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A Muji store in Shanghai: China accounts for 18% of its total sales. (Photo by Kosaku Mimura)
Company in focus

Muji, Japan's 'no brand' brand, battles copycats in China

Minimalist retailer tweaks product strategy to maximize Asian reach

MARIMI KISHIMOTO and KYOMI KATSUNO, Nikkei staff writers | Japan

BANGKOK/TOKYO -- Ryohin Keikaku, the company that runs the Muji chain of household goods stores, is refusing to back down from a long trademark battle in China -- a fight that looks unlikely to be its last.

On Nov. 1, the Japanese company's Chinese-language website declared it will continue to use the Muji name in China despite a legal challenge over the trademark by a local company. This followed inaccurate reports in the Chinese media that the Japanese retailer had paid a penalty to the Chinese plaintiff. Ryohin Keikaku stressed that "the lawsuit is still ongoing."

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