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Chinese are indignant at South Korea and Japan

Travel restrictions imposed after borders reopened in China may apply affecting where people book trips.

But it isn’t out of spite, said several Chinese travelers who spoke to CNBC.

That’s because some countries don’t allow them to easily, they said.

“I believe it’s unfair”

Reactions from Chinese travelers who spoke to CNBC ranged from indifference to confusion to anger.

“Of course I believe it’s unfair,” said one citizen who asked to be called Bonnie. “But at the identical time, we understand what is going on on.”

So far, greater than a dozen countries have announced latest rules for travelers leaving China. Last week, the European Union advisable that its members require Chinese travelers to undergo Covid tests before entering.

New Covid rules are making some Chinese travelers choose Plan B destinations

But Covid testing isn’t an issue, Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research Group, told Squawk Box Asia on Monday.. The point is that “this policy is simply aimed toward mainland China,” he said.

South African Mansoor Mohamed, who lives in China, agreed. “It’s relatively easy and low-cost to do a Covid test in China, so it won’t affect my travel planning,” he said.

However, I do know that many patriotic Chinese colleagues and friends will avoid these countries in the intervening time since the practice of testing only passengers arriving from China is discriminatory,” he said.

Of course China demands it travelers to a negative test before entry China and for 3 years.

The difference, said Mohamed, is that “every arrival [to China]including Chinese nationals… [is] are subject to the identical rules.”

Where are the Chinese going

Gao Dan told CNBC that she plans to depart Qinghai Province for the primary time in greater than two years. However, she said she was staying in China, adding that she “didn’t check what the travel rules of other countries are,” in keeping with CNBC’s translation.

Others book trips abroad, but some don’t book trips to first-choice destinations akin to Japan and South Korea.

One traveler named Bonnie told CNBC that her friends in China were going to Thailand fairly than South Korea, regardless that they “would not consider Thailand before.”

Tuul & Bruno Morandi | Image Bank | Getty’s paintings

“When China said they were opening their borders in January, all my friends said they were going to Japan and Korea,” Bonnie said.

But they couldn’t get visas, she said. “So they will Thailand now.”

Rein said Chinese travelers are actually heading to Singapore and Thailand because “each countries welcome us.”

Of the highest destinations sought by Chinese residents after the announcement of the reopening of borders, there are only two which have not imposed latest restrictions on incoming Chinese travellers.

According to data from Trip.com Group, interest in looking for outbound flights from mainland China increased by 83% within the 11 days after the announcement, in comparison with 14 days earlier.

According to the corporate, interest in looking for Thailand and Singapore increased by 176% and 93%, respectively, during this era.

More indignant with some than others

Restrictions on Chinese travelers will 'hit' Japanese stocks, says market research firm

Chinese officials called the regulations from South Korea and others “excessive” and “discriminatory“.

But South Korea rejects accusations of discrimination. Seung-ho Choi, deputy director of Korea’s Agency for Disease Control and Prevention, identified to CNBC that the country’s laws apply to “Korean nationals and non-Chinese nationals. … In this there isn’t a discrimination based on nationality measurement.”

“The Covid situation in China continues to deteriorate,” he said. He said the number of individuals traveling from China to Korea who tested positive for Covid-19 increased 14 times from November to December.

The Japanese Prime Minister’s Office didn’t reply to CNBC’s request for comment. A representative from the Japanese embassy in Singapore told CNBC that Japan is processing Chinese travel visa applications as usual.

Citing discrepancies in details about infections from China, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters on December 27: “In order to avoid a surge in latest cases into the country, we’re focusing efforts on entry and airport inspections,” in keeping with an article published by Asia Nikkei.

Both Japan and South Korea have adopted a conservative stance towards the Covid pandemic.

Especially Japan has sluggishly returning to pre-pandemic life, and locals showed little enthusiasm when its own border was fully reopened in October 2022.

“Political Issue”

Rein told Squawk Box Asia that the regulations are usually not nearly tourism.

“It’s a political issue,” he said, adding that he expects Japanese stocks to be affected by highlighting the 2 names of cosmetics.

Read more about reopening China

“I could be careful with Shiseido. I could be careful with Kose because there shall be boycotts,” he said. Actions Scythe were lower on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Tuesday, but Shiseida was taller.

Rein said that the resentment towards South Korea and Japan could be short-lived.

“It will take about three months for the anger to dissipate,” he said. “There shall be massive revenge trips outside of Korea to Japan – if these two countries treat the Chinese people right.”

New Zealander Darren Straker, who lives and works in Shanghai, said he too believes politics is politically motivated, calling it “a final sad sigh”. [as] Covid’s geopolitical door is closing.”

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