This little-known shopping app Temu is currently the most downloaded in the US

Deep breath. The Chinese Communist Party Congress news cycle is (basically) over.

There’s a lot of important things that the high-level political congress wants to talk about, mostly around understanding what the leadership of the new party means for China’s future, but I’ll show you how. Political reporters, the real experts on all of this, are below.

Instead, I’d like to talk about one big thing you might have missed last week: There is a new Chinese e-commerce application that is developing quietly but rapidly. It’s called Temu. And on October 17, it became the most downloaded shopping app in the US.

Temu beating Amazon, Walmart, and Chinese competitor Shein is a pretty big deal, especially since your immediate reaction might be… What? I’ve never even heard of Temu!

Yes, you are in good company. The app remains obscure to most people, though it marks another famous attempt by another Chinese tech giant — after Alibaba, Shein and ByteDance — to try its luck. on the US e-commerce market.

Temu (btw, there is no official guide on how to pronounce the name, but I said tee-moo) is the global version of Chinese e-commerce company Pinduoduo. Founded in 2015, it entered a market dominated by Alibaba for more than a decade, but it has risen above the competition and in 2020, Alibaba has replaced Alibaba as the company with the most most e-commerce customers in China. Today, Pinduoduo has over 730 million monthly active users — more than twice the population of the United States! —And known for both extremely cheap prices and innovative gimmicks that attract users.

Even so, Pinduoduo is still an unfamiliar name outside the country. So how did Temu rise to the top of the iOS App Store shopping chart?

“I believe it was mostly driven by advertising,” Juozas Kaziukėnas, founder of e-commerce analytics company said Marketplace Pulse, “Because I don’t see any mention of Temu on social media. That leads me to believe that there is little organic recognition for the brand. “

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