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What do you know about shopping apps Temu and Shein

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Never underestimate Americans’ love of bargains.

You may have seen a file Super Bowl ad by Temu, the latest Chinese shopping app to gain attention in the United States. Temu sells a small bag of low-cost products that are sometimes functional and sometimes quirky.

I’ve seen ads online of Temu’s merchandise such as bike shorts with huge padding, a mustachioed dwarf with a coffee bag head and oddities like This creepy garden gnome is $10.79.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to check out Temu and Shein, another popular shopping app from China that’s like clothing retailer H&M on steroids.

Temu might be a flash in the pan. But it and Xin are among the retail innovations that allow you to buy directly from Chinese factories in transactions brokered by Chinese technology companies. This is uncharted territory. These Chinese apps transform your shopping whether you use them or not.

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Temu is owned by PDD Holdings, formerly Pinduoduo, an online shopping company in China that started with something like Groupon plus eBay. PDD Holdings is valued at $120 billion in the stock market – more than the combined value of Ford and General Motors.

Pinduoduo has mostly worked in her home country. Then in September, the company Temu started As the first global e-commerce site. At times since then, Temu has been the most downloaded shopping app in the US, according to research firm Sensor Tower.

Like Wish, the Chinese shopping website that was hot a few years ago, Temu offers products sold by factories or warehouses in China. You can think of Temu and Shein as being copy amazon chartBut faster and cheaper on a whim. (The apps are pronounced Tee-MOO and SHE-in, by the way.)

“Temu and Shein are disrupting the boring American e-commerce market more than anyone else,” said Juozas Kaziukenas, founder of the e-commerce research firm. market pulse. “Look at the rest of the top 100 apps — they’ve been around for over 10 years, and what fun have they been?”

As happened with Wish, some of the people who bought things from Temu did complained That the products they purchased were poorly made or delivered late.

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news organizations And environmental groups In the past, I have reported abusive conditions at factories that make products for Shein and other retailers. Some Shein shoppers also said the company draws people in Environmentally unsustainable clothing.

What’s the big deal in Temu?

Temu and Shein are the latest and top Chinese shopping companies to enter your life.

Unlike most Chinese e-commerce or app companies — including PDD and TikTok owner ByteDance — Temu and Shein are mostly interested in people outside of China. The whole point of these apps is for Chinese manufacturers and traders to sell to the rest of the world. Other Chinese shopping companies, including e-commerce giant Alibaba, have not been as successful outside of their home country.

Many of the products on store shelves at Walmart or Best Buy are made in China by American manufacturers or Chinese companies like Hisense. A significant portion of the merchants selling products on Amazon are in the United States It is based in China. But never before have so many Americans bought products from Chinese manufacturers and through Chinese apps.

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The next stage of globalized shopping

This is the end of the first era of global retailing and the possible beginning of a new unknown in your consumer life.

For decades, companies like Black & Decker, Old Navy, and Nike have manufactured their products in countries like China or Vietnam. These factories likely made power tools, jackets, and shoes for many other brands as well.

But now a factory in China can sell what it makes directly to shoppers like you. It works in part because we used to buy things on Amazon or Instagram without caring which company made the product.

If factories and suppliers in China dispense with stores and brands and sell products to us, that could mean that Amazon, Walmart, Old Navy, and Black & Decker are becoming less important.

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Temu is riding it The trend of no-name products to the extreme. TikTok wants you to Buy products directly from the in-app videos, also. Shein has won over many young shoppers with its clever social media marketing and trendy apparel. Shin physical buffers have Drawing huge lines in San Antonio And Fistfights sparked in Sao Paulo.

This next phase of globalized shopping has the potential to be both glorious and perilous for you.

Similar to when China became a manufacturing powerhouse, when apps sell you goods directly from Chinese factories, you can buy products that you might not be able to afford otherwise.

The downside is that there may be Fewer quality controls If there are no brands or retailers in the mix with their reputation on the line. It will be difficult for you to sort out the shopping cart from the treasure.

maybe. We fall Out of love with new shopping products All the time.

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Temu’s Super Bowl commercials circulating online are a commercial strategy for get your attention And Temu is giving out free merchandise to people who refer their friends to the app. These tactics can mean the app’s popularity is a mirage. Wish also bought a lot of ads on Facebook but when it cut back, People lost interest.

