Friday, March 10, 2006

Dakou CDs

For one thing, I haven't had my passport checked at an Internet cafe since Shenzhen, so maybe I should just chalk that up to bordertown paranoia, or just as likely, in the interior no one follows the rules....

What I wrote about Dakou earlier is wrong, I think. I got a more plausible explanation recently, which is this: Record companies, CD stores, etc. in the west occasionally dump excess inventory of unsalable or surplus CDs, selling them to developing countries as recyclable plastic. Many of them are clipped with an electric saw - thus the name dakou, make a hole - but many are not. In China these end up for sale on the streets, and the selection is weird, everything from recent (surplus) pop - e.g. Beyonce - to 70s has-beens. Last night in Kunming, I saw a guy selling some on the street for RMB 3, or USD 0.38 per disc.


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