China trip – 20. The computer repair hall

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China is the manufacturing capital of the world by a very big margin I think.   By this dual carriageway which heads through a busy Shanghai metropolis is 3 floors of technological workshops.

People in the west might grumble how difficult it is to repair or get parts for something broken.

Not in Shanghai.  The Chinese do know how to repair things as well.

This was one of the three floors of a building with dozens of computer stores selling new, used equipment and doing repairs, with amazed westerners being able to witness workshops right in front of you.

chinese computer fair

For those who know me, I’ve done repairs on laptops and one Mac, and know how difficult how some are to get apart, and you really need to study diagrams or a Youtube video from someone else who has done it.   To take apart a Mac requires a suction cup to remove the glass before getting the TORX screws the hold the LCD out.   Getting apart phones and tablets normally involve a hairdryer on hot mode to melt the glue in the glass and prise out the glass with guitar plectrums in all four sides which requires a lot of patience.

Some of these people are in the middle of soldering, removing screws, taking complex circuit boards from the lower half of laptops.   This is a lot different from your average UK high street shop that unlocks phones and does normal PC repair.   These people seem to have a lot more dexterity and skill to do some really good workmanship.

One man is chatting with a soldering iron and the bottom half of a laptop, there are piles of chassis and circuit boards of gadgets to be repaired in untidy piles in small and cramped areas where each vendor is doing his own repairs.


19. Shanghai’s big open food market

21. Shanghai’s Science museum