The Chinese are angry with South Korea and Japan

Release travel restrictions Following the reopening of China’s borders Maybe Affects where people book their flights.

Several Chinese travelers who spoke to CNBC said this was not out of spite.

They said it was because some countries wouldn’t let them in.

“I think it’s not fair.”

But Covid tests are not the problem, Xun Ren, managing director of the China Market Research Group, said. Speaking to “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday. “These policies are only directed towards mainland China,” he said.

South African Mansour Mohamed, who lives in China, agreed. “It’s relatively easy and cheap to get tested for Covid in China, so it won’t affect my travel planning,” he said.

However, I know that many patriotic Chinese colleagues and friends will avoid those countries for the time being because the practice of testing passengers arriving from China is discriminatory.”

Of course, China requires Travelers to test negative before entry China, and has for three years.

The difference, Mohammed said, is that “all access [to China]including Chinese nationals… [is] are subject to the same rules.”

Where are the Chinese going?

Gao Dan told CNBC that she plans to travel outside Qinghai Province for the first time in more than two years. But she said she resides in China, adding that she “did not consider other countries’ travel policies,” according to a CNBC translation.

Others book flights abroad, but some not to their favorite destinations – namely Japan and South Korea.

One traveler, Bonnie, told CNBC that her friends in China go to Thailand instead of South Korea, even though they “hadn’t considered Thailand” before.

Toole and Bruno Morandi | Photo Bank | Getty Images

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

She said they were unable to obtain visas. So they are now going to Thailand.”

Ren said Chinese travelers are now turning to Singapore and Thailand because “both countries welcome us.”

Of the main destinations searched by Chinese nationals after the border reopening was announced, these are the only two that did not impose new restrictions on incoming Chinese travellers.

The data shows that search interest for flights departing from China rose 83% in the 11 days after the announcement, compared to the 14 days before it, according to data from Trip.com Group.

During this period, search interest in Thailand and Singapore grew by 176% and 93%, respectively, according to the company.

More angry at some than others

The market research firm says the restrictions are for Chinese travelers

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

But South Korea refutes the allegations of discrimination. Seung-ho Choi, deputy director of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, noted to CNBC that the country’s rules apply to “Korean nationals and non-Korean nationals coming from China. … There is no discrimination on nationality in this measure.”

“The COVID situation in China is still deteriorating,” he said. He said the number of people traveling from China to Korea who tested positive for Covid-19 rose 14 times from November to December.

The Japanese Prime Minister’s Office did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment. A representative at the Embassy of Japan in Singapore told CNBC that Japan processes Chinese travel visa applications as normal.

“In order to avoid a sharp increase in the flow of new cases into the country, we are concentrating our efforts on entry and airport checks,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters Dec. 27, citing the discrepancy in infection information from China. According to an article he published Nikki Asia.

Both Japan and South Korea have taken conservative stances towards the Covid pandemic.

Japan, in particular, has it She was slow to return to pre-pandemic life, with the width of the population A little excited when its borders fully reopen in October 2022.

‘a political issue’

Ryan told “Squawk Box Asia” that the rules aren’t just about tourism.

“This is a political issue,” he said, adding that he expected Japanese stocks to be affected, and mentioned two cosmetic names.

Read more about China’s reopening

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