Google removes Wish from search results in France

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Google no longer lists the online marketplace Wish in its search results in France. With this, the search engine giant is responding to a demand by the French government and accusations that dangerous and counterfeit products are offered via Wish.

In France, the often-criticized e-commerce platform can no longer be found in the search results of Google and other well-known search engines such as Microsoft Bing or Qwant. Additionally, the app of the well-known US-based online retailer has been removed from the app stores of Google and Apple. The measures were taken before the Christmas shopping season and are the first of their kind in Europe.

Several French government officials, including the Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, called for such action. Background to this are ongoing complaints that products offered via Wish do not comply with regulations on product safety, for example. The French consumer protection agency DGCCRF had identified these problems based on test purchases and on reports about counterfeit and dangerous goods. Almost none of the electronic products or toys purchased met the EU safety standards, and many were even deemed dangerous. Furthermore, the French government criticized that such products often remain available even after being reported, for example being listed under other names; and that the product return at Wish is inadequate. Wish has already been facing criticism in other European countries too, such as the United Kingdom and Italy. And in Germany, for example, the online marketplace was criticized last year for offering fake smartphones.

Wish argues that the platform is not obliged to check all 150 million products offered by third-party sellers via its marketplace; still, it would strive to curtail the availability of low-quality products. Nevertheless, the company plans to take legal action against the measures in France.

Search engine and app providers face legal consequences in France if they continue to list Wish. By taking such action, the French government reportedly also wants to send a clear signal while legislation around the European Union’s planned Digital Services Act is underway.

Sources: Fortune, MINEFI, Securing Industry, TechCrunch

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