"The harassment of the tourists...is very regrettable and we strongly condemn this sort of action," Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So said.
"The action tarnished Hong Kong's international image and can be only bad for Hong Kong," So said.
"About 100 people joined an online call for the protest and jeered at mainland tourists patronising luxury brand stores in the Tsim Sha Tsui shopping area. Wielding colonial Hong Kong flags and placards, they chanted slogans at the mainlanders such as "Chinese locusts! Go home!"
Some shops shuttered their doors after police escorted the customers away, while a dozen people from pro-China groups were opposing the protest on the other side of the street, holding a "Welcome to Hong Kong" banner.
The protesters claim that the massive influx of mainland visitors is affecting daily life by increasing congestion of public transportation, thinning supplies of daily necessities such as baby milk powder and raising property prices as rich Chinese investors have favored Hong Kong real estate.
Chinese authorities have exclusive power to grant mainlanders the right of abode in Hong Kong after the former British colony was returned to China in 1997, leaving Hong Kong no control over the number of migrants or visitors crossing the border.