We had expected Temu to launch in Malaysia – its 2nd market in Southeast Asia – shortly after its entry into the Philippines.
On Friday (8 September 2023), Temu finally added Malaysia to its list of available countries.
Similar to the Philippine site, Temu Malaysia is currently only available in English, with opening discounts and promotions including free shipping and up to 90% off.
Amongst Southeast Asia’s top six ecommerce markets, Malaysia is only bigger than Singapore in terms of GMV. However, when we look at per capita basis, Malaysia ranks number two (behind only Singapore), in a ranking that corresponds to GDP per capita as well as consumer spending power.
Similar to Singapore and the Philippines, middle class in Malaysia often speak English and are familiar with buying cross border, making it easier for Temu to localise the content. Cross border logistics and payment infrastructure is also mature.
In the Philippines, where Temu has been operating for about two weeks, the company seems to have done sufficient testing and started to step on the pedal. During the last couple of days, Temu’s ranking in Google Play Store Shopping category has been steadily rising, suggesting more aggressive customer acquisition.
With TikTok Shop’s aggressive expansion and Temu’s entry, the landscape of ecommerce platforms in Southeast Asia has been disrupted. Incumbent marketplaces Shopee and Lazada will need to take strong measures to defend their market leadership.
While a lot of attention seems to be on TikTok Shop, which is now growing even faster than we had projected. Temu could be a bigger challenge if its ambition is also like that of TikTok Shop.
As mentioned earlier, consumers are likely to be the biggest beneficiaries of this renewed competition. In Momentum Works’ “Ecommerce Platforms in Southeast Asia 2023” report, we projected that Temu’s entry would stimulate overall growth in Southeast Asia’s ecommerce market. TikTok Shop has already led the way by bringing a lot of beauty and cosmetic purchases online (from offline).
For more insights about Temu and the team behind it, you can refer to Momentum Works’ “Who is Temu” report.