Parallel Export, AKA Smuggling

These are just some of the issues that surround getting into China to sell.  So most products, even well-known ones such as Starbucks frappuccinos and Kirkland nuts, are smuggled into the country. The smuggling happens at various ports; the one I’ll discuss is Hong Kong.  There are many ways items are smuggled into China via Hong Kong, driven across the border from the sea port, but my favourite is through old grannies.  Hong Kong is unique in that it is connected to mainland China via a their subway system.

In Hong Kong, Sung Shui, a subway station is one stop away from either Lo Wu or Lok Ma Chau which are the entry points into Shenzhen, China. On any given day at Sung Shui, you can see hundreds of of people lining up to get into the MTR. All of them are carrying large suitcases or large boxes on wheels, just full of goods to smuggle into China. These are things like Starbucks coffee, cookies, milk powder, baby formula; anything you can think of that you would want to consume, but are too afraid to locally in China, so you buy these illegally smuggled products.

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