SEG is a marketplace – a bazaar, really – in downtown Shenzhen. It stretches the imagination in many ways. One floor after another of shops – no, make that stalls – selling every kind of electronic THING you can think of. Cables (power, ribbon, CAT-10, and everything in between), connectors, plugs, sockets, connector locking devices, capacitors, resistors, transistors, oscillators, inverters, solenoids, relays, trimpots, switches, buttons, lamps, LEDs, piezoelectric, speakers, amplifiers, chips (from 74xx DIPs and LSI logic to GPUs and quad-core CPUs), DIMMs, chip carriers, ZIF sockets, motherboards, daughterboards, PCI boards, every kind of expansion, I/O and peripheral boards, power supplies, graphics cards, batteries, power bricks, UPS’s, chassis, cases, displays of all technologies and sizes, from miniscule to wall-sized, keyboards, keypads, joysticks, gaming peripherals from steering wheels to swords, USB hubs, Firewire hubs, SATA hubs, speakers, synthesizers, mice, tablets, touchpads, headsets, microphones, lenses, chillers, fans, docking stations, oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, laptop cases (and sleeves, and decorative decals), radios, antennas, GPS modules, sensors of all kinds, cameras, flash memory, disk drives, CD and DVD drives, enclosures for the drives, blank media. And yes, of course, there’s software, though not a lot of it. Windows 7 DVDs were being pushed at me at every turn, inside SEG and on the streets outside. And then we have all of the systems built out of all that stuff: thumb drives, cameras, phones, navigation systems, laptops, netbooks, desktops, portable media players, TVs, set-top boxes, game systems. Every big name was represented there, and each seemed to be selling everything from phones to laptops to TVs.
The focus is extreme. No t-shirts, no food, no music, books, magazines, or other “content”. (But then why would anyone buy a CD these days?) No distractions. Let’s make a deal. One unit, ten, a hundred, OED, OEM, whatever it takes.
This was all in one market, packed with people, all wheeling and dealing. At least 8 floors (I gave up counting). What makes it even more amazing is that this is just one of several places – similar size, similar business model – along one street in Shenzhen.
I didn’t buy anything while I was exploring, except for a drink at Starbucks. I did go looking for a pair of lightweight hiking trousers, but I couldn’t find anything in my size. Even a “2XL” was a 38″ waist.