Beijing removes electrical equipment from Lotte stores in retaliatory move

Park Sae-jin Reporter Posted : 2017-08-24 13:51 Updated : 2017-08-24 13:51
글씨작게 글씨크게

[Yonhap Photo]

China showed no mercy to Lotte, South Korea's fifth-largest conglomerate, as the two countries struggle to mend ties strained by a US missile shield with a series of low-key events marking the 25th anniversary of diplomatic normalization.

Agents dispatched by the Chinese government have recently pulled out generators and transformers from two large Beijing superstores operated by Lotte, accusing the retail giant of consuming too much energy.

The blindside attack took place before August 24, the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Seoul and Beijing, which are now at odds over the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in a golf course run by Lotte in a rural area.

According to a Chinese daily newspaper, Beijing made its decision, based on a 2016 assessment, to prohibit the operation of 23 generators and four transformers installed at two Lotte Mart outlets for using excessive energy.

Removed equipment would be disassembled and kept as Chinese assets before being auctioned off. Yonhap News reported that the auction would fetch up about four million yuan (600,000 US dollars).

Lotte's business in China faced a widespread retaliatory onslaught that began after Lotte pushed for a land swap deal to let US troops set up a THAAD battered in its golf course.

Since March this year, Lotte Mart has shut down 87 out of 112 outlets in China. The rest of the stores are struggling to keep their business crippled by a consumer boycott.