April 19, 2006
Source: eWeek via Reuters
Written By Chris Buckley, Reuters
BEIJING (Reuters)—”DVDs? CDs? Games? Porn? What you want?” hawkers in Beijing’s Zhongguancun neighborhood whisper to potential customers.
Asked for computer software, one scurries off to check his cache, kept behind a nearby shed, and five minutes later holds out a Chinese version of Windows XP Professional for 30 yuan ($3.74)—25 after some friendly haggling.
A legitimate copy sells for about 2,000 yuan ($249.6).
“Come with me. There’s more,” says Li Fuzhen, who has sold bootleg films, music, software and computer games in this district called China’s “silicon valley” for three years.
And there was much more. Despite periodic crackdowns on piracy, China’s has a voracious appetite for cheap, unauthorized copies of software and other digital products.