Saturday, April 20, 2024

Is Temu A Scam? Unveiling The Dark Side Of This Chinese Shopping App

Decrypting the Truth Behind Teemu: Is the Popular Shopping App from China a Glorified Spyware?

🛍️ Introduction: What is Teemu?

Teemu is a US-based online marketplace that offers extremely low prices on thousands of products shipped directly from China. The company is a subsidiary of PDD Holdings, which is a Chinese company that is publicly traded on the NASDAQ. The name Teemu means “team up, price down,” which reflects the company’s philosophy of reducing the prices for its most popular products. The more people who use Teemu to buy a specific product, the more of that product the seller will manufacture, which in turn will reduce the price for everyone. As a result, the most purchased items on Teemu are also the cheapest ones.

👍 Pros of Teemu

– Extremely low prices on thousands of products shipped directly from China.

– Purchase protection program that protects buyers in case of damaged goods or fraud.

– The company offers a wide range of products, from five-dollar shoes to a Nintendo Switch for only seven dollars.

👎 Cons of Teemu

– Most of the products sold on the platform are just cheap Chinese junk that isn’t branded.

– The low prices can come across as a huge shock, and quality varies so much on the platform.

– Reports have shown that getting a refund from Teemu can sometimes take a long time.

📜 Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Pros of Teemu

3. Cons of Teemu

4. What is Teemu?

5. How can Teemu be so cheap?

6. Teemu’s parent company, PDD Holdings

7. Teemu’s low ratings on Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot, and Site Jabber

8. Teemu’s marketing campaign

9. Teemu’s influencer marketing

10. Teemu’s business model

11. Teemu’s purchase protection program

12. Teemu’s refund policy

13. Teemu’s data collection practices

14. Teemu’s potential security breaches

15. Teemu’s impact on commerce in the United States

16. Conclusion

🤔 How can Teemu be so cheap?

According to Teemu, their low prices are achieved because they have a deep network of merchants, logistic partners, and an established ecosystem of suppliers. Teemu’s sister company, Pindodo, the equivalent of Teemu in China, was originally created to leverage social shopping with team purchasing to get lower prices for consumers. Basically, they cut out the middleman, gather a bunch of orders of the same product from the masses, and place a really large order at really low prices by leveraging economies of scale. However, most of Pandora’s revenue came from online marketing services and not e-commerce. In fact, Pindodo sells advertising services to its network of merchants and not so much physical products. Merchants can bid for keywords that match product listings and appear as ads on Pandora’s platform. Pindodo also charges merchants a commission on each item sold through its platform. In addition, Pandora generates revenue from transaction fees and merchandise sales. In other words, Pindodo and its sister company, Teemu, are really in the business of collecting data.

🏢 Teemu’s parent company, PDD Holdings

Teemu’s parent company, PDD Holdings, is a Cayman Islands company with subsidiaries registered in China. So basically, Teemu is a Chinese company. According to CNN, the Pindodo app, Teemu’s sister company, was called for having malware that exploited vulnerabilities in the Android operating system. Company insiders said the exploits were utilized to spy on users and competitors, allegedly to boost sales. These findings follow Google’s suspension of Pindodo from its Play Store in March of 2023, citing malware identified in various versions of the app. An ensuing report from Bloomberg said a Russian cybersecurity firm has also identified potential malware in the app. These vulnerabilities allow the app to gain full access to your contacts, calendars, and photo albums, plus your social media accounts, chats, and texts. In other words, almost everything on your phone.

📉 Teemu’s low ratings on Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot, and Site Jabber

As of this recording, Teemu has a 2.41 customer rating out of five on the Better Business Bureau, a 3.2 rating out of 5 on Trustpilot, and a 3.35-star rating on Site Jabber. Not that great, but before we get into the spyware and conspiracy theories, let’s first talk about how Teemu can possibly be so cheap.

📣 Teemu’s marketing campaign

If you look online, you’ll notice that most people aren’t paying that much money at all for their products because Teemu has an ingenious marketing campaign that pays you cash for referring your friends to sign up. The more installs of the app you refer, the more money that you make. Teemu has also been investing heavily into the influencer marketing space to the point where I’ve started to doubt the validity of any of the videos or TikToks or Instagram reels or even comments about Teemu I’ve seen online. For example, I published this video here about Teemu, and I’d say that 80% of the comments about the platform are overwhelmingly positive. There are literally people gushing about how amazing it is to shop on their platform. Personally, I’ve been offered four figures to publish a single video about Teemu, and I’ve never once accepted any money from them. I’ve also been offered hundreds of dollars just to post a short TikTok. They are literally spending massive marketing dollars to make Teemu a household name.

