If you’ve visited Vietnam or Philippines recently, you may have notice a lifestyle store called Mumuso, a fashion and lifestyle goods retailer that claims to sell South Korean good at affordable prices.
It’s a franchise that is particularly popular with the younger generation, with people citing that they love the products for its affordability and cute packaging that is reminiscent of designs often seen from South Korean beauty brands.
However, an investigation recently conducted by South Korean SBS News has found that their products are actually produced in China, with the brand having no real relationship with South Korea whatsoever. Upon further research, it was revealed that Its headquarters are in fact, located in Shanghai, China, despite claims from the site itself that it originated from Korea.
It was also discovered that the Korean words printed on the products are actually plain gibberish, with Korean locals being unable to read or decipher them at all. The address printed on their products brought reporters to the office of a previous employer who once did translation jobs for the company, instead of to the factory or office of the company.
This, naturally, brought about a in-depth investigation by Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade. According to what they found, 99.3 percent of 2,293 products available for sale by Mumuso are imported from China, while the remaining proportion is sourced from domestic suppliers.
We are sure you will find some of the below products familiar. But take a look again – they aren’t from the brands you’re thinking of, but are from Mumuso.
This is especially worrisome as their product designs are extremely similar to popular Korean brands, making it easy to mistake if you’re not looking closely. We’re able to tell with a quick glance that the packaging of their products is incredibly similar to South Korean beauty brands such as Nature Republic, InnisFree, and The Face Shop. Their imitation Soothing Aloe Vera Gel even sent a Malaysian woman to the hospital, which we’ve reported on here.
There’s no mistaking that the company has also gone out of the way to give off the impression that their products are from Korea, with even their plastic bags having KOREA on it. Many storefront signs also say, “Mumuso – Only from VND22,000 – KOREA.” This, hence, shows that it was a very deliberate tactic on Mumuso’s part to mislead customers into believing that its products are from South Korea.
Mumuso has recently come forward to address these allegations. According to the director of Mumuso Vietnam, Nham Phi Khanh, Mumuso is a registered Trademark at the South Korean Intellectual Property Office since 2014 and holds a business license. Manufacturing of the products is done in China, but the designs are made by a South Korean company.
The brand claims that this does not mean that their products are of poor quality, as they meet the standards set by the Drug Administration of Vietnam and the Department of Food Safety and Hygiene under the Ministry of Health. However, it’s been recently discovered that Mumuso has also been violating regulations on product labeling, as some of its goods have sub-labels in Vietnamese with inconsistent or incorrect information.
With the above violations, the trade ministry has instructed its functional units to consider and quickly handle the case. But as of late, Mumuso has yet to give any comment on the ministry’s announcement.
DV Tip: Make sure to be careful when purchasing products from brands of an unknown origin overseas! Always check the ingredient list if anything, and when in doubt, look up reviews online to see how the brand fares. If you’re able to try out a tester of the product, make sure you do as counterfeit products tend to have a different consistency compared to the real deal.
Watch the full report: