Category Archives: Shopping

View of Chengshan Road and Jinzun Road

I got to the top of the first row of the buildings to take some photos of the Chengshan Road, and Jinzun Road area. About 5 years ago, there is nothing in this area. The both roads didn’t not exist, and the area are occupied by farm land, and village. Here is what it looks today.

shanghai-chenshan.road-residential.jpg

shanghai-jinzun.chenshan-corner.jpg

shanghai-paris.spring-front.jpg

shanghai-paris.spring-top.jpg

Along with the building of Paris Spring department store, and the restaurant section, the chain restaurants followed quickly. Here are the stores appeared there:

  • KFC
  • Starbucks
  • Jason’s
  • Ajisen Ramian
  • 85°C
  • Dairy Queen
  • Papa John’s
  • Yonghe

China is starting to be like US – the same brands combination replicate to many places. If you are go to another residential area, it is likely to see the same combination of brands, sometimes with the same order. Pudong is more like Puxi now.

This is also part of the urbanization that wrap out the whole China these days.

International Financial Center Opens

Heard the news that International Financial Center opens at Lujiazui (many weeks ago), and it offers free parking, we detoured there on our way to the post office to check out.

Location: It has many the best location in Lujiazui, just between Jinmao tower, and the Super Brand Mall, as shown in the map below (it was not completed yet in the satellite image).

Map picture

shanghai-roof-ifc

After IFC opens, Shanghai has another top shopping center with the first line brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci… I just feel I entered the world of "The Devil Wears Prada". Interestingly, I am the dummy who don’t understand the brand. I just cannot keep asking the question, why a bag worth 20K RMB? What is the value the branded product? My guess is, maybe the reason is just like people buying iPhone (I can certainly understand why iPhone justifies its 3x to 4x higher price than average phones).

shanghai-lv.store-ifc

Look at the list of brands you can find in the building.

shanghai-brand.list-ifc

I didn’t took a phone of the complex in the International Financial Center. It includes the HSBC Tower, Ritz Carlton, and office towers. Standing from there, you can see the Lujiazui skyscraper area.

shanghai-buildings-outside.ifc

Shanghai is very difference in the last few years. 10 years ago, when I walk on the Orchard Road of Singapore, I was completely overwhelmed by the magnificence of the road. Few weeks ago, when I go there, I saw the Orchard Road, and started to wonder if it is the same road as I saw 10 years ago. It turned out that Shanghai changed faster than Singapore’s Orchard road. In the last ten years, Nanjing road completely upgraded in the Nanjing West Road section, and the Huaihai Road also changed its face quietly. New places like the IFC, World Financial Center raised…. I am not actually too happy about the fact that Shanghai turning into a bigger metropolitan with luxurious brands covering the city faster than McDonald’s. It is just a matter of fact…

I provided the information for the people who loves shopping, although I am a confused speculator in this strange place.

Mayfair (Paris Spring) is on Sale

Mayfair is a brand-shopping mall in Shanghai. With it first store at Xiangyang Road, and Huaihai Road, it started to open many stores in Shanghai these years, after the first store opened 10 years ago.

It is on sale today – only one day – on a Friday.

Most things are 50% off.

It is like crazy. I went there with Wendy, and took some pictures.

I went to BreakTalk and want to get some bread for dinner, only saw this:

All bread was gone.

There are people mountain and people sea… and everyone lines up at cashier’s counter for payment.

Guess what they are doing?

They were waiting for buy shoes. The shoes are not cheap – 100 USD or more for men’s shoes.

It is said in US, many shopping malls are on sale, but still not many consumer buy. In Shanghai, the economy is surposed to go down, and the consumer power is still there, especially at big sales like today.

P.S. The traffic is completely a mass, and all the roads 3 km around the shopping mall were fully jammed.

Where to Buy Genuine Software in Shanghai?

People asked me about where to buy Software in Shanghai?

I assume they are asking about buying Genuine Software.

Why? Because there are fake software selling on so many streets and video-audio stores, but there are really very small amount of stores that sells Real Genuine Software. I assume radio of the place to sell pivated software to genuine is at least 100:1.

OK. This is the first time we complained about the lack of IP protection in China, but this is not the topic. Let me promote genuine software by starting talking about where to buy it.

There are two places you should try first.

