Fast fashion e-tailer Shein is preparing to take its rival Temu to court over allegations that it had hired social media influencers to make “false and deceptive statements” against the business.
In a filing at the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the Chinese company also alleged that Temu, which was only founded in 2022, was tricking customers into downloading the Temu app using false social media accounts.
According to the complaint, several accounts in Shein’s name and identity had appeared on TikTok leading shoppers to the Temu app, while influencers were also said to be mentioning Shein in their posts about Temu, often comparing the two companies.
Shein is seeking to block Temu from using its name for marketing purposes, and also wants damages from sales that it states came through infringing marketing.
Temu has requested for the court to dismiss the lawsuit, with a spokesperson for the company telling Reuters that it “strongly and categorically rejects all allegations and is vigorously defending its rights”.
Temu also maintained that it had never impersonated Shein and "played no part in the creation" of the Twitter accounts, as per its motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
Shein is no stranger to infringement lawsuits, however it most often finds itself on the other side of the coin, with many retailers and artists having already previously sued the company for allegedly stealing designs.
Meanwhile, the American-based Temu has risen up over the past few months with a similar shopping-on-a-budget concept, allowing users to purchase products from global merchants.
According to a report from YipitData, the marketplace’s gross merchandise value grew from three million dollars in September to 192 million dollars in January.