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Seeed Studio's Love-Letter to Hua Qiang Bei

Gareth Halfacree

Although we here at oomlout have a great love for local manufacturing, we're also massive fans of Shenzen's Hua Qiang Bei. For those unfamiliar, and who haven't seen our handy-dandy Hua Qiang Bei System (华强北) open map of the area, Hua Qiang Bei is the centre of the world when it comes to electronics and home to shops selling everything from high-grade test equipment to broken-down mobile parts. We're not alone in our admiration for the area, either: our good friends at Seeed Studio understand our love of the region and have demonstrated their own with a list of their favourite Hua Qiang Bei-sourced products. While we're a little unsure about some, such as the electric unicycle, others including a fully-functional highly-hackable mobile phone costing just $12 and a laser pointer capable of melting solder certainly got our attention. The article also offers an insight into the nature of the region, from the sheer quantity of tools on offer through to the tireless and ever-friendly staff, and has us counting down the days until we can pay another visit.

Generally, every store is a group of families: when the parents are serving the customers, they leave their child playing nearby. Lots of children learned skills such as soldering to promote their family business. passed down from generation to generation, that’s how they helped to make the Huaqiangbei what it is today.

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