SEOUL, Jul. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — Amid Japan’s recent trade offensive against South Korea and the ensuing boycott movement in the nation against Japanese products, Coupang Inc., a major e-commerce platform in the country, is suffering from accusations that it is a Japanese company.
The accusers point to the fact that Masayoshi Son, a Korean expatriate in Japan and head of the Japanese holding company Softbank Group Corp., is the largest shareholder of Coupang.
A rumor has been spreading over various online websites recently that Coupang is a Japanese firm, since Son’s Softbank Vision Fund (SVF) is the largest shareholder in Coupang LCC, Coupang’s parent company.
Coupang first met with Son in 2015, when he invested US$1 billion in the company.
Last year, Son joined hands with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia to create the US$100 billion SVF and invested another US$2 billion in the company.
“We were established in South Korea, and 99 percent of our business takes place in the country,” said Coupang in response to the recent accusations.
“We have created 25,000 jobs and spend 1 trillion won (US$848 million) every year in employee salaries.”
Daiso, a major discount retailer in South Korea, is also accused of being a “Japanese firm.”
“Daiso Industries Co. in Japan is the second largest shareholder with 30 percent of our shares, but our largest shareholder is a Korean company, and we don’t pay out royalties,” said Daiso.
Coca-Cola Korea Company, the maker of ‘Georgia Coffee’ and ‘Toreta’, beverages pointed out as being made in Japan, explained that the two products are “owned by Coca-Cola Company, not Coca-Cola Japan.”
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)