July 19, 2023
The Boston Globe recently published an article featuring Greg Stoller, Senior Lecturer of Strategy and Innovation, discussing the recent lawsuit filed in Massachusetts by Chinese e-commerce retailer, Temu against its rival Shein.
Temu, which is owned by popular Chinese e-commerce site Pinduoduo Inc., is alleging that Shein has compelled clothing manufacturers to submit to unfair supply chain arrangements preventing them from working with Temu after it entered the US market in 2022. Both retailers are fast-rising online shopping platforms and specialize in “ultra-fast fashion,” where makers of clothes and accessories crank out new designs inspired by recent pop culture and social media trends. Stoller explained that, it’s unclear how a US court ruling could compel Shein to change the way it treats clothing suppliers who are nearly all based outside the United States, mostly in China.
“When they’re bringing the preponderance of their material from outside the United States, it’s very creative to pursue an antitrust case,” Stoller said. “I view this as being spaghetti flung up against the wall to see if anything sticks.”
Last month, a Congressional report questioned whether both companies were complying with efforts to prevent forced labor goods from being sold on their platforms.