Chinese companies and the general public have taken action to boycott South Korea's Lotte Group amid mounting anger over the company's land-swap deal with the South Korean military for the deployment of the US anti-missile system, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD
In recent days, Chinese citizens were angered by Lotte's decision to exchange land with the South Korean government for the THAAD deployment
. Some have rushed to social media platforms like Weibo to express their dissatisfaction.
As of Tuesday, the latest post on Lotte duty free store's official weibo account had received more than 20,000 comments, almost all of which called for a boycott against the South Korea brand. "China did not welcome you, please get the hell out of here and go back home," a commenter named JUSTGO wrote. The comment received 533 likes.
"It's a very simple logic…Lotte is making lucrative profit from Chinese consumers yet they are standing against us and supporting the South Korean government. In other words, the group is actually using our money to put us in danger. How can Chinese tolerate that? Another Weibo users named Ranlins said.
A topic entitled "Lotte to provide land for THAAD" on Weibohas been read 8.56 million times, where popular items under the brand as well as the location of theLotte Mart supermarket in China have been listed so Chinese can stay away from them.
Some Chinese companies are also joining the boycott. Domestic e-commerce giant JD.com, which announced a strategic partnership with Lotte.com in September 2015,postponed the opening of its Lotte Mart online store on Tuesday morning.
When the Global Times tried to view the South Korea brand's best-selling items on JD.com, some of them had been "removed from the shelves."
E-commerce platform Tmall closed Lotte'sflagship store in January.
South Korea's defense ministry on Tuesday signed a deal to exchange government land in Namyanju, Gyeonggifor a golf course owned by Lotte in Seongju County, North Gyeongsang, where THAAD will be located, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday, citing a ministry official. Lotte's board of directors approved the deal at a meeting on Monday.
The deal signals that the deployment of THAAD is speeding up, a source close to the matter told the Global Times last week.
South Korea's defense ministry will soon begin design and construction work on the anti-missile system, the Yonhap News Agency reported on Monday. It is expected to complete its deployment in five to seven months.