The Korea Herald


Coupang CEO freezes price of masks amid coronavirus outbreak

By Jo He-rim

Published : Feb. 3, 2020 - 18:13

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Coupang CEO Kim Bom-suk (Coupang) Coupang CEO Kim Bom-suk (Coupang)

The outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus has led to controversy about whether it is right for face mask manufacturers to raise the prices of their highly sought-after products.

While overall prices of such masks appear to be on the rise, the CEO of Coupang said the South Korean e-commerce firm will freeze the prices of face masks being sold on its platform.

“Although the market price of masks rose as demand increased, we have frozen our prices for retail masks,” Coupang CEO Kim Bom-suk said in an email sent to his employees.

“This may create a loss for the company, but we take care of our customers during difficult times.”

For customers who ordered related items, such as masks and hand sanitizers that went out of stock unexpectedly, the company plans to deliver these free of charge, the president added.

Coupang saw a record-breaking 3.3 million orders for its Rocket Delivery services -- which guarantee next-day delivery of goods -- on Tuesday. The company’s sales had exceeded its target as of Tuesday, according to Kim’s email.

On Saturday, the company announced on its website that there could be a delay of up to two hours due to a surge in orders.

By Jo He-rim (