A study estimated that Korea's economic loss from the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system and the Chinese government's retaliatory measures would be 17.2 trillion won (US$14.97 billion). Chang Woo-ae, research fellow with IBK Economic Research Institute, said in a research report titled "Rising Anti-Korea Sentiment in China and Its Impact" on March 8, Korea's loss could be estimated by looking at what happened when China and Japan went head-to-head over the island disputes.
The first dispute between Japan and China erupted on September 7, 2010 when the Japan Coast Guard caught Chinese fishermen who were working near the Senkaku Islands (Diaoyudao Islands in Chinese). The second dispute began on September 11 in 2012 when the Japanese government nationalized the islands from an owner who is a Japanese national.
At the time, anti-Japanese sentiments were at its peak, causing large-scale protests in major Chinese cities while campaigns to boycott Japanese-made goods spread quickly. Accordingly, the Japanese exports to China shrank 20.6 percent in 2011 and 6.4 percent in 2012, while the number of Chinese tourists to Japan fell 28.1 percent during the 11-month period from October 2012 to August 2013.
Chang of IBK Economic Research Institute estimated that the negative impact of Korean exports to China would be much higher than that for Japan given the share of export in the GDP is much higher at 45.9 percent comparing to that of Japan (17.9%) and the share of Chinese exports in total is also higher at 26.0 percent than Japan's 17.5 percent.