With one caveat, those folks selling parts definitely treats me with a lot less friendliness than they do with foreign buyers, especially when you're buying just one.
There are also varying level of quality when buying parts, especially batteries and screens. It's hard for repair shops in the area to charge higher prices for better parts, so there's definitely a huge market for screens that's slightly mis-calibrated, has a non-noticeable dead pixel and such. Customers in the area generally care less about those kind of quality.
Yeah, that really sucks. There's definitely a lot of pretty apparent white privilege here, which I try to be really aware of and not take unfair advantage of. But it can be tricky to navigate at times.
Trust me- they treat me better than they treat you:P There are other cases where White makers/hardware people can be a bit problematic on the local scene, but not so much in the markets. I've seen African, Middle Eastern traders accommodated in much the same way. And the good treatment probably comes with a slight markup so evens out in the end.
But I do have to say this comment surprises me even more as many of the expats I've met are either blind to or aren't willing to admit there is white privilege there (and other parts of Asia).
I'm really glad there are people like you as our "ambassadors."
Great to hear:-)
As an American, what differences do you see in the electronics community now that you're an expat in China?
So there's just this really different approach of "what can I make myself with the tools I own" versus "what professional services do I have access to, and which of my friends have factories with the right production equipment".
As a result, you see stark difference in quality of initial prototypes.
The flip side is that I think western makers/hackers are more focused on coming up with completely new ideas, with less of a focus on quality of execution, whereas a lot of chinese makers/hackers/manufacturers are more focused on iterative improvement - how can I be really clever to make something cheaper or easier to produce, that looks like a professional product. Both sides are very clever and creative, but focus on different aspects.
Yes, I agree