Korean Manufacturers Abandon China

      July 07, 2023 13:16

      Major Korean companies have closed down 46 factories in China since 2016, when China started boycotting Korean businesses over the stationing of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery from the U.S. here.
      As a result, Korean companies' Chinese sales dropped around 13 percent, but some were affected much more dramatically.
      According to corporate tracker CEO Score, analysis of 113 of Korea's top companies showed that their overall sales in China stood at W111.42 trillion last year, down 13.1 percent from 2016 (US$1=W1,301).
      Their overall sales plummeted to W105.74 trillion in 2019 but recovered recently due to surging demand for rechargeable batteries. But leaving aside batteries and semiconductors, their sales in China nosedived 37.3 percent from W117.23 trillion in 2016 to W73.45 trillion last year.
      The parking lot at Hyundai's plant in Changzhou, China is nearly empty, in this photo taken in May.
      Hyundai was the biggest loser with 76 percent. Sales of Hyundai's Chinese subsidiary fell 75.7 percent from W20.13 trillion in 2016 to W4.90 trillion last year.
      But battery maker LG Energy Solution's sales in China surged 431.6 percent from W2.42 trillion in 2016 to W12.85 trillion last year, and Samsung SDI's soared 483.5 percent from W929.80 billion to W5.43 trillion over the same period.
      "The situation worsened due to the intensifying U.S.-China rivalry and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, prompting many major Korean companies to retreat from China," CEO Score said.
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