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Economy

Making It Big: Japanese Chain Stores Spread In China

From 7-Eleven convenience stores to the retail giants Muji and Uniqlo, Japanese brands are rapidly expanding across China, with 50,000 stores and counting.

Now Japanese-owned, 7-11 is making inroads in China (Eric Chan)
Now Japanese-owned, 7-11 is making inroads in China (Eric Chan)

BEIJING - As the Japanese manufacturing industry undergoes a general malaise at home, Japan's retail sector is gaining momentum overseas, particularly in the Chinese market. At the Beijing Trade Fair held last week, the chief executives of several Japanese service industry giants all talked about their expansion plans in China.

From Uniqlo, the clothing retailing chain to MUJI, the household goods and clothing chain, to Lawson and 7-Eleven (7-11 in China) -- two U.S.-born convenience store giants now under Japanese ownership -- this year China will see the opening of over 50,000 stores owned by Japanese corporations.

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Mariateresa Fichele

Fifteen years ago, Francesco kept busy by scamming people. He was a regular visitor to the beaches of Terracina, south of Rome, where he was caught several times selling counterfeit Ray-Ban sunglasses. Then came the drugs, which fed a serious substance-induced psychosis and eventually he tested positive for HIV.

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