Last October we had the amazing opportunity to travel to Asia to visit the largest electronics tradeshow in the world. The Hong Kong Electronics Fair is held twice every year and it’s the best place to meet suppliers, to find out about market trends, check out new gadgets and eat great chinese food!
While trying to find suppliers on Alibaba.com for our product ideas one of them mentioned they would be presenting their products at this fair. I had never been in Asia and with a very short notice I found out about chinese visa requirements, booked tickets, booked a hostel and got entrance tickets for the fair. It was all very easy and this is why Chinese are so successful at trading. There were no problems with the visa. You don’t need one for visiting Hong Kong, as they are very open for business and visitors, but since I wanted to cross over to Shenzhen and Guanzhou, it was better to do the paperwork beforehand.
The HKTDC is the world’s biggest electronics event, that means there are thousands suppliers, from very small companies to known Asian brands and medium sized newcomers, you will find hundreds of companies willing to produce your designs or manufacture their own design with your brand.
I was coming to Hong Kong with a rough idea for a product and was gladly surprise by their entrepreneurship and willingness to do business, there were many new products, some of them very innovative and in a sense you can feel that Hong Kong and China are really maker economies, they seem to be tinkering with new electronic product functions, sometimes copying other companies designs but also making their own and coming up with new functions, product materials, hardware features, etc. So it’s not as what I had expected. We all have read articles about the Chinese just copying Western products and designs, but now that their companies have grown a lot and since they manufacture most of the world’s smartphones and electronic gadgets they are hiring local and international designers, many Chinese who studied abroad have returned to work there and overall you can see quality and good design improving in their owwn products. This is why global electronics production is concentrated in neighboring Shenzhen.