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Is China's MINISO Copying Japan's MUJI, UNIQLO and Daiso?

Over the past few years Japanese retailers such as UNIQLO and MUJI have conquered foreign markets, opening shops in cities such as Paris, Berlin or New York and becoming household names in several countries. But the success of their business model seems to have inspired people with dubious intentions.

As the website Daliulian recently showed, a new chain called MINISO, which claims to be a Japanese company selling ‘100% Japanese products’, seems to be nothing more than a knock-off of UNIQLO, MUJI and Daiso, copying their logos, names and even the layout of their stores.

The company’s webpage proudly announces – in terrible English – that “MINISO is a fast fashion designer brand of Japan. Headquartered in Tokyo Japan, Japanese young designer Miyake Jyunya is founder as well as the chief designer of MINISO, a pioneer in global 'Fashion & Casual Superior Products' field.

According to the company’s homepage, MINISO

advocates the philosophy of a simple, natural and quality life and a brand essence of "returning to nature and restoring product nature". She leads the trend of good products for a quality life in the fashion consumption market. It was introduced by a Chinese consortium in 2013 in Guangzhou and has since begun her expansion in China. Miniso always respect customers' needs. She is dedicated to providing customers with quality, creative and low price products. They are also simple, natural and fashionable with prices that are between 10-100 yuan.

Miyake Jyunya, the alleged founder of the brand, is described as the “initiator of global superior products consumption trend, contract designer of many international fashion & casual brands, and founder as well as the chief designer of MINISO, a fashion & casual general merchandise brand of Japan.

But who is Miyake Jyunya? Unfortunately, no reliable information about him is available on the internet. And where is the flagship store the company claims to have in Tokyo? No such shop can appears to exist. It is not surprising that the Hong Kong tabloid Apple Daily called MINISO a “dubious” company.

The website Daliulian revealed in detail why MINISO seems to be no more than a knock-off, a Chinese copy of famous Japanese stores.

MINISO store in Macau (my photo)

1 - Name and Logo:

The Chinese name of MINISO is 名創優品.It appears to be a combination of characters found in the names of the three Japanese stores. '名' and '創'  from '名的大創' (Daiso);  '優' from '優衣褲' (the Chinese name of UNIQLO) and '品'  from '無印良品'  (MUJI). The logo, too, resembles those of the three Japanese chains.

2 - Layout:

As pictures published on rocketnew24 show, the layout of MINISO stores is practically identical to that of UNIQLO and MUJI shops.

3 - Ads

Screens inside MINISO stores show ads promoting the company’s products; however, the images are taken from music videos of the Japanese dance group World Order.

4 - Weird Japanese

Product packagings, signs and ads are written in Japanese. But Japanese people don’t understand them. It seems that the company used Google translate. The claim that the products are 100% Japanese therefore seems questionable.

5 - Locations

MINISO claims to have stores in Italy, Japan and Taiwan. No information can be found online about these stores.


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