Hyundai Motor has suspended production at one of its Chinese factories for a week as fears grow that a diplomatic row between China and South Korea is denting sales.

Reuters reports that South Korean companies have said they are being targeted in China because of Beijing's objections to a planned deployment of a US anti-ballistic missile defence system (the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defence – THAAD) in South Korea.

According to Reuters, Hyundai said it had suspended the plant in Hebei Province, from March 24 to April 1, in order to check its production line to modify technology. The report added that the suspension may be aimed at bringing down inventories given slowing sales in China, due to political tensions and rising competition.

Reuters notes that the chill in business ties between the nations is evident from the fact that China's tourism ministry has instructed tour operators in Beijing to stop selling trips to South Korea, while state media has called for a boycott of South Korean goods.