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Explained: Temu and Amazon’s e-commerce battle 

Explained: Temu and Amazon’s e-commerce battle
Explained: Temu and Amazon’s e-commerce battle

In the high-stakes arena of e-commerce, a fierce battle unfolds between two giants: Temu and Amazon. This rivalry transcends mere business competition, delving into the intricate realms of politics and market dominance. Both strive to claim supremacy over the American consumer. 

While Temu’s aggressive marketing tactics, highlighted by a staggering $1.7 billion expenditure in 2023, inundate digital platforms with their adverts, Amazon faces its own struggles. 

Locate2u explores the two rivals’ intricacies and how things could play out for the rest of the year. 

Temu’s targeting social media adverts

Last year, Temu allegedly spent millions of dollars advertising on Meta technologies platforms—more than any other e-commerce. 

According to Meta’s advertising tracker, Temu has invested in about 18,000 online advertisements worldwide. This would include Facebook and Instagram in 2024, from January to March. Amazon has only spent 1,700 advertisements on the same platforms over the same period. That’s more than ten times less than Temu. 

Temu’s primary marketing strategy is focusing on women’s fashion and cosmetics. This year, it has intensified its efforts to target this group of its audience on social media. Its adverts on Facebook and Instagram nearly tripled this year compared to previous years. 

Why Amazon gave up on China market

Although Temu has its teeth firmly in the American market, the same cannot be said for Amazon. 

Two years ago, Beijing delivered a proclamation ordering Amazon to stop allowing customer ratings and reviews in China, according to Reuters. Amazon complied. Ratings and comments were removed from its China platform. 

This was a big blow to the American e-commerce giant as ratings and reviews are crucial to its business. Amazon has been fighting for decades to win the favor in Beijing to “protect and grow its business” in the one place that captures the largest marketplace in the world. 

In the book Party Of One, by Wall Street Journal journalist Chun Han Wong, there is a clear path of how businesses from other countries have been blocked from accessing the Chinese market for years. To quote from the book: “Foreign companies have been buffeted by geopolitical headwinds time and again since Deng welcomed outside capital into China.”

Deng Xiaoping was a politician who served as a leader of the People’s Republic of China from 1978 to 1989. 

The book further explains how tough it’s been for foreign companies to flourish in China. “In 2019, Google confirmed it had scrapped plans to launch a censored search engine in China after media revelations of the project spurred a Western public backlash against the tech firm. Microsoft’s LinkedIn closed its China networking service in 2021 and replaced it with a job-board platform without social media features.”

Temu’s dominance in US and beyond

The Chinese e-commerce platform is attracting longer engagement times than Amazon and is also the most downloaded app in the US. Bloomberg reports that shoppers spend almost twice as long on Temu than on Amazon. 

According to Apptopia’s latest information released last month, Temu is taking a bit of a dip in numbers, giving Amazon a cool-down period in its neck-on-neck race.

In December, the data intelligence platform revealed that the average Temu user spends about 18 minutes daily on the mobile app. That’s nearly double the time spent on Amazon, AliExpress, and eBay.

As both e-commerce platforms deploy increasingly sophisticated strategies to capture American consumers’ hearts and wallets, the battle’s outcome remains uncertain. 

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand. Do you have a story you would like her to expose, report on, or consider? Please send your request to Newsdesk@locate2u.com.

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