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Sega Sales in Hong Kong Devastated by Piracy

February 10, 1995

HONG KONG (AP) _ Sega, the Japanese video game maker, says it sold only 200 copies of its hit ``Sonic and Knuckles″ game in Hong Kong because the market was flooded by counterfeit Chinese-made versions.

``We expected them to sell like hot cakes,″ said lawyer Kiichi Nishikura said Thursday, the Eastern Express newspaper reported. ``But the market has been totally spoiled by counterfeiters.″

The United States has set a Feb. 26 to impose punitive tarrifs on Chinese-made imports if Beijing doesn’t crack down on rampant violations of patents and copyrights by Chinese manufacturers.

``Ninety-nine percent of the pirated material comes from China,″ said Loo Shih-yann, a Sega lawyer, in an interview today.

A Hong Kong court on Thursday fined a partner in an electronics company $33,000 for smuggling 1,800 counterfeit Sega games from China to Hong Kong.

Sega estimates it loses 50 percent of its world sales to pirates, and 70 percent of its Hong Kong sales, according to Loo.

Also today, the Hong Kong government said it has seized about 2,000 pirated compact discs worth $10,800 and arrested 14 people on charges of violating copyright laws.

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