Mumuso's goods are designed by a South Korean company, but production is outsourced to China to reduce production costs to allow competitive pricing. Additionally, the company may be hit with a fine for not including Vietnamese-language labels and instruction manuals with many of its products.
|Mumuso currently has 27 stores in Vietnam |
On May 11, Mumuso Vietnam Co., Ltd., which imports and exports Mumuso goods, organised a media conference in Ho Chi Minh City to react to suspicions that it flogs Chinese goods labelled as Korean in origin.
Nham Phi Khanh, director of Mumuso Vietnam, said that Mumuso is a registered trademark at the South Korea Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) since 2014 and holds a business licence. Thus, the operations of Mumuso in South Korea are absolutely legal.
However, this is a very competitive market, so Mumuso decided to target developing countries first. “This is the reason why South Korean consumers are unaware of Mumuso,” confirmed Khanh.
“We are not ambiguous about the origin of the goods. They are made in China, and this is also indicated on the package. We have reduced the cost of goods by decreasing the costs of production. Manufacturing is done in China, but the designs are made by a South Korean company,” Khanh told the media conference.
Mumuso is a retailer chain trademarked in South Korea, which sells items for beauty, healthcare, fashion accessories, offices, and home appliances. Mumuso has 27 stores and around 200,000 customers with membersship after over one year of setting foot in Vietnam.
According to a representative of Mumuso Vietnam, the retailer chain plans to raise its number of stores to 80 this year, and 200 by the end of 2019.
|Some of Mumuso's goods are very similar to famous products from South Korean brands |
Several days ago, Korean media expressed suspicions that Mumuso stores are falsely assuming Korean origins because its headquarters is located in China, and listed abnormalities in the company’s mode of operations and the origin of the products sold at this store chain.
South Korean MBC channel is trying to discover the real origin of Mumuso, to determine whether it is a South Korean brand or sells fake goods. There are many beauty items with designs and packaging very similar to products of famous South Korean brands, with the only difference being the name. This makes it very easy for customers to confuse items if they do not look at the products closely.
Most of all South Korean words on the product packaging are meaningless, however. On Mumuso’s website, they only say “Coming from South Korea” in South Korean.
Mumuso is present in over 20 countries but in Korea, Mumuso is completely unheard of and has no retail stores. Many Mumuso stores in Hanoi are offering products labeled “Mumuso–Korea,” so everybody believes that this brand is from South Korea.
As a result, on May 10, the Ministry of Industry and Trade's (MoIT) Market Management Department has received documents of the South Korean Business Association asking for supervision of Mumuso Vietnam. The department is checking the dossiers and legal certificates of this brand.
Another issue brought up with Mumuso's practices in Vietnam is the lack of Vietnamese-language labels and instructions, which is a violation of domestic regulations.
According to the Hanoi Market Management Department, all import goods have to be labelled in Vietnamese, including the name of the importer, the product, instruction manuals, and ingredients. If distributors do not label their imported goods in Vietnamese, they will be punished in accordance with Vietnamese regulations.