The influx of parallel traders who buy their stock tax-free in Hong Kong to resell it in mainland China at a profit is causing growing unrest. Residents of Sheung Shui, a town close to China's border, say the increase in parallel importers has pushed up retail prices and causes a general nuisance. Importers argue that their trade benefits the Hong Kong economy.
What the local media says
Sunday, Apple Daily
Property agents scuffle on busy Tsim Sha Tsui street
More than 10 young, dressed-up estate agents who were soliciting business at the Tsim Sha Tsui section of Nathan Road fought one another while competing to lead a potential client into a shopping mall to view show flats for a Yuen Long residential project last Saturday morning. A video clip showed them kicking, pushing and punching one another. They fought for 22 seconds and dispersed as police arrived. No one was arrested. An estate agent who witnessed the scuffle said the men worked for the same property agency.
Monday, Sing Tao Daily
Illegal fuel stations do business near home, school zones
Illegal diesel stations that sell fuel mainly to commercial vehicles such as trucks and coaches have moved near residential and school zones in the New Territories, including Yuen Long and Tung Chung. In one case, the workers were photographed smoking, while filling up the tank of a truck, raising the risk of an explosion close to residents and pupils in the neighbourhood. Sources said about 200 such diesel stations were operating across the city. However, the Fire Services Department said it had no details on the whereabouts of these illegal traders.
Tuesday, Oriental Daily
West Kowloon arts site leased for private wedding
The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority has been criticised for leasing a vacant site in the planned arts and cultural hub as the venue for a private Russian-style wedding last Saturday. About 900 guests, including authority member Allan Zeman, attended the wedding. Zeman said the renter had paid a large sum of money. He did not reveal the amount, but it was understood to be about HK$10 million. Sofas that were almost brand new and scores of decorative mirrors were dumped after the celebration.
Wednesday, Ming Pao Daily
Parallel traders hire helpers to bring goods into railway station
Parallel-product traders active in Sheung Shui have been hiring helpers to assist them in carrying goods past the ticket gates at the train station to skirt the MTR Corp's 32kg limit on luggage. The helpers were assigned to carry smaller quantities of goods through the gates and pass the luggage to parallel exporters waiting on the platform. They each charge up to HK$30 per "in-and-out" job, for which they have to pay the minimum train fare of HK$3.40 out of their own pockets.
Thursday, Oriental Daily
Planned fence at old government offices draws objection
Heritage conservationists oppose the government's plan to build a lower fence in front of the old government headquarters in Central after it dismantles the current fence, which was built after the handover. The Central and Western Concern Group queried the need to build a fence and called for the old offices to be opened to the public. The Department of Justice will move to the main and east wings of the offices in 2015 from its existing location at the Queensway Government Office Building in Admiralty.
Friday, Apple Daily
Beijing asks Macau's ex-gangster to behave himself
Wan Kuok-koi, better known as "Broken Tooth Koi", a former notorious triad leader in Macau, will be released in about one week after serving a prison term of almost 14 years. Sources said people from the central government's liaison office in Macau had visited Wan in an unprecedented move and told him to behave himself after his release. Meanwhile, his gangland brothers are preparing a 100-table feast for him to celebrate his return to freedom. Rumour has it that Wan is keen to make a comeback and restore his past glory.
Compiled by Nelson Cheng and Wayne Chung