France asks search engines and app stores to remove Wish

France asks search engines and app stores to remove Wish
France asks search engines and app stores to remove Wish
Several French ministers issued a joint statement announcing that they had asked major search engines and mobile app stores operating in France to completely hide the Wish website and mobile app.

Wish is a popular e-commerce platform that mostly references products from merchants based in China. No inventory is maintained as products are shipped directly from merchants to customers as reported by TechCrunch.

Last year, the French department responsible for consumer rights and fraud launched an investigation into Wish. At the time, the General Department of the Agreement de la consommation et de la repression des frodes (DGCCRF) suspected it was too easy to mislead consumers and sell counterfeit goods on Wish, such as sneakers and perfumes with images incorrectly showing the logos of famous brands.

Then the French administration ordered 140 different items on Wish – most of them imported. This time they wanted to know if these products were safe or not.

95% of the games they get on the platform do not comply with European regulations – 45% of them are considered dangerous. When it comes to electronic goods 95% of them should not be available in Europe, 90% of them were dangerous in one way or another.

And even cheap jewelry sold on the platform is dangerous – 62% of those they ordered are considered dangerous. Again these metrics are based on a very small sample of 140 products.

When Wish is notified that it is selling a dangerous good, these products are removed from the market within 24 hours as expected.

However “in most cases, these products remain available under a different name, sometimes from the same seller. The French Ministry of Economy said in its statement that the company does not keep any record of transactions with incompatible and dangerous products.

According to the same investigation when Wish informs customers that they have purchased a dangerous product, it does not say why the product was withdrawn.

In July 2021, the French department responsible for consumer rights and fraud informed Wish and asked them to comply with European regulations on e-commerce and product safety, the department gave them two months’ notice before taking further action.

Four months later, the French government is taking advantage of recent changes to European regulations to de-reference or block problematic websites and apps.

But the Ministry of Economy asked the responsible French department to ask search engines and app stores to refer to Wish.

It will take some time, Wish is still available on the App Store and you can still find Wish’s website in Google search results.

Although Wish will be blocked in France the website will still be available and the app will still work if you already have it on your phone. But you won’t see it in search results in the App Store, Play Store, or Google.

If the French management believes Wish has implemented the appropriate changes to comply with French regulations, it can lift the ban.

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