The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

Shein and Temu are Taking Over, But Are They Legit?


Temu and Shein are the new big fad, and target Gen Z shoppers specifically, through platforms such as Tiktok, Instagram, and Snapchat.

Shein and Temu are online shopping companies located in China that are known for having affordable prices. These companies claim to do this by distributing items straight from the manufacturers located in China, allowing prices to be much lower than going through a separate distributor. This may sound like a win-win situation, with the distributor getting to go straight to the customer, and the customer getting a much better deal on items, but the details appear to be a little more complicated than that.

Temu was rated by the BBB, a non-profit organization that rates companies and organizations on their reliability for consumers, rating them with a score ranging from F to A+. Temu scores a C- because of its “945 complaint(s) filed against business” and “length of time business has been operating” ( For reference, Amazon receives a score of a B+ from the BBB, providing a decent sized gap in between the two.

The main appeal for Temu is the low prices, but even that might not be true. CBS News claims, “Another person claimed Temu advertised sales online, but once the app was downloaded, the pair of shoes promised to be $2.49, became $22.49. And once added to the cart, she said the price was increased to $29.” This user’s complaint raises concerns about Temu’s trustworthiness for their ads, and the amount of additional cost once an item is added to the cart.

Other concerns have been raised because of Pinduoduo, Temu’s sister company being taken off of Google Play Store after having malware embedded in the app, and also being known to overwork employees. “Pindoudou has required employees to work 380 hours per month… CNN found malware on Pindoudou’s Google Android App.” 

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CBS News says 380 hours per month is almost double the hours US workers are doing, and the malware CNN found seems to suggest Temu is spying on users’ phone activity such as text messages and usage of other apps.

Shein, on the other hand, has been accused of problems for both the environment and improper treatment of workers. “Workers who were forced to pull 17-hour shifts to make hundreds of garments a day. In one factory, workers made a daily base salary of $20, which would then be docked by $14 if any garment had a mistake” Time Magazine reports. These are staggering numbers compared to the United States, with the average hourly salary being $27, a number already higher than the Shein workers daily salary.

Problems with their environmental model have also been made. Design Life-Cycle reports that Shien produces a very large Carbon footprint, “The manufacturers’ rapid use of virgin polyester and large consumption of oil churns out the same amount of C02 as approximately 180 coal-fired power plants.” For context, Shein is producing 6.3 million tons of carbon dioxide a year, more than double of Nike’s 3.1 million.

Despite the worry that Shein and Temu are causing problems for the environment and their workers, Shein does have lower prices compared to other online shopping websites such as Amazon and Nike. It is possible to avoid scams and off-brand items on the website by researching what these products are made of and looking through the reviews.

Shein and Temu have both been under fire for taking users’ information as per the Shein and ROMWE v. The State of New York case ( and investigations done covering Temu’s overreaching of user data ( 

With this in mind, the companies do have certain items that, if reading reviews is done, can offer a cheaper alternative to more mainstream brands. The final verdict suggests that Temu and Shein are not scams, but are not ones to be deemed completely trustworthy, and users should be wary of items on the app when shopping, while also taking into account the companies policies for both workers and security.