Expo features dodgy merchants

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 December, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 December, 2004, 12:00am


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They may be pirates, but they operate in the light of day.

At least eight companies that took part in October's massive Hong Kong Electronics Fair sold game consoles similar to the 'Power Player' named in a United States court restraining order.

Most companies also have websites touting their wares.

Power Player itself is listed in the fair's directory as a brand manufactured by Hong Kong-registered Powerking International Development, a company with 800 workers based in Dongguan.

Samples of Power Player obtained by the Sunday Morning Post contained pirated copies of well-known Nintendo titles such as Donkey Kong and Super Mario Brothers built into what resembles a game controller for the company's newer consoles. The console's packaging also claimed that there were 76,000 games built into it, despite the fact that a quotation for the machine specified only 76 built-in games.

A company saleswoman contacted by a reporter posing as a prospective client said the company mainly builds game consoles in its factory on the mainland. The company's website gave its address as an office in Tsim Sha Tsui, where the name of another company - Topline International Trading Company - was displayed on the door.

Powerking officials could not be reached for comment.