Amidst growing anti-government protests in Hong Kong, China has banned bulk orders of black clothing and other items popularly used by protesters. The news was reported by Reuters.

Customer services staff at some of China's major couriers, including STO Express, ZTO Express and YTO Express, told Reuters that the bans were put in place this past August. Single pieces of black clothing can still be sent, but shipments of more than five pieces are not allowed.

Black clothing and maks are signature trademarks of the Hong Kong protesters, 2300 of whom have been arrested since March. Many Hong Kong citizens are furious over what they see as Beijing's increasing control on Hong Kong, which was promised 50 years of freedom not extended to the mainland when Britain returned the city to China.

Beijing blames western democracies for helping to incite the protests, and Chinese President Xi Jinpeng has made it clear he will thwart the protesters efforts at all costs. Surprisingly most retailers seem unaffected by it. Retail workers at brands, including H&M and Uniqlo, said they hadn't heard of such a ban and they were still fine to wear black clothing on the sales floor at their respective stores.

In addition to black clothing, bulk orders of umbrellas, sticks, and masks are also banned. In general the protests have caused many brands to pull back on their expansion plans in China, which could cripple growth for some companies as the Asian market is seen as a key target for retail growth. In August, New York-based investment bank Cowen & Co. said that brands could see sales decline between 10 percent and 60 percent if protests continue in Hong Kong until the end of the year.

 

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