Jau Gwei refers to the sudden abandonment of roadside vendor stalls in Hong Kong, when the squads of the Hawker Control Team are coming and the vendors are either operating a stall illegally or selling prohibited goods.
''Gwei'' refers to the ''Gweilo'', as the hawker control officers were usually westerners in the old days.
''Jau Gwei'' is the word shouted out to warn other vendors of the approaching squads. Hong Kong has tried to reduce illegal vendors by licensing hawker permitted places, but a large percentage of street vendors still operate illegally. The term can be heard in other parts of Mainland China's Guangdong province where similar situations exist with illegal street vendors.