The French government has ordered WISH to be blocked in search results and from app platforms. This followed the website's offering of large quantities of dangerous goods to EU consumers.
In the new Regulation 2019/1020 market surveillance authorities have been given further powers to protect the market from dangerous goods. Article 14 states that as an ‘ultimum remedium', market surveillance authorities may even block websites to ensure that dangerous products are not offered to EU consumers.
This is, of course, a very far-reaching rule that should only be used in exceptional cases. Yet this is the rule that France has now applied. The French government is investigating several e-commerce websites offering products to French consumers, amongst others, e-commerce platform WISH.
Failing to respond to alerts from the French market surveillance authorities, France is now enacting Article 14 to Wish! The DGCCRF has ordered search engines and app stores to block the American platform. The reason is that the company "flouts regulations on product safety".
Products on the European market must comply with product legislation. For example, companies must demonstrate that a product is safe.
On the inspected platform of WISH:
96% of toys and electrical appliances were found not to comply with the requirements;
45% of the toys were dangerous and
90% of the electronic goods were dangerous as well.
Several examples are published here
The French government contacted WISH with product alerts for dangerous products. Although offers for notified dangerous products were withdrawn within 24 hours, in the majority of cases the products are still offered under a different name and, moreover, sometimes by the same seller, as the company does not keep any history of sales of non-compliant and dangerous products.
In addition, the consumer receives a very evasive recall email from Wish that does not mention the causes of the product recall, in particular the dangers, even though the platform is the recipient of all the analysis reports from the DGCCRF.