• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 3:26am

Parallel trading

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.

NewsHong Kong

Sheung Shui parallel-traders protest descends into chaos

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 January, 2013, 4:06am

Scuffles broke out and two parallel traders were arrested for assault during a protest at Sheung Shui MTR station yesterday.

About 20 people took part in the protest, organised by a Facebook group concerned about parallel-goods traders buying up goods in the area to resell at a profit across the border.

They blocked the ticket gates, holding banners and placards that read "No entry for parallel traders" and "Lack of police enforcement makes smuggling legal".

The police had set up a protest zone, but the protesters refused to stay in it. Traders wearing masks and hoods had to make a detour. A woman burst into tears when one of her bags was pulled off her trolley.

Scuffles broke out at a staircase. In the chaos, a 21-year-old man struck a plain-clothes policeman and was arrested. Another man, 20, was held for assaulting a protester.

The protesters said the situation had improved little since the government took action against such traders in September.

The MTR Corporation has imposed a 32kg limit for luggage to make it more difficult for traders to lug goods over the border.

Last week, Tai Po residents said parallel-goods traders were venturing beyond the border towns to their area following the crackdown in Sheung Shui.


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This article is now closed to comments

HK is Asia's world city and is promoting tourism. Objectively speaking, these smugglers did not break HK law by buying goods here and bring them back to the mainland. It is the mainland authorities who are tolerating these practice.
What HK government can do is to tighten up border control and limit entry of any person to only once a day. It should be feasible in this electronic days.
'captam' is right and I don't understand why given the existence and need of this trade we, in Hong Kong, can't manage the situation more effectively. Instead of taking a zero tolerance approach and trying to stamp out the trade we could simply regulate it, i.e. set up special channels - run special trains to minimise disturbance to local residents.
The democratic party is strange in that you would normally expect such a named party to support the working class and fight for their rights, but the HK one always seems to end up doing something that ultimately harms ordinary people. And 'jpinst' I was thinking of making a reasoned reply to you, but that is not what you want, is it? Your comment is tainted by your anti-Beijing feelings. For the sake of HK doesn't enter your thoughts, it's just attack BJ.
@"Objectively speaking, these smugglers did not break HK law by buying goods here and bring them back to the mainland. "
Quite correct. But Hong Kong's 'pan democrats' and those others who are intolerant of Mainland visitors are very selective when it comes to their cherished "rule of law". By complaining about parallel traders and calling for local Government action against them, they are also effectively calling for the Hong Kong authorities to enforce Mainland laws within Hong Kong. Much of Hong Kong's own retail and wholesale business is dependent on parallel imports and exports.
Why is smuggling tolerated? Why are the Mainland's problems due to poor policies, leadership and a lack of a functioning legal system thrust onto the people of Hong Kong? There should be zero tolerance for smugglers. if you are court, you are barred from reentry for 5 years.


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