There was no lack of consumer demand in Guangzhou last week as thousands of shoppers stormed a mall hosting a Hong Kong trade fair. The carnival atmosphere turned to chaos and security guards were overwhelmed as the crowd lost patience and forced its way into the building, according to the Yangcheng Evening News.
The trade fair organizers had set up cordons outside the mall to prevent accidents, but by midday, having been kept waiting for hours, a section of the crowd lost patience and stampeded into the building. In the end over 30,000 people took part in the shopping spree before the fair closed at 8:00 pm.
Security guards in Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong Province, struggle to control a crowd of shoppers eager to get into a trade fair hosted by a Hong Kong small business association. [Beijing Youth Daily]
“This is the first chance most Hong Kong small businesses have had to enter the mainland market,” said Joseph Wong, president of the Hong Kong Association of International Co-operation of Small & Medium Enterprises. Companies are hoping the huge mainland market will offset losses resulting from the recession in Hong Kong.
His comments were backed up by Frederick Lam, executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, who said the fair was a trial run for Hong Kong manufacturers in the mainland market.
(China.org.cn by Wu Jin, March 16, 2009)