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Consumers boycott Coupang after criticism of founder, workplace

South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang is under fire for its poor working environment and its founder following a massive fire at one of the company’s warehouses.

Some netizens are leading a boycott of Coupang by cancelling their memberships and deleting the Coupang app.

‘Leaving Coupang’ has become a real-time trend on Twitter, and people are posting photos to prove that they’ve stopped using Coupang.

The amount of frustration and disappointment among consumers against Coupang over the years seems to have exploded following the recent fire.

Coupang has long been criticised for requiring logistics centre staff to work under punishing conditions to ensure quick delivery, which eventually led to outrage among consumers when the fire broke out at one of the logistics centres.

There is a widening perception that Coupang’s negligent response to a series of warnings from staff about the risk of fire at logistics centres led to the tragedy.

Meanwhile, Coupang founder Kim Bom-suk was recently found to have resigned from Coupang Korea, which is seen by many as a bid to avoid legal punishment.

Kim now holds no positions at Coupang Korea, exempting him from all legal consequences for industrial disasters that resulted in employee deaths.

H M Kang writes for Korea Bizwire.

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