Relations between South Korea and China are showing some signs of improvement after the inauguration of the new government in South Korea. Under the circumstances, South Korean companies are expecting that China’s economic retaliation for the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea will be subsiding.
Lotte Mart recently reopened its website in China although the suspension of its business is still going on in the country. Orion’s manufacturing facilities in China showed some improvement in sales last month after a drastic drop in the previous month.
Korean Air is planning to prepare non-scheduled flights to China for the first week of next month, when June 6 is a holiday in South Korea, depending on the China National Tourism Administration’s move. Asiana Airlines is planning to replace small airplanes with larger ones for flights to China, too. Asiana Airlines reduced the number of seats for those visiting China in January this year in the wake of the Chinese government’s economic retaliation and travel ban.
Low-cost carriers (LCCs) are preparing more flights to and from China as well. For instance, Jin Air recently obtained 120 non-scheduled flight permits for September this year. Eastar Jet is looking to resume non-scheduled flights to and from the Cheongju International Airport, which is used by a number of Chinese tourists visiting South Korea. The Chinese government’s ban on non-scheduled flights that has been effective since the first month of this year should be lifted for the South Korean LCCs to be able to actually provide the services.
South Korean duty-free shops and cosmetics shops are full of hopes, too. Lotte Duty Free is working on product packages for group tour from China, which is expected to be resumed in the near future.
Likewise, cultural content exchange between the two countries is gradually resuming. For example, the K-Pop Chart of QQ Music, which disappeared two months ago, appeared again early this month. Musical Washing, an original South Korean musical, is scheduled to be staged in China next month before My Bucket List in Shanghai and Beijing in August and Vincent van Gogh in Shanghai on September 30 to October 8.