Electronic Engineer Relocation to Shenzhen

    Another story of moving to a foreign land in several parts.

    Briefly about the author

    30 years. Specialty - radio physicist. Specialization - Computer Electronics. The main direction is the development of electronics and embedded software. Work experience - 10 years. Freelance experience - 4 years.

    Prerequisites for relocation

    Long-term experience of permanent employment has formed an opinion about the futility of working for an uncle. Your developments will always belong to the customer. You will not receive dividends from development in most places. Someone will say - find another job with better conditions. It affects the geographical position.
    The capital of Eastern Siberia - Irkutsk is not the best place for the development and production of electronics. Of course, at a certain scale, you can get microcontrollers at affordable prices in China, but at the start of work in Irkutsk introduces some difficulties.
    A striking example is the delivery of printed circuit boards. For example, from Novosibirsk. In some cases, delivery is by air, but via Moscow. Sometimes on the ground - by truck. In both cases, delivery takes from a week. It turns out an absurd situation - the express production of printed circuit boards from a week is stretched to two, taking into account delivery.
    If you bring all the operations together — the production of circuit boards, the purchase of components and the assembly of samples — from finished files to assembled samples, it takes 3-4 weeks on average, provided that you use double-sided boards and popular components. After all, finished products still need to be sent to the consumer and again through Moscow.
    Analyzing the foregoing, we can draw the following conclusion: remoteness from the main logistics centers imposes some restrictions on the nature of a possible enterprise manufacturing electronics.
    Key points: narrow specialization, lack of competitors, loyal customer, large volumes of production. That is, no startups.

    So you need to move. It remains to decide how and where. For permanent residence with family or raids here and there.

    Moving to Moscow

    It so happened that everyone in Russia goes to the white stone. Sam himself has been on business trips in Moscow, plus many stories and acquaintances. The case helped to make a choice. The customer on the previous project invited me to work away in Moscow. Quick fees and I'm already in Domodedovo.

    Further information on prices and terms is provided for further quantitative and qualitative comparison of the cost and timing of the project in Moscow and Shenzhen.

    Priority expenses - to get to the place. Ticket Irkutsk-Domodedovo cost at the time of writing an article from 11,500 rubles plus an aeroexpress 400. Further rental housing. Hostel options have not even been considered. Renting an apartment near the metro is 40,000 rubles plus a one-month security deposit and related costs.

    Action plan - we discuss the device, design the circuit, draw a board. Ready-made files for production and at the same time ordering accessories for samples and series.

    PCB manufacturing - lots of places from two days for a double-sided board. An order for two motherboards of the first version cost us 8,000 rubles. Components - typical found from past projects. Transistors suitable for the parameters had to be selected 2 days. Bought a third price in Chip-Dip. The second prototype printed circuit board cost 4,500 rubles. A nice bonus was the second free board. To meet the two days had to go to Zelenograd.

    Moving to Shenzhen

    Development was underway and the selection of contract manufacturers began. Placing an order in Moscow turned out to make the project unprofitable, so they decided to move to China.

    The first thing you need to get a visa. A large number of specialized firms are represented on the network. Registration of various visa options is possible. For long-term work, it seems optimal to apply for a M60 multiple-entry visa for a period of one year with a stay of up to 60 days. The cost of 12800 rubles, registration of 5 days.

    Shenzhen borders on Hong Kong. The most convenient is a flight to Hong Kong with a subsequent transfer to Shenzhen. Moscow-Hong Kong ticket from 9,000 rubles. Transfer - minibuses at 150 yuan (~ 900 rubles) to Shenzhen Bay. Further public transport or taxi. All further prices are in RMB. The exchange rate at the time of publication is 5.88 rubles 1 yuan.

    Upon arrival in China, task number one is a local SIM card with 3G / LTE and unlimited internet. I bought China Unicom at a rate of 76 yuan (~ 450 rubles) per month - 300 minutes of local calls and 800Mb of Internet. China Telecom understands CDMA as 3G, so this option is not suitable. As I understand it, in China there are only two mobile operators with normal 3G. Further in bing.com we search for baidu navigator and install.

    A smartphone with internet and a navigator makes it easy to move around the city. Without knowledge of the language, you can show the route in the navigator to a taxi driver with route guidance enabled. Plus, you can always choose options by public transport and taxi.

    A separate word about the subway. Quiet, cool, the connection is working.

    Throughout public transport, stop announcements, schemes and signs are duplicated in English.

    The hotel should be booked a week in advance, for example on booking.com. Better for a week or two. This time is enough to find an apartment or another hotel. The cost of the hotel is from 100 yuan (~ 600 rubles) in a good location. Some live for months in a hotel in a downtown for 3,500 yuan (~ 21,000 rubles) per month. If you rent an apartment, options are available from 1,000 yuan (~ 6,000 rubles) for 1 bed room in Bao'an near the factories to 4,200 yuan (~ 25,000 rubles) in Shekou with sea views. Accordingly, more apartments are more expensive. Everywhere contracts for a year and a guarantee for two months.

    We rented an apartment with a translator, but as I concluded it is possible without a translator. Firstly, a lot of apartments are empty, and secondly, you can bargain on a calculator. Plus, an online translator helps a lot, again a smartphone with unlimited is an important thing.

    The first step is to decide on a rental location. Our option - Bao'an - many factories where you can organize a full production cycle. Next, just go to the house you like, look for house management or local realtors and agree. Many households have their own apartments, which will immediately show you.

    An approximate view from the roof in Bao'an. Factories and dormitories ... An exceptional day - I was completely swollen, on ordinary days the mountains are not visible on the horizon at all.

    Internet from 200 yuan (1200 rubles) per month, if you take a contract for a year - two phones with SIM cards were given for the action. Utility bills 2 yuan (~ 12 rubles) per square meter, plus water, gas and electricity on the meter.

    If the goal is to work hard and go to factories, you should buy a moped. It is very convenient to travel locally to factories to place and control orders. Cruising range of an electric moped 75km. You can’t travel on expressways, so if you travel far, take a taxi or public transport. The next step will be to rent or buy a car. To put a car on numbers you need a permanent visa. To obtain local rights you need to have visas with a stay of 3 months. Otherwise, you need to make a notarized translation and make temporary rights to the police every month.

    Once the housing issue has been resolved, you can go to work.

    Ordering a prototype printed circuit board costs 800 yuan (~ 4,500 rubles) for 5 pieces. A stencil in a frame for applying solder paste costs 200 yuan (~ 1200 rubles). All parts in stock in any quantity can be purchased at Segbuy on Huaqiang Rd. The prices of components are wholesale Moscow, but at retail. There you can buy any tool - an oscilloscope, soldering iron, multimeter and more. They spent 2,500 yuan (~ 15,000 rubles) on the minimum arrangement.

    Laboratory at the hotel. The first fee was soldered manually in the hotel. Then we found the Chinese who are manufacturing boards and installing prototypes from 2,500 yuan (~ 15,000 rubles), depending on the complexity for a week.


    If you compare the job opportunities in Moscow and Shenzhen, personally, my choice is in favor of the latter. Firstly, the cost of renting a house in China is low enough to rent an apartment for 1000 yuan (~ 6000 rubles), equip a laboratory and not worry about the money spent. Secondly, the production of circuit boards and stencils is 5 times cheaper than in Moscow. Thirdly, you can buy any components on the market at the lowest prices. Boards and components can be ordered at home, next day delivery. An ideal place for prototype development and debugging is the minimal cost of housing and prototype production.

    In the following posts about organizing mass production, renting a production room and organizing sales through AliExpress.

    Thanks for your time!

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