Fake DVDs are everywhere. It's much easier to find a fake DVD seller than a legitimate one. And, until now, there's been basically no crack down on the industry. But with the Expo coming up in 28 days (there are huge countdown clocks at major metro stops, lest we forget), the city is trying to get everything all nice for the foreigners. This includes flyers in the mail with cute comics instructing proper public behavior and shooing the DVD hawkers off the streets.
My friend Jess and I were out Friday night looking for a DVD store she often visits.
We walked up and down the block - could've swore it was here... Then someone noticed our confusion and pointed us into a nearly-empty shop with a single shelf of Chinese movies. The man motioned for us to knock on the wall, we did, the wall opened, and were led into a fully-stocked DVD shop. The only difference being a girl standing by the wall to open it whenever someone knocked.
So it's business as usual for those who make a living bilking Hollywood. But if you don't live in the city full-time, you might not notice so much.
Today I went to the tech mall and bought a keyboard protector for less than one-third the price the Mac store was charging for their version. And right now I'm on the phone getting Mickey D's delivered to my apartment. In short, Shanghai is awesome.