Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying recently said the number of parallel traders has gone down significantly since the adoption of the “one visit per week” policy for mainland travelers.
The North District Parallel Imports Concern Group disputes this claim. It noted that as of June, there were 57 shops that cater to parallel traders in Shek Wu Hui in Sheung Shui, seven times higher than their number two years ago, Apple Daily reported on Monday.
And if one counts all the shops that cater mainly to individual mainland tourists’ needs, excluding Landmark North, they total 243 as of June, according to the group’s research.
Of these shops, 49 were drug stores, 42 were stores selling Chinese medicine and dried seafood, and 33 were foreign exchange shops.
Ronald Leung Kam-shing, a spokesman for the group, said the reality is contrary to what the Chief Executive has said.
“Some lawmakers say it’s now winter for the retail industry, but why is it like a hot summer for shops in Sheung Shui?” Leung said.
The group urged the government to further tighten the “one visit per week” policy.
It said the Customs Department should further clamp down on parallel traders and increase the fixed penalty for pavement obstruction and littering, which parallel traders often do.
On Sunday the group held its eighth “tour” of areas frequented by parallel traders. About 40 police officers and plainclothes detectives followed the participants.
No confrontation between the participants and parallel traders was recorded as many of the shops and warehouses in the area had decided to close in advance.
About 20 members of Protect Hong Kong Campaign, a pro-Beijing group, held a protest against the concern group on the same day.
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