EU commission designates Temu as Very Large Online Platform (VLOP) under the Digital Services Act

Temu is an online marketplace with an average of more than 45 million monthly users in the European Union, which is above the DSA threshold for designation as a VLOP.

May 31, 2024 - 13:47
May 31, 2024 - 15:53
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EU commission designates Temu as Very Large Online Platform (VLOP) under the Digital Services Act
EU Commission has formally designated Temu as a Very Large Online Platform (VLOP) under the Digital Services Act (DSA).
Techatty All-in-1 Publishing
Techatty All-in-1 Publishing

Today, the EU Commission has formally designated Temu as a Very Large Online Platform (VLOP) under the Digital Services Act (DSA).

Temu is an online marketplace with an average of more than 45 million monthly users in the European Union. This user number, which Temu has communicated to the Commission, is above the DSA threshold for designation as a VLOP.

Following today's designation as a VLOP, Temu will have to comply with the most stringent rules under the DSA within four months of its notification (i.e. by the end of September 2024), such as the obligation to duly assess and mitigate any systemic risks stemming from their services, including the listing and sale of counterfeit goods, unsafe or illegal products, and items that infringe intellectual property rights.

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More specifically, these additional obligations include:

More diligent surveillance of illegal products

  • Temu needs to diligently analyse the specific systemic risks with regard to the dissemination of illegal content and products and from the design or functioning of its service and its related systems. Risk assessment reports will have to be provided to the Commission 4 months after the notification of the formal designation and thereafter one a year.
  • Temu must put in place mitigation measures to address risks, such as the listing and sale of counterfeit goods, unsafe products, and items that infringe on intellectual property rights. These measures can include adapting the terms of service, enhancing user interface design for better reporting and detection of suspicious listings, improving moderation processes to swiftly remove illegal items, and refining its algorithms to prevent the promotion and sale of prohibited goods.
  • Temu must reinforce its internal processes, resources, testing, documentation, and supervision of any of the activities linked to the detection of systemic risks.

Enhanced Consumer Protection Measures

  • The yearly risk assessment reports by Temu must specifically evaluate any potential adverse effects on consumer health and safety, with an emphasis on the physical and mental well-being of underage users.
  • Temu is required to structure its platform, including user interfaces, recommendation algorithms, and terms of service, to mitigate and prevent risks to consumer safety and well-being. Measures must be implemented to protect consumers from purchasing unsafe or illegal goods, with particular focus on preventing the sale and distribution of products that could be harmful to minors. This includes incorporating robust age assurance systems to restrict the purchase of age-restricted items.

More transparency and accountability

  • Temu needs to ensure that its risk assessments and compliance with all the DSA obligations are externally and independently audited every year.
  • Temu needs to publish repositories of all the ads served on its interface.
  • Temu will have to give access to publicly available data to researchers, including to vetted researchers designated by Digital Services Coordinators.
  • Temu needs to comply with transparency requirements, including the publication of transparency reports on content moderation decisions and risk management every six months, in addition to reports on the systemic risks and audit results once a year.
  • Temu has to appoint a compliance function and be subject to an external independent audit every year.

General DSA applicability to online platforms and marketplaces

Since 17 February 2024, all online platform, including Temu, already have to comply with the general obligations under the DSA. These general provisions include the obligations for online marketplaces to:

  • Ensure the traceability of traders on their platforms;
  • Design their interface in a manner which facilitates traders' compliance with their legal obligations under EU law;
  • Inform consumers of their purchase of an illegal product, the moment they become aware of the product's illegality.

Since 17 February 2024, the DSA also requires all online platforms, including marketplaces, to:

  • Provide user-friendly mechanisms to allow users or entities to notify illegal content;
  • Prioritise the treatment of notices submitted by so-called “trusted flaggers”;
  • Provide statements of reasons to users when their content is restricted or removed;
  • Provide an internal complaint-handling system for users to appeal content moderation decisions;
  • Redesign their systems to ensure a high level of privacy, security, and safety of minors;
  • Ensure that their interfaces are not designed in a way that deceives or manipulates the users;
  • Clearly label advertisement on their interfaces;
  • Stop presenting targeted advertisement based on profiling of sensitive data (such as ethnic origin, political opinions or sexual orientation), or targeted at minors;
  • Have clear terms and conditions and act in a diligent, objective and proportionate manner when applying them;
  • Publish once a year transparency reports on their content moderation processes.

Next Steps

Following its designation as a VLOP, the Commission will be competent to supervise Temu's compliance with the DSA in cooperation with the Irish Digital Services Coordinator.

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The Commission services will carefully monitor the application of the DSA rules and obligations by the platform, especially concerning measures to guarantee consumer protection and address the dissemination of illegal products. The Commission services are ready to engage closely with Temu to ensure these are properly addressed.

Background 

This designation illustrates how the Commission continues to closely monitor the market developments. The Commission has now designated 24 very large online platforms and search engines under the DSA.

On 25 April 2023, the Commission designated the first 19 Very Large Operating Platforms (VLOPs) and Very Large Online Search Engines (VLOSEs). Starting from the end of August, these VLOPs and VLOSEs had to comply with the additional obligations under Section 5 of the DSA. On 20 December 2023, three additional VLOPs were designated. On 26 April 2024, the Commission designated Shein as a VLOP, for which the additional obligation will become binding in August 2024.

The supervision and enforcement of the DSA is shared between the Commission and Digital Services Coordinators, which had to be designated by Member States by 17 February 2024.  

For More Information

EU Official Journal text on the DSA 

Q&A on the Digital Services Act 

Guidance on the counting of user numbers 

Very large online platforms and search engines under the DSA 

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