Mast requests FTC investigation into Chinese control over Temu parent company

U.S. Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) wants to know how much control the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has over the publicly traded e-commerce company PDD Holdings Inc., which operates the online marketplace Temu.

“Whether it’s TikTok or Temu, behind these friendly English words, hide three nefarious letters — CCP,” said Rep. Mast on Wednesday. “We need to be clear — if you’re a company operating within the U.S., you don’t get to hide your links to the Chinese Communist Party. That’s why I’m asking the FTC to probe Temu’s parent company for their links to the CCP and their questionable business practices.”

In an April 12 letter sent to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan, the congressman officially called on the commission to investigate PDD Holdings and its subsidiaries over its ties to the CCP.

“As a publicly traded company in the United States with access to our capital markets, the time has come for the Federal Trade Commission to hold PDD accountable and press them to come clean with the American people about their business practices and the level of control the CCP has over them,” Rep. Mast wrote.

In particular, the congressman wants to see the FTC probe whether Temu’s marketing efforts in the U.S. have been subsidized by communist China, according to his letter.

“I respectfully request that you use the appropriate authorities of the commission to force PDD to disclose the risks associated with its unscrupulous practices via its subsidiaries’ operations in the United States, and consider the appropriate referrals to other federal stakeholders,” he wrote. 

Additionally, Rep. Mast suggested that the FTC question Temu about its financial benefits from the CCP to subsidize its marketing efforts in the U.S., and about Temu’s data security practices and disclosures, according to his letter.

Rep. Mast also asked Khan to question Temu about how it benefits from CCP subsidies to PDD that allow Temu to offer price points that are “so far below other market offerings in an effort to entice American consumers to shop like a billionaire,” he wrote.