Wish is an online store or e-commerce platform that is well known, or perhaps rather infamous, among customers on both sides of the Atlantic. Wish.com does appear to be like any other e-commerce platform, but has become known for listing poor quality or counterfeit goods, largely shipped directly from China-based sellers.
The many irregularities have caused both a number of consumers and not least consumer authorities to react, and as is often the case it is France that is taking the lead. Three French ministers have now asked DGCCRF – the country’s Consumer Protection Agency – to crack down on the Wish platform.
This will be done by ensuring the website is delisted from all major search engines, as well as removing the Wish app from App stores. Their aim is to protect consumers and crack down on Wish’s repeated breaches of its obligations as a distributor.
It is no coincidence that DGCCRF is cracking down on Wish. Following up on a previous survey, the directorate decided a year ago to test the quality of products sold through the e-commerce platform. They purchased more than 140 products, and surveys showed that a large number of them failed to comply with European requirements for health, safety and environmental protection. Certain product groups were worse than others: Of the toys, 45% of the goods were defined as dangerous, for costume jewelry the figure was 62% and for electronics as much as 90%.
When the directorate complained to Wish about the safety issues, neither recall nor removal of products from the platform was done in a satisfactory manner. In most cases, the same items were offered under different names – and sometimes even from the same seller.
In July 2021, the French directorate notified Wish and asked them to comply with European regulations on e-commerce and safety. They gave Wish a two-month notice before taking further action. Four months later, with issues still remaining, the French government is taking advantage of recent changes in European regulation – and is requesting that the web page and app be removed from French search results and app stores.
A Wish spokesperson tells TechCrunch they plan to sue to avoid the French ban.