Buy Or Else: Shopping Dispute Leads To Tourist Death

Open Jaw

Tourists from the Chinese mainland are often lured into joining very low-cost tours to Hong Kong that include compulsory visits to shopping outlets. Apparently, a certain level of spending is compulsory too. 

Miao Chunqi, 54, a tourist from mainland China, was allegedly dragged out of a Hong Kong jewellery shop last week and beaten unconscious in what was described as “a shopping dispute.” He died the following day.

The attack is believed to have started when Miao and his colleague Zhang Lixia refused to purchase items from a shop they were taken to on a tour. 

Mainland Chinese tour escort Liu Yang, 32, and Hong Kong guide Ricky Woo, 44, did not enter a plea against a manslaughter charges at Kowloon City Court. Two more assailants seen attacking Miao on CCTV footage are still at large, while 2 women, aged 32 and 53, were arrested and released on bail for fighting in a public place.

As Australia’s eGlobal Travel Media reports, dodgy mainland tour operators rely on commission from the HKG shops to make up for the low tour fees.

Recently there have been reports that some mainland agencies are hiring “shadow tour members”, who pose as members of the tour group, but whose job is to persuade other visitors to buy more during their trips.

Ill feeling and disputes often result, as they do with other high-pressure sales tactics (resort timeshare pitches anyone?), but thankfully the consequences aren’t usually so tragic.

(will not be published)