Mumuso, a Chinese distributor of household goods accused of imitating a Korean brand, is turning a blind eye to a recent government order to shut down its South Korean branch.
Mumuso opened an office in South Korea in 2014, however the office only exists on paper, with the company ‘borrowing’ an address through a proxy.
Mumuso did rent an office later, but it was left empty. Essentially a paper company, it has no staff or equipment, and was opened purely to create the appearance it was Korean.
The company drew considerable attention when it leased space in South Korean-owned Lotte shopping centre in Vietnam, despite already being in the spotlight for its deceptive conduct.
The products being sold in Mumuso stores in China claim that they were made by ‘Mugungsenghwal,’ a fake Korean brand, which is said to be located in Seoul.
Mumuso has been growing exponentially around wider Asia since its establishment in 2014, trading in some markets using the false slogan “we came from Korea”. However after recent controversies, the company made a ‘slight twist’ to its original statement, claiming it was “inspired” by Korean aesthetics.
Mumuso, headquartered in Shanghai, China, is carrying out a marketing offensive in Southeast Asian countries where the Korean Wave has a stronger presence.
As of August last year, Mumuso had opened 600 stores across China and overseas. It has previously said it aims to open 3500 stores in 40 countries by 2022, and reach US$2.5 billion in sales.
- Original reporting by H M Kang of Korea Bizwire.