Over the last 24 hours, several reports have surfaced, one from the South China Morning Post (SCMP), and another from Reuters, are now detailing new export bans that Beijing has enacted from mainland China to Hong Kong, which explicitly states shipping couriers and or customs will halt all black clothing and other items used by pro-democracy protesters.
Service workers at China’s top shipping couriers (STO Express, ZTO Express, and YTO Express) told Reuters this week that China banned bulk shipments of black clothing from mainland China to Hong Kong late last month.
One worker from STO Express told Reuters that black clothing, five items or less, could be shipped from mainland China to Hong Kong, but any more would be considered bulk and would be returned to the sender.
He said bulk items of masks, riot gear, umbrellas, helmets, and sticks, were also on the export ban list.
SCMP obtained a notice from Guangdong shipper PHXBUY that read any items shipped from mainland China to Hong Kong that includes “yellow helmets, yellow umbrellas, flags, flagpoles, poster banners, gloves, masks, black T-shirts, metal rods, fluorescent tubes, bludgeon clubs” would be rejected on site. If the sender uses a false name, the government would be inclined to launch an investigation.
Another notice SCMP received was from Guangdong shipper EXPRESS, which showed a more in-depth list of exports banned from mainland China to Hong Kong, the list read: “foodstuffs, liquid, powder, gases, counterfeit brand products, big machines, helmets, umbrellas, wrist bands, towels, safety vests, speakers, amplifiers, trestles, walkie-talkies, drones, black shirts and other clothing, goggles, metal beads, metal balls, horticulture scissors, metal chains, torches, binoculars, remote-controlled toys.”
Beijing, which has condemned the protests in Hong Kong, has taken quick measures to assure the unrest doesn’t escalate further.
Besides an export ban on items used by rioters, Beijing has also moved in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces into Hong Kong, a move seen by some that could mean a complete shutdown of the city is imminent.
As demonstrations continue to spiral out of control, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong heavily rely on China for gear, whether it’s black clothing, lasers, gas masks, drones, and or fireworks, it seems that China clamping down on exports to Hong Kong could result in more extensive crackdowns in the near term.