China

High-end Hong Kong trades amid the protests

Signs for a first-aid stand are stuck on the Fendi store on Canton Road, Hong Kong on 1 Oct
Image caption The luxury clothing brand Fendi has proved a surprising spot for the protesters' first-aid stand

One of the glitziest areas in Hong Kong is the newest location for hordes of pro-democracy protesters demanding change.

Thousands of people in different parts of the city want the government to let the citizens of Hong Kong decide who will be their leader - not Beijing.

On Tuesday night people started gathering on Canton road near Tsim Sha Tsui, a major shopping district in south Hong Kong, blocking off the main intersection where brands like Prada and DKNY have their storefronts.

The area is popular with visitors from mainland China, especially right now during the public holiday known as the "golden week".

But many expect tourist numbers to be significantly down this year as key parts of the city remain blockaded.

Fashion pitch

While nowhere near as large as the gathering in Admiralty near the government complex, the protesters here are just as organised.

Outside the Fendi store was their first-aid station, outside Coach - their supply stand.

Image caption Protesters rest by designer store Coach which has become a make-shift supply stand

One protester said they had picked this area precisely because it is home to some of the biggest fashion brands.

"Most of the flagship stores are here and actually we want to affect our stock market price and then to form pressure to push the government to respond to our request," said Kiyo.

But not everyone is happy they are here.

A man caused a ruckus when he started yelling that the protesters were disrupting everyone. Protest organisers used megaphones to tell demonstrators to remain calm and not respond.

A property agent who works in the area said that, while he supports their cause, he thought this was not the way to achieve results.

Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Though the Canton Road protest cannot rival the crowds at Admiralty, it certainly has style

Store managers would not talk about whether the demonstrations were affecting their business.

But high-end jeweller Chow Tai Fook's two branches and the Rolex store were shuttered on what would be one their biggest sales days of the year.

For those that were open, some said they were seeing far fewer people walk through their doors than usual.

But lots of shoppers were still spending their money.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The protesters have not deterred Chinese tourists from shopping during their week-long public holiday

"I live in Shenzhen, it is close by and I come to Hong Kong often to shop," said Wan Jia.

"This activity doesn't affect me at all, we still come and buy what we need."

Hong Kong is, after all, one of the top destinations in the world for deep-pocketed Chinese tourists. It takes a lot to shut it down.

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