Zhongguancun (pronounces ¡°Djong Guan Tsun¡±) is called ¡°the Western Central Business District of Beijing¡±. It is a giant area, specialized in everything computers. Beside the many IT companies which located their head offices in the area, the local IT shopping malls are the busiest and most crowded zones of Zhongguancun. The three towers called E-World, Hailong, and Dinghao are the best known. Built on a similar layout, these IT shopping malls offer a full array of IT products: desktop and laptop computers and mobile phones (on the 1st and 2nd floors, and on the basement floor); digital cameras on the 3rd floor; and other IT merchandise such as camera lenses, wireless cards, mice, and peripherals on the 4th and 5th floors.
E-World was built later than Hailong and Dinghao, and its design is more modern. It is situated near Zhongguancun Streeet, which is more convenient for repeat customers and easy to spot from the street.
As crowded as the other malls, E-World is surprisingly orderly inside. Busy, very loud, but orderly. On the 1st and 2nd floors, Samsung, Nokia, Siemens, and Motorola cell phones (and especially new products) are demonstrated by (rather pushy) salespeople. Prices range from RMB 1000 to RMB 5000, about the same as in the US. From the ground floor up, every salesperson will try to catch your attention. IBM, Dell, Toshiba, Acer, and Lenovo are represented here by several resellers. It¡¯s a highly competitive environment, and haggling is execed. You can find a good desktop for as low as RMB 4000 ($540), and a high-end laptop for as high as RMB 20,000 ($2700). On the 3rd floor digital cameras go for RMB 1000 to RMB 20,000 (for single lens reflex cameras).
If you stay in Beijing during the holidays, or in the weekend, Zhongguancun becomes an especially good place to shop for electronics: bargain-basement prices and extras are a common sight during these periods.
Some sales persons speak English, which makes it easier to bargain with them. Otherwise, go with your pen and paper, and jot down your figures.
What I appreciated:
Bargain prices, many kinds of products
What customers appreciate:
Ease of access, bargain prices, large choice
A Beijing specialty shop near the Forbidden City
Simple designs for simple lifestyles
Funny Cultural Logos on T-shirts, Beijing Style
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