Hong Kong was recently criticized for listing baby formula as a “reserved commodity” and limiting each traveler to export only 1.8 kg per person per day. Anyone who break the rule “can be fined up to half a million Hong Kong dollars and imprisoned for two years.”
In fact, Chinese are stocking up baby formula from all over the world including Australia, Netherlands, Hong Kong and Britain. This is due to the concern over domestic-produced food safety, especially since babies are extremely vulnerable and sensitive to food quality issues. As early as 2008, the Sanlu event resulted in death of six children and illness of thousands of babies. Shortly afterward, scandals of major dairy products completely destructed faith of mainland consumers. Thus, the demand for foreign baby formula skyrocketed.