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Uniqlo and Muji shut half of China stores due to coronavirus

Concerns mount over impact on Japanese retailers' financial results

Muji and Uniqlo rely heavily on China for sales as well as production.

TOKYO -- The number of Uniqlo and Muji stores temporarily shuttered in China due to the coronavirus has doubled in the past week, raising fears for the earnings of the two major Japanese retailers.

Fast Retailing, which runs Uniqlo, had suspended operations at 370 stores as of Friday morning, up from 160 on Jan. 31. This accounts for nearly half of the 750 Uniqlos in the country. Two weeks ago, Uniqlo halted business at 17 stores in Wuhan -- the epicenter of the outbreak -- and the closures have spiraled out from there.

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