1. Metro City (Xujiahui, 1111 Zhaojiabang Road, Shanghai. Metro Line #1 Xujiahui Station)

2. Cypercity at Huaihai Road (near HuangPi Road Station)

These are two big computer markets, and there are several shops selling software…

Buying Furniture in Shanghai

Dan shot me a SMS and asked me where did I buy the patio furniture. I believe it is because of this picture I posted yesterday

I replied with the brief location. Since this may be an interesting question for people relocating to Shanghai, let me share the answers about where I typically buy furniture in Shanghai.

Halo

For the patio furniture – the four chairs, the table, and the sun umbrella, I got it at Hola. Here is their website: http://www.hola.com.cn/. It is at the Hong Qiao Area. This is their location:

上海仙霞店 Xian Xia Store

88 Xian Xia West Road (near Hami Road)

* 2004.12.12开业

* 营业时间:10:00AM-10:00PM

* 卖场电话:021-5219-1919

* 接驳公车:88、121、91、739、54、徐华线、74、807、

莘北专线等

* 地 址:上海长宁区仙霞西路88号(哈密路口)

百联西郊购物中心 地下二层

This is the other store that I didn’t visit yet.

上海莘松店 Xin Song Store

* 2005.12.19开业

* 营业时间:10:00AM-10:00PM

* 卖场电话:021-6493-8000

* 接驳公车:91、756、953、150、沪莘线、鲁莘线、松莘线、

莘龙线、莘吴线、莘仙线等

* 地 址:上海市闵行区莘松路855号百饰得装饰名品城1楼东南侧

(乐购旁)

IKEA

Besides Hola, IKEA is obviously another option. I have many articles on IKEA.

Here are some:

For relocators, IKEA is a good option, although if you know places like Hola, you may prefer to go there.

B&Q

B&Q is mainly for construction materials. They also have furniture sections, featuring low price and low quality furniture. The one I visited most is the one near the Long Yang Road Metro Station.

Other Furniture Stores

Besides these standard stores, the stores I visited most are local, big stores. Here are some:

JSWB, or 吉盛伟邦.

http://www.jswb.com.cn/

English: http://www.jswb.com.cn/en/

They offer some “serious” furniture – I mean the unique, and more expensive goods.

You can find their store locations at this page.

Near ever JSWB, there are many others stores. They are not famous, but offers good selections. You can try any of them – I am not able to name some of them though.

Where to Buy Tea in Shanghai

Sometimes friends ask me about where to buy something in Shanghai, like tea, food, silk, computer, mobile, or anything, you name it.

The challenge is, there are so many places to buy something, but when you ask me to figure out a single place, it is often hard to do that.

Just like this afternoon, when I am asked about “Where to buy tea?” near Xintiandi, my brain is completely empty. You know what, the only place I have immediately in my mind is either the shops in Carrefour, or in Hymall. Both are very far away.

So finally, we found there is a shop in Xintiandi to have tea, also, in Pacific Department Store, there are many – yes, many – tea shops in B2, and along Huaihai Road, there are also many. Well. You see, sometimes there are just too many places that you can not easily figure out.

Well. Someone Calls me a Shanghai Hater

I receive email in my mail box with comment about my blog Avoid Hong Qiao Airport on Friday Night

Wow you are like a tourist….Everyone knows what you do is walk outside of Airport turn right, go down two or three blocks to main st. and you will find a Green Taxi all the time in less then three minutes…I land at this airport 50 or 60 times a year…It is very simple……also you can take a bus to downtown Shanghai for almost nothing………I think it is a shame that you dislike Shanghai so much and you give people such Bias information about Shanghai….I am an American who has traveled extensively in China for almost 30 years. I have spend 4 to 5 months a year in China. I have a home in Shanghai and a home in New York……..

and then another one:

WARNING THE ADVICE ON THIS BLOG ABOUT SHANGHAI IS NOT CORRECT

THE PERSON WHO WRITES THIS BLOG IS A SHANGHAI HATER…KEEP THAT IN MIND……..

Hehe. This is just some sample emails I get after I publish Shanghai information daily. It is understandable. I was called “A Shanghai Hater”, like in this comments, or “Government agency”, or “Writer hired by CCP” or “Person who don’t have any respect to human being”, or …. (just name a few in my recent email). Well. I am not concerned about it.

