• Tue
  • Sep 16, 2014
  • Updated: 8:53am

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

SCMP photographer slapped and abused near border

May Tse was taking pictures from a footbridge outside Sheung Shui MTR station when two men rushed up and one slapped her face

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 March, 2013, 8:41am

Police arrested two men yesterday after a South China Morning Post photographer taking pictures of mainland parallel-goods traders stocking up on milk powder was slapped in the face in a scuffle that left her slightly hurt.

It happened as the shelves of Sheung Shui shops were emptied of milk powder on the day before new curbs on the amount of formula that travellers can take across the border took effect.

May Tse was taking pictures from a footbridge outside Sheung Shui MTR station when two men rushed up from the ground floor and one slapped her face.

The two, along with a few others, shouted foul language at her in a mainland accent and bundled her into a corner for about five minutes, demanding that she delete her pictures. "It's none of your business that we are parallel trading. No pictures," one of the two men said. Others left the scene when police arrived but the two men were arrested.

Post editor-in-chief Wang Xiangwei denounced the attack. "The South China Morning Post condemns violence of any kind against journalists who are carrying out their legitimate and rightful duties," he said. "Journalists play an important role in Hong Kong, a free society ruled by law. Such violence has no place in this city and should not be tolerated."

The South China Morning Post condemns violence of any kind against journalists who are carrying out their legitimate and rightful duties

It was also condemned by the Hong Kong Journalists Association and Hong Kong Press Photographers Association. "The public should respect press freedom," photographers association chairman Tyrone Siu said. "[Tse] was taking pictures to report on a public issue before a change of the law, about which the general public has every right to be informed."

Journalists association chairwoman Mak Yin-ting urged the police to take the case seriously.

Tse, who had a twisted left leg and a cut on her face from her spectacles flying off when she was slapped, was taken to North District Hospital in Sheung Shui for a check-up. Police confirmed that two Chinese men had been arrested on suspicion of assault.

From today, travellers will be allowed to take only two cans, or 1.8kg, of milk formula out of Hong Kong in an effort to deter traders who buy the products for resale in Shenzhen. Sheung Shui retailers saw a threefold surge in infant formula sales.

One dispensary, Kwok Shing, had dozens of boxes of Mead Johnson infant formula piled outside their store. An employee said the shop sold several hundred tins yesterday - triple the usual number of 100. "[The traders] are making large purchases on the last day. After today they may not be able to carry many tins of milk at one time," he said.

Under the new rules, the person carrying the powder must be at least 16 and must not have left the city in the previous 24 hours. Offenders face up to two years' jail and a HK$500,000 fine.



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In places where governments try to control all information, journalists and reporters have the most dangerous job in the world.
The press should also respect people's privacy except in cases of news and not personal lives. All physical abuse are unacceptable.
No, "scmpbeijing1", there is no right to privacy in a public place in Hong Kong, and journalists (and any other person) are entitled to take photographs of whatever and whoever they wish in such a place. It's a pretty fundamental component of a free press and a free society.
I despise violence of any form,including speech and physical.Some press are exercising excessive freedom of the press;so as to speak.Families of victims of misfortune such as natural disasters are wary of the press when they are still suffering from trauma;and the way they report are sometimes barbaric-there are occasions their targets are hit in the face with tens of microphones projected when the press swarm all over.The press Q&A them;they are not criminals,please respect others privacy.
Are reporters supposed to get permissions first before taking photos of others (and publishing them)? The violence shall not be tolerated, but people's privacy shall be respected.
Ah, yes. The SCMP wants images of dodgy-looking middlemen so it can ignore the fact that the demand for milk powder comes from parents who are concerned for the well-being of their children.
I find it hard to defend this kind of rabble-rousing.
What scum! Feeling "sensitive" about the questionable activities and trying to stop a journalist reporting about it. Not to mention two guys attacking and hitting a woman... Absolutely no bail, and the toughest sentence law allows for this kind of violation. Also definitely not welcome to Hong Kong again!
I see that Post editor-in-chief Wang Xiangwei denounced the attack with this statement: "The South China Morning Post condemns violence of any kind against journalists who are carrying out their legitimate and rightful duties ..."
I agree with that and would like to further suggest that all photographers should enjoy the same rights. Journalists can't be everywhere and the the right of private citizens to photograph in public places should also be respected.
I hope that Ms. Tse is all right and I'm impressed that her attackers were arrested.
Does the Hong Kong government ban such troublemakers from entering HK? Or is this even possible? If so, it seems like a fairly simple solution, in addition to whatever legal consequences these two gentlemen face.
I think they are local Hongkongers.




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