Zombie Discs

Li Mingwu is knee-deep in Nirvana. He is buried in Bjork, awash in Aerosmith and mired in Moby. Li (not his real name) supplies cut-rate music CDs to storefront retailers in his home city of Guangzhou in southern China and is on one of his periodic buying trips to Shantou, a port city in Guangdong province. Here, inside a cluster of brick warehouses at the end of a dirt lane, hundreds of thousands of discs by foreign artists, both major and minor, are piled in cardboard boxes and wicker baskets stacked several meters high. Li wades through the CD sea like...

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