France sanctions US e-commerce site over ‘dangerous’ goods

Le Maire told French newspaper Le Parisien ‘there is no reason to tolerate online what we do not accept in physical shops’. — Reuters

PARIS: France has ordered search engines to remove US-based e-commerce platform Wish from their results over it selling substandard or unsafe products, the economy ministry said Nov 24.

Search engines like Google are expected to remove the website – which offers cheap, mostly Chinese products – from their results in the coming days.

Application stores are no longer to feature the Wish app.

But the website operated by San Francisco-based firm ContextLogic should be accessible to customers with the right web address.

“There is no reason to tolerate online what we do not accept in physical shops,” Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire told French newspaper Le Parisien.

The sanctions come after France’s DGCCRF anti-fraud agency analysed 140 products sold on Wish and found a large majority to be “non-conforming”.

Ninety percent of electronic items examined were deemed “dangerous”, as were 62% of costume jewellery products, and 45% of toys.

The anti-fraud agency noted that even after it informed Wish about these failings and the website removed the substandard items, they then reappeared under different names.

The latest sanction should last until the website conforms with French law.

The US startup said it was taking legal action against the measures, which it called “illegal and disproportionate”.

Wish “always conforms to the DGCCRF’s requests for removal”, it said in a statement.

Wish, which was created in 2010, says it has some 100 million active users.

It was listed on the New York stock exchange in December last year. – AFP

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