EU tightens safety rules for online retailer Shein

Responding to the announcement, Shein said it would comply with the rules. (Representative)

Brussels, Belgium:

The European Union on Friday added Chinese-founded online retailer Shein to its list of digital companies big enough to be subject to stricter security restrictions.

The company joins Facebook, TikTok,

From the end of August – four months after the appointment – ​​Shein will have to comply with stricter rules laid down in the Digital Services Act (DSA), one of the EU's main laws against online platforms.

They include implementing measures to “protect consumers from the purchase of unsafe or illegal goods, with a particular focus on preventing the sale and distribution of products that may be harmful to minors,” the European Commission said.

Shein, headquartered in Singapore, says it has about 108 million monthly active users in the 27-country EU.

Responding to the announcement, Shein said it would comply with the rules.

“We share the commission's ambition to ensure EU consumers can shop online with confidence, and we are committed to playing our part,” said Leonard Lin, global head of public affairs at Shein.

Outside the EU, Shein has been criticized for its alleged exploitation of low-paid factory workers and arguments that this promotes hyper-consumerism and causes damage to the environment.

EU probes

Brussels has used its legal muscle against the world's largest digital platforms and launched investigations against TikTok, X and Chinese retailer AliExpress.

Another Chinese shopping app, Temu, is expected to be added to the EU list after announcing in April that it has around 75 million monthly active users after entering the EU market a year ago.

According to the DSA, platforms must assess the specific risks posed to the rights and safety of Europeans by the content they publish (or the products for sale in the case of online marketplaces such as Amazon and Shein) and submit a report to regulators .

They must also conduct an external audit once a year to verify compliance.

The largest platforms are also subject to stricter transparency requirements, with the obligation to grant access to their data to researchers approved by Brussels.

The EU has taken tougher action against companies affiliated with China in recent months.

Popular video-sharing app TikTok, owned by China's ByteDance, has faced intense criticism in the EU – and beyond.

Although a ban is looming in the United States, TikTok is the subject of two investigations by the European Commission into alleged harm to minors.

On Wednesday, TikTok suspended its rewards program on its spinoff Lite app after the commission began an investigation into its possible addictive properties.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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