In early March, Hong Kong (China) required each tourist to only bring out a maximum of two 900gram cartons of milk.

As of April 23, 879 people were arrested with more than 8,800 kg of milk powder, said Calvin Lee – a police officer.

The reason is that Chinese people are flocking to this special administrative region to  scoop up foreign milk, especially after the melamine contamination scandal in 2008 that killed 6 newborns and sickened hundreds of thousands of others.

Each tourist leaving Hong Kong is only allowed to bring two boxes of powdered milk.

In addition to Hong Kong, the UK and New Zealand also have to limit purchases of famous dairy products such as Danone’s Aptamil or Mead Johnson’s Enfamil.

Last year, formula milk sales in China increased 29% to $15.4 billion, four times more than the US, according to a survey by Mintel Group.

Consumer psychology has caused dairy products from Danone, Nestle and Mead Johnson to gain a large market share in China before domestic competitors such as Mengiu or Yili.

Last year, Mengniu’s operating profit fell 16% and revenue also fell 3.5%.

Helen Li often buys milk online or asks friends to bring it home.

In Hong Kong (China), blocking the sale of powdered milk has made the police and customs here extremely busy.

Last September, New Zealand said it would prevent `illegal export` of milk powder by imposing fines of up to 42,700 USD.

Heiko Schipper, director of the food and beverage department at Nestle China, said: `All these scandals are not beneficial to any company. However, I can sympathize with people’s psychology.

Thuy Linh (according to Bloomberg)