<p>This picture taken on 6 March, 2019 in Paris, shows the logo of the online e-commerce website Wish</p>

This picture taken on 6 March, 2019 in Paris, shows the logo of the online e-commerce website Wish

France calls for Wish app and site to be blocked

Popular online marketplace to be shadowbanned from internet in France

Anthony Cuthbertson
Wednesday 24 November 2021 20:44
Comments

Several leading French politicians have called for search engines and app stores to hide the app and website of Wish following an investigation into the online marketplace.

Ministers Bruno Le Maire and Alain Griset, as well as France’s Secretary of State for the Digital Sector Cédric O, said in a joint statement that Wish had violated consumer rights by listing and selling products that were not compliant with European regulations.

More than 100 products sold on Wish were tracked as part of an investigation by the French administration in charge of consumer rights and fraud, with the findings revealing that more than half of the products were non-compliant, and a significant proportion were labelled as dangerous.

For toys, 95 per cent were found to be non-compliant, of which 45 per cent were dangerous, while for electrical appliances 95 per cent were found to be non-compliant, of which 90 per cent were dangerous.

Wish removed the goods when notified that they were dangerous, however the investigation found that “in most cases, those products remain available under a different name, and sometimes even from the same seller.”

The administration also claimed that Wish does not keep any record related to transactions of non-compliant and dangerous products.

Most products listed on Wish come from China-based merchants, with the platform not holding any inventory itself.

According to the Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes (DGCCRF), this allowed Wish to remain relatively unaccountable, however recent changes in European regulation has provided powers to dereference problematic sites and apps from search engines and mobile app stores – essentially shadowbanning them.

It marks the first time that politicians have sought to implement these new online consumer protection powers provided by European law.

“These decisions are unique to Europe and aim to protect consumers and end Wish’s breaches of safety obligations of the products it sells,” a press release from the DGCCRF stated.

A spokesperson for Wish told The Independent: “At Wish we are dedicated to providing a positive user experience and a large part of that involves making quality products available to our users.

“While, as a marketplace platform, we are under 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 that offer quality items, and limit the exposure of those offering lower quality items.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in