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2017-08-10 16:43
Prof. Choi Young-hong of Korea University announces reform plans for the country’s franchise businesses during a press conference at the Korea Franchise Association’s head office in Seoul, Thursday. / Yonhap





By Park Jae-hyuk

It was more like a lecture, a reporter said during a press conference at the Korea Franchise Association’s (KFA) head office in Seoul, Thursday.

At the press conference, the KFA was initially expected to come up with plans to reform the nation’s franchise industry, which has recently faced public criticism over a series of scandals.

Prof. Choi Young-hong of Korea University, who will lead the reform committee of the KFA, however, has been criticized for just rambling on about the principles of the franchise industry, believing reforming people’s thinking can resolve most of the problems in the industry.

“Actually the problems are not so complicated, but it is true that changing people’s minds is not easy,” he said. “I will reform the infrastructure of the association and educate franchise owners and franchisees.”

The legal expert spent most of his time pointing out the behavior of dependent franchisees and unpopular franchises as well, even though the owners of popular franchises were the main culprits of the recent scandals.

“Franchisees should carefully read the contract before making their deals,” he said. “Because franchisees are professional businesspeople, they should not depend on the headquarters alone to make a workable and fair contract.”

The professor agreed that a law should be enacted to force scandalous owners to compensate their franchisees, but he admitted the association has no right to force them to do so.

He also said the committee cannot regulate companies that are not KFA members.


Promising to submit reform plans to the Fair Trade Commission by the end of October, the professor disclosed the list of nine committee members, including business experts, civic group members, lawyers and journalists.

Given that both franchise owners and franchisees are not included on the list, the committee has aroused doubts whether it will be able to reflect the voices of directly related parties.

“We suggested franchisees join the committee, but they refused to do so,” Choi explained. “Thus we did not accept franchise owners either, although they wanted to join our committee.”

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