SEOUL, Oct. 4 (Korea Bizwire) — Foreign companies disguised as Korean brands to piggyback on the Korean Wave are spreading overseas.
Rep. Kim Gyu-hwan reported on Wednesday that the rising popularity of K-pop, K-beauty, and other Korean cultural exports have been boosting demand for Korean goods and services worldwide, which are being exploited by many foreign companies disguised as Korean brands to sell imitations that look like Korean products.
Most of the foreign companies were stationed in Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia.
According to a Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency investigation, the number of stores run by fake Korean brands increased from 1,194 in last October to 1,498 in May of this year.
Stores in China accounted for 69 percent of all stores. There were 95 stores in Vietnam, 77 stores in the Philippines, and 45 stores in Mexico.
Stores run by MUMUSO, a Chinese firm, are staffed by employees wearing Korean traditional clothing, use KR as part of their brand logo, and imitate the design of authentic Korean products.
The company also used the South Korean national flag when signing a contract to open franchises in Russia and Thailand.
The company has been selling fake Korean goods that imitated the designs of authentic goods and copied popular Korean characters at less than half the price of the original products, hurting Korean companies.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)