The Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau has said that, contrary to a report by CCTV, Muji did not import any food products from radiation areas in Japan.
After a CCTV report criticised the Japanese retailer (see "Nike, Muji targeted in China consumer rights exposé"), the bureau yesterday said it had carried out an inspection of Muji's operations and found no irregularities.
Muji’s Weibo account also issued an official response including certificates of origin of the products highlighted by CCTV showing raw materials sourced from Hokkaido and China, and processing done in Osaka and Fukui (the images are reproduced below).
Alex Tao, director of marketing and business development at 3insights Marketing Technology Consulting and an ex-SAP marketer, said the new information makes it appear CCTV deliberately took aim at Muji without proper evidence.
With the current business environment in China, there are more serious and urgent problems deserving of much more attention, he said, adding that this is a "hegemonic" way of manipulating public opinion.
“From a nationalistic viewpoint, priority placed on domestic goods is of course understandable, but CCTV cannot create chaos and bend the rules," Tao said. "There will be little meaning in watching this CCTV show [in future] due to its subjective judgments. The show is the legacy of last-century thinking and should be closed down, or turned over to quality-inspection or legal authorities to host. Being a mouthpiece of the country is not a problem; the problem is how CCTV avoids more important social concerns.” [Editor's note: Tao's comments have been translated from a WeChat exchange in Chinese.]
CCTV's report singled out Muji for mislabeling food products from a part of Tokyo where radioactive contamination was detected in 2015. However, the brand clarified that actually referred to the registered office address of Muji's parent company Ryohin Keikaku, not the origin of the products.