Pro-democracy clothing store Chickeeduck to exit Hong Kong next year

Herbert Chow, CEO of kids’ clothing shop Chickeeduck, said the company has been experiencing “disturbances” since the passing of the national security law. Photo: Facebook/Chickeeduck
Herbert Chow, CEO of kids’ clothing shop Chickeeduck, said the company has been experiencing “disturbances” since the passing of the national security law. Photo: Facebook/Chickeeduck

Pro-democracy kids’ clothing brand Chickeeduck, which has had numerous run-ins with the authorities in recent months, announced that it is leaving Hong Kong due to setbacks since the passing of the national security law.

The company said in a press release shared with media Thursday that it will be exiting the city in the second half of next year.

“The feasibility of the business going forward is now in question and we are thinking of wiser and more sustainable strategies for the company going forward,” CEO Herbert Chow said.

Vocal about its pro-democracy stance, Chickeeduck has seen itself targeted by authorities in the city’s tense political climate. Earlier this month, government officers from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) visited its Tin Hau store and accused Chickeeduck of occupying unleased land with its statue of late Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo outside the shop.

In May, police cordoned off its Tsuen Wan branch. Its storefront featured graffitti of the “liberate Hong Kong” slogan, which has been declared illegal under the national security law. And the month before, Chow said that mainland Chinese customs officials confiscated his products—which were being produced in a factory in Shenzhen—as they advocated “black violence.”

CEO Herbert Chow holds up prototypes of the products that were seized. Photos: Facebook/Chow Siu Lung Herbert

Chickeeduck has also run into difficulties renewing leases at its various locations in shopping malls, which are operated by large property conglomerates seen as aligned with government interests.

Chow told Stand News that he will not be closing down the brand—its warehouse and business will be relocated overseas, perhaps to the UK or Canada, and its headquarters to a “safe place.”

“Of course, I don’t want it to be the case that Chickeeduck [products] can be bought anywhere in the world but Hong Kong, but it is definitely possible,” he said.

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