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On a faded notice pasted to the padlocked doors of the Lotte Mart superstore in Jiaxing, China, a date can still be read: March 6, 2017 — when the store was ordered to “temporarily” close over alleged fire safety issues.

The shuttered entrance and flapping notices are a blunt reminder of how South Korean businesses have become unwitting victims in a year-long diplomatic standoff between Beijing and Seoul.

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