Making a Dangerous Prototypes sign in Shenzhen

Shenzhen isn’t just about building electronic hardware, so many things can be created and customized inexpensively. One day we spotted an entire street of shops selling customized signs in Dongmen, the old market neighborhood. There’s a few dozen shops with hundreds of sample signs in different styles hung on the walls, most decorated with binky […]

Downloadable ShenZhen map for makers

We are a great fan of Shenzhen and love the wandering round the vast partmarkets of Huaqiangbei, Shenzhen. Ian even decided to leave the cold and windy Netherlands and settle in the Shenzhen area. Two years ago we start our first steps in Huaqiangbei during our first geek tour of Shenzhen, but now we are veterans and know […]

Shaizi (liars’ dice), street BBQ, and beer: guanxi the easy way

Guanxi means “face”, which is basically a Chinese system of respect in business and life. If a friend does you a favor, you owe them one back. If you do good business with a vendor, they treat you well. Westerners, especially, I think blow this way out of proportion. Maybe in the past it was […]

Stuff to do in Shenzhen: Open a bank account

So you’ve got the hang of shopping for stuff on the Chinese auction site Taobao, but you’re sick of dealing with brokers? Open a bank account in China to pay the seller and shipper directly. Bank accounts are easy to open. Take a passport and an initial 100rmb deposit to any branch of any bank […]

Out of Shenzhen: Sea of people at Louhu/Lo Wu

Guide books warn that the boarder crossing from Hong Kong to Shenzhen at Louhu can be extremely busy. We’ve always sailed through in a couple minutes. Today, after leaving China immigration, we encountered this sea of people in the no mans land bridge to Hong Kong. Still only took about an hour to get through, […]

Shenzhen day 3: The North East quadrant

Today we mapped the most expansive part of Hua Qiang Bei parts market, the quadrant with the famous SEG market building. SEG is the best known, but there are a dozen other buildings too. Most buildings have some combination of cell phones and accessories, but there’s some good parts shops too. Check the pics below […]

Shenzhen day 2: Other stuff

We also mapped the South West quadrant (empty, consumer electronics only), and the North West quadrant (a dozen buildings with 6-7 floors each, including the 6 floor international LED building). Here’s some of our highlights, including: Some sort of passive component pick and place Multiple stores selling only one type of component like zener diodes, […]

Shenzhen day 2: Other stuff

One of our goals on this trip is to map out the main component buildings of Hua Qiang Bei market. Today we explored the South-East quadrant we’ve never noticed before. This part was full of cell phone replacement parts and repair stands. It was much like Manish market in Mumbai India, but Shenzhen-sized. There’s replacement […]

Shenzhen day 1: Hua Qiang Bei market

Today we also made our inaugural trip to the big electronics parts markets in Shenzhen. We met up with Mitch from Hackvana who showed us his favorite stands. We’ll shoot an interview with Mitch in a few days. We only had a few hours today, but we’ll be back here all week to source parts for our projects. […]

Getting your stuff built: how to shop, conduct business, stay alive, and eat your way through Shenzhen

When we Bob at the Shenzhen Maker Fair he was learning to get his portable scoreboard manufactured. He’s been blogging about his experience in China, and documented the steps he took to get his project up and running. In 2012 I was chosen for the first year of HAXLR8R, a Chinese hardware startup accelerator to […]