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South Korea’s Antitrust Watchdog Partners with AliExpress and Temu to Address Safety Concerns

 |  May 13, 2024

In response to the surge in transaction volumes and accompanying consumer complaints, South Korea’s antitrust watchdog has taken a proactive step by signing a safety agreement with eCommerce giants AliExpress and Temu. The signing ceremony, held on Monday in Yongsan District, central Seoul, saw the participation of key figures including AliExpress Korea General Manager Ray Zhang, Whaleco Korea CEO Qin Sun representing Temu’s local operations, and Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) Chair Han Ki-jeong.

The agreement comes amidst mounting safety concerns, exacerbated by recent revelations from the Seoul Metropolitan Government. A shocking discovery revealed that toys sold on Chinese eCommerce platforms were tainted with carcinogens, prompting urgent action from regulatory authorities.

Under the terms of the voluntary agreement, AliExpress and Temu have committed to collaborating closely with the South Korean government to address safety issues head-on. This includes actively monitoring for any safety-related concerns and swiftly removing any products flagged as harmful by regulatory agencies.

Related: EC Deepens Investigation of AliExpress Compliance With Digital Services Act

In his address during the ceremony, KFTC Chair Han Ki-jeong emphasized the significance of the agreement in safeguarding consumer interests. “We expect the latest voluntary agreement, along with existing agreements signed with local ecommerce companies, to play a significant role in protecting consumer safety across online retail transactions,” stated Han.

The magnitude of the issue is underscored by recent statistics released by Statistics Korea. Direct purchases made by Korean consumers from China reached a staggering quarterly high of 938.4 billion won ($719 million) in the first quarter of 2024, marking a substantial 54% increase compared to the previous year.

Source: Korea Joongang Daily