The first time I was in Shenzhen the group I was with was accompanied by someone who spoke Mandarin. While there this November I did see a handful of foreigners walking with what seemed to either be translators or local contacts. Before this trip, I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to make it solo to do something as specific as discussing and shopping for electronics without knowing the local language. With the proper preparation and tools, that turned out not to be a show-stopper. I wouldn’t hesitate doing it again in fact.