(New York) The Chinese e-commerce site Temu has attacked its competitor Shein in American federal justice, accusing it of maneuvers worthy of a mafia organization to thwart its establishment in the United States.

Launched in September 2022, Temu, a subsidiary of PDD Holdings, has experienced meteoric growth, driven by its very low prices for items ranging from clothing to cosmetics, including jewelry.

According to the ranking published Tuesday by Apple, Temu was the most downloaded free application in the United States in 2023.

However, the group argues that its development in the United States was disrupted by its rival Shein, also Chinese, which put in place an “emergency plan to eliminate the threat that Temu represented” on this market.

According to a document filed Wednesday in a federal court in Washington, Shein notably employed “mafia-style” methods to “intimidate” Temu’s suppliers.

Shein, controlled by parent company Nanjing Lingtian Information Technology, has, among other things, pushed its suppliers to sign exclusivity agreements, according to its competitor.

The latter also reports that Shein employees kidnapped representatives of Temu suppliers for several hours and obtained confidential information from them about their competitor.

The platform also launched tens of thousands of abusive procedures against Temu, according to the document, for infringement of intellectual property law concerning products sold on its site.

A strategy which is based, according to Temu, on the registration with the American authorities of images and products for which Shein does not, in reality, hold the intellectual property.

The two companies had recently dropped lawsuits against each other.

Founded in 2008, Shein filed a preliminary filing at the end of November for its IPO in New York, according to several American media. No date has yet been set for this introduction.

According to The Information website, its turnover is expected to reach $33 billion in 2023.

The group has become the symbol of “fast fashion”, which consists of brands renewing their collections very regularly, sold at very low prices, a strategy denounced by environmental protection associations as promoting overconsumption.

Shein is also accused of forced labor, an assertion disputed by the group.