South Korean products facing boycott

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2017/3/3 0:03:40

Travel agencies deny receiving orders to halt operation of tours

A Lotte Mart supermarket located in Chongwenmen, Beijing Photo: Huang Ge/GT

South Korean products are witnessing an unprecedented boycott by the Chinese people as Seoul hastens steps to deploy the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. And the Chinese market is looking for replacements of South Korean products, business insiders said. 

Many Chinese companies including food, car and cosmetics have already started to boycott and end their cooperation with South Korean partners.

Chinese snack maker Weilong's official Weibo account confirmed on Wednesday that "we have withdrawn our products from Lotte Mart's stores in China gradually, and we will not cooperate with Lotte in the future anymore."

South Korea's Lotte signed an agreement with military on Tuesday to provide land for the THAAD deployment.

"I will take every product from Lotte off shelf and will not sell their products anymore, never," Chen Ou, CEO of Chinese cosmetics e-commerce company Jumei International Holding, said on his Weibo account Tuesday night.

Besides Lotte, other South Korea companies are feeling the impact as well. Recently, some TV stations in China reportedly halted cooperation with South Korean pop singers and celebrities.

According to South Korean media JoongAng Daily, China Customs has been strictly checking smuggled goods from South Korea since February.

An anonymous official at China Customs told the Global Times on Thursday that "we already received the order before Spring Festival and obviously, the order was related to South Korea's plan on THAAD."

The official said such action will impact smugglers as well as South Korea's suppliers, as the prices of their products will soar due to a sharp decrease in supply, and products from other countries, like Japan, with better quality and higher price will benefit from the situation.

A car seller surnamed Wu who mainly sells Asian brand cars said South Korean cars like Hyundai are being impacted as well, and their sales in the Chinese market are not good at all in 2016.

"Chinese and Japanese brands are South Korea's main rivals in China's auto market. The quality of Chinese cars is getting better and better, and Japanese cars' quality is also better than that of South Korean cars. So once South Korean cars lose the price advantage, no one will buy them anymore," said Wu, adding that some Japanese producers are taking advantage of the situation to offer deals.

Meanwhile, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported on Thursday that  China instructed travel agencies to stop selling trips to South Korea.

However, travel agencies reached by the Global Times, including the  branch of China International Travel Service in  South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Northwest China's Gansu Province, denied having received any notice on the ban.

"We haven't heard of such bans and the travel products to South Korea are sold as usual," said a staffer with the Gansu branch. Online travel products to South Korea were still available for purchase on China's major tourist websites.

Posted in: SOCIETY

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