China hints at trade war strategy in South Korea standoff


By Adam Jourdan

SHANGHAI South Korean firms are being squeezed in China, in suspected retaliation for Seoul’s deployment of a U.S. missile defense system, highlighting the tools China can deploy to hit back at the corporate interests of trade partners it disagrees with.

The chill facing Korea Inc, from cosmetics and supermarket chains to autos and tourism, points to a potential risk for American companies, amid a more confrontational stance taken by new U.S. President Donald Trump

In China, state media and grassroots political groups have led angry calls to boycott popular Korean products. Photos on social media and local news websites showed crowds vandalizing a Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) car, and some Chinese tourism firms moved to cancel Korean tours.

Beijing is furious over a joint plan by South Korea and the United States to set up the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile system in South Korea. Seoul and Washington…

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