Workers install welded metal plates around the entrance of a China Merchants Bank branch in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. Banks, retailers, restaurants and travel agents in Hong Kong with ties to mainland China or perceived pro-Beijing ownership have fortified their facades over apparent concern about further damage after protesters trashed numerous businesses following a recent pro-democracy rally. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

HONG KONG (AP) — As Hong Kong's protest movement becomes increasingly violent, some shops are battening the hatches.

Banks, retailers, restaurants and travel agents with ties to mainland China or perceived pro-Beijing ownership have fortified their facades over apparent fear of further damage after protesters trashed businesses following a recent pro-democracy rally.

Branches of state-owned Chinese banks across the city reinforced their glass fronts with walls of steel on Friday.

A Japanese noodle chain, a sushi chain and Starbucks outlets that have been targeted by protesters also covered up their shopfronts with wooden panels. The three are reportedly operated by a restaurant company founded by a tycoon whose daughter has denounced the protesters.

The protesters have been rallying since June for full democracy and police accountability. But the rallies have ended in increasing violence as protesters throwing firebombs are met by police with tear gas, pepper spray and water cannons.

Protesters set fire to Chinese bank branches and Chinese smartphone brand Xiaomi's boutique on Sunday after an unauthorized rally by tens of thousands of people.

A welder put the finishing touches on grey steel panels covering up an Industrial and Commercial Bank of China branch in the city's Wan Chai district.

Across the street, a state-owned China Travel Service outlet was getting the same treatment.

Signs at a nearby China Construction Bank branch said "enhancement work was in progress" but it was business as usual and apologized for the inconvenience.

Staff at the businesses refused to comment.

A passing pro-democracy supporter, restaurant manager Tim Lo, said it wouldn't solve the root cause of the conflict.

"Barricading is useless," he said.

A worker welds metal plates at the entrance of a closed Yoshinoya restaurant in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. Banks, retailers, restaurants and travel agents in Hong Kong with ties to mainland China or perceived pro-Beijing ownership have fortified their facades over apparent concern about further damage after protesters trashed numerous businesses following a recent pro-democracy rally. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
A bank employee talks with a customer as seen through barriers built around the entrance of a Bank of Communications branch in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. Banks, retailers, restaurants and travel agents in Hong Kong with ties to mainland China or perceived pro-Beijing ownership have fortified their facades over apparent concern about further damage after protesters trashed numerous businesses following a recent pro-democracy rally. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
A man walks past a sign on a storefront barrier announcing the temporary closure of a branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. Banks, retailers, restaurants and travel agents in Hong Kong with ties to mainland China or perceived pro-Beijing ownership have fortified their facades over apparent concern about further damage after protesters trashed numerous businesses following a recent pro-democracy rally. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Handprints are seen on welded metal barriers constructed around a Xiaomi smartphone shop that was burned by protestors in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. Banks, retailers, restaurants and travel agents in Hong Kong with ties to mainland China or perceived pro-Beijing ownership have fortified their facades over apparent concern about further damage after protesters trashed numerous businesses following a recent pro-democracy rally. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Women stand in the entrance of a Yoshinoya restaurant that has been boarded up in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. Banks, retailers, restaurants and travel agents in Hong Kong with ties to mainland China or perceived pro-Beijing ownership have fortified their facades over apparent concern about further damage after protesters trashed numerous businesses following a recent pro-democracy rally. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Security guards stand outside the entrance of a Bank of China branch that has been covered in barriers in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. Banks, retailers, restaurants and travel agents in Hong Kong with ties to mainland China or perceived pro-Beijing ownership have fortified their facades over apparent concern about further damage after protesters trashed numerous businesses following a recent pro-democracy rally. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
An employee looks out from behind metal barriers around the entrance to an Industrial and Commmercial Bank of China (ICBC) branch in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. Banks, retailers, restaurants and travel agents in Hong Kong with ties to mainland China or perceived pro-Beijing ownership have fortified their facades over apparent concern about further damage after protesters trashed numerous businesses following a recent pro-democracy rally. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Locks and deadbolts are seen on the inside of a metal door that has been installed on the exterior of a Bank of Communications branch in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. Banks, retailers, restaurants and travel agents in Hong Kong with ties to mainland China or perceived pro-Beijing ownership have fortified their facades over apparent concern about further damage after protesters trashed numerous businesses following a recent pro-democracy rally. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
People walk past a Starbucks with barriers covering its shop windows in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. Banks, retailers, restaurants and travel agents in Hong Kong with ties to mainland China or perceived pro-Beijing ownership have fortified their facades over apparent concern about further damage after protesters trashed numerous businesses following a recent pro-democracy rally. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)