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Latest Korean Crisis: Cheap Fried Chicken

Big supermarket tried to price little guys out of the market
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2010 12:46 PM CST
Latest Korean Crisis: Cheap Fried Chicken
File photo: Not the stuff in South Korea.   (Flickr)

(Newser) – One of South Korea's biggest supermarkets began selling a bucket of fried chicken for about four bucks this week, which wouldn't ordinarily seem like a big deal. But "few food products have left so much turbulence in their greasy wake, or revealed so clearly the insecurities that haunt Asia's fourth-largest economy," writes Leo Lewis at the Australian. The problem is that the price is about 60% cheaper than any competitor, leading to allegations of "fried chicken dumping," government intervention, and debates on big-business-vs-small-business ethics.

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Lewis places the controversy in context of the aggressive strategies that have brought the country prosperity in the tech world. "The same white-hot competitiveness that made Samsung smartphones readily affordable has also made dinner cheaper," he writes. "But South Korea has also shown that, at least where food is concerned, it does not want the giants to run amok." The store, Lotte Mart, caved to pressure from the government's "co-prosperity committee" and said it would stop selling the wildly popular chicken this week. (Read more South Korea stories.)

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