MINISO Apologises For Not Actually Being A Japanese Brand

Chinese consumers have been criticising the company for not supporting its "Chinese roots".

Cover image via Nikkei Asia

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Chinese retail company, MINISO, has recently come under fire for misrepresenting itself as a Japanese brand

Image via Inside Retail

Although the discount retailer never claimed to be a Japanese company, the styling and branding have been criticised by Chinese consumers who said that the brand was not "supporting its Chinese roots", reported The Guardian.

As of December 2021, there are over 5,000 MINISO outlets around the world, with a logo featuring Japanese Katakana characters and is said to look quite similar to Japanese clothing retailer, UNIQLO.

Comparison between the logos.

Image via Nikkei Asia/Paradigm Mall

Following the public outcry, MINISO released a statement last week apologising for pretending to be Japanese

According to VICE, the company stated that it was ashamed for "promoting itself as a Japanese designer brand" during its early stages of branding and vows to "export the correct Chinese culture and values."

MINISO added that it has been "de-Japanising" its stores since 2019, by removing all elements and references to Japan from its marketing materials and will continue to do so until March next year.

The statement comes following backlash in July after MINISO Spain dressed a Disney princess toy collection in cheongsams and mistakenly labelled them as Japanese geisha dolls

Image via Global Times

Backlash on Chinese social media ensued, and in response, the company issued an apology: "We are deeply sorry for the error when we publish the product content on overseas social media and the damage caused by the error to the majority of users."

Co-founded by Ye Guofu and Japanese chief designer Miyake Junya, MINISO opened its first store in China back in 2013, with most of its products manufactured in China. 

However, according to VICE, all mentions of Junya on the website and documents have disappeared since 2019. 

Left to right: co-founders Miyake Junya and Ye Guo Fu.


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