How should Americans feel about another popular app from China?

US politicians worry that TikTok could be a channel for the Chinese government to suck information on Americans or spread propaganda. Focusing on TikTok sheds light on all the other Chinese digital influences in your life.

Computers from Chinese Lenovo are the best-selling in the US, and smartphones from Chinese brands Xiaomi and Oppo are popular in many countries outside of America. Chinese tech giant Tencent is behind video games like League of Legends. Shein is a phenomenon in Brazil, Mexico and parts of Europe and the United States. Temu is hot.

I’m not saying you should be concerned with all the technology coming out of China. But the interest on TikTok has mostly left the big question of what we want to do about the technology from China that’s in your home and pockets now — and what might happen next.

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Shein and Temu will not be the last shopping technology that connects you directly with Chinese factories. Chinese-made technology or electric cars coming to America.

We haven’t really had an honest discussion about where to draw the line between protecting America’s security and insulating us from useful inventions that don’t come from this country.

This is another moment to warn you that any product you see on the internet may be unreal or a scam.

Or the full cup version: Any product you see online could be an opportunity to find a great deal of something you love. Internet! contains multitudes.

My colleague Heather Kelly put together a guide to avoid falling for products that aren’t who they say they are, whether you buy them from Temu, Amazon, Walmart, Google, or Instagram. Among her strategies is learning to survey customer reviews online like a skeptical pro.

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Pay attention to scathing reviews, which may be more helpful than glowing reviews. And look at the date of the oldest review to see if the product you’re looking at has received a large number of reviews unusually quickly. This may be a red flag.

Now tell me about your smarter shopping tactics by email or Who is this. We may feature your tip in a future edition of The Tech Friend.

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Smartphone scams are dead – Android Authority

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Robert Triggs/Android Authority

Ten years ago, the 2013 Samsung Galaxy S4 was a technological marvel. Android phones had only been around for a few years at that point, and it seemed like the Galaxy S4 could do a lot despite its small size. As consumers, we were delighted. So much so, that to this day the Galaxy S4 remains the best-selling Android phone of all time, with over 80 million units sold.

However, that was ten years ago – an eternity in the tech world. Things have changed dramatically since then. The smartphone tricks we saw in the Galaxy S4 — like the Smart Scroll, which let you scroll the contents of your screen by moving your head up or down — would be completely ridiculous to see in a 2023 phone.

Today, smartphones are ubiquitous gadgets, not technical marvels. Consumers are using their phones more than ever before, yes, but that has faded the shine. Modern smartphone buyers don’t want gimmicks. They want a phone that fixes the basics and hides in the background.

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In 2023, if a smartphone manufacturer thinks that some cool new trick will be the backbone that sells its phones, it will be in a world of disappointment. Not only will consumers care, but investing in research and development for this trick could do more harm than good.

What are the tricks of the smartphone?

Google Pixel 4 XL Long Range 2 review

Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

The term “gimmick” can be used broadly. In general, when it comes to smartphones, we think of gimmicks as features that are only applicable to very specific situations, appeal to a limited subset of users, or offer no real value (or some combination thereof).

One of history’s most egregious examples of smartphone scams was the Soli radar system in the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. Soli was a set of front-facing radar sensors that could track your hand movements. They let you do things like pause the music simply by waving your hand near the screen. While Soli performed as advertised, consumers simply didn’t care, and the Pixel 4 series was the biggest failure in Pixel history.

If your star phone feature only appeals to a few people, it’s probably a gimmick.

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A more recent example came with the OnePlus 10 Pro last year. This phone was equipped with an ultra-high resolution camera with a field of view of 150 degrees. This was essentially a fish-eye lens, creating highly distorted images that looked unreal. Although software trickery helped fix images in post-processing, critics and consumers alike saw no need for such a bizarre lens. OnePlus eliminated the lens on this year’s OnePlus 10T and OnePlus 11.

