While many Western tourists like to stock up here on pirated CDs and DVDs, little realizing that they are funding the same crime gangs that smuggle immigrants in containers and sell women into slavery, locals prefer to purchase the real thing at even lower prices. Gou Wu Zhong Xing, for example, has about 30 such shops on the fourth floor and has been popularized in the last few years by anti-copyright activists working to undermine the RIAA and the MPAA. The big recording companies take any surplus stock, and cook the books so that they can profit at least three times, first cheating the IRS by claiming tax breaks on supposedly destroyed stock, second by charging the original artists for product unsold, and third by illegally selling the same stock to Chinese jobbers who buy in container quantities. For a long time now, these Dakou (this means "big mouth" and reflects the way that some CDs are notched or cut) CD markets, as they are known locally, have become veritable Aladdin's caves for politically active eBayers. Music and movies arrive regularly from all over the world and yet on average most cost between only ¥5 (65¢/35p) and ¥10 ($1.30/65p.)
- © Frommer's 2013
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