Computers and Electronics
In a city where the young make fashion statements with their mobiles and the old play Chinese chess on tabs, the amount of retail space dedicated to gadgetry and electronics is probably only challenged by jewellery shops and convenience stores. For the visitor, Hong Kong’s lack of sales tax and import duty means bargains await on everything from desktop computers to music players. And, as with all shopping in Hong Kong, the experience can run the gamut from crowded street markets to plush malls. Needless to say, goods that come with warranties from recognised brand name manufacturers ensure top performance.
Mobile and communications technology
People in Hong Kong often own more than one handset and change models frequently, which forces retailers to be competitive with their pricing and comprehensive in their offerings. Products not only keep up with, but often precede, world trends. The shops in Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay offer the most competitive prices for communications equipment. Make sure you always ask which mobile network system is compatible with the model you buy, as networks and other standards vary around the world.
Computer hardware and software
Desktops, notebooks, printers, scanners, even the humble mouse: Hong Kong is the place to find the latest and the best of all things digital. The local market is both demanding and knowledgeable, which means a great variety of products is available. Windsor House Shopping Centre in Causeway Bay, Star House in Tsim Sha Tsui and the Wan Chai Computer Center in Wan Chai are just three of many locations that have several floors devoted to computer hardware, software and accessories.
In Hong Kong, keeping one’s electronics up to date is regarded as only slightly less important than life and death. You can be sure that whatever you are looking for will be here, and that things you never even realised you needed are here too. Prices differ significantly, so it's worth shopping around. Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok and Sham Shui Po are all popular places for electronic goods. Check that the receipt lists all the prices for all accessories to fulfil the warranty specifications, and be sure the product is compatible with your home country’s voltage and broadcast requirements before buying. TV and video equipment is available in both PAL and NTSC formats.
Cameras and accessories
It’s no accident that Hong Kong has a great reputation for photographic equipment shopping, and most can’t help but notice the sheer number of camera shops (and advertisements) packed into the city. The pros head to Stanley Street on Hong Kong Island and Sai Yeung Choi Street in Kowloon to replace a lens or upgrade a camera body. The big electronics chains cater to everyone from the not-so-fussy to the cyber savvy. Photography is a popular hobby locally, and many camera shops carry a wide range of optical equipment and accessories. Audio and video equipment stores display most major brands and allow customers to compare picture and sound qualities on the spot.