On April 1, the lights went out in Gaokede Electronics Building for the last time. The eight-story, slate-gray building has been publicly marked for destruction and rebuilding for months now, as notices taped outside its doors advertise.

The structure is part of Huaqiangbei’s now-famous electronics market, a mecca for both parts and finished products that draws entrepreneurs from around the world. In its heyday, Gaokede—like surrounding buildings—offered multiple floors packed with around 2,000 vendors’ stalls, specializing in products ranging from switches to LED lights to USB cords.

Those days are now over for Gaokede. Most of its stalls have been emptied out. Some have also had their locks broken and glass walls smashed in—the handiwork of thieves and vandals, according to some of the remaining tenants. Other spaces, including the abandoned management office on the seventh floor, are simply littered with packaging detritus or trash.

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Bailey Hu

Bailey Hu is based in China’s hardware capital, Shenzhen. Her interests include local maker culture, grassroots innovation and how tech shapes society, as well as vice versa.