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Large Korean Companies Getting Out of China – Business Korea

Dozens of South Korean companies have left China in recent years for reasons ranging from bilateral strains, geopolitical rivalry, plus China’s economic slowdown and push for self-sufficiency

The logo of Lotte Chemical
The logo of Lotte Chemical is seen at its building in Seoul, South Korea, June 7, 2016 (Reuters).


South Korean conglomerates have been leaving China in droves because of business uncertainty, policy changes by Chinese authorities, US chip export controls, tougher competition and declining profitability amid its economic slowdown, according to a report by Business Korea, which cited a survey last year by CEO Score, a local business data institute, that said 46 production subsidiaries had been sold on the mainland in the seven years from 2016 when Beijing began its ban on the Korean Cultural Wave.

Lotte Chemical had sold its stake in Lotte Samgang Chemical in 2023 and its share in a JV that sold cement and materials for detergents, while Samsung SDI liquidated battery-pack companies in Wuxi and Changchun in 2022 after regulations were changed and retaliatory action taken in response to Seoul deploying a THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) system.

Meanwhile, Korean carmakers were also getting out, with Hyundai selling its no-1 plant in Beijing in 2021, its factory in Chongqing in 2023 and is also looking to sell its plant in Changzhou, it said, adding that Korean petrochemical firms were being squeezed by a price war as China moves toward self-sufficiency.

Read the full report: Business Korea.




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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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