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Holiday visits to HK drop

2015-May-4       Source: Szdaily.com

Visits to Hong Kong dropped slightly during the May Day holiday under the new once-a-week limit for Shenzhen permanent residents, which took effect two weeks ago.

Visits to Hong Kong dropped slightly during the May Day holiday under the new once-a-week limit for Shenzhen permanent residents, which took effect two weeks ago.

Sources from the Shenzhen General Station of Exit-Entry Frontier Inspection showed that around 432,000 people went through checkpoints in the city Friday, the first day of the May Day holiday, a drop of 20 percent year-on-year.

Though the new rule helped relieve passenger flow at checkpoints, it seems to have failed to stem parallel trading. Parallel trading is the practice of buying products in Hong Kong and selling them at a profit on the Chinese mainland.

Many residents interviewed thought the rule wouldn’t affect their life because they went to Hong Kong about once every two or three months for shopping.

“I don’t care about the rule, but I am more concerned about the possibility of being attacked by anti-parallel trading protesters,” said one visitor, surnamed Zhang, at Sha Tin’s upscale New Town Plaza.

Retailers and residents in the districts frequented by Shenzhen visitors said the cutback in cross-border traffic could affect their businesses, though some believe the move will only have a limited impact on parallel trading as there was high demand for daily staples such as milk powder, which can be resold for a profit across the border in Shenzhen.

On a Facebook page for Hong Kong job recruitment, a user named “Hak Cheung” posted a message Thursday, apparently related to parallel trading.

Chinese-language media organizations also reported that there is another message on a Facebook page that says “Now recruiting lots of parallel goods traders, adults only, HK$600 (US$98) a day on average and there are jobs every day.”

“Instead of hiring one person to conduct the trade three times a day, they will probably hire three people to do it once a day,” said student Dicky Chung, a North District resident. The parallel trading ringleaders would simply recruit Hongkongers to transport products by offering about HK$200 per day or about HK$5,000 to HK$6,000 a month.

On April 24, the first day of sales of the Apple Watch in Hong Kong, Shenzhen Customs seized four Apple Watches at a market value of 12,000 yuan (US$1,963) from a Hong Kong smuggler at Futian Checkpoint. Investigations showed Huaqiangbei business shops in Futian District purchased Apple Watches at 1,000 yuan higher than official prices.

In mid-April, police detained 24 people, including 22 Hongkongers, for involvement in parallel trading. The smuggled products included formula powder, cameras, electronic products and daily necessities.

 

Editor: Steven

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