The Lotte Group is coming under sustained criticism in China for entering into a land swap agreement with the South Korean government, which will allow it to install a mobile missile battery near Seoul which it claims it needs to protect itself from neighbouring North Korea.
As reported, China objects to the US military supplied battery being sited in South Korea, since it claims it has sufficient long-range detection abilities to spy upon sensitive military sites within China and beyond.
This strong criticism follows the agreement between Lotte International and the South Korean government for Lotte to swap its golf course for other government-owned land to provide a base for the country’s new Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery.
While the row between China and South Korea has been ongoing on for several months, relations have now deteriorated to a new low, with China clearly threatening Lotte with sanctions.
Beijing has used the state-owned press agency Xinhua to make it abundantly clear that a boycott of Lotte’s products in China and South Korea is now certain.
In turn this could prove to be a huge headache for the country’s leading duty free retailer, since its business – like most of its duty free competitors in Seoul – is built around visiting Chinese consumers.
In an article entitled ‘Lotte’s bitter harvest’ the newspaper says ‘it is thus natural’ that Chinese consumers will now be less likely to shop with Lotte and adds bluntly… ‘Lotte’s duty-free store, which depends heavily on Chinese tourists to the ROK will surely pay a price’.
(Source: TR Business)