Accusations that mainland Chinese are trying to buy up the semiautonomous territory’s entire supply have led to near-riots and have become the latest source of discord with Beijing.Before the recent Lunar New Year, a major gift-buying time in China, Hong Kong announced an emergency two-can limit. Inspectors patrolling the subways near the border crossing into Shenzhen, China, look for people smuggling cases of the precious powder. Hong Kong officials say they have called back customs inspectors from retirement to help prevent baby formula from being spirited to the mainland....At its heart, the dispute cast in sharp focus Hong Kong’s fear of being swamped by 1.3 billion mainlanders, who are increasingly affluent and mobile. About 30 million Chinese, more than triple the territory’s population, visit Hong Kong each year, and they like to shop.
The baby formula crisis has many parents searching for ways to feed their children. The federal government says help is on the way, but some are turning to Tijuana for an immediate answer."We've seen more people coming and asking if we have the product," said ... the public relations director for the chain store Calimax. "We do, and they're pleasantly surprised."..."We have enough product here in all of our stores," [he] said. "We invite them to come and purchase here if that's what they need."