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Arkansas Sues Temu, Claims Chinese Shopping App Is Malware

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses Arkansas' lawsuit against the Chinese shopping app Temu, alleging that it is engaging in "deceptive trade practices" with its data-collection policies and is functionally malware and spyware. The lawsuit claims that Temu can override data privacy settings on users' devices and monetize the unauthorized collection of data, and that it is led by former Chinese Communist Party officials, raising security risks.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Arkansas Sues Temu Over Data Collection Allegations

1. What are the key allegations made by Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin against Temu?

  • Temu is "functionally malware and spyware" that is designed to gain unrestricted access to users' phone operating systems
  • Temu can override data privacy settings on users' devices and monetize the unauthorized collection of data
  • Temu is led by former Chinese Communist Party officials, which raises significant security risks

2. What evidence does the lawsuit cite to support the allegations?

  • Google briefly suspended PDD's Pinduoduo app after versions not in the Play Store were found to contain malware
  • Apple temporarily pulled Temu from the iOS App Store for failing to follow mandatory privacy rules on data tracking
  • Comments from third-party groups, including a short-selling firm, alarmed by the range of data Temu can allegedly collect from a user's phone

3. What is Temu's response to the allegations?

  • Temu's spokesperson said the allegations in the lawsuit are "based on misinformation circulated online, primarily from a short-seller, and are totally unfounded"
  • Temu categorically denies the allegations and says it will vigorously defend itself

[02] Comparison to TikTok Allegations

1. How do the allegations against Temu compare to those made against TikTok?

  • The allegations against Temu echo similar claims made against TikTok, which also comes from a Chinese company (ByteDance)
  • Both apps are accused of potential Chinese government spying on Americans, leading to a US law to ban TikTok

2. What is the current status of the TikTok ban?

  • The US passed a law to ban TikTok over Chinese spying fears
  • TikTok could be officially removed from app stores early next year unless ByteDance successfully challenges the law or decides to sell TikTok

[03] Potential Consequences for Temu

1. What are the potential consequences for Temu if the lawsuit is successful?

  • The lawsuit is demanding that Temu stop the data collection and pay civil penalties
  • Some Republican lawmakers have called for the Biden administration to investigate and ban Temu over alleged connections to forced labor and intellectual property theft
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