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>> South Korean companies caught in the crossfire in China. The two countries are locked in a tense standoff over US-backed missiles that Seoul wants as a defense against the North. China is firmly against that idea. And this week, Chinese state media and activists have raged against South Korean firms.
But things hit a new level when Korean conglomerate, Lotte, said its duty-free website was hit by a suspected Chinese cyberattack. Lotte owns a golf course where the missiles are set to be positioned. As Reuters' Adam Jordan explains, it highlights the range of tools China can use to hit back.
>> What political risk analysts here say is that the number and the breadth of actions we've seen taken against Korea and Korean firms suggests that there is at least some degree of coordination going on behind the scenes. We have social media posts from grassroots political groups pointing to people like Lotte from Korea, and saying we will no longer buy their products and others should follow.
What seems to be the case is that behind the scene there at least is some sort of invisible hand that is encouraging or prodding people to act a certain way.>> Some Chinese travel agencies even say they'll cancel Korean tours, a potentially big blow given Chinese tourists nearly quadrupled over the past five years.
It may be a taste of how Beijing deals with Trump America.>> We've seen people like Boeing, people like Apple already pinpointed as potential targets. And if the American government was to rile up Beijing more than it has done so far, and continue in a sort of potentially more confrontational behavior, then it's just possible that we could see Beijing dip into the same tools we are seeing now to hand out some sort of punishment, or some sort of pressure, to American firms.
>> And there's some initial signs China's trade war strategy is having an effect. Korean stocks plunged on Friday, and Seoul based airlines, a cosmetics giant and a car maker Hyundai.