The Korea Herald

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Lotte’s Chinese website hacked in protest against THAAD

By Korea Herald

Published : March 2, 2017 - 22:10

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South Korea’s retail giant Lotte Group said Wednesday that it has suffered a disruption to its Chinese website in what could be a cyberattack by unidentified Chinese hackers in apparent retaliation against its cooperation with the deployment of an advanced US missile defense system in South Korea.

Lotte Duty Free Shop`s website (Yonhap) Lotte Duty Free Shop`s website (Yonhap)


The website, www.lotte.cn, has remained inaccessible to visitors since Tuesday afternoon.

A Lotte official said the disruption was caused by a virus planted by hackers, citing an analysis by computer security experts.

The apparent hacking attack is the latest backlash Lotte has faced in China following its land-swap deal with South Korea’s Defense Ministry for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery.

Separately, China’s e-commerce giant JD.com Inc. has deleted its section on Lotte Mart, sources said Wednesday.

The Chinese No. 2 online shopping mall had been running a section on Lotte Mart since July last year. The two sides signed a partnership deal in 2015.

The deal had allowed Lotte to sell more household, beauty, fashion and electronics goods to Chinese consumers through JD.com’s online shopping site.

Still, JD.com abruptly removed its Lotte section Tuesday when the Lotte unit signed the land-swap deal.

JD.com told Lotte that the deletion was caused by a technical glitch, according to a Lotte official.

On Sunday, about 10 Chinese people held a rally in front of Lotte Mart in Jilin province in northeast China in protest against Lotte’s land swap for the US missile defense system.

The protesters held a red placard that read, “Lotte issued a declaration of war against China and Lotte should leave China right now if it supports” the US missile defense system.

“Chinese consumers should become the main force in teaching Seoul a lesson, punishing the nation through the power of the market,” China’s Global Times said in an editorial Wednesday.

Lotte, the fifth-largest family-run conglomerate in South Korea, has high exposure to China. It first entered the world’s second-largest economy in 1994 and now has a combined workforce of about 20,000 in 24 subsidiaries raking in some 3 trillion won ($2.64 billion) in annual sales, according to the group’s data. (Yonhap)