BOSSES of some of the world's largest computer firms were left red-faced yesterday after discovering that they had presided over the grand opening of Hong Kong's newest outlet for pirate software. A VIP turnout from IBM, Apple, Acer, Epson and other computer firms - as well as Li Ka-shing's Hutchison Whampoa - arrived to cut the ribbon at the Whampoa Internet Zone in Hunghom, unaware that cut-price copies of their own software were available inside. When the problem was raised by the Sunday Morning Post, IBM's general manager for Hong Kong and South China, Alfred Cheng Tak-chung, said: 'I think you're right, I think it is pirated.' But he could do nothing because 'I am a guest'. The mall is owned by Hutchison Whampoa but managed by the Wang On Group, which spent $15 million to re-create an arcade in the image of its 298 Hennessy Road shopping centre - which Customs officers have repeatedly raided for pirated software. As well as pirated IBM software, shoppers browsed through CD-Roms boasting about 50 Microsoft Windows 95 programs on a single disk and copies of Sylvester Stallone's Judge Dredd and Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator 2: Judgment Day - each for the bargain price of $60. Asked whether he would press Wang On for action, Mr Cheng said he would refer the matter to IBM's legal department. Wang On chairman and managing director Tang Ching-ho said: 'We have the terms in the tenancy agreement to control the tenants if there is illegal activity. 'If we find they have broken the law, we will discontinue the tenancy agreement.' But his assistant manager Queenie Hung Siu-kuen said it was difficult to check whether software was pirated. 'I think most enforcement must come from the government.' A spokeswoman for Hutchison Whampoa said: 'We are not responsible for what is sold in the shops.'