Beijing Attractions: Zhongguancun District
Zhongguancun is known as the "Chinese Silicon Valley". This compact area, located in the Haidian district of Beijing, boasts people who are experts in IT and computer know-how from all over China. There are lots of well-known high-tech Chinese corporations located here such as LenovoChina, Founoe, UFIDA and Sina. There are also many representative stores for foreign companies, including Nokia, HP, IBM and Microsoft. The University of Beijing and Tsinghua University are also located in Zhongguancun.
In the past, people had the opinion that Zhongguancun was a place that only sold electronics products. But now, Zhongguancun has become a much more diverse shopping and mixed leisure zone. The area has attracted enormous amounts of recent investment and local property prices have risen considerably. If you want to buy good-quality digital products, famous brand names, shop in the huge underground shopping mall, enjoy good food and entertainment, visit Zhongguancun during your stay in Beijing!
Dinghao Top Electronics City 鼎好电子商城
If you want to purchase computer accessories and digital products that are good quality and reasonably priced, visit Dinghao Top Electronics City. Dinghao has the 3Cs (Computer, Communication, Consumer Appliance) products, memorable food, and some varied entertainment options. The third and fourth floors have a special area for computer DIY. Here there are different electronic accessories: external hard drives, memory cards, wireless network connectors, routers, memory chips, digital video camera batteries etc.
One of my friends usually accompanies his foreign contacts to buy electronic accessories in Dinghao. He introduces them to Mr. Shanghongyu and Mrs. Zhaoyan. Their sale counter number is #3251. They will show you good quality electronic products at reasonable prices. If you want to buy headphones, go to Anlihai (#4840 sale shop) franchised store where you can buy Sennheiser and Koss. If you would like to buy a digital or video camera, the sixth floor is worth going to. They provide a range of digital cameras for you to try.
Prices are generally 30%-40% cheaper than abroad; digital products are 10% cheaper than overseas. You will need to find a base price and bargain the price based on that. In fact, the merchants are willing to sell the product to you if they can earn just a small margin.
Taipingyang Digital Market 太平洋数码城
If your laptop doesn't have a webcam, go to Taipingyang Digital Market. The Logitech franchised store is at #307 on the third floor. Taipingyang Digital Market's business area has over 10,000 square meters of floor space. It is easy to park here in the large parking area that provides almost 500 parking spaces. The pattern of Taipingyang's layout is clear and rational. The first floor sells mainly digital products and laptops. The second floor has PC DIY. Fittings and consumables are on third floor. You can buy office equipment on the fourth floor.
Zhonghai Electronics Market 中海电子市场
Zhonghai Electronics Market is opposite Taipingyang. Zhonghai Electronics Market was set up in 1998. It was the first large-scale electronics exchange market in Zhongguancun. Walking through this market, you will be able to feel something of the past atmosphere of the area. If you go to Dinghao or any other market in Zhongguancun first and then come here, you will notice a big contrast in the architecture. This is where second-hand laptops, computers and accessories are sold.
Generally speaking, these markets all have their special characteristics. But I prefer Dinghao and Zhonghai electronic markets because in these two places, nobody tries to push you to go to their shops. Here you can really enjoy your shopping without any hassle.
Off-Price Shopping Mall 上品优价百货
To the west of Dinghao is Off-Price Shopping Mall. Many brand names are sold at reasonable prices. Thousands of popular discount European and US products are on offer. There is a huge variety of goods for sale: dresses, shoes, cosmetics. Every Thursday, new models come into the market. At that time prices have a 20% to 60% discount.
Zhongguancun Plaza Shopping Mall 中关村广场购物中心
Zhongguancun Plaza Shopping Mall is the largest underground shopping plaza in Beijing. It contains five areas:
If you are tired of walking, this plaza shopping mall also provides a small electric shopping car for free.
Read more about shopping in Zhongguancun
text + images by Shi Chong Yin