A worker in a Hyundai factory in Cangzhou, in China's northern Hebei province. Photo: AFP

South Korean automakers Hyundai and affiliate Kia have cut China production, as boycotts against Korean products continue to plague companies operating in China, following the deployment near Seoul of the THAAD missile defense system, reports Reuters.

Pressure from the anti-Korean sentiment has endangered earnings of the automakers as well as their suppliers, sources said. Hyundai and Kia’s combined China sales dropped by 52% in March, year on year.

State media has fanned the flames of anti-Korean sentiment, specifically calling out South Korean companies including Lotte group, leading to store closures and protests.