Singles are celebrated in Chinese e-shops today

Several French ministers issued joint statement, in which they announced that they had asked the major search engines and mobile app stores operating in France to completely hid links to Wish’s website and mobile apps. About an interesting case informs the TechCrunch website.

For most readers, we certainly don’t have to introduce Wish – for the others, it’s a popular e-commerce platform that mostly refers to products from Chinese merchants. Wish itself does not hold any stock because the goods are sent by merchants directly to customers.

French ministers versus Wish

The French administration, which is responsible for consumer rights and tax fraud, launched an investigation into Wish last year. The reason was the suspicion of misleading consumers by allows the sale of counterfeit goods – for example, sneakers and perfumes with images illegally depicting the logos of famous brands.

Further investigation focused on the safety of the products sold, and it must be stated that its results were dismal. As many as 95% of the toys purchased on this platform did not comply with European regulations, 45% of which were even labeled as dangerous. In the case of electronics, as many as 90% of the products were dangerous.

When Wish is notified that it is selling dangerous goods, such products are expected to be disposed of within 24 hours. Yet “In most cases, these products remain available under a different name and sometimes even from the same retailer. The company does not keep any records regarding transactions with non-compliant and dangerous products. “ states the French Ministry of the Economy.

In July 2021, the French authorities informed Wish of their findings and requested compliance with European regulations on electronic commerce and product safety. The sales platform was given two months to meet these requirements, with further steps to be taken in the event of non-compliance.

Blocking in the best interests of consumers

Four months later, the French government is taking advantage of recent changes to the European regulation to remove or block websites and applications. It is a complex process during which it is necessary to make official requests to search engines and application stores. At the time of writing, the Wish app is still available in the App Store, and the Wish website is still appearing in Google search results.

However, Wish cannot be completely blocked – the website will continue to be available and mobile applications installed on smartphones will continue to work, not to mention that they will be installed from alternative sources in the case of Android devices. However, it will not be possible to install the application from official repositories and the Wish pages should not appear in search engines.

If the French administration considers that Wish has made changes to comply with French regulations, it may lift the ban. With this radical decision, France is setting a precedent which builds on the argument that acts in the best interests of consumers.

A spokesman for Wish said the platform had a number of proactive mechanisms designed to prevent, detect and eliminate offers that violate local laws or safety standards. They include a robust internal notification mechanism and withdrawal procedure, as well as rules for repeated breaches by traders. How specifically Wish will respond to the blocking spokesman did not say.

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