Controversy Erupts as Chinese E-Commerce Giant Temu, Linked to Communist Party, Airs Multiple Ads During Super Bowl LVIII

Lawmakers Express Outrage as Chinese Marketplace Temu, Linked to Communist Party, Runs Ads During Super Bowl

Lawmakers are raising concerns and voicing their disapproval after Temu, an online marketplace with ties to the Chinese Communist Party, aired six ads during Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday.

Despite calls from multiple legislators urging the Super Bowl host to remove the ads, Temu, owned by Chinese retail giant Pinduoduo (PDD Holdings), showcased deals from $0.99 to $9.99 with the tagline ‘shop like a billionaire.’

Controversial Ad Blitz Amid Forced Labor Accusations

The ad campaign faced criticism due to accusations of forced labor practices associated with Temu.

Republican Senator Tom Cotton labeled the situation as unacceptable, drawing parallels to the data access issues raised by TikTok.

GOP Congresswoman Kat Cammack warned about Temu’s alleged involvement in stealing customer financial information and embedding spyware in their app, emphasizing the Communist Party’s control over such data.

Lawmakers Take Action: Calls for Ad Removal

Republican Senators Roger Marshall and Mike Braun, in a letter to CBS and its parent company, urged the Super Bowl host to pull the Temu ads.

The letter highlighted accusations of forced labor practices and emphasized that promoting companies linked to the Chinese Communist Party contradicts U.S. laws.

The lawmakers specifically referred to the Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act (UFLPA) and criticized CBS and Paramount for promoting a company with a poor track record.

Public Outcry and Congressional Opposition

More than 10 Republican House members joined the call for ad removal, with Congresswoman Michelle Steel cautioning viewers about Temu’s alleged profiting from CCP slave labor.

She stressed that the company should not be allowed to manipulate American consumers and profit from practices violating U.S. laws.

Previous Investigations and Findings

The House Select Committee on Chinese Communist Party, in findings released last year, investigated fast fashion brands Temu and Shein.

The committee chair noted that Temu did little to ensure its supply chains were free from slave labor.

Temu faced criticism for conducting no audits or reports to comply with the Uyghur Force Labor Prevention Act. The only measure reported was suppliers agreeing to generic terms and conditions prohibiting forced labor.

Super Bowl Outcomes and Continued Scrutiny

Despite the controversy, Temu’s ad generated significant online engagement, ranking fifth among the top ten ads. The company declined to disclose post-ad download numbers.

However, EDO, a TV outcomes company, reported a 1,343 percent increase in online engagement compared to the median Super Bowl ad.

Legislative Response and Path Forward

Lawmakers continue to scrutinize Temu’s Super Bowl ad presence, emphasizing concerns over the company’s ties to forced labor and the Communist Party.

The controversy underscores the delicate balance between international commerce and ethical considerations, prompting ongoing discussions among legislators and the public alike.

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