Quarter of Hong Kong consumers use illegal TV boxes | Security | News | Rapid TV News
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Almost one in four Hong Kong consumers (24%) use a TV box which can be used to stream pirated TV and video content, according to a new YouGov survey for entertainment industry body Casbaa.

CASBAA CEO louis boswell 25 June 2018TV boxes BossTV (9%), Ubox (7%), EVPad (6%), Lingcod (5%), and Magic Box (4%), which come pre-loaded with applications allowing ‘plug-and-play’ access to pirated content, are among the most popular ISDs amongst Hong Kong consumers, the study found.

Almost half (49%) of the 24% of consumers who purchased an ISD claimed that they had cancelled all or part of their subscriptions to legitimate pay-TV services. More than a quarter (26%) admitted they cancelled their subscription to local pay-TV services as a direct consequence of owning an ISD. While 19% said they had cancelled some of their traditional cable TV bundle or packages after buying an ISD.

Not only local pay-TV services were adversely affected by the ISDs. Some 21% of respondents who owned an ISD said they had cancelled subscriptions to international content services available to them in Hong Kong.

“The damage that content theft does to the creative industries is without dispute. However, the damage done to consumers themselves, because of the nexus between content piracy and malware, is only beginning to be recognised. The piracy ecosystem is a hotbed for malware, whether purchasing ISDs from Sham Shui Po’s Golden Arcade or downloading content from infamous torrent sites,” said Neil Gane, managing director for Casbaa’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP).

“Unfortunately the appetite for free or paying cheap subscription rates for stolen content, blinkers some consumers from the real risks of malicious malware infection such as spyware”.

Around half (49%) of those who had an ISD said they purchased it from local district Sham Shui Po, renowned for its electronics outlets. Many of the world’s most popular e-retail stores and social media platforms were also discovered to be preferred destinations for respondents to acquire ISDs and other devices to pirate video content.

ISDs are particularly favoured among 25-34 year-olds and high income earners with university degrees, according to the survey.

The survey comes after 350 ISDs were seized in a Hong Kong Customs enforcement operation, during which eight retailers were arrested and charged with copyright offences .

“The illicit streaming device (ISD) ecosystem is impacting all businesses involved in the production and distribution of legitimate content”, said Louis Boswell, CEO of Casbaa (pictured). “ISD piracy is also organised crime, pure and simple, with crime syndicates making substantial illicit revenues from the provision of illegally re-transmitted TV channels and the sale of such ISDs.”