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Shenzhen the Tech City of China

So last weekend, I had the opportunity to visit my brother who lives in Shenzhen, China. And every time I visit the city. It always never fails to amaze me. The speed that this city advances in terms of technology is mind blowingly fast.

Every time I visit Shenzhen, I always spend at least half day wandering around the main electronic market district of Huaqiangbei.


"SEG Plaza"

Usually, Huaqiangbei is packed with people but I visited during the Dragon Boat festival holiday and As you can see a lot of shops are close or empty.


"A shop that specialized in 3D printers"


"Computer enthusiast shop"


"All sorts of connectors and screws"

If you need anything, you will most likely find it in Huaqiangbei. All sorts of stuff hardware, ip cams, powerbanks, usb dongles, LEDs, latest tech, smartphones, computers, phone parts, If you could think of it. Its probably available there. Also EVERYTHING IS SUPER CHEAP.

Even fidget spinners

Shenzhen, for better or worst is fast becoming a cash less city. Everything can be paid through your phone via Wechat Pay or Alipay (Wechat pay is more popular in China since almost everyone have has it) From buying stuff online to eating outside, parking, tipping, giving money. (Yes, even beggars have their own QR code for you to scan and to give money to) everything can be settled through it. It's really convenient.

Another thing that gained popularity in Shenzhen are bike-sharing app


The bike sharing app is really easy to use and its cheap too. My brother told me that he uses Mobike almost everyday and only pays around 20 RMB per month (or $3 USD)

Last but not the least.

Another thing that Hong Kong doesn't have is Papa Johns.

Thanks for reading this blog. I know its rough around the edges. As i don't normally do this.

papabless

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Psh HK doesnt need PapaJohns, there is so much good food there.

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True, but sometimes I just need my pizza fix and pizza hut doesn't count.

papabless

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Psh papa is the best of fast food pizza chains, but deff no where near "good" pizza. Sry to derail the conversation, did you get anything notable in the shops?

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Thank you for sharing your blog with us. China is amazing and I would love to visit.

The only thing I know about Shenzhen, China is I am waiting for a T-shirt I ordered from there that was pretty cheap with free shipping. That is because it is being sent by SF Express, through Asia, Europe, New York and then to me and it will take TWO MONTHS! to get here. I guess the wrong way / long way around the globe is cheaper. I would have gladly paid a few dollars more for them to use DHL or something.
:wink:

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Nothing really. As I didn't really planned on buying anything for myself. But I did buy a couple of phone accessories for my girlfriend.

@Positron Yea, Shenzhen is really an awesome place to visit. But damn waiting for a T-shirt for 2 months is a little to much haha, but at least that t-shirt have traveled around world and its FREE shipping haha.

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When I worked at Black & Decker, the parent corporation Windmere was in Hong Kong and the factories were in an awful part of mainland China. Anyone making the trip would take orders and they would pick up lots of stuff cheap from those HK markets. A thing they told me about was the pirate movie shops. One would buy a stack of blank DVD's in the shop and the shop would burn anything you wanted onto them while you wait (or go eat).
I wish I was important enough to go.

Highly recommend HK, their public transport is amazing and they have cool octopus cards you can pretty much use anywhere. If you bring cash there are currency stores that give you pretty much the exact exchange rate into HKD. I guess I am a little partial since my wife is from HK.

That sounds like a long time ago. Burning movies into DvDs. You don't see much of that anymore as pretty much everyone knows how to acquire movies online. Hong Kong from let say 5 years ago is pretty much the same Hong Kong. But I couldn't say the same to Shenzhen. That place really took off. It's not even the same as a year ago.

@mutation666 Yea, everything here is really good, especially the food. Currency exchange shops are all over HK and the rates are always competitive. Octopus is really convenient but not much innovation followed through after it.

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My favorite food that I can get lower quality ones in this area as there is a HK based restaurant in my area along with a good amount of other asian stuff is Cha siu. Also all the small bakeries were also super good, especial for quick morning stop assuming we didn't do dim sum.

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This reminds me of this video I seen a couple weeks back where this guy went to China and reconstructed an iPhone 6 from scratch. I will say that the folks out there are so technologically advanced it doesn't make any sense

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I've never been to Shenzhen myself but I've lived all over mainland China. These types of markets are common in tier 1 and 2 cities.

