A lot of our family income has come from IT over the years. But we’re still not techies. We just counted the beans and told lies about the products. Otherwise it’s all just flashing red and green lights for us.

But if this is your thing, take some time to read the techie chat rooms about Huaqiang Bei electronics. Grown men weep tears of unalloyed joy. Technical people are moved to lyricism.

That’s heaven! When I die I wanna go there ;- daqq, 31 Jan 2007

The thought of being able to purchase single quantities of exotic parts without hassle and BS gives me a tech woodie that could cut glass. Teabag 31 Jan 2007

o.O chips… by… the… reel… in… a… corner… store… ? screw you guys i’m moving!!!

Akihabara, Eat Your Heart Out. Chips that I couldn’t dream of buying in the US, reels of rare ceramic capacitors that I only dream about at night. My senses tingle, my head spins. 

I can see 98% of most geeks having some kind of epileptiform seizure if they were to go to a place like this. Deepjive interests

All of these comments were in response to Bunnie: studios’s famous blog on the Huaqiang Electronics market

You get the picture. Akihabara in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Tech heaven. Reel upon reel of chips, LEDs, all manner of flashing componentry. Stuff that we can’t even start to comprehend.

You can find the wholesale component markets in three places. First, the first two floors of SEG plaza. Look for the 70-storey building. You shouldn’t be able to miss it. The first 8-floors are built around an octagonal atrium and it’s all there on the first two.

There are several buildings styled Huaqiang electronics market. Another is on the corner across the road from SEG. It has two floors of flashing red and green things and mysterious rolls of tape, capacitors, resistors, chips etc. The third large market is in the podium of a group of thirty and forty storey buildings about two hundred yards up Huaqiang Rd on your left as you face north.

SEG is also where you go for cheap consumer electronics. Once you get past the first two floors of componentry, you’re in consumer land. Notebooks, external drives, wireless networks, cheap but very unreliable printer cartridges, memory sticks, digital cameras. Everything.

As usual hard bargaining is the order of the day. The rules are not very different from those enumerated in the section on Luohu above.

If you want to buy consumer goods at retail, go to one of the two leading electronics retailers in Huaqiang: Gome and Sundan. If you’re buying Chinese made products, there is some sense in this. Prices are still attractive and, if you’re not much of a negotiator remember you’re on their home ground, you may even get it for less. Both are reputable businesses and product quality shouldn’t be a problem.

Have a wonderful time shopping at Huaqiang Electronics Market. But don’t forget to explore a bit. We’re not technical enough to appreciate all of it but there are multiple specialised markets around the Huaqiang area. Start at the Stealth and Surveillance Market in the street behind SEG. It’s in a 10-storey building.

Address: Huaqiang North Rd Futian

Metro: Hua Qiang Lu Station line 1, Hua Qiang Zhong on line 2, Hua Qiang Bei Lu on line 3

Buses: 101, 103, 105, 113, 212, 215, 219, 223, 225, 230, 301, 303, 311


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