Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Pirates & Fakes


A year ago, there were lots of people and shops selling pirated DVDs in the streets of Guangzhou. It was not uncommon to see shops with pirated DVDs piled from floor to ceiling. They did it openly, nobody seemed to be bothered. Then there were people who lined the main streets with a portable table or something, again selling pirated DVDs. It would be difficult for you NOT to bump into one pirated DVDs seller when you walked down the streets.

In just a year's time, things had changed. You can still get pirated DVDs, the pirated ones are still as good as the originals, or as updated as the originals, but you hardly see anyone selling pirated DVDs along the main streets. There are no more shops. You have to go into the side streets to hunt for them. They are still aplenty, but some hunting is needed. Some provision shops will just place a small box outside their shop with pirated DVDs in it. Only when people approach them, the sellers would then come out to serve the customers. Some shops don't even display the pirated DVDs. Only the 'insiders' can come and ask for some sources.

I am not very sure whether there was some change of policy in the past one year, or the law had been enforced. The scene is vastly different. Hollywood movie producers should be at least pleased to see this, although a lot more has to be done to meet their demand.


In general, I don't have the habit of checking whether the money is genuine or not, especially when I get my changes. A couple of days ago, when I was sorting out the bunch of loose changes I had in my purse, I found a special piece of 50 cents note. My attention was attracted to it when I touched the note. So smooth! Flawless! I took a closer look. It was a 'brank new' banknote. I touched the surface again, very smooth. Then I took out another 50 cents note and touched it. You could feel the textures on the surface.

Do I need to tell you what happened? Probably you already know I got a fake 50 cents banknote! My gosh! I never expected people will be this mean to actually produce fake 50 cents banknotes! Read carefully, 50 CENTS! NOT 50 YUAN!

Living in mainland China is a challenge. You never know when and how you will be cheated.

Just a reminder to myself, in the next few days, I will write about how I got cheated when I bought some small items, and wealth protection as well as inflation in mainland China.

1 comment:

  1. are you talking about "pirate" copies or "pilot" copies?? ;-)