Today's SCMP reports that computer retailers don't like competition:
Computer retailers switched off the lights at their shops yesterday to voice their anger against cut-price computer festivals they say are ruining their business.
Up to 300 shops at seven malls, including Golden Computer Centre, Golden Computer Arcade, Wan Chai Computer Centre and Mong Kok Computer Centre, switched off their lights for 15 minutes. The focus of their anger was festivals, such as one that has been running at the Mega Box mall in Kowloon Bay since last Thursday, where thousands of buyers look for bargains.
They switched their lights off for 15 minutes? Well, that'll be sure to do the trick.
Jacky Cheung, who owns eight computer shops in Sham Shui Po, said he suffered a loss of more than HK$1 million every time a festival was held. "Each of my shops makes HK$200,000 less during the month when the festival takes place" he said. "The computer mall had fewer visitors in the four weeks before the festival and six weeks after it."
Suppliers offered discounts to computer festival participants, further dragging down the price, he said, adding that his business had dropped 70 per cent since its best days in 1997.
The Computer Industry Alliance, which organised the lights-off action, called for a reduction in the number of festivals to save the industry.
The Mega Box festival, launched for the first time this year, was held without the consent of industry players, Lui Kin-chung, a spokesman for the alliance, said. Shop owners who did not have enough staff to join the festivals faced unfair competition.
Right. So we have someone who owns eight computer shops in one small area complaining about "unfair competition." I remember visiting the computer mall in Windsor House many years ago to find that about half the shops on one level had suddenly shut down, and from reading the legal notices it was clear that they were all owned by one company. So let's see if I understand this: 'fair competition' is having multiple shops with different names who can all charge similar prices, and 'unfair competition' is an event that is run "without the consent of industry players."