SEOUL, Aug. 5 (Yonhap) — Korean companies’ online overseas sales suffered the first quarterly decline in the April-June period in line with a decline in the number of Chinese visitors amid the new coronavirus outbreak, government data showed Wednesday.

The value of online transactions placed from abroad amounted to 1.27 trillion won (US$1.07 billion) in the second quarter, down 5.3 percent from the previous year, according to Statistics Korea.

It marked the first quarterly fall since the state-run agency began to compile related data in 2014.’

Online transactions from China for Korean products and services fell 4 percent on-year to 1.95 trillion won. Sales of medical services and fashion products tumbled 40.1 percent to 87.7 billion won.

“Chinese visitors usually place orders at South Korea’s online duty-free shop sites and secure duty-free goods. But the COVID-19 pandemic thwarted their travel here, hampering related online sales,” a statistics agency official said.

But the value of overseas direct shopping by Koreans, on the other hand, gained 2.8 percent on-year to 914.5 billion won.

Purchases tied to Chinese products jumped 39.4 percent to 232.7 billion won during the last quarter.

Meanwhile, the value of online shopping in the country rose 15.2 percent on-year to a record high of 37.5 trillion won in the second quarter.

Online shopping has gained traction here as the virus outbreak forced people to visit offline stores.

In June alone, the value of online transactions increased 19.5 percent to 12.7 trillion won.

Purchases made through smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices climbed 22.8 percent on-year to 8.46 trillion won in June, accounting for 66.8 percent of overall online shopping.