I have the great opportunity to DIRECTLY communicate with every single person, and I see how difference people’s point of view is, and exactly how the “Elephant and Blind Men” theory works. From the single entry, I believe it is pretty fare to say I am a “Shanghai Hater”. :-) No one – I believe, in this world – has every read everything single post I wrote (I think so because sometimes I even didn’t read twice about what I post), and it is very easy to get an incomplete image.

What many people and cases have taught me is, always, always separate what people talk about your NAME with the real person. Recently, there are some rumors about me again on the Internet. Don’t worry. I read all the articles (some on headlines) with great interest and says: “Hmmm. This guy named Wang seems to be an interesting. Anyone know him?”…

Shopping Malls in Shanghai

This is a short guide for visitors who love shopping. There are many places you can go in Shanghai to buy stuff, from small fashion stores on some hidden streets, to large shopping malls. This article only focus on the later.

Raffles City

268 Xi Zhang Middle Road

I used to work there (the office building behind the Raffles City). It has Singapore flavor (as implied from the name and Capital Land, the developer).

Shanghai Centre

1376 Nanjing West Road

This is maybe the headquarter building for American companies. The Portman Ritz-Carlton Hotel is in the middle tower, and office buildings on the west and east wings, and many shops and airlines on the lower shopping mall. Australia visa office is also there. They have nice acrobatic show in the Theater.

Super Brand Mall

168 Lujiazui West Road

One of the few big shopping malls in Pudong Area. There are many super market centric shopping areas – like those around Carefour, or Lotus, but not too much complex like the Super Brand Mall – with a lot of restaurants, theater, and shops.

Times Square – Pudong

500 Zhangyang Road

Times Square – Puxi

149 Huaihai Road

Xin Tian Di

123 Xing Ye Road

Besides the bar area, they also have a shopping mall on the south side of it, featuring post-modern small gifts, and toys.

Isetan

1038 Nanjing West Road

Massion Mode

1312 Huaihai Middle Road

The flagship for fashion cloths. It has the reputation to be one of the most expensive cloth shopping malls in Shanghai.

Plaza 66

1266 Nanjing West Road

The party place for big names like LV.

CITIC Square

1168 Nanjing West Road

City Centre

100 Zunyi Road

Grand Gateway

No 1, Hongqiao Road

This is huge!

Parkson Shopping Mall

Huaihai Road

Something in Common?

There are something in common in all these shopping malls – expensive. Be prepared.

Zhaoxiang Outlets

Shanghai has its own outlets. To be exact, there are many of them.

Last Sunday, we visited one of them in Zhaoxiang 赵巷.

If you ask me, I would say, it is very much the same as Gilroy Premium Outlets I visited in California. It has many stores, with the presence of major brands. Personally, I am more interested in Nike, Adidas, Levi’s…

The price is OK. It does not seem exactly like that in Gilroy, but pretty similar. Maybe the difference is tax – in U.S., all price is “pre-tax”, and in China, it is after-tax.

For example, Levi’s 501 jeans was like 29.99 USD in Levi’s factory store (seconds), and here, it is around 300-400 RMB. Nike shoes are from 390 – 590 RMB range, and in Gilroy, it is mainly like 25 – 35 USD.

To Get There

The location is like an outlets – I mean its location are very like the location of those outlets in U.S.

It is at Zhaoxiang/Sheshan 赵巷 佘山 exit of A9. Turn right and you will see the outlets just at the corner.

It is definitely a good place to buy genuine product. I feel some sense of the Xiang Yang Market there, but one is fake, and one is genuine.

Many People There

There is something completely different from the Gilroy Outlets – crowd. There are so many people there, and in one store, I even saw a big board with two sides. One side says:

“Welcome”

and the other said:

“Because there are too many people inside, now we are not accpeting new customers”.

OMG.

Update Update on Location November 28, 2006

The location is far from the downtown Shanghai. No Metro arrives there, or even close to it. It is 26 KM away from the People’s Square, and from my home, it is 45 KM, and takes about 30 – 40 minutes.

It is at the third or the forth exit of Shanghai to Huzhou 湖州 express way, A9. It seems the only way to get there is either by driving a car yourself, or taking tourism bus.

