China has closed more than ten stores managed by South Korea-based Lotte Group following inspections by fire safety authorities.
The retailer raised concerns over discrimination against it after it offered land for a US missile defence system.
As of January, Lotte Group had 115 stores in China, where it reported group sales of more than $2.6bn in 2015.
Among the closures were two Lotte Mart stores in Dandong, a city on the North Korean border.
According to Reuters, employees at the Dandong outlets said that the closures were due to fire safety issues, and that one store will re-open in a week while the second one is likely to re-open next month.
Last week, Lotte International agreed to a land exchange near Seoul for the deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to counter missile threats from North Korea.
After North Korea fired multiple ballistic missiles, South Korea’s acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn argued for the installation of THAAD.
However, China raised an objection to this deployment, stating that the THAAD’s radar could infringe on its territory.
The Lotte Group has sought help from the South Korean government on the issues it was facing in China, where it employs around 20,000 people.