Shein sues Chinese rival Temu in High Court copycat row
Temu is one of the fastest growing apps of all time, with an estimated 9m users in the UK and north of 100m downloads globally.
Its goods are sold by third party merchants and shipped from Temu’s warehouses in China. It offers fashion and electronics, claiming to offer products with more than 90pc off.
Temu’s rise has ignited a bitter legal battle with Shein in courtrooms around the world. In December last year, Shein sued Temu in the US, accusing its rival of misleading consumers and running “imposter” Twitter accounts that were “deliberately imitating and pretending to be the Shein brand”.
Temu responded that it was not responsible for the social media posts and forbids its sellers from using fake accounts.
It has also countersued Shein, claiming its rival has declared “war” and engaged in anticompetitive conduct using “threats” and “intimidation” to stop its suppliers selling to its rival. In US court papers, it claims “Shein was and is a monopolist”. Shein said the US case was “without merit”.
In the UK case, filed in August, Shein has sought an injunction against Temu’s sellers copying its listing photos and demanded all violating posts be taken down. It has demanded at least £100,000 in damages.
For its part, Shein has faced accusations that it has copied the designs of European rivals. Swedish brand H&M has sued the Chinese company in a court in Hong Kong for allegedly mimicking its swimwear and jumpers. The case is ongoing.
Three independent designers have also filed a suit against Shein in the US, alleging the company sold “exact copies” of their designs. In reference to the case, Shein told the Observer: “It is not our intent to infringe anyone’s valid intellectual property and it is not our business model to do so.”
A Shein spokesman declined to comment. Temu did not respond to a request for comment.
PDD, Temu’s China-headquartered parent company, is listed in New York and valued at $125bn. PDD also owns Chinese e-commerce giant Pinduoduo.
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