I built a few computers from components sourced from places like this. My favorite one was Haidian in Beijing. No pictures but it's extremely similar.

Hangzhou has a bike sharing system, too. The only problem with it was availability of good bikes to ride. Usually the tires were under pressure or the brakes were funky so I stopped using them and just used Didi app to hail taxis. I hope the bikes were better maintained in Shenzhen!

What I've always been more interested in is the Special Economic Zones (经济特区) as Beijing likes to call them. Supposedly it's a free(er) market than non SEZ like Hangzhou and Beijing and favors foreign businesses. I've visited Ningbo and Tianjin which are types of SEZ zones and it didn't seem any different to the cities I lived in. Then again, I'm not a foreign company trying to gain traction in China so every city looks and feels like every other city to your average joe.

Go to a Pizza Hut and see the difference lol. If you can ever find one, look for Mr. Pizza. It's a Korean chain and they have some weird ass pies if you're up for fusion.

The reality is that China isn't amazing and may be worth a visit if you can deal with common hassles. I made good money there but realized I had to get out if I wanted to start a family. Hospitals are over crowded and dirty (trust me, I was checked into one in Hongren near Tangshan. The lower the city tier the worse it gets), Chinese people told me stories of babies getting mixed up frequently, the risk of counterfeit and toxic food and hell, social 'credit' and worst of all the persecution of the Falun Gong which is fueling the black market of organ harvesting that is being exposed bit by bit. Then the fall of Hong Kong and how the party is handling it. I could go on and on....

The positive side: The people I worked with and the folks I made friends with outside of work were great. Sadly, it's the communist party that is ruining the party. If only the return of Hong Kong liberalized the country like many hoped it would in the mid 90's China would be one of the greatest countries in the world.

EDIT TL;DR
the macro side of things sucks
The micro side of things is excellent.

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I've also seen the video and actually added "constructing a phone from scratch" in my to do list.

@fruitbrut Shenzhen is totally a different city than Beijing or Haitian. It's a shame that you didn't had the chance to visit the place and from what i've read you've only been in the northern part of China.

But Pizza Hut sucks cox n dix.

Honestly, China is really amazing. They managed to achieve enormous growth in only 2 decades. I'm actually quite excited to see the future of that country.

No Religious or Political Content
Religious and political discussions frequently become divisive arguments and are outside the scope of this forum. Discussion of tech policy or tech law is acceptable.

Please, try not to derail the topic.

That's why you get in China, because it's different -_-

Partially true. Don't forget about the periods before that! China didn't even report GDP until 1988. Growth was substantial but Korea, Japan and Hong Kong were similar just to name a few. Hardly an amazement IMO. It's impressive, though!

Not derailing the topic, good sir. Just qualifying why China isn't as amazing as everyone makes it out to be. More of history than politics anyway. That said, keep in mind it's a dark place in the large scale of things. You're not in the party are you :wink: Moving on.

Shanghai, Hangzhou is central eastern. I didn't go into depth about every place I've been to in China. I've been south for sure. And west! Didn't care for southern China. Haidian is a district in Beijing. Dunno what Haitian is.

@Old_Snake BTW did you buy anything substantial from the shops? Are you going back to China sooner or later? Got some nice places you should visit if you can motor around.

EDIT:
Since I've never been to Shenzhen, aside from the tech market and bike sharing that most other cities have, what else does Shenzhen have to offer tech wise?

So cool! I hope some day I have a job that requires me to go there. :3

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Pizza Hut sucks anywhere.

Should have just dropped it. Same can be said in most countries. No need to make a reply about that comment. Also, the reason why I didn't comment on the subject. This is how arguments starts. It's Politics, hence the rule "No Religious or Political Content"

I did and its a secret :smirk:. I live in Hong Kong and my brother lives in Shenzhen, so I go visit my brother and the market every month or so.

Thanks, that sounds fun. But i rather stick with the tech side of China :sweat_smile:

Nothing that I can think of as of the moment. :grin:

I almost forgot #papabless

I think China is having atleast 2 huge conferences there



Huge number of conferences this summer, even the black hat hackers conference in vegas.

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I seriously consider going to shenzhen for a few days just to experience the atmosphere and to feel like i am in a world where Adam Jensen exists.

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