Chinese Firm Moves Headquarters Away From China

PDD Holdings, the parent company of the Chinese e-commerce site Temu, has officially relocated its headquarters from China to Ireland. 

As communist China’s aggressive policies continue to inflame relations with democratic nations and create rising antipathy toward the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a growing number of Chinese enterprises are attempting to downplay their China ties. 

PDD Holdings Inc., which also runs Pinduoduo (China’s counterpart of Amazon), launched Temu in Boston in 2022. With political risks increasing as China’s relations with the free world continue to rise, as many as 500 Chinese enterprises have surreptitiously relisted or registered in Southeast Asian countries over the past year. 

They want to distance themselves from their Chinese heritage by presenting themselves as non-Chinese businesses. Pinduoduo, Temu’s sibling company, has been implicated in a customer surveillance scandal. Investigators discovered that the Chinese shopping app Pinduoduo hacked into users’ locations, contacts, calendars, notifications, and photo albums via 50 Android System vulnerabilities. According to researchers, Pinduoduo is the worst malware ever uncovered.

The CCP passed a law 2017 mandating support, assistance, and cooperation with national intelligence work from all organizations and individuals. Chinese software developers like TikTok and Temu provide both domestic and international versions of their apps to satisfy users’ security concerns outside of China. Chinese software developers’ international releases collect and save a lot of information on people in the United States. The Chinese government uses the intelligence law to force all Chinese businesses to aid in intelligence collection when requested. Deputy secretary-general of the Taiwan National Security Institute, He Chenghui, said that private enterprises couldn’t avoid complying with China’s intelligence law just by changing their addresses.

Wu stressed that despite Pinduoduo relocating its headquarters, the company’s ties to China remained unchanged. According to He Chenghui, Chinese businesses must adopt the ideals of freedom and democracy and the operational rules of society to continue to be powerful globally. Otherwise, it will be impossible for Chinese businesses to thrive in the world community if they continue to fluctuate between democracy and totalitarianism, working together with the Chinese state to benefit each other.