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Vendors still sell fakes

THE illicit sale of fake Haibao souvenirs is still rampant within or near the World Expo site despite a series of newly implemented measures by the organizer.

By July 16, officials had caught 18 scalpers with 71 pavilion reservation tickets, 35 of which were fakes. They had also captured 35 vendors who sold unlicensed Haibao products, confiscating more than 25,500 items from them in zones A and B.

Illegal vendors are seen daily inside the park. At some exits, visitors are often asked by more than 10 unlicensed vendors to buy fake products.

These vendors usually buy the 160 yuan (US$ 23.61) Expo ticket from scalpers for about 120 yuan to get into the site. Many say they can easily make a profit of several hundred yuan by selling items near popular pavilions.

One unlicensed vendor, an elderly woman, said she prefers to go at night.

"Business is usually booming at night since visitors are more likely to buy a souvenir on their way home," she said.

The darkness also allows her to "hide" from urban management officials.

Stall vendors are seen daily at popular spots such as: the small garden near Taiwan Pavilion, the area between the Serbia and Spain pavilions, the elevated footpaths near Expo Boulevard and Expo Culture Center and the resting area near the Netherlands Pavilion.

The most common unauthorized products are Haibao key chains? which sell for 10 yuan for three or four inside the park and 10 yuan for five to seven outside the grounds.

Other vendors can be seen selling foldable stools.

They keep them in bags and walk queues outside popular pavilions. The stools sell for 30 yuan each.

Urban management team members patrol around popular sites to prevent such illicit sales, yet the vendors just move around and hide their small fake products under their clothes.

Unlicensed vendors who are caught will be forced to leave the site. They may even be sent to the police if they are caught selling a large number of products, according to Song Laixin, spokesperson of the Visitors Service Center.

Illegal vendors often work in teams to smuggle the fake products into the site.

An official at the Expo's commercial administration and service department said that vendors may be throwing items over the perimeter fence and into the site to their partners.

Others have been seen taking goods near the exit to their partners inside when guards are not paying attention.

Illegal vendors can be seen near all entrances. They usually sell their unlicensed items around the parking lots to tour groups to avoid urban management officials.


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