Tiens Group

Last updated

Tiens Group
Type Private
Industry Multi-level marketing
Founded1995;27 years ago (1995)
Founder Li Jinyuan
Headquarters,
China
Key people
Products Dietary supplements
Subsidiaries Tianjin Tianshi Biological Development Co., Ltd. Tiens Yihai Co. Ltd.
Website www.tiens.com

Tiens Group ( /ˈtɛns/ , from Chinese :天狮; pinyin :Tiānshī; lit. 'heavenly lion') is a Chinese multinational conglomerate and multi-level marketing company headquartered in Tianjin, China. [1]

Contents

History

Tiens Group was founded in 1995 by Li Jinyuan. Tiens entered the international market in 1997. [2] The company's initial product offerings included traditional Chinese medicinal products, calcium tablets, and instant coffee. In 2008, they reported having 12 million MLM distributors worldwide, including more than 40,000 in Germany, [3] and 40 million customers, [4] mostly in Russia, with approximately 60,000 in Germany. [5] In 2014 they reported having 200,000 distributors in Uganda. [6]

In May 2015, the company sent 6,400 employees on a four-day tour of France. While in Nice, they set a Guinness World Record for the longest "human-made phrase". [7]

Controversy

United States

The FDA has an advisory letter [8] warning them that their claim of treating or preventing "asthma, cancer, rheumatism, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, myocardial infarction, stroke, sexually transmitted diseases (e.g., herpes), cerebral embolism, and dementia" violates the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The FDA still lists Tiens products among "Products Illegally Marketed for Serious Diseases". [9]

Bangladesh

Tiens has been the subject of controversy in Bangladesh, where the company is known as Tianshi (Bengali : তিয়ানশি). According to local news reports, many people in Bangladesh who invested in Tianshi lost their money, and they claimed that the products were ineffective and priced 4 to 20 times higher than comparable products from well known retailers. [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]

In 2015, the Government of Bangladesh banned all types of domestic and foreign MLM trade including Tiens in Bangladesh. [17]

Between the years 2017–18, the company, having embezzled hundreds of crores taka from consumers, secretly left the country. [18]

Uganda

In Uganda the "food supplements" are being touted a cures for everything from cancer and HIV to hernias, tumors or appendicitis. [6] The Guardian article goes on to mention that it is a Pyramid Scheme, where most of the money is generated from joining fees of new recruits.

Pakistan

Jamia Darul Uloom, Karachi, a seminary headed by the Grand Mufti of Pakistan, issued a Fatwa in Nov 2008 to the effect that the marketing scheme of Tiens is not permissible. [19] On 3 Nov 2011, another fatwa was issued about a fake fatwa that was circulating without signatures or stamps, claiming that Jamia Darul Uloom has retracted its previous reservations, and now considers it permissible. The fatwa stated that this is a fake, and the original fatwa has not been altered. M. Mahmood suggested that perhaps the original fatwa was based on a misunderstanding of the economic workings of Tiens, and provided more detailed information about how the multi-level marketing scheme works. He asked for a review of the original fatwa, and on 28 Nov 2011, a fatwa further reconfirmed that the new facts presented do not substantially change the original decision.


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References

  1. "China's Tiens Group to enter Indian e-commerce market". Economic Times. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  2. "Li Jinyuan: "The World Focus On China Now. TIENS Is In!". Business World. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  3. "Tiens in Deutschland" (in German). Tiens. Archived from the original on 21 October 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  4. "Unternehmensübersicht" (in German). Tiens. 28 April 2008. Archived from the original on 5 May 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  5. "Goldjunge aus Tianjin"Die Zeit, Nr. 37, 4 September 2008
  6. 1 2 Wan, James (19 June 2014). "The Chinese multinational making millions out of vulnerable Ugandans". The Guardian . Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  7. "Chinese firm sends 6,400 employees on French holiday". BBC News. 9 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  8. "Advisory Letter - Tiens Group". US Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  9. "Products Illegally Marketed for Serious Diseases". US Food and Drug Administration. US Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  10. "বরিশালে ডিভাইস দিয়ে সর্বরোগের চিকিৎসা! || দেশের খবর |". জনকন্ঠ The Daily Janakantha . 6 October 2017. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  11. "কিশোরগঞ্জে চীনা সামগ্রী বিক্রি, চিকিৎসার নামে 'প্রতারণা'". bdnews24.com . 7 October 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  12. "ডিগ্রি ছাড়াই চিকিৎসক, ফি ৫০০ টাকা!". archive.prothom-alo.com. Prothom Alo. 14 May 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  13. "'তিয়ানশির' এক ওষুধেই সব রোগের চিকিত্সা! | অন্যান্য | The Daily Ittefaq". archive1.ittefaq.com.bd. The Daily Ittefaq. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  14. Abul Kalam Azad (19 June 2015). "লাইসেন্সবিহীন এমএলএম কোম্পানির রমরমা ব্যবসা". প্রথম আলো Prothom Alo . Rajshahi . Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  15. Mohiuddin Molla (24 December 2017). "ডিসি এসপি হওয়ার দরকার নেই, মাসেই কোটিপতি! | বাংলাদেশ প্রতিদিন". Bangladesh Pratidin (in Bengali). Cumilla . Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  16. "নবাবগঞ্জে মানুষের জীবন নিয়ে খেলছে তিয়ানশি | মহানগর | Jugantor". jugantor.com. The Daily Jugantor. 29 June 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
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  18. Sheikh, Rahim (28 September 2019). "দৈনিক জনকন্ঠ || হাজার কোটি টাকা হাতিয়ে নিয়ে দুুুই বছরে লাপাত্তা ২ ডজন কোম্পানি". Daily Janakantha . Retrieved 13 June 2020.
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