Mao-Kwikowski Mercantile ("Mao-Kwik" or "Maokwik") is a company owned in part by Jules-Pierre Mao, assumed to be the result of a merger between his company and Kwikowski Mutual Interest Group. It is one of the fifty largest corporations in the Belt.
The corporation was originally a legal firm involved in the failure of the Venusian cloud cities (which were slated to be built by Tycho Manufacturing and Engineering Concern) eight decades ago. The lawsuit after the project fell through lasted for decades, and Mao-Kwik earned a significant amount of money, which allowed them to diversify and expand, mostly into interplanetary transport.
Mao-Kwikowski Mercantile was one of Protogen’s major suppliers prior to the Eros incident. They supplied nearly everything Protogen used on Eros and to construct Thoth Station, such as medical equipment, the radiation rooms, the surveillance and encryption infrastructure.
Although they were at least partly aware of Protogen's illegal activities, as Mao's wife Ariadne tried to persuade their daughter Julie to return home prior to the Eros incident for her safety, during the aftermath they argued they didn't know what their equipment was used for, and no evidence was found to implicate them. After Protogen was exposed, they turned over a terabyte of confidential correspondence with Protogen to the investigation committe, implicating others such as Gutmansdottir and Kolp.
However, it was later discovered that Mao-Kwikowski Mercantile worked with branches of the United Nations of Earth to create human-protomolecule hybrid soldiers. The United Nations sentenced Mao to prison, and Mao-Kwikowski was nationalized and disbanded.