October 24, 2021

Ghost stores, lost billions as Korea Inc’s China woes grow

Ghost stores, lost billions as Korea Inc’s China woes grow

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SEOUL/JIAXING, China (Reuters) – On a faded notice pasted to the padlocked doors of the Lotte Mart superstore in China’s Jiaxing, a date can still be read: March 6, 2017 – when the store was ordered to “temporarily” close over alleged fire safety issues.

The shuttered entrance and flapping notices are a blunt reminder of how South Korean businesses have become unwitting victims in a year-long diplomatic stand-off between Beijing and Seoul.

Last September, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned his South Korean counterpart that bilateral ties would suffer if Seoul did not properly handle China’s opposition to the planned deployment of a U.S. anti-missile defense system in South Korea.

Now – with the system’s installation mostly complete amid growing threats from North Korea – the fallout is evident in both the shuttered Chinese stores of Lotte and the empty Seoul shopping districts once jammed with Chinese tourists.

 

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Reuters

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