products are usually legitimate; however, some of the product advertisements were found to be a bit misleading, and the quality tends to vary greatly depending on what you are buying.

“Although I don’t use Temu, I heard that there are issues with the products being delivered, and even if they were delivered, they come in low quality, which probably explains why everything is so cheap on the app,” said Shlok Sharma (‘25).


There are some potential privacy concerns with this app. Montana has banned it from all government devices after banning TikTok. Google has also supposedly found malware in Temu’s sister company, Pinduoduo. Amid tensions, their parent company, PDD Holdings, decided to move their headquarters to Ireland.

“It is quite prudent to be aware of what you use and how your application handles your data. Even if such an app is ranked in the top ten overall and is all over social media, you never know what the app is really doing. This doesn’t mean you can’t use any app, but you should probably check it first before acting rather than blindly hopping on to it just because of a new trend,” said Dhanvanth Rajesh (‘25).

Despite this, the app has become a major player in the online retail space and many students have received free or heavily discounted items from the site such as smartwatches, headphones, and various other accessories.

“Several people at Amador received free items from Temu. [However], it has some suspicious aspects, such as requiring people’s address details as well as other personal information such as phone numbers, birthdays, and billing information,” said Chandran.