Location: 2888 Huqingping Hiway 沪青平公路2888号(嘉松中路5555 号)

Tel: +86-21-59756060

Bus:

Shanghai Tourism Bus #4: Shanghai Stadium – Chengjiaqiao (程家桥) – Xujing (徐泾) — Zhaoxiang Outlets 上海奥特莱斯站

Huqing Line 沪青专线, Huqingying Line 沪青盈专线: Puan Road (People’s Square) 普安路 — Chengjiaqiao (程家桥) — Xujing (徐泾)00 Fangjiayao/Shanghai Outlets(上海奥特莱斯)(6:00 – 22:00)

Huzhu Line 沪朱线: West Bus Station 西区汽车站 — Chengjiaqiao (程家桥) — Xujing (徐泾) — Fangjiayao 方家窑(上海奥特莱斯)

Shangzhu Line 上朱线: Shanghai South Railway Station (South Square) 上海南站南广场 — Chengjiaqiao (程家桥) — Xujing (徐泾) — Fangjiayao (Shanghai Outlets) 方家窑(上海奥特莱斯)

The Huqing Line and Huqingying Line start from the People’s Square, at the corner of Puan Road, and Jinling Road.

Where to Buy Digital Cameras and Phones

Aliza asked:

Hi, I am looking to buy a digital camera in Shanghai, can you please

recommend a reputable store? I will be here for 2 more days.

In Shanghai, there are two major places where you can buy low price 3C product – digital cameras, phones, computers, MP3…

Metro City

Metro city is the traditional gathering place to buy these products. Here is the location:

The nearby Pacific Digital Plaza is also a good place to go.

Transportation: Metro Line #1 Xujiahui Station.

Cyber Digital Plaza

Transportation: Metro #1 Huang Pi Road Station

Cautious

They offer the best price, but it is too crowded inside. Be aware of pocket pickers. Many of the goods there are pirated (imported without tax), so there is no warrantee. Please be aware of the risks before going there.

Sasa Enters Shangahi

Wendy is obviously more excited when she heard Sasa is coming to Shanghai on March 26. I saw a Sara store near Istem on the Huai Hai Road. I didn’t know this store before I went to Hong Kong with Wendy last August. Actually, the major part of shopping experience in Hong Kong was going from one SASA to another – Wendy had a long list of skin-care products to buy for her friends in Shanghai. For many of them, Hong Kong = SASA. :-)

I welcome SASA’s arrive, although I personally have no interest in it at all. :-)

Converting RMB to USD?

How to convert Renminbi to USD, Canada dollar or other currency is a FAQ. The simple answer is, it is not easy.

Renminbi is not a free trading currency. That means, you cannot convert between Renminbi and free trading currency like USD freely.

Exchanging for RMB

Now, it is pretty easy to convert free-trading currency like USD into RMB. Just to go to a bank branch and ask for the exchange. Not all bank branches provide this service. At least those in Pudong Airport and Hong Qiao Airport can help you on the conversion. After you get Renminbi, be sure to keep the receipt with you. You will need the receipt to exchange RMB back to USD, or other currency.

Exchanging for USD, CAN, YEN…

If you want to exchange Renminbi for other currency, limitation applies. If you just exchanged it from other currency before, provide the receipt and they can exchange RMB for other currency up to the amount you exchanged that time.

If you just want to exchange, I am not sure about the policy for foreigners. For local resident, there are many regulations. I remember you have to provide a reason for exchange. The most common reason is to visiting other countries. With the passport, valid visa and sometimes flight ticket, you can exchange USD from Renminbi up to 2000 USD. They will stamp on the passport visa page that states: “Foreign currency supplied.” so you cannot use the 2000 USD allowrence twice for the same travel.

For foreign investment to China, there are also some limitation to move the money back since the exchange of currency will be an issue. Other countries does not accept Renminbi yet.

Disclaimer: The information provided may be inaccurate because I am not an expert in this field.

Update April 10, 2008

Look at how RMB is doing in the last few years. When I first know foreign exchange, my memory of USD to RMB is 1 to 8. Today, the exchange rate is as low as 6.9924. The exchange rate changed so quickly in the last few years. Imagine what it means to the industry related to outsourcing in China.

Exchange RMB to/from Foreign Currencies

RMB is not a free trade (do you call it free trade) currency. I mean it cannot be exchanged to or from foreign currencies freely, not as USD or Euro.

