Hua Qiang Bei market in Shenzhen, China
Dangerous Prototypes tours the biggest electronics market of all, the Hua Qiang Bei market in Shenzhen, China. This is the third and biggest market on our Global Geek Tour. Be sure to check out Akihabara in Tokyo and Cheonggyecheon in Seoul too.
First we went to the SEG building, which has 2 huge floors dedicated to electronics parts. Floors are large open spaces bristling with stands. Each stand has a glass case with various components, the seller will open it for you to touch and feel the components, excellent for choosing mechanical devices, like connectors, and pots. Each stand is well stocked, but in case they don't have the amount you need, they'll send a courier to bring you the components in a hurry.
Next we went to the LED trading center, a whole building dedicated to LEDs, and LED accessories. Here we hooked up with Tully, and Liao (Seeed Studio) where they explained to us why they like Hua Qiang Bei. One thing to note is that the suppliers here will deliver anything you buy to the place you are staying at, and it's Cash on Delivery. Tully advised us that the best way to get low prices is to develop relationships with the sellers, if you do you can get whole sale prices for 1 off buys.
Later we visited another building with general electronics, here is where Seeed gets their connectors and LCDs. Also we ran into a supplier for SparkFun.
The SEG, and the LED trading center, are just 2 buildings in a whole neighborhood dedicated to electronics. Unfortunately we weren't there long enough to tour it all, but we are sure to be back.