China's Vice-Premier Wang Yang in May 2013 acknowledged that "uncivilised behaviour" by its citizens abroad was harming the country's image. He cited "talking loudly in public places, jaywalking, spitting and wilfully carving characters on items in scenic zones". Destination countries have been easing visa restrictions to attract more tourists from China, but reports have emerged of complaints about etiquette.
'Parody' protesters march to urge mainlanders to 'reignite their patriotism... and shop at home'
Latest protest sees marchers dressed as Red Guards, equating patriotism with staying home
Dozens of protesters, some dressed in Red Guard uniforms, marched through Mong Kok yesterday urging mainland visitors to "love their country and party" - and stay at home.
They waved copies of Mao's "little red book" and chanted slogans like, "Love your motherland, use products that are made in China" as they gathered at the sitting-out area in Dundas Street.
Some also waved Chinese and Communist Party flags. They said the aim of the march was to reignite patriotic feelings in mainlanders.
"If they really love their country, they should stay and shop on the mainland, not come to Hong Kong," said Leung Song, 24, convenor of the march's organiser, the Coalition of True Love for Country and Party.
Leung said they bought the costumes and props from Taobao, a mainland e-commerce platform. "We support Chinese products and our motherland," he said.
Another protester, Alex Lam, 21, a university student, said: "We do not dislike mainland tourists. We simply want to support them in their development of patriotic love, and think it'd be better for them to buy Chinese instead of foreign imported products."
The group organised the protest on Facebook where an event page, "True love for country and party march", was created. About 350 people clicked that they would attend.
Police upset the protesters by splitting them into small groups for the march. They then separated themselves into their own groups and marched along Sai Yeung Choi Street South, ignoring police orders.
Some of them marched to Nathan Road after reaching Argyle Street. They shouted abuse at mainland customers inside shops, forcing some Nathan Road jewellery stores to close briefly.
Li Qing, a 27-year-old from Guangdong shopping in the area, said: "Hong Kong is a free city where people can do whatever they want. I understand why they do this, as they think there are too many visitors."
A protest against mainland visitors in Tsim Sha Tsui last month, accusing them of overwhelming the city and hogging its resources, drew condemnation from Beijing and senior officials in Hong Kong, including Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. Few turned up for a second protest in Mong Kok a week later.