TikTok and Temu take down cheap electric heaters from online stores

a Temu spokesperson says we deeply regret any concern or inconvenience caused by safety issues in products identified by consumers association
An undated image displaying an electric heater. — Unsplash
An undated image displaying an electric heater. — Unsplash

TikTok and Temu have taken down the cheap electric heaters from their online stores after Which? discovered in them a potential harm as they could explode erupt house fires.

Having tested eight heaters with the cheapest of them costing £7.20, Which? — a consumers' association that oversees the safety and protection of electronics devices — found that most of them failed to meet the required safety standards in UK.

The association said the heaters, some of which had been endorsed by prominent figures on TikTok, posed "a serious safety risk" to users, urging to enhance their regulations considering the research it conducted.

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Which? bought and tested five portable heaters from TikTok Shop and three from Temu. Only one of them met the safety standards for home use and was legally approved for sale in the UK, as confirmed by the organisation. Despite both companies removing the products from their platforms, Which? discovered that similar listings had reappeared.

"We deeply regret any concern or inconvenience caused by the safety issues" in the products identified by Which?, BBC quoted a Temu spokesperson.

"The safety of our customers is our highest priority, and we have taken immediate action to address this issue," the spokesperson added.

Both TikTok and Temu emphasised that customer safety was their top priority. Through its Shop platform, Temu and TikTok have emerged as competitors to well-established online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, attracting millions of UK shoppers with their seemingly affordable products.

"Cheap electric heaters are a tempting purchase for consumers struggling during the cold winter months, but our latest tests have revealed that models sold on TikTok and Temu are a serious safety risk and must be avoided at all costs," said Sue Davies, Which?'s head of consumer protection policy.

"It's vital that the government urgently gives greater legal responsibility to online marketplaces for unsafe products so that they are forced to take action to prevent dangerous products ending up in people's homes."

TikTok Shop is integrated within the video-sharing app, featuring products that are often showcased in creators' videos on the platform. Which? has found multiple posts from influencers endorsing heaters that pose a fire hazard in TikTok search results.

"The way we shop has changed, possibly forever, yet it is utterly illogical that our laws have not, leaving people shopping on these online platforms grossly unprotected from dangerous electrical products," said Lesley Rudd, the CEO of Electrical Safety First, while calling them to acknowledge their accountability for promoting these products.