💻 Teemu’s business model

Teemu is not really an e-commerce company. They are an information company, and they are following in the exact same footsteps of their sister company, Pindodo, in China. Basically, Teemu is a subsidized loss leader in order to gain market share so they can collect information to sell their marketing services. Amazon did the same thing for a very long time, so did Uber and Lyft in the rideshare space. According to Joseph’s Kazukanis, there’s absolutely no way Teemu runs a profitable retail business. They are effectively buying market share and hoping in the years to come that market share will stick.

💳 Teemu’s purchase protection program

Technically, buying from Teemu is 100% safe because the company offers a purchase protection program that protects buyers in case of damaged goods or fraud. The Teemu Protection Program covers items that don’t match a listing description, items that arrive damaged, and items that are lost in the mail. Reports have shown that getting a refund from Teemu can sometimes take a long time, but it does in fact happen.

🕵️‍♂️ Teemu’s data collection practices

Teemu collects data from your sessions in search history and monitors your activity and time on site. If you log in using social media, it collects information contained in your social media profile as well. According to CNN, by collecting expansive data on user activities, the company was able to create a comprehensive portrait of users’ habits, interests, and preferences, which allowed Pindodo to improve its machine learning model to offer more personalized push notifications and ads, attracting users to open the app and place orders.

🔒 Teemu’s potential security breaches

It is 100% true that the Teemu app flat out gathers a ton of data about your phone usage habits, including your name, address, and phone number, as well as any details about you, such as your birthday, photos, and social media profiles. You’re also giving up your phone’s OS, your IP address, and GPS location, potentially in any and all browsing and shopping data. Now, does this really mean that Teemu is passing your data back to China? I definitely cannot say, but I’m willing to bet that the answer is yes because PDD Holdings, Teemu’s owner, doesn’t have the best track record.

💰 Teemu’s impact on commerce in the United States

Selling off your data to China for cheap junk will have a negative long-term effect on commerce in the United States. As an American, we are used to overpaying for stuff, so the low prices can come across as a huge shock. Most of the sellers on Teemu are not professional companies; they are what Pindodo calls “farmer merchants.” According to their SEC filing, small-scale farmers in China have traditionally relied heavily on layers of distributors to market and sell their products to the broader consumer base, which is highly inefficient. We believe our team purchase model provides an alternative solution. The larger man helps farmers directly sell to consumers without going through layers of distributors, thereby improving the overall supply chain and reducing costs. So basically, a farmer merchant is essentially like a mom-and-pop shop, which is why quality varies so much on the platform.

🔚 Conclusion

In conclusion, Teemu is a legitimate company whose parent company, PDD Holdings, is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ. They don’t have the best reviews online, but it is a real company that ships real goods. However, Teemu is not really an e-commerce company. They are an information company, and they are following in the exact same footsteps of their sister company, Pindodo, in China. So, if you can afford to buy real high-quality products from real merchants that are built to last, I say think twice before you use the Teemu app.

🔍 Highlights

– Teemu is a US-based online marketplace that offers extremely low prices on thousands of products shipped directly from China.

– Teemu’s parent company, PDD Holdings, is a Cayman Islands company with subsidiaries registered in China.

– Technically, buying from Teemu is 100% safe because the company offers a purchase protection program that protects buyers in case of damaged goods or fraud.

– Teemu collects data from your sessions in search history and monitors your activity and time on site.

– Selling off your data to China for cheap junk will have a negative long-term effect on commerce in the United States.

❓ FAQ

Q: Is Teemu a legitimate company?

A: Yes, Teemu is a legitimate company whose parent company, PDD Holdings, is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ.

Q: Is Teemu safe to use?

A: Technically, buying from Teemu is 100% safe because the company offers a purchase protection program that protects buyers in case of damaged goods or fraud.

Q: Does Teemu spy on its users?

A: Teemu collects data from your sessions in search history and monitors your activity and time on site. According to CNN, by collecting expansive data on user activities, the company was able to create a comprehensive portrait of users’ habits, interests, and preferences, which allowed Pindodo to improve its machine learning model to offer more personalized push notifications and ads, attracting users to open the app and place orders.

Q: Is Teemu a glorified spyware app?

A: Teemu is not really an e-commerce company. They are an information company, and they are following in the exact same footsteps of their sister company, Pindodo, in China. So, if you can afford to buy real high-quality products from real merchants that are built to last, I say think twice before you use the Teemu app.