Hong Kong limits amount of baby milk powder Chinese can take across border

China Featured - February 4th, 2013

Hong Kong on Friday outlined measures to tackle shortages of baby milk formula caused by food-safety-conscious mainland Chinese hoarding the product across the border.

The government said it would limit the luggage allowance on trains that connect the city to the mainland to 23 kg (50 lb) from 32 kg (70 lb) and allow only two cans of milk power per person for every visit. Mainland Chinese authorities in the adjoining city of Shenzhen would ensure that travelers would not make repeated day trips across the border.

Hong Kong mothers will also be able to place orders for infant formula through a hotline set up on Friday evening, according to Reuters.

Mainland Chinese resorted to bulk purchases of high quality and regulated infant formula brands in the city after local companies were found to have mixed melamine into baby milk powder in 2008, making nearly 300,000 mainland Chinese children sick, Reuters reports.

The surging demand has led to the shortages which have become a pressing issue as Hong Kong mothers struggle to find milk formula in stores. This comes as the influx of mainland Chinese drove up prices of housing and commodities, igniting outrage from Hong Kong citizens.