MAINLAND counterfeiters are closely following Hong Kong tastes in music and film production to produce fakes for smuggling into the territory. A pirated copy of Hong Kong singer Ekin Cheng's latest CD Earth was available for only $13 in Guangzhou five days after its release on November 2 in the territory. The pirated copies of other Hong Kong and international CDs and video CDs could be bought in an afternoon in a Guangzhou city market place where an anti-piracy raid had been conducted by police earlier in the morning. Frequent anti-piracy raids had forced most vendors to display only the legal CDs, which cost about $70. But retailers say the raids did not harm their business. The sale of legitimate goods had increased because they were on display, while sales of the counterfeits had remained constant. An industry source on the mainland said the profit from pirated CDs was very high. They cost five yuan (HK$4.65) to make and took less than five seconds to produce. A Guangzhou retailer said he had made bulk sales to people who took the pirated CDs for sale in Hong Kong. He sold 100 discs for $9 each to one merchant. The price of a pirated CDs in Hong Kong has dropped recently. Illegal hawkers mostly sell four for $100, compared to three for $100 in the past. But the source said some mainland CD plants were starting to produce video CDs and CD-ROMs, which needed similar production facilities but had a higher revenue. Pirated video CD copies of Western movies like the US blockbuster True Lies, Oscar-winning Forrest Gump and some adult films banned in China can be bought for about $35. True Lies and Forrest Gump were screened on the mainland in April and June respectively this year after the signing of the copyright protection agreement and the scrapping of film import quotas. A video CD of Hong Kong motion film Thunderbolt starring Jackie Chan is available in Guangzhou. Distributor Golden Harvest said it had never issued the film as video CD in China. Golden Harvest's China market controller, Ren Yiman, said pirated video tapes of the film were available on the mainland in late August this year when the movie was still being shown in Hong Kong and scheduled to be screened in China in September. He estimated the piracy would cost them 10 to 15 per cent of their business in China where they were expecting to make 90 million yuan for the film, which is still being screened in the major cities.