Beijing is Restricting How Often Residents of Neighboring Shenzhen Can Enter Hong Kong

Hong-Kong-train-station

China Reduces Mainlander Visits to Hong Kong

Isabella Steger writes: Can a tweak to a visa arrangement for mainland Chinese tourists coming to Hong Kong help ease tensions between the two places?

“The change was prompted by a marked increase in public anger in recent months against parallel traders. Protests have broken out in areas of Hong Kong near the border with the mainland, such as Tuen Mun, Sheung Shui and Yuen Long.”

On Monday, Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying confirmed a long-anticipated move by Beijing to address the influx of mainland visitors to Hong Kong in recent years. The move is aimed specifically at those who come from neighboring Shenzhen to Hong Kong to engage in so-called parallel trading, the practice of buying goods ranging from toiletries to food in Hong Kong to resell at a higher price on the mainland.

“Residents of these towns complain that parallel traders drive up the prices of goods and rents, pushing out small businesses serving locals.” 

According to the new arrangement, Shenzhen residents applying for an individual visitor visa to Hong Kong will only be allowed to enter the city once a week, rather than multiple times. The change is effective Monday. Residents of these towns complain that parallel traders drive up the prices of goods and rents, pushing out small businesses serving locals.

“Since 2009, Shenzhen permanent residents have been allowed to apply for one-year, multiple entry visas to Hong Kong…”

The change was prompted by a marked increase in public anger in recent months against parallel traders. Protests have broken out in areas of Hong Kong near the border with the mainland, such as Tuen Mun, Sheung Shui and Yuen Long. Residents of these towns complain that parallel traders drive up the prices of goods and rents, pushing out small businesses serving locals. They also complain that parallel traders cause congestion on public transport and sidewalks where they pack suitcases with their haul.

“…The scheme was later liberalized to allow non-permanent residents of Guangdong province living in Shenzhen to apply for the visa.”

This appears to be an effort by Beijing to address some complaints by a broad range of Hong Kong residents and comes as the city grapples with an election reform plan proposed by Beijing that spurred three months of protests in the fall. So far Beijing has stood firm that candidates for Hong Kong’s top office must be approved by a largely pro-Beijing, pro-business committee. But it has shown more flexibility in addressing economic concerns of Hong Kong residents…(read more)

China Real Time Report – WSJ

– Isabella Steger. Follow her on Twitter @stegersaurus

 


One Comment on “Beijing is Restricting How Often Residents of Neighboring Shenzhen Can Enter Hong Kong”


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