Here are some other smartphone tricks we’ve seen:

  • foreign matter: OnePlus recently announced the Jupiter Rock Edition of the OnePlus 11. It has a back that is basically made of rock. Who asked for this?
  • Macro lenses: While a great telephoto lens can be an interesting addition to a solid lens collection, most of the time that’s not the case. Often, OEMs will throw in cheap 2MP macro lenses to make a phone look more premium than it is. In other words, the thought process is that more lenses = better cameras, which consumers are no longer fooled by.
  • Super fast charging: While it’s crazy to see 240W charging speeds on a smartphone (that’s fast enough to charge from empty to full in about ten minutes), who really needs that? These speeds are also said to be detrimental to the health of the battery, thus shortening the life of your phone.
  • Cooling systems: Lenovo Legion Duel 2 – a gaming phone – had a cooling fan built into it. While this is practical for a phone designed for gamers, it also made the phone unwieldy, prevented an IP rating, and made wireless charging impossible. It solved one problem at the expense of basic smartphone features. Likewise, OnePlus’ latest concept phone has a liquid cooling system that didn’t even work.

These gimmicks don’t help sell phones because they don’t give us what we really want: a great overall experience.

But what about phones in specific niches, like rugged phones? Is the rugged phone a gimmick? I’d argue it isn’t, but they also don’t sell in the numbers we’d see with something like the Galaxy S series. These phones exist for specific purposes for a specific consumer, so they get a special pass.

The current smartphone successes are all the evidence you need

Google Pixel 7 Pro camera housing

Robert Triggs/Android Authority

We know why smartphone manufacturers invest in these kinds of tricks. They obviously think they’ll help sell the phones or, at the very least, help their products stand out from the crowd. This is an odd strategy because the most successful phones tend to be relatively gimmick-free.

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Here in the US, the iPhone is by far the most popular smartphone. For the first time ever, Apple has more than 50% of the market in the US, leaving the other half to Android OEMs (mostly Samsung). The iPhone doesn’t have a lot of tricks. One could argue that Dynamic Island is a gimmick, but it’s one that consumers seem to enjoy, so it doesn’t really count.

Unsurprisingly, the most successful phones are also some of the most gimmick-free.

In second place, Samsung’s Galaxy S series also stands out as being gimmick-free. The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s S Pen may be a bit gimmicky for some. However, it’s also incredibly popular and a calling card for a premium Galaxy experience, so we’ll be happy to let this feature slip. Despite this, the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus are pretty boring with how functional and no-nonsense they are. And guess what? The Galaxy S23 line is selling better than the Galaxy S22 line.

Of course, we can’t forget about Google’s pixel font. The Google Pixel 7 Pro doesn’t have any weird tricks up its sleeve, and was voted the best Android phone of 2022 by both Android Authority And our readers. It’s interesting that when Google gave up the tricks, it ended up selling more phones than ever before.

Obviously, phones can reach consumers without gimmicks. However, Dynamic Island and the S Pen show that there is still room for fun and doing things differently.

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However, phones can still be fun

None Phone Number 1 graphic on the back

Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

We’ve already discussed plenty of examples of stupid smartphone tricks that get in the way of a good experience. However, some tricks work.

Take Nothing Phone 1, for example. The lights on the back of the device — officially known as The Glyph — appear to be a ridiculous gimmick. Once you use the phone, you will realize that it is actually an Android smartphone with a strange light show added. In other words, The Glyph can be ignored, and you’ll still get a great Android experience with a very fair cost-to-value ratio.

I’m not against the trick. There is plenty of room for fun features.

This is a great example of how doing tricks properly can be beneficial. Nothing crammed into The Glyph comes at the expense of wireless charging, a premium feel, or a decent camera system. Use the trick as a light garnish on top of a satisfying meal. It’s a beautiful detail that highlights an already well-done dish.

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Google’s Magic Eraser is another example of a gimmick that works. With the Pixel’s camera experience already being one of the best (if not the best) phone camera experiences available, the Magic Eraser feature exists as a useful tool for people looking to fix otherwise great photos. It was not Need Magic Eraser, but it’s practical and fun when you want it to be.

That’s all to say that smartphones don’t need to be boring. There’s plenty of room for fun gimmicks, cool aesthetics, and thought-provoking twists. But gimmicks can’t be the phone’s selling point. They must be side players.

OEMs will need to shift focus — or dump

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 1

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

Remember Lenovo Legion Duel 2, the phone with an integrated cooling system? Unfortunately, this trick didn’t work out very well for Lenovo. Recently, the company confirmed this Android Authority He shut down the Legion’s smartphone arm.

