Huaqiangbei street reopens with new, high-tech dazzle
Updated: 2017-03-10 07:24
By Zhuan Ti(HK Edition)
After being closed for four years due to Metro construction, Huaqiangbei in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, dubbed "China's No 1 Electronics Street", has reopened to the public as a new commercial pedestrianized street. Citizens can now experience novelties, fashion, technologies and innovation like never before.
The Huaqiangbei pedestrianized street opening ceremony took place at 8:40 am on Huaqiang Road North in Futian district on Jan 14.
After several years of retail stagnation and closures due to the construction work, the reopening was a high-profile event in Shenzhen. Leaders of the municipal and district governments, as well as business representatives, gathered to witness the historic moment.
Chen Biao, vice-mayor of Shenzhen, said at the opening ceremony that electronics transactions at Huaqiangbei accounted for 90 percent of the city's market and that the street was expected to become an international commercial electronics street in the future.
Gao Shengyuan, head of the Futian district government, said that Huaqiangbei now boasts six million square meters of commercial space after its reopening. It has also been built into a three-dimensional shopping paradise that includes makerspaces.
Huaqiangbei is now a convenient traffic hub in Shenzhen, accommodating citizens along four Metro lines: 1, 2, 3 and 7.
The main pedestrianized street is 930 meters long and 88 public facilities have been added, including 20 emergency evacuation exits, 13 entrances to underground commercial spaces and five subway entrances. Motor vehicles and bicycles are banned on the main street.
The latest products produced in Huaqiangbei - including augmented, virtual and mixed reality products, robots, drones and intelligent wearables - were showcased at the opening ceremony. Citizens were also invited to participate in interactive activities.
In only 30 years, Huaqiangbei developed itself into "China's No 1 Electronics Street". It was originally transformed from the Shangbu Industrial Zone, which was established in 1982. The Electronic Science and Technology Building, which was located in Huaqiangbei, was not only the highest building in Shenzhen, but also the highest one in China at the time it was built in the 1980s.
Huaqiangbei has long been a cradle of entrepreneurs. Some well-known enterprises such as Tencent Holdings and Hasee Computer were founded there.
However, with the unexpected and irresistible rise of e-commerce, many businesses at the Huaqiangbei market closed by 2012.
(HK Edition 03/10/2017 page1)