South Korea’s largest retailer is set to close down its Chinese headquarters during the first half of this year, completely withdrawing from China after more than four years of downsizing its presence in the country.
“We have practically completed the withdrawal of our business from China. We only have paperwork left,” an official at Lotte Holdings told The Korea Times.
According to the spokesperson, the South Korean group will continue expanding its presence in Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia, as its retail businesses there see strong performances.
Since 2018, Lotte Group has been gradually removing its presence in the market in response to China’s retaliation over the deployment of an anti-missile Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (Thaad) system in 2017 on its golf course at the Lotte Skyhill Country Club. Lotte Mart and Lotte Department Store withdrew from the country in 2018, followed by Lotte Chilsung Beverage and Lotte Confectionery the next year.
Having launched its Chinese operations in 1994, Lotte Group had 130 stores in the country as of 2017 before closing stores due to boycott movement from Chinese customers and partners.