The Minister of Economy of France Bruno Le Marie, the Minister Delegate for Policies for Small and Medium Enterprises Alain Griset and the Secretary for Digital and Electronic Communications Cédric O, have formalized a written request with which major search engines and smartphone application platforms are asked to ban Wish from their results.
The investigation started in 2018
The well-known online dropshipping site, based in China, came under the lens of the French government as early as 2018 following an investigation into the safety of online products promoted by the National Investigative Service (END) and by the Directorate General for Competition, of the Consumption and Fraud Control (DGCCRF). The operation followed up on a second investigation in 2020 which has focused more on the Chinese marketplace.
The authorities have purchased 140 different products on Wish to test their actual quality and the world in which the company acts in the presence of any anomalies. Based on what was found during the investigation, 95% of toys bought on Wish were found to be non-compliant with European legislation in terms of safetyto. Of these, 45% were found to be harmful to health.
The same result was obtained with electronic products, of which 95% of the items purchased are non-compliant to what is established by EU regulations in Europe, while 90% is to be considered dangerous. Little better went with costume jewelery items, in which only 38% survive with a 62% hazard rate.
As stated in the application, Wish regularly eliminates products reported by consumers as dangerous within 24 hours.
However, the French authorities state, “these items remain available under another name and are sometimes offered by the same vendorAnd. Additionally, Wish does not keep a record of the sale of non-hazardous and non-compliant products. The consumer receives a very evasive email from Wish that does not mention the causes of the recall of the product or the reasons for their danger, even when the platform is the recipient of all DGCCRF analysis reports.“.
What the French Ministry of Economy is asking
The French Ministry of Economy, led by the DGCCRF office, therefore ordered Wish to comply with European safety laws in July 2021, within two months of receiving the notice.
After a stalemate, the Ministers have decided to implement the new powers granted by the European legislation on the protection of online consumers, implemented by the French code with the law 521-3-1, which allows you to request to suppliers and web operators the delisting or blocking of access to a site or application following serious violations of current regulations. The procedure is reversible when Wish has demonstrated that it complies with the law.
At present Wish can still be reached online and, via the app, on the Apple and Google stores. But within a few days it will disappear from web searches carried out in French territory, while remaining accessible to users who have installed the application on their devices.
Meanwhile Wish responded to the TechCrunch editorial staff on the matter with a long letter: “In Wish we are committed to providing a positive user experience, and much of this involves making quality products available to our users. ”
“While, as a marketplace platform, we have no legal obligation to carry out checks on the 150 million products offered for sale on the platform, we invest in a wide range of programs designed to attract and reward sellers who offer quality items and limit the exposure of those who offer lower quality items“.
The company has always said that it collaborates with requests from the French authorities, in particular from the DGCCRF office, ed is perplexed about the “excessive” approach to the issue raised by the Ministry of Economy. “We are pursuing a legal appeal to challenge what we consider an illegal and disproportionate action carried out by the DGCCRF”Concludes the company.