eCommerce: Emerging Online Stores

Temu’s Global Download Numbers Rise in 2023: Big Competition for Shein & Alibaba

Is Temu the new Wish? Cheap, swift, and entertaining – a rising eCommerce platform aiming for global prominence. As downloads and number of visits soar, the question looms: Is Temu’s growth sustainable?

Article by Antonia Tönnies | December 18, 2023

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Temu’s Global Download Numbers Rise in 2023: Key Insights

  • Temu's Success Factors: Temu's rise in eCommerce is fueled by its focus on low prices, free shipping, and an entertaining shopping experience, similar to SHEIN, Wish, and Alibaba.

  • Explosive Download Growth: Temu has experienced rapid growth in app downloads, starting at 440,000 in September 2022 and soaring to 30.16 million by May 2023, reflecting its global appeal and success in offering cost-effective products.

  • Challenges and Concerns: Despite success, Temu faces challenges similar to Wish, including negative user experiences, and privacy concerns, raising doubts about its sustainability in the long run.


Can Temu become the next Wish? It's an affordable, fast, and enjoyable eCommerce platform on the rise, aspiring to attain worldwide recognition. As its download figures surge, the inquiry arises: Can Temu's expansion be maintained over the long term?

Temu’s Remarkable Success Story

In September 2022, a new player entered the eCommerce stage – Temu. Founded as a subsidiary of PDD Holdings Inc. – parent company of Pinduoduo – the Boston-based online marketplace adopted a business model similar to eCommerce giants like SHEIN, Wish, and Alibaba. Temu's approach centers around offering incredibly low-priced products and free shipping, combined with an engaging shopping experience that is transforming the way we view online shopping.

The platform operates as an online marketplace, connecting buyers with sellers primarily based in China. Unlike traditional retailers, Temu doesn't maintain its own inventory but rather facilitates transactions between buyers and sellers, focusing on affordability.

Temu: Low Price, Free Shipping, Entertainment

What sets Temu apart from its competitors? Temu's business model revolves around three core principles: low prices, free shipping, and an entertaining shopping experience. The concept, similar to industry giants SHEIN and Alibaba, have been the cornerstone of Temu's success. The platform's commitment to providing high-quality products at unbeatable prices has resonated with consumers worldwide.

But Temu doesn't stop there. It distinguishes itself by offering free shipping and returns to customers. Its highly efficient logistics network is a valuable competitive advantage in attempting to penetrate Western markets. What's more, Temu takes affordability to new heights by offering items for as little as one cent, making it an attractive destination for cost-conscious shoppers.

Temu also counts on the entertainment aspect of shopping by introducing gamified elements into the shopping process. Shoppers can engage in games like Fishland, Coin Spin, Card Flip, and more, with the chance to win rewards. This keeps users on the platform for longer and the prospect of winning discounts makes shopping fun and enticing – and all this embedded within an influencer-driven environment of shared experiences and community. No wonder, thus, that global download numbers of Temu explode:

Number of Global Downloads of Shopping App Temu 2022-2023

Temu: Downloads and Visits Rise    

The growth of Temu's app downloads is nothing short of remarkable. In its launch month, September 2022, it garnered approximately 440,000 downloads. By November, this number had skyrocketed to almost 5.6 million. The trend continued, with Temu registering a staggering 15.25 million downloads by April 2023.

But it did not stop there – on the contrary: The period between April and May 2023 witnessed a phenomenal 98% increase in global downloads to a total of 30.16 million. In connection with these developments, the number of visitors increased at an equally striking rate over the same period. The chart below illustrates how significantly Temu's growth improved during the mentioned time span.

This surge in popularity reflects Temu's ability to capture the imagination of consumers worldwide with its compelling combination of affordability and an engaging shopping experience.

Number of Visits on temu.com, 2023

Temu’s Success is a Double-Edged Sword

The data shows that Temu has made a significant impact on the eCommerce scene with its low prices and rapid delivery promises. However, the concept is not entirely new, and others following a similar approach already failed it – most notably Wish. When looking at current concerns and criticism, Temu might face a similar fate as its competitor Wish. On platforms like Trustpilot, more than 30% of users have reported negative experiences, often citing missing products or bad quality.

Some users have even raised questions about the platform's trustworthiness and data privacy. A closer look reveals that Temu's app requests over 20 permissions on smartphones, including access to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi network information, raising valid privacy concerns. While many users have praised Temu for its affordability and prompt delivery, it is essential to consider both sides of the coin when navigating this controversial eCommerce platform.

Temu’s Global Download Numbers Rise in 2023: Closing Thoughts

Temu, a relatively new player in the eCommerce industry, distinguishes itself through a business model based on affordability, free shipping, and an entertaining shopping experience. While Temu's success is evident, it faces potential challenges and concerns. It is crucial to distinguish the positives and negatives when evaluating Temu as an eCommerce platform.