Monday, December 17, 2007

Beijing Blockbuster

So long as you can put up with your favourite brand names being occasionally misspelled, the Ya Show market near San Li Tun in Beijing is a haven of all things pirated. Whether it's a ‘Tommy Hilfiger’ jacket or a ‘Siny’ pair of speakers, this den of Chinese covert capitalism has it all.
I was there the other day on a crisp winter’s afternoon perusing my normal DVD joint. Having amassed a decent selection of the latest crop of Hollywood hits I strolled to the counter and for a second thought I was in Blockbuster Video. “You have club discount card?” the lady at the till asked me. A membership card for knock off DVDs?! Wonderful, and only in China.
Quick witted I fumbled through my pockets, turned to my accomplice, who was scanning a rack of DVDs in the corner, and with a sly grin I asked him if he’d remembered to bring his club discount card this time. He played along, rifling through his pockets, and said he’d forgotten it. We still got the 20% off, though.

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