Muji, the Japanese retailer, has been fined for using packaging that mentions Taiwan as a country. According to Reuters, the fine amounts to 200,000 yuan. This happened when Muji imported 119 clothes hangers from Japan last year in packaging that marked Taiwan as the “country of origin”, the Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce said in a statement.
Marketing has reached out to MUJI for comment.
The Muji packaging violated Chinese advertising law which warns against hurting China’s dignity and interest, said the statement reported in Chinese media on Wednesday.
“The party did not properly fulfil their inspection obligations which lead to the above-mentioned goods to enter the market to be sold,” the regulator said, adding that Muji had since changed the packaging and made corrections.
This is the second time Muji has bumped heads with authorities, after pulling a catalogue in January that contained an “inaccurate” map.
Muji is also not the first brand to draw ire over a geopolitical faux pas. Most recently, Gap apologised for selling a shirt with an incorrect map of China after photos of the shirt found in an outlet store in Canada made the rounds online. The fashion retailer also pulled the product off its shelves in China and destroyed the shirts, a statement on its Weibo read. It also added that it would implement more rigorous reviews to ensure the same thing would not happen again.
In January, a number of brands including Marriott came under fire both by netizens and authorities when it emailed a Chinese-language questionnaire to its customer rewards programme members, one of which asked members to list their country of residence, giving Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as possible options.