October 26, 2020 13:35
Coronavirus fears have not deterred Koreans from buying goods online from overseas, but what they bought and where has changed.
According to the Korea Customs Service, there was a huge increase in purchases of health supplements and handbags in February and March, at the height of the first wave of COVID-19. On the other hand, electronic appliances plunged 33.3 percent.
Hwang Hye-jin at the KCS explained, "Many people tend to buy electronics from China, but the lockdown there meant severe delays in shipments in February and March. That seems to be the main reason for the huge decrease."
Direct purchases from China fell by 36 and 23 percent in February and March but dramatically recovered from April. On the other hand, direct purchases from the U.S. increased until March but then fell by 16 percent in April.
"The U.S. was impacted by the virus a little bit later than Asian countries, so consumers seemed to have stayed away from buying from the U.S. since April," said Yang Dong-hee at Statistics Korea.
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