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Lotte's land offer for THAAD may become nightmare for business

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-02-28 08:57

In addition to the donations, Lotte may have agreed to the land swap contract with the defense ministry in return for the rejection of Shin's detention and the restoration of the license to operate downtown duty free shops.

The allegations would enrage Chinese consumers and tourists to South Korea, who Lotte heavily depends on for revenue. Exasperated Chinese people may boycott Lotte products and services in their country.

Lotte generated nearly 70 percent of duty free shop revenue in 2016 from Chinese travelers visiting South Korea. Last year's revenue amounted to some 6 trillion won (5.3 billion US dollars).

Over 20 Lotte affiliates are doing businesses in China. Possible boycott campaign among Chinese consumers would hit hardest Lotte, which is already struggling with deficits there.

Lotte and the South Korean military initially planned to sign the deal in January, but it was postponed on growing objections at home and abroad. Lotte's board meeting on Feb 3 also delayed the signing amid lingering worries about possible negative ramifications.

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