In light of the recent news that Chinese online marketplace Temu is facing a legal challenge after 17 companies accused it of breaking new EU laws with its ‘manipulative practices’ and lack of transparency, we wanted to take a closer look at the Chinese eCommerce landscape as a whole.

It’s fair to say that Temu has revolutionised the world of online shopping.

Temu’s model relies on keeping costs rock bottom by connecting consumers directly with suppliers, handling only the customer shipping.

The company launched in the US in 2022, and since then has gained notable presence across the world, including in bigger markets like Australia, the UK, parts of Europe, Japan and South Korea.

But Temu isn’t the only Chinese eCommerce company making waves; and Alibaba have been enjoying huge success globally for quite some time.

Rather shockingly, China accounted for less than 1 per cent of the global eCommerce market a decade ago; today, it is the world’s largest e-commerce market, increasing its global market share to more than 40 per cent.

This is due to a number of factors including a dramatic increase in internet usage amongst the Chinese population, their love for online shopping, and an unprecedented rise in mobile payments to name but a few.

That said, what does the future hold for China’s eCommerce industry?

Is eCommerce app Temu too good to be true?

If giants like Temu are able to steer the murky waters of legal battles and come out the other side unscathed, the sky really is the limit.

The number of eCommerce users is expected to hit 1,360 million by 2029 as a result of fresh business models, improved customer experiences, and untapped market segments. Watch this space!

Let’s get down to business

Doing business in China can seem like a minefield with so many cultural aspects to consider. Here are some of Interkultura’s basic tips for getting things off the ground as smoothly as possible:


  • Take some time to engage in small talk, particularly at the beginning of the meeting;
  • Establish a strong relationship – the Chinese are all about setting solid business foundations;
  • Maintain composure: stay in control as too much emotion in business meetings could be perceived as negative;
  • Accept any business cards with two hands as a sign of respect.



  • Discuss political or sensitive topics;
  • Overuse the colour white, particularly when giving something as a gift as it is the traditional colour of mourning;
  • Get too close to your Chinese counterparts as they tend to value personal space;
  • Use strong negative statements: ‘NO’ may be considered impolite, so instead try a ‘maybe’ or ‘we can see’.

About Interkultura

Interkultura supports companies with their global growth using a people-focused approach to specialist international business consultancy services.

Interkultura was co-founded by Katie Holme and Kellie Noon, two kindred spirits with strikingly similar professional backgrounds who are passionate about helping their clients to thrive in international settings.

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