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South Korea's Coupang faces consumer wrath over warehouse fire

E-commerce giant's latest problem so far fails to derail investor interest

South Koreans are venting their anger at local e-commerce giant Coupang after a logistics center warehouse blaze left a firefighter dead. (Source photos by Yonhap/Kyodo and EPA/Jiji)

SEOUL -- South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang is facing a potential consumer boycott after a logistics center warehouse blaze left a firefighter dead, the latest in a series of unflattering incidents for a company that wants to make itself indispensable to shoppers.

Coupang's customers, which it estimates to number about 15 million, are drawn to features like its Rocket Delivery service, which promises same-day or overnight arrival. Demand for its services ballooned as more people shopped from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company, which raised $4.6 billion from its U.S. listing in March, is planning four new logistics centers that it says will create 9,500 jobs and is eyeing overseas markets such as Japan.

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