Getting Your Gadget Fix: Buying Electronics in Shenzhen

Getting Your Gadget Fix: Buying Electronics in Shenzhen
By Pete Cowell ,

If you are new to Shenzhen or are a permanent resident, searching for good quality consumer electronics can be a daunting task. Although Shenzhen and its environs can justifiably be considered one of the electronic manufacturing centres of the world, finding retail outlets is more difficult than you may imagine.

For example, China was recently at the centre of a scandal involving counterfeit Apple retail outlets in certain cities, even to the point where the supposedly unsuspecting staff thought that they were working for the official company. As China strives to divorce its image from the previously well deserved reputation as the globe's most successful and unscrupulous copy artists, trying to find consumer electronic products in Shenzhen may seem like a futile nightmare. Thankfully we're here to help.

Whether you are searching for someone to fix your laptop, hoping to buy a spare phone or just looking to get a cheap phone charger because you left yours at work, there are several retail outlets where you can get your fill of gadgets in Shenzhen.


1) Huaqiang Electronics World
Probably the best place to start is Huaqiang Electronics World, a huge electronics emporium on the eastern edge of Futian district. Housed in one of the first skyscrapers to be built in Shenzhen, this place sells absolutely every type of electronic component you can think of, from micro speakers to wires and everything in between. However, be warned Huaqiang covers over ten floors, each linked by several escalators, making it very easy for first time visitors to get lost. One floor might specialise in much the same products as the next, or there might be five shops next to each other all selling laptop batteries. While you are pretty much guaranteed to find whatever it is you are looking for – even if it does take several hours of frustrating searching – it is worth taking a few business cards from a shop just so that you can find it again.

Also, if you need to visit somewhere again to fix your friend's laptop this time (as they did such a good job on yours), a shop assistant will usually come and meet you at a specific exit of the metro station and lead you through the maze. It should also be noted that the general Huaqiang Beilu area has lots of similar retail establishments that line much of the main thoroughfare, and this is a great place to pick up cheap mobile phones and copies of more famous brands. 

Huaqiang Electronics WorldView In Map
Add: 1007-1015 Huaqiangbei Lu, Futian District, Shenzhen
地址: 深圳市福田区华强北路1007号—1015号
Tel: 0755 8329 0010
Opening hours: Daily; 08:30-21:00
Getting there: Take the metro to Huaqiang Lu, exit A

2) Wal-Mart
If you don't fancy trying to navigate your way through Huaqiang Electronics World, or you know exactly what it is you are looking for and don't like wasting time when you are shopping (like me), then try Wal-Mart. This ubiquitous American chain has had a firm foothold in Shenzhen for several years now, and as well as providing a whole range of household items, you can also pick up flat screen LCD TVs, digital cameras and other consumer electronics at fairly good prices. There are several shops throughout the city, but the largest and possibly offering the best choice is the superstore near Shekou.

Shekou Wal-Mart (superstore)View In Map
Add: Sihai Gas Station Right, Shekou Industry Road, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
地址: 深圳市蛇口工业区工业大道和东滨路交汇处
Tel: 0755 2681 6712 ‎
Opening hours: Daily, 08:00-22:30
See website for information on other branches in Shenzhen

3) Carrefour
Another large chain, although this time with a more continental European flavour, Carrefour is a great place to find consumer electronics in Shenzhen. To be honest, they sell similar items to Wal-Mart; flat screen LCD TV's of all sizes, air conditioning units, toasters, fridges and external hard drives for your laptop to name but a few. It might be worth comparing prices between Carrefour and Wal-Mart if you are intending to buy a larger item. In both places, at least you can be secure in the knowledge that the products you are buying are genuine, and will usually come with some kind of enforceable warrantee or guarantee.

Carrefour (Central Plaza branch)View In Map
Add: Floor B, Central Walk, 1 Fuhua Lu, Futian District, Shenzhen
地址: 深圳市福田区福华一路怡景中心城B1层
Tel: 0755 8280 1666
Opening hours: Daily, 08:00-22:30
See website for information on other branches in Shenzhen

4) The Hong Kong Connection
Nevertheless, Shenzhen's proximity to Hong Kong undoubtedly has an effect on consumer electronics in the city. In all honesty, buying big brand electronics like Apple or HTC products in mainland China is much more expensive than just across the border. This is due to the 50% import tax levied on all goods brought into China; from furniture to food products. While it is true that the range of electronics available in Shenzhen is growing – especially if you don't mind owning a slightly dodgy looking ‘Nokio' mobile phone – many discerning customers (both Chinese and expats), will find a product they like in one of the expensive shopping centres and simply take a note of the product reference number. The next time they happen to be in Hong Kong, they can then buy exactly the same gadget at a much lower price. The only problem is trying to smuggle your new found goods back across the border into China…

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Keywords: Electronics market in Shenzhen Huaqiang electronics world Shenzhen buying cheap electronics in Shenzhen


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