Muji under fire for its inaccurate China map

Shanghai authorities are investigating Muji's China headquarters in the city after the firm was found to have used an incomplete and inaccurate map of China in a product catalog.

Shanghai authorities are investigating Muji’s China headquarters in the city after the Japanese retail franchise was found to have used an incomplete and inaccurate map of China in a product catalog.

The map Muji used in its 2017 autumn and winter furniture catalog incorrectly marks the nation’s boundaries, and several Chinese islands are missing on the map, according to the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation of China. These include the Diaoyu Islands, Chiwei Islet and the South China Sea Islands. 

In addition, the map uses different colors for Hainan Island and the Chinese mainland, and incorrectly marks Taiwan Island, according to the administration. 

Muji’s map has not been examined and approved. All maps that are published in China must be examined prior to publication and a number is issued once the map passes review, according to China’s surveying and mapping law. 

Muji was ordered to seal and destroy the maps. Muji’s China headquarters in Shanghai said it had rectified immediately after the planning bureau in the southwest city of Chongqing pointed out the errors on the map in October. 

Shanghai’s Jing’an District Market Supervision and Management Bureau said investigation is under way. It did not find any problematic maps at the company yesterday and the company said it had destroyed the catalogs, the bureau said.  

The National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation of China exposed eight typical cases of incorrect maps found during a nationwide campaign from last August to October. 

In another case, Shanghai H&H Marketing and Consultation Co has been fined 1 million yuan (US$158,000) for using an incomplete and inaccurate map of China in an advertisement. It also had advertisement fees totaling 88,000 yuan confiscated.

The marketing company designed advertisements for high-speed trains and magazines for a property development company, and the map it used was to the “detriment of national dignity and interests.”

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