Have you ever ordered a tiny electronic part on eBay? Wondered where you could go to get all the bits and bobs needed to build some sort of fun electrical gadget? Oh Boy, have I found the place. Huaqiangbei – The Shenzhen Technology Markets.
First and foremost, this is not just one big set of market stalls, it’s not even one big shopping centre – it’s an area.
I was dropped off at The Pavillion – a hotel at the start of what is one big mall – an open street with pedestrian traffic only, with escalators reaching down to three separate train lines. Over the span of around 1km, there are streetside shops selling mobile phones and accessories side to side, wall to wall the entire length of the way.
Not likely a genuine Apple Store, yet shop after shop is filled with logos from Apple, Samsung, Oppo, Huawei and more.
In town as a guest of Huawei, I wanted to check out one of their flagship stores – problem was – which one was it?
I ended up finding it – the giveaway being the lack of any other branding.
But it’s whats behind the walls that is most stunning. I walked into six different buildings, each was a multi-story shopping centre. Some with clearly defined stores, others more like indoor market stalls.
Floor after floor of electronics stores. In one building I found two levels of high-end audio, everything from Microphones to speakers and amplifiers.
In most though you’ll find store after store selling phones, hard drives, components, computers and everything required to build your own.
When you look through comprehensively, you’ll find every type of LED light and light strip, as well as every single component needed to make not just computers, but anything electronics.
It struck me that the passing trade surely couldn’t be their main source of income, but then it dawned on me, these workers were all on their laptops, and packaging items, they were probably selling online. When you search eBay you can find anything you need right? Well this is where it’s being sent from.
Likewise there’s a huge market here for anyone looking to expand their offering in Australia – lets say you’re an electrician looking to offer new LED lightstrip options to home outfitting – there’s a whole floor of these things here in Shenzhen.
When I need some little bit or bob, I head down to Jaycar electronics – they’ve got resistors, they’ve got adaptors, they’ve got cables. But this place is like taking every isle of Jaycar and expanding it out to an entire level of the Parramatta Westfield.
It’s hard to comprehend the scale of this place, but if you’re ever in Shenzhen and are looking for some tech or gadgets, set aside a few hours to explore Huaqiangbei – the Shenzhen Tech Markets.
Trevor Long travelled to Shenzhen as a guest of Huawei – for details of our commercial interests and disclosures click here.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.