South Korean companies’ global business activities are being seriously affected in the wake of the spread of COVID-19 in South Korea. Samsung Electronics’ Hanoi R&D Center opening ceremony has been canceled and small and medium-sized enterprises’ export expo in Vietnam has been indefinitely postponed.
Their concerns are rising mainly in relation to the United States and Vietnam. The U.S. government announced a ban on travel to Daegu City after the first COVID-19 death in the United States was reported on Feb. 29. The travel ban is likely to be expanded sooner or later.
The United States is the largest market for South Korean companies such as Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Hyundai Motor Group and, as such, the measure can significantly affect their business activities in the first half and later. Under the circumstances, they are postponing or canceling business trips to the country.
Vietnam, in the meantime, has blocked aircraft from South Korea from entering its airports since Feb. 29. Every South Korean who arrived in Vietnam immediately before the measure is currently under quarantine. Vietnam is home to Samsung Electronics’ smartphone, TV and consumer electronics manufacturing facilities and LG Electronics smartphone manufacturing facilities.
South Korean companies located in Daegu City and North Gyeongsang Province are taking a direct hit from the Korea phobia of many countries as their business meetings and expo participation are being canceled. In China, almost every region is blocking the entry of South Koreans and the examples include Qingdao, Yantai and Xi’an as well as Beijing and Shanghai.