Sales of South Korea's online shopping malls rose dramatically in recent months helped by the growing number of Chinese customers, data showed Monday, amid China retaliating against South Korea over Seoul's plans to deploy an advanced U.S. missile defense system on its soil.
China has been retaliating against Seoul's decision reached in July to have the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system deployed on South Korean soil later this year. South Korea says the missile system will not target China but only counter threats from North Korea.
In the latest retaliation, Chinese travel agencies suspended sales of tour packages to South Korea last week.
WeMakePrice, a major online shopping mall, said its sales on Tmall, a business-to-consumer online mall operated by China's Alibaba Group, rose 100 percent in January compared with the same period last year. The comparable figure was 50 percent for February.
"We don't expect any drastic decline in the sales in Tmall, one of the biggest online shopping sites in China, unless Chinese consumers stage a boycott of South Korean products," a WeMakePrice official said.
GMarket, another online shopping mall, said its sales to Chinese consumers surged 18 percent in 2016 from a year earlier, and the trend is similar for the first two months of this year. (Yonhap)
A possible decline in the number of Chinese tourists visiting South Korea, however, may adversely affect South Korea's online sales as many Chinese tourists place online orders at South Korean duty-free shops before picking up goods in person while touring South Korea, industry sources said.
Sung Min Kim firstname.lastname@example.org
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