Business / Corporate

1 in 3 Indonesians recently purchased Japanese brands, but many think Chinese and Korean brands are Japanese too

Nna/kyodo

Roughly 1 in 3 Indonesians in major cities has recently purchased products from Japanese brands such as Sony and Uniqlo, according to a Japan External Trade Organization survey.

The survey, conducted via smartphone on 720 individuals in Jakarta, Surabaya and six other cities in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, also showed that some consumers mistake other foreign brands as Japanese, including Miniso of China and Samsung of South Korea.

In the survey conducted in late February, 42.4 percent said they bought Japanese brands in the past three months and 31.6 percent named specific brands and products. But about a quarter of the brands and products mentioned were actually from other countries.

Miniso, a Chinese household and consumer goods retailer, is the most popular “Japanese brand,” with 5.1 percent of those polled buying its products, followed by Sony at 4.6 percent, Sharp at 2.9 percent and Toshiba at 1.8 percent, the survey showed.

Honda and Yamaha are also popular among men, while Miniso, Uniqlo and Shiseido appeal more to women.

Miniso is apparently misidentified as a Japanese brand since its stores use displays in Japanese and handle products made by a Japanese designer.

Indonesians believe the products made by Japanese brands are high quality, said Ta- kenobu Yamashiro, an official at the Jakarta office of the Japanese government-backed export promotional body known as JETRO, in a telephone interview.

“Miniso is booming” as it offers well-designed high-quality products at a cheap price, Yamashiro said.

The survey covered consumers aged 18 to 40 with monthly expenditures between $101 and $500 in the eight cities, also including Bandung, Bogor, Tangerang, Bekasi, Medan, Makassar and its vicinity, with males accounting for two-thirds of the total.

Among the respondents, 67.4 percent said they shopped at e-commerce sites more frequently than the previous year, while 36.4 percent buy things at shopping malls more often.

Shopping malls are an important place for Indonesian consumers to see and experience new services and items, said Yamashiro.

The three most popular online shopping sites are Lazada, Tokopedia and Shopee, with 47.1 percent spending up to 500,000 rupiah ($36) in the past three months, according to the survey.

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