Temu files new lawsuit against Shein, accusing his rival of “mafia-style intimidation” –

Global online shopping platform Temu is already gaining ground in the US Apple Store.

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Chinese low-cost online retailer Temu has filed a new lawsuit against its rival Shein over copyright concerns and “mafia-like intimidation of suppliers,” according to a filing Wednesday.

In the lawsuit, Boston-based WhaleCo, which does business as Temu in the U.S., alleged that fast-fashion brand Shein violated its intellectual property rights and falsely imprisoned its distributors, among other things, in order to prevent Temu’s growth in the U.S to stop

“We have sued Shein because their actions have escalated recently,” a Temu spokesman said.

“They began illegally detaining traders, forcibly asking for their phones, stealing our merchant accounts and passwords, stealing our trade secrets, and at the same time forcing traders to leave our platform. Her actions are too exaggerated; “We had no choice but to sue them.”

Shein did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

This came just weeks after both parties decided in October to drop their previous lawsuits against each other over copyright and antitrust concerns.

In December last year, Shein sued Temu for intellectual property infringement, while in July Temu accused Shein of threatening and coercing manufacturers into exclusivity agreements.

The two companies are strong competitors in the online budget shopping space. Temu focuses on selling Chinese-made goods, from fashion to household products, at low prices, targeting consumers abroad. Likewise, Shein relies on contract manufacturers, primarily in China, to develop, produce and ship its low-cost products.

“Although Temu’s business model is very different from the fashion-focused resale approach that Shein relies on, since Temu’s US launch in September 2022, the company has been viewed by Shein as its greatest threat – and therefore a target of malicious and unlawful attacks.” Behavior, aimed at thwarting Temu’s success,” Wednesday’s filing said.

Temu is owned by Chinese tech giant PDD Holdings, which also backs China-based e-commerce app Pinduoduo. Temu was PDD Holdings’ first international foray and the app quickly found success with cost-conscious buyers.

Within weeks of its launch, Temu was at the top of the App Store rankings and subsequently expanded rapidly in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom

According to some reports, Shein was founded in China in 2008. But the company’s official origins began in 2012.

In November, Shein confidentially filed for an initial public offering in the U.S., which was most recently valued at $66 billion.

A U.S. House of Representatives committee report in June alleged that Shein and Temu exploited trade loopholes to import goods into the U.S. without paying import duties or subjecting the shipments to human rights review.

—CNBC’s Clement Tan contributed to this report.