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Unexpected beneficiaries of Park’s ouster

By Kang Seung-woo

To borrow former President Park Geun-hye’s famous rant, impeachment was a bonanza for some local firms as they appear to have “benefitted” from the nation’s first-ever political disgrace.

Last Friday, the Constitutional Court upheld the parliamentary vote to impeach Park over allegations of corruption and cronyism, tagging Korea’s first female head of state as the first democratically elected leader to be removed from office.

Coincidently, LG Electronics began selling its much-touted G6 smartphone on the same day.

As the impeachment ruling was a pressing matter, there was speculation that it may have diverted attention from the new handset, which turned out to be groundless.

Rather, the big screen phone has earned a timely nickname – the impeachment memorial phone – and drawn consumer interest, which has helped its sales get off to a solid start.

According to the Seoul-based firm, the G6 sold over 30,000 units in just two days since it hit the shelves, Friday, heralding better-than-expected sales down the road.

Market watchers said that the impeachment ruling had a positive effect on the G6 sales.

“The G6 release coincided with the impeachment of former President Park, so it had an unexpected effect in terms of marketing and publicity,” said an official of the electronics industry.

Food delivery applications enjoyed unexpected gains in the wake of the Park impeachment.

According to Woowa Brothers, an operator of food delivery service app Delivery Nation, on Sunday its app received 150,000 orders for the delivery of chicken on the impeachment day, up 65 percent from the week earlier.

Along with chicken, orders of other foods, including pizza and Chinese food also increased 25 percent from a week ago.

Observers believe that such a rapid increase in sales took place as many consumers who had hoped for Park’s ouster ordered food to celebrate her removal.

With Park out, the fate of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning is hanging by a thread. The ministry is handling Park’s flagship policy of creative economy.

Given that the ministry monopolizes policies on scientific technology and information and communications technology (ICT), there have been calls for the government body to give up those parts as evidenced by leading presidential candidates vowing to separate them from the ministry if elected.

If so, many local IT firms are also expected to benefit from the government’s support for their research and development of artificial intelligence and other things amid the Fourth Industrial Revolution taking place globally.


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