China Bans Import of 19 Korean Cosmetics Amid THAAD Conflict
The South Korean cosmetics industry has been hit hard in the Chinese market after 19 of its products failed to meet the country's import guidelines, a move that is believed to be China's reply to Seoul for allowing the US to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.
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Pulse News reported that industry sources on Tuesday revealed that last Jan. 3, Chinese authorities had announced that 28 cosmetics products, which weighed in at roughly 11 tons, had failed to meet Chinese standards. Of the 28, 19 were from South Korea. The authorities gave out vast reasons for the disapproval such as changes in ingredients.
Some of the affected items are creams, cleansers, and toothpaste, among others. CJ Lion's shampoo, IASO's lotion, and several other cosmetics are some of the products included in the list, which was based on the quality assessment carried out by Chinese authorities in November.
Korea Joongang Daily reported that the ban was likely because of the growing tension between China and Korea. And Kim Hye-mi, an analyst at Baro Investment & Securities, noted that China has started imposing strict regulations on packages from Korea after the Seoul agreed to install the US' THAAD system in July.
"China has delivered verbal instructions in the country to cut travelers to Korea by 20% as a form of retaliation against Korea," Kim said.
Aekyung's body wash was also included in the list because allegedly of a change in ingredients. A spokesperson for the company later explained that since its products were banned, it had to make necessary adjustments to meet China's standards.
"There are concerns this is part of retaliation from China due to Korea's deployment of THAAD, but we do not agree. China has actually tightened its quality guidelines every year apart from political issues," the spokesperson said.