By >Daimaou - G.G-B
How Do Video Game Parallel Imports to China and HK Really Work?
As you may know, Japan is often the first country to get cool toys when it comes to video games. Strangely, a few days or weeks after the launch of, let’s say a PSP or a Wii FIT, many stores in China and Hong Kong sell these very same products outside proper channels and copyrights. This goes on in spite of most video games and hardware sold in Japan having a “SALE IN JAPAN ONLY” seal on their packages.
Basically it works like this. Some companies in China work with travel agencies who pay their clients to purchase items overseas. They are provided with a shopping list; the more goods the travelers purchase, the more money they receive, and can ultimately travel for free if they buy enough.
It appeared this morning the Wii FIT was the item MOST WANTED by Chinese/HK sellers. You can see in the photo below a yellow bus releasing a horde of Chinese tourists. Some tourists entered a store and purchased Wii FITs. After exiting they dropped their shopping bags in front of accomplices waiting outside, and re-entered to purchase more until the store was completely emptied of Wii FITs. (Technically, most of the time in Japan you’re not permitted to purchase two of the same item when it comes to video games).
If you look closer at the photo you’ll notice (in the red circle) a microphone held by a man. In fact this couple were TV journalists who wanted interviews and to shoot video of this phenomena which is really beginning to annoy manufacturers here in Japan.
Often when there’s a launch of new hardware, PS3s, or whatever, 80% of the people queuing up in front of stores are… Chinese. This reminds me of the PS3 launch when Ken Kutaragi gave the first PS3 to the very first purchaser. The press and Sony reps weren’t able to interview him because the gentleman could not speak Japanese.