From RMB to foreign currencies

For local residents (China passport holder), they cannot directly go to a bank to exchange their RMB to USD or other foreign currency. People can exchange foreign currency only before an international trip. For example, before my business trip to Seattle, I can go to a bank with my passport (with valid U.S. visa) to exchange about 16400 RMB to 2000 USD (if the rate is 8.2). Sometimes, the bank may require you to show them your flight ticket. After then give you the USD cash, they will put a stamp to the next page of your U.S visa – Foreign Currency Exchanged. Then you can not get more USD for the trip.

What if I really need more? Typically, I will have to turn to my friends who have enough USD to exchange it. Of cause it is illegal. The policy is, you cannot exchange foreign currency outside a bank.

Recently, the policy is not as strict as before. There are more ways to exchange more foreign currencies.

1) You don’t need to exchange too much foreign currency. Just use your RMB credit card outside China and after you return, you can deposit RMB to balance your card.

2) If someone needs to go out of education or business, 2000 USD may not be enough for them to support their lives, there is special approval process to exchange more.

From Foreign Currencies to RMB

Upon arrival at airport, you can directly exchange RMB at bank counters.

I remember (not sure) there is an limitation of 200,000 USD for the exchange at once. Here is what I wrote before.

2. After checking with the Bank of China hotline, The USD to RMB exchange limitation is 200,000 USD (Two hundred thousand USD) for both local residents and foreigners. Exchanging above that limit need to be reported to the Foreign Currency Exchange Administration and waiting for approval and register. I think the limit should be OK for you, but you still need to check if you need to claim the cash at custom if you bring too much money. The limit applies to exchange in cash.

I believe the article Currency Exchange at Shanghai Pudong Airport

Public Market in Beicai

I hope my reader don’t mind too much for irregular update these days. There are some short pause during the updates (two days at most). It is because there is no Internet access in my current rented houes. So I will create the blog offline – using Notepad – and store it. When I can access my site, I will upload them in batch, so it is still at least one post everyday.

Today, I am in very good mood. I wandered in the public market with my camera in Becai, Pudong, Shanghai. Here are some interesting pictures.

shanghai.beicai-market-under.roof.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.beciai-fruits-tomato.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.beicai-green-fruit.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.beicai-grocery.seller.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.beicai-woman-selling.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.beicai-two.man-on.ground.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.beicai-lady-smiling.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Buying Computer Parts in Shanghai

royston‘s comment:

You mentioned that we can purchase a computer from between 3000-6000 RMB. Do you have any idea how much a flat-screen computer monitor costs in Shanghai?

Or a CRT type? Do you have any recommendation as to where i can go in Shanghai to purchase all of my computer stuff? Is there something like an area where all the computer shops have set up their business together – sorta like a cluster? Posted by: royston on February 10, 2004 11:54 AM

The best place to ask prices is on the Internet. My favorite is www.pchome.net (Chinese site). Unfortunately, I don’t know English website for computer parts yet. Anyone has some idea?

I know a LCD monitor costs about 3000 RMB. For example, the latest Philips 150S4 is 2999 RMB, 150B = 3050 RMB and 170S = 3688, according to PCHOME.net. So you have the idea of a flat screen or CRT monitor.

The best place to purchase computer and computer parts in Xujiahui is the Metro City and the Pacific Computer Mall (Map). They are the largest market for computers in southwest area of the city.

Shopping Malls are Always On Sale

I went to shopping at Hui Jin Department with Wendy today – I mentioned about the store two months ago. I was surprised that Hui Jin is on sale again after its last champion.

Almost all the goods are selling at 20% off. Besides that, they offer 50 RMB rebate coupon for every 200 RMB purchase. That is not all. According to how much you buy, they give you gifts worthing 40-200 RMB. That means, for goods of 500 RMB, you only need to pay 400 RMB and get 100 RMB coupon and some gifts worthing 40 RMB. So the original good is actually sold at 260 RMB – the half price.

I know in U.S, shops go on sale in the month around the Christmas. Here in Shanghai, it seems all major shopping malls are on sale every month and every day. It seems the goal of the program is to keep the customers in their mall as long as possible. They always put the counter to claim the rebate at the top floor or the mall – 7th floor for Hui Jin. People just go up and down and see more goods. Chances are, people will spend more money than they plan to when they 1) Have to pass by the goods (which they didn’t intentionally to see) 2) Has coupon on hand which will be garbage after serveral days’.

Very clever way to sell, isn’t it?