TikTok and Temu have withdrawn electric heaters from their platforms following alarming findings by Which? revealing potential fire hazards. Influencers promoting these heaters on TikTok have also come under scrutiny.

09 February 2024

In response to recent testing revealing fire risks associated with certain electric heaters, both TikTok and Temu have swiftly removed these products from their online stores. The decision follows investigations by Which?, a consumer group, that unveiled alarming safety concerns associated with these affordable heaters, priced as low as £7.20.

Which? conducted tests on eight heaters, exposing significant safety lapses in most models, indicating non-compliance with UK safety standards. Expressing grave concerns, Which? highlighted the serious safety risk posed by these devices to users.

Both TikTok and Temu have affirmed their commitment to customer safety, emphasising the removal of the problematic items from their platforms. However, Which? noted the emergence of similar listings despite these actions, raising questions about the effectiveness of current regulatory measures.

TikTok and Temu have emerged as formidable rivals to established online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, attracting millions of UK shoppers with their seemingly affordable products. However, Which?'s findings underscore the need for better regulation within these platforms to safeguard consumers against unsafe products.

Which? also highlighted the role of influencers in promoting these hazardous heaters, particularly on TikTok, where the platform's Shop feature seamlessly integrates with the app. Influencers promoting such products have come under scrutiny, with calls for them to take responsibility for the safety of their recommendations.

Lesley Rudd, chief executive of Electrical Safety First, emphasised the moral duty of influencers to ensure the safety of products they endorse, given the potential risks posed to consumers. She echoed concerns about outdated regulations failing to adequately address the challenges posed by the proliferation of online sellers.

While both Temu and TikTok have taken immediate steps to remove the identified heaters, concerns persist about the effectiveness of current regulatory frameworks in addressing the broader issue of product safety on online marketplaces. With consumers increasingly turning to these platforms for their shopping needs, urgent measures are needed to prevent dangerous products from entering homes.

As the debate over online marketplace regulations intensifies, the safety of consumers remains paramount. The onus is on platforms like TikTok and Temu, as well as regulatory bodies, to collaborate and implement robust measures to protect consumers from potential harm.

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