Copies and fakes

In CategoryJohns blog
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This is John’s Blog of thoughts and issues as they arise or
have arisen in the past in Cambodia.

After you have scrolled through the Blog please click on The
Home Page to your right to get to the main site and all our children and projects in the villages –
thanks.

Copied or faked goods are for sale in most South East Asian countries but in most
it is partially hidden- in a market you are furtively shown a catalogue of
watches, DVDS and handbags and you are taken to some storage room to buy. There
are also occasional police crackdowns in most countries…but not here…

In Cambodia the sale of fake goods is open…. But it’s not
all fake – as you will read within the site, the garment industry is massive
here, making many of the worlds well known brands. These brands are available
in Cambodian markets EXTREMELY cheaply compared with final overseas destination
prices (dealt with thoroughly within the site).

There are hundreds of small shops and stalls in all
Cambodian towns selling DVD copies for US$1.50. If it’s a boxed set of say a UK
or US TV series, then the box is also perfectly copied!

Any book that you can buy can also be copied, including
the binding and cover.

One of the photos shows a fake book and pen shop. This shop,
within a market, specialises in the complete Montblanc  pen range including fully working fountain pens at US$12.

There are very few phone landlines in Cambodia. The combined white
and Yellow Pages for the entire country is just two centimetres thick.

Within the site you’ll see that mobile phones are everywhere
and almost everywhere is within range of a tower. Reconditioned Nokias with a
new cover can be bought for $13 so even in the villages there are some phones,usually
to share. There is big competition between phone companies so calls are
affordable…. a few cents and a 1, 2 or $5 phone top up comes often with
hundreds of free SMS.

 

 

 

 

 

There are mobile phone shops everywhere….often tiny stalls…they
all sell some genuine brand phones but also copies of almost every brand. I’ve
included two photos of a mobile phone shop where almost every phone is a
Chinese copy..(all the thousands of shops are like this). This particular shop is where I’ve been buying pre-peid vouchers for years. I’ve also bought several phones for village famililies here.  On the top row you
can see Iphones – these are all Chinese copies – very cheap, but a complete
waste of the 50 or $60 because most functions don’t work.

People in the west imagine that all medicines here are fake.
Personally I have come across none; however the government does from time to
time close down unregistered pharmacies who are or might be selling fake
medicines. All my medicine and medicine for the villages we help are bought in
Cambodia and I am very satisfied.

Most schools and university students rely on photocopied
books and texts to financially survive.

Before we completely condemn copied papers, DVDs and CDs, if
Khmer people had to pay say Australian prices for any of this, no one would
ever read a western book or see a western movie. Their own film and TV
programmes are all copied. To argue that movie producers and movie stars need
paying would be a very hard argument to sell in a country where a Hospital
Surgeon earns $80 a month.

Regarding copied clothing, please bear in mind that in Cambodia ( but more so in China) the GENUINE clothing is made for European or US brands in huge factories and the workers are paid slave labour wages.. In the same town COPIES are made by the same working families also receiving low wages  . One shirt sells for $100, the other shirt sells for $4. Its hardly surprising that the big brands and their middle men complain. One is legal and the other isn’t. In both cases the workers receive almost none of the profits.

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