Particular to USA TODAY
Seemingly in a single day, everybody’s speaking about Temu, a web-based purchasing app stuffed with offers that appear too good to be true. You’ll discover $17 wi-fi earbuds, $1 “gold” necklaces and $23 wedding ceremony attire.
No surprise Temu is the second-most widespread purchasing app within the U.S., behind solely Amazon. However most of us know little in regards to the app’s origins. Like another apps, it’s tied to China.
I did some digging into whether or not it’s secure to make use of. Right here’s what I discovered:
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The place did Temu come from?
This app is not some fly-by-night operation. Temu (pronounced “tee-moo”) is predicated in Boston by PDD Holdings Inc. PDD is headquartered in Shanghai. PDD additionally owns the e-commerce platform Pinduoduo headquartered in – you guessed it – China. (Extra on Pinduoduo and its shady app under.)
Over 50 million Individuals have downloaded Temu because it launched stateside in September 2022. You would possibly bear in mind its costly Tremendous Bowl advertisements promising to allow you to “store like a billionaire.”
Searches for phrases like “Is Temu legit” surged as soon as Individuals noticed simply how low cost the costs are. Not surprisingly, you get what you pay for.
What it’s good to know earlier than utilizing Temu
First, you are shopping for items immediately from producers in China and different elements of the world. That is why transport instances are sometimes for much longer than on websites like Amazon. You would possibly get your stuff in per week, however that may very well be extra like 12 days.
For probably the most half, the costs are low as a result of the products are low cost. The images of what you see marketed might not be what you truly get.
On-line reviewers appear to agree: Low cost is sweet, however not when the standard is simply too shoddy to make use of. Temu’s BBB ranking is 2.25/5. Opinions at TrustPilot are attention-grabbing, with 38% 5-star evaluations and 41% 1-star evaluations.
However that’s not the worst of it. As you store, Temu collects plenty of data.
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It will get worse
Temu isn’t distinctive in all the data it needs to seize out of your cellphone, in fact. Most apps on the market need as a lot as you’ll hand over. However contemplating its ties to Communist China, the permissions appear much more scary to me.
Temu collects, amongst different issues:
• The information you present, resembling your identify, deal with, and cellphone quantity.
• Particulars you enter, resembling your birthday, photograph, and social media profiles.
• Your cellphone or pc’s working system and model, your IP deal with, GPS location (for those who allowed it), and looking knowledge.
In addition they collect extra about you from third-party sources, together with Temu sellers, public data, social media, knowledge brokers, credit score bureaus, and advertising and marketing companions.
Individuals utilizing Temu are promoting the nation out for bargains that actually aren’t price it. I say you delete it. Right here’s how:
On iPhone, Lengthy-press an app, then faucet Take away App > Delete App. Faucet Delete to substantiate.
On Android, contact and maintain an app, then faucet Take away App > Delete App > Delete.
Nonetheless have TikTok in your cellphone? Right here’s why it’s extra difficult than enjoyable viral movies.
Temu will not be alone
Whereas Temu collects quite a bit, it’s nothing in comparison with Pinduoduo. Bear in mind, they’re owned by the identical firm.
Cybersecurity researchers discovered it wasn’t simply monitoring machine data and exercise – malicious code allowed it to bypass cellphone safety settings to spy on different apps, learn notifications and messages, and even change settings.
Pinduoduo features full entry to all of your contacts, calendars, and photograph albums, plus all of your social media accounts, chats, and texts. In different phrases, actually all the pieces in your cellphone.
Why? Firm insiders instructed CNN that it’s a solution to spy on customers and rivals to spice up gross sales.
No purchasing app wants this a lot management, particularly one tied to Communist China. Should you’re utilizing Pinduoduo, delete the app out of your cellphone ASAP. It’s additionally reportedly arduous to take away all the pieces, even after you delete it.
Professional tip: Should you downloaded Pinduoduo you really want to do a full manufacturing unit reset in your smartphone to wipe out any remaining code or monitoring.
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Plus, I give my recommendation to a man that wants an Android model of an Apple AirTag. In the meantime, Nationwide Parks are booming and one firm is cashing in large time. Feeling misplaced in a sea of individuals? Don’t be concerned – Google Maps has you coated.
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