SEOUL, Feb. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — While the rapid spread of the new coronavirus infection has made it difficult to find masks in South Korea, made in Korea masks are relatively easy to buy in China.
In fact, it is not difficult to buy made in Korea masks with Korean packaging if keywords such as “Korean Mask” and “KF94″ are searched for on major Chinese e-commerce sites such as Taobao and T-Mall.
These e-commerce companies sell various types of masks, from those for children and adults to industrial dust masks.
One vendor, responding to an inquiry, said, “The masks are currently in stock and we can ship them you as soon as you place your order. You can rest assured that the masks are genuine.”
The masks generally sell for around 150 yuan (25,000 won) for five KF94 masks.
Considering that one KF94 mask sold for 2,500-3,000 won (US$2.06-2.47) in South Korea before the recent shortage of masks, prices in China have more than doubled.
In China, KF94 masks are frequently traded using WeChat, a popular messaging service, in addition to major e-commerce sites.
Many of the Korean masks sold on local websites were sent to China by Chinese bundle dealers by air or mail from South Korea. While it is not easy to find masks in China, many Chinese actually purchase Korean masks at high prices.
On Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter, many posted questions such as “Explain how to use the mask as it is explained in Korean” and “Is it authentic?” while posting pictures of Korean masks.
A recent hashtag on Weibo, “I bought a Korean mask, please check if it’s authentic,” was instantly elevated to a popular hashtag.
It is estimated that Korean masks sold on the Chinese Internet were sold to China through various channels when the coronavirus outbreak in South Korea seemed to be under control.
With South Korea’s COVID-19 proliferation rapidly worsening, however, voices are also growing that effective distribution management of masks is needed.
D. M. Park (email@example.com)