Scalpers can be found at sporting and entertainment events around the world, but those outside the China Open tennis final in Beijing yesterday were offering a service with a difference. Hordes of shady characters in three-piece suits were massed outside the China Tennis Centre, pouncing on pedestrians, cyclists and any car that slowed to a cruising speed. In the west, scalpers sell their tickets at a hefty mark-up, but perhaps only in China could a ticket valued at more than 60 yuan be snapped up for a mere 10 yuan. The tickets were not even fakes - they had been issued for sponsorship deals or giveaways and found their way into scalpers' hands. But Jonathan Krane, president of Emma Entertainment, which has exclusive ticketing rights on the China Open for the next five years, was not complaining as the company's main concern - fake tickets - had not materialised. Speaking two days ago, Mr Krane said: 'Sure, counterfeiting is a huge problem, but thus far we have had zero counterfeits.' Each ticket to the final came with seven security features. Still, Mr Krane said: 'Tickets shouldn't be used as currency.' At 10 yuan a ticket for a seat normally priced between 60 and 1,280 yuan, it does not take much to figure out where the scalpers came from. The printed price of 0 yuan on the tickets was also a giveaway. Bartering is still an important part of making a deal and many seats for entertainment events are given away through sponsorship deals or through the guanxi - or connections - game. People interested in attending an event often put off buying a ticket in the hope that a free one will come their way. 'That's why two days before the event, you see a major spike in sales,' said Mr Krane. 'In the west, Madonna tickets go on sale, and on day one there's a major spike.' Mr Krane first came to Beijing 18 months ago looking for opportunities in the software market. His company is entering virtually uncharted territory.