Illegal Wii sellers to face stiff fines, NCC warns

Wii sellers in Taiwan have to watch out as the National Communications Commission yesterday said it will inspect chain stores and give fines to those who sell uncertified Wii game consuls.
Wii, the latest Japanese Nintendo game console, has gained rising popularity in Taiwan despite that fact that it has not yet legally been sold on Taiwan's market. The importer of Nintendo in Taiwan has not been authorized to make Wii available for people on the island, but parallel imports, or gray market goods, is bringing Wii to the hands of nearly 20,000 players in Taiwan in less than four months.
It is reported that Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Legislator Cheng Yun-peng are enthusiasts of the new game.
But the NCC, the country's top media regulator, said yesterday because Wii has a WiFi (wireless network) function and BlueTooth function, it has to be certified by the NCC first before vendors are permitted to sell the game console to customers.
"If the game consoles are sold without the NCC's certification, they will be taken as illegal goods," the NCC said.
The NCC said if people had already bought the Wii from Japan, they should go to the council and have the goods inspected and pasted with certified stickers.
Taipei Customs Office official Li Mao told reporters that according to the NCC's regulation, customs has to report to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications before allowing uncertified goods to enter Taiwan.
Local media reports say that two Wii consoles have been held back by customs.
The Telecommunications Act states that people who produce, sell, import or publicly display uncertified wireless goods will receive penalties ranging from NT$100,000 to NT$500,000.
The NCC said it will inspect stores that sell uncertified Wii game consuls, but will not break into individual houses and issue fines to the owners of the toy.
The general agent of Nintendo Po Yu Corporation noted that Nintendo has not decided when Wii will be marketed in Taiwan or in other Asian countries. One of the corporation sales representatives Tsai Hsueh-wei was quoted by local Chinese-language media as saying "Japan, Europe, and America are selling Wii like hotcakes. Tens of thousands of Wii may be sold in one month in those countries. But how long does it take for Wii to be reaching such high numbers in Taiwan?"
The game consul is reported to cost between NT$8,000 to NT$13,000 on the gray market in Taiwan.