We’ve also mentioned OnePlus several times in this article. This company is not doing well either. There is a rumor that it could pull out along with sister brand OPPO from the European market either this year or in 2024. OnePlus has lost all carrier partnerships in the US, and its latest flagship — the OnePlus 11 — hasn’t gotten strong reviews. Again, tricks don’t seem to have helped here.

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What do you think of smartphone scams?

146 votes

This all supports my central argument: scams don’t sell phones. We’ve settled on wanting phones that excel at the essentials: battery life, camera, screen, usability, performance, and so on. I could also argue that design is just as important here, though it’s more subjective than something like battery life. What doesn’t matter are the extra lenses, radar systems, cooling fans, rock-solid backboards, and all the other tricks we’ve seen.

Companies that are stuck in 2013 and think cool gimmicks will sell a lot of phones will need to wake up from that dream sooner rather than later. Apple and Samsung eat your lunch and do so without relying on gimmicks. Make your phones awesome at a competitive price and we’ll buy it. Simply.

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All of my favorite games this year are old

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I also installed the original version Final Fantasy, the game that debuted when I was three years old, on Sony’s most advanced console yet, I came to a realization: everything I played this year was outdated. Between remakes, new releases, and vintage collections, there’s been a flood of nostalgia. I personally welcomed it.

These kinds of releases aren’t new, of course. What was different during the early months was the huge amount of classic releases. Two of the biggest movies so far this year – dead space And Resident Evil 4 – is a remake of titles from more than a decade ago. Both are slick, slick updates that don’t look out of place among recent big-budget releases, but part of what makes them so attractive is how straightforward they are. There are no open worlds filled with endless quests or live service items to keep you coming back. And most of these design decisions date back to their ages, as these games were made at a completely different time with very different expectations. In my review of Resident Evil 4 A remake, I called it “a video game like this,” and I meant that as a compliment.

Advance Wars 1 + 2: Re-Boot Camp.
Image: Nintendo

But they can also be a lot of work, frequently setting in to be all-consuming experiences that keep you hooked and never let go. Oh I love Fortnite Like everyone else, but that’s not all I want from my video games. Whether it is as complicated as RE4 Or simply put a scene from the opera Final Fantasy VI On my PS5, these games have returned a simplicity and focus I often find missing from their modern contemporaries. vampire And Final Fantasy They are very different experiences, but they give me the same feeling of a whole solo journey that I’m supposed to play through from start to finish. Same goes for the other old games I’ve been playing.

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Playing—and in many cases, replaying—these games was an exercise in reminding myself of what could be so great about a medium. The largest modern versions tend to imitate each other to the point where they are almost indistinguishable from one another. That’s what makes a lot of indie releases so exciting, and likewise, what keeps me coming back for all these new releases of old games — so it’s good to me that this trend shows no sign of stopping.

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NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell leaves Comcast due to ‘improper conduct’

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NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell will leave Comcast, effective immediately. The telecom giant made the surprising announcement in a brief press release Released on Sunday. After an investigation prompted by a complaint of improper conduct, Comcast says it has reached a “joint” decision with Shell that he should resign from his position.

“Today is my last day as CEO of NBCUniversal. I had an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, which I deeply regret,” Shell said in a joint statement. “I am really sorry that I left my colleagues at Comcast and NBCUniversal, they are the most talented people in this field and the opportunity to work with them over the past 19 years has been a privilege.”

Comcast has not named a successor to Shell. in a note obtained diverseComcast CEO Brian Roberts and President Mike Kavanagh told employees they were “disappointed” to share the news. “We built this company on a culture of integrity. Nothing is more important than how we treat each other. You must count on your leaders to create a safe and respectful workplace,” they wrote. “When our principles and policies are violated, we will always move quickly to take appropriate action, as we have done here.”

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Shell joined Comcast in 2004. He became CEO of NBCUniversal in 2020. That same year, he oversaw the launch of Peacock. Shell leaves NBCUniversal without making the streaming service profitable. At the beginning of the year, Comcast told investors that it had done so Added five million paid subscribers During the last three months of 2022. However, over the same period, the company lost nearly $1 billion while operating the service.

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