The Luohu District of Shenzhen has proposed to build a high-end duty-free shopping hub and a Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area duty-free shopping area. Not long ago, Yantian and Qianhai, two other districts in the Southern Chinese megacity revealed similar plans, and the latter has signed agreements with Shenzhen Duty Free Group.
Chinese business media outlet Caijing quoted industry sources as saying that China’s central government would have to approve those plans before they could be implemented and that it would take some time, but the sources also indicated that the market is generally optimistic about its prospects. Developing duty free shops in the city is one of the policies emphasised by the central and local governments to further the repatriation of consumption to the mainland.Elsewhere, the tropical island of Hainan has already proved its potential, but China’s 14th Five Year Plan proposes to expand duty free areas to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu.
The rise of Shenzhen as a shopping destination is likely to impact retail in nearby Hong Kong as the former becomes more attractive to mainland consumers looking to travel to buy fashion and luxury goods at competitive prices. But some experts argue the Hong Kong can also be benefit from the Greater Bay Area plan. According to McKinsey’s China Consumer Survey 2020, mainlanders still favour Hong Kong as a travel and shopping destination despite recent instability.