The number of items banned from entering Hong Kong by mainland China customs – once limited to gear associated with protesters – has been expanding. The list of banned items has expanded to include everything from white tops and colorful hoodies to normal eyeglasses. Single pieces of black fabric and tops featuring metal buckles or buttons have been stopped in recent months.
Hong Kong apparel and eyewear shops have already crippled by more than seven months of social unrest. During months of political turmoil, the red line set by mainland Chinese customs has varied according to the social situation. Goods are consistently subject to a higher level of scrutiny in the wake of mass protests or incidents related to the anti-government movement. Windbreakers are seen as belonging to hooded clothing, which are regarded as outfits protesters wear to prevent them from being identified.
In addition to the apparel industry, a few eyewear companies have also been affected. Safety goggles were also stopped from entering Hong Kong. Courier companies were asked to halt delivery of a list of products that included towels, drones, speakers, horticulture scissors, flashlights and binoculars. In general items which might harm China’s politics, economics, culture and morality were prohibited.