Chinese App That Can See “Literally Everything on Your Phone” Shows Superbowl Ad


Image Courtesy of

By Noah Slayter

During America’s largest sports spectacle, “Temu,” a Chinese app known for illicit collection of user data, displayed an Ad three times.

The shopping app shelled out $15 million for a Super Bowl ad, showing a cartoon woman purchasing various odd items including wigs and toasters. Each item displayed low prices of $0.99, or $9.99, while a jingle of “shop like a billionaire” sang in the background.

Temu Super LVIII Commercial Feb. 2024

The app is unusual since it provides extremely cheap goods and often gives “freebies” through random coupons and deals.

The app is owned by Chinese shopping company Pinduoduo, headquartered in Shanghai. Both Temu and its parent company faced numerous class action lawsuits, including one filed in November that says the app uses “deceptive” and “unscrupulous” means to collect user data.

According to a legal complaint from Chicago-based law firm Hagens Berman, the “TEMU app is purposefully and intentionally loaded with tools to execute virulent and dangerous malware and spyware activities on user devices which have downloaded and installed the TEMU app.”

A report from the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission also reported on Temu’s malware. The commission said the malware “enabled the Pinduoduo app to bypass user security permissions and access private messages, change settings, view data from other apps, and prevent uninstallation.”

Temu was downloaded 24 million times last year. It was the most downloaded app in 2023, beating out other apps like TikTok and Amazon. This adds poignancy to the lawsuit since the app can collect biometric information including fingerprints, and facial and voice characteristics. According to the Hagens Berman complaint, the app can access “literally everything on your phone.”

Temu has a C+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. The Bureau’s criticisms are primarily based on the low quality of Temu’s products, a severe lack of customer service, and items delivered either extremely late or not at all.

There are also concerns regarding the labor practices of Chinese factories which supply Temu with their goods. A report from the nonprofit “China Labor Watch” said that Temu (through Pinduoduo) practices “extreme overtime” requiring their workers to work upwards of 380 a month.

Pinduoduo workers have also been killed, likely due to their work at the company.

One woman “clutched her stomach and collapsed” according to a New York Times article on the matter. She died after working long hours at a Pinduoduo factory.

Another man “leaped to his death” after allegedly being fired for complaining about Pinduoduo’s labor practices.

Cybersecurity experts suggest immediately deleting the app, and/or possibly doing a full factory reset in order to remove the app completely from your phone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *