Organisers of a new computer fair in Sham Shui Po protested outside the Hong Kong Computer Festival yesterday, but they appeared to have benefited from their rival's change of venue. The Chamber of Hong Kong Computer Industry and Sham Shui Po District Council co-organised the annual festival, which opened yesterday. It was moved from Apliu Street in Sham Shui Po to Cheung Sha Wan Playground this year. The Hong Kong Computer Association had declared a price war, launching the new Sham Shui Po Computer Festival on Monday inside four shopping malls near the old venue of the annual expo. On the first day that the two festivals overlapped, 40 protesters alleged the government's co-hosting of expo-style festivals interfered with the industry and affected their businesses, as expos drew crowds away from their shops. 'We need to pay rent and pay our staff every month,' said Lui Kin-chung, vice-chairman of the association. 'We want a normal business environment.' Lui led the small-business owners in throwing ceramic bowls onto the ground - to indicate that their livelihood had been shattered. Responding to the association's allegation, district councillor Lo Wing-man said: 'Sixty-three per cent of the exhibitors came from the malls.' He reiterated that the chamber had borne the cost of holding the event and that the council was not involved financially. Leung Ding-kau, chairman of the chamber, said last week that profit from the festival was given back to the community through initiatives such as free computer lessons. But the association accused the chamber of incurring large expenses, resulting in less funds going back to the community. Lui said the HK$120,000 budgeted for a celebratory dinner at the end of the festival was ridiculous. Bo-bo Chong Po-king, chief executive officer of the chamber, explained that the dinner had been organised for all the exhibitors. It would allow them to give feedback to the organisers in order to improve the following year's event. As it turned out, the malls where the association's new festival was held were busier than usual. Tom Chan, supervisor of a store in Golden Computer Plaza, said yesterday: 'It's not the peak hours yet, but it's already packed.' He said sales had increased 40 per cent over the past few days because of the Sham Shui Po Computer Festival. Despite signs outside Sham Shui Po MTR station directing the public to Cheung Sha Wan Playground, shopper Ivan Ng said: 'I couldn't find it; that's why I came to the mall.' However, the annual expo, which attracted 450,000 visitors last year, continued to receive support, with technology enthusiasts queuing for up to four hours before it opened.