Originally posted on MAKE:
Shenzhen completely shell-shocks with its technological splendor. My co-founders and I had never seen an electronics market that expanded for blocks with every kind of electrical and technical component known to man the way it does in Hua Qiang Bei. It is like being Neo in the scene in the Matrix where you get to choose your weapons and they zoom out in organized shelves, except it’s not so organized. We got to live out our most demanding and out-of-reach maker fantasies by living in this town where parts, supply chain, and manufacturing are deeply accessible.
When we first arrived at the hardware accelerator program Haxlr8r, we saw motorcycles take shortcuts on the sidewalk, homeless performers make their own speakers, and children with LED throwies in their mouths (OK that was us).
It became obvious that this is a city full of hackers and the truth is, you will not have a productive time in this town unless you do as the locals do. Below are some pro tips to survive at least three months in Shenzhen to explore its technological treasures.