» Business

Korean customers are 'too picky'

Publication Date : 04-01-2013


An online article pointing out difficulties in the Korean market sparked fresh debate over the cause of recent withdrawal-spree of foreign companies.

A blogger familiar with the matter posted Wednesday an article titled “Foreign companies leaving Korea: Have the locals successfully kicked the invaders out?” on his blog.

A series of foreign enterprises recently decided to leave Korea in various industries. Global IT companies Yahoo Korea, Motorola, HTC, and RIM, as well as financial companies Goldman Sachs Asset Management and HSBC, announced withdrawals from the Korean market last year.

The blogger concluded that “Korea is not a market where foreign companies can have successful business”, citing statements by foreign companies which have been left when they leave the Korean market. These statements commonly mentioned that they are leaving Korea “to focus on markets where they can be more successful”.

He also presented some key reasons why Korea is not a friendly market for foreign firms – “customers with too picky taste,” “market already full of competitors,” and “not-too-high global significance”.

The blogger finished the article saying that Korean market’s hurdles against foreign companies “will have a negative influence on the Korean people,” leading to fewer jobs, loss of global headquarters of foreign enterprises, and reduced consumer choice.

The blog received a mixed response. Some netizens argued that blaming customers for a company’s business failure was irresponsible, while others said that the blogger had a point, and shed a new light on local industries’ chronic problems.


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