Red Pi at night

Sad news for collectors: unless you’re in China, you won’t be able to get your hands on one of these.

We’ve been working on how to improve availability of the Raspberry Pi in China. China represents a massive potential market for the Pi, and one which comes with its own unique set of challenges. With this in mind, in partnership with our licensees RS Components and Premier Farnell, we have granted Egoman Technology Corp a licence to produce and distribute Pis in China and Taiwan.

As you can see from the vegetation, I’m not in Cambridge today. Click to embiggen!

We’ve made sure that the Chinese Pis are visually easy to distinguish from rest-of-world Pis. Because they do not carry FCC/CE marks (although they are fully compatible with the boards you can buy elsewhere), it’s not legal to import them into the EU or the USA, or into some other parts of the world.

Egoman are aiming to make these Pis widely available in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Here’s another picture; as usual, click to enlarge.

Red Pi


Gerald Littlewood avatar

Enlarge dear, enlarge.

liz avatar

Embiggen is a perfectly cromulent word.

Gerald Littlewood avatar

Yes, Marge.

yakko TDI avatar

No complaining. Use of the word embiggen is one of the things I love about this website.

LighteningSoup avatar


bigfoothippy avatar


ColinD avatar


Chris Evans avatar

-1 it is one damn ugly word!
It offers no benefit over ‘enlarge’ apart from sounding stupid to me.
It’s etymology says it all.

SHA Miao avatar

For I know, red Pi will be on sale on late Feburary. Price is 278 CNY (=44.64 USD, tax included, but without shipping).

mahjongg avatar

perfectly fitting color!

eben avatar

Indeed. I enjoyed this discussion of color in Chinese culture. Particularly appropriate given we’re launching in the run up to Chinese New Year.

Aurock avatar

Why is it that the chinese version needed to be different from the US/Euro version? Other than the color, and lack of the FCC/CE logo, what is different about the chinese edition?

Ryan avatar

Based on the post, they can apparently “improve availability” by reducing the cost which is done by not certifying it in the same way as the western markets.

eben avatar

The changes are designed to discourage parallel importation, and to make it easier to spot if this is occurring. At present, the red boards are substantially similar at an electrical level to Chinese-produced green Pis, though this may change in the future.

Wombat avatar

Eben, is “At present, the red boards are substantially similar” a hint of a new / upgraded / simpler / etc PI in the pipeline?

eben avatar

Afraid not. I’m undergoing a course of anti-hinting therapy at the moment on the advice of the Foundation’s board ;)

ColinD avatar

If you see these in Europe from some iffy importer then watch out for them bearing a China Export CE mark added with a sticker (and not the pukka CE mark printed on the board)..:
Note the logos are almost identical, except that the pukka CE mark has more of a space between the letters:
C E = pukka
CE = not so
(but we write it like the latter in blog posts… cunning eh?)

Hence beware of electronics with the China Export mark but without the right and proper European Conformance mark.

Gordon Henderson avatar

Red Pi at night, Asian delight!

(well, someone would have said it)

SHA Miao avatar

I’m not delighted for this unattractive price… RS sells green Pi in China for only 259CNY includes shipping, e14 sells for 298 CNY, not so much more than red Pi.

liz avatar

Egoman are going to be working on optimising their costs: I don’t think that price is necessarily fixed in stone forever. And you’ll still be able to buy green Pi in China from RS and e14 too.

Gary avatar

The RED pi for RMB 278.00 include 17% VAT.

Ryan avatar

It might also be a reference to “Red Skies at Night” by The Fixx.

peter green avatar

“Because they do not carry FCC/CE marks”
Just curious why not?

Is it to stop paralell exports from china competing with RS/Farnell?
Is it because some filtering components have been left out to lower costs?
Or some other reason?

eben avatar

It’s to discourage parallel importation of the Pi. RS and Farnell have a worldwide co-exclusive license to manufacture the Pi, and they’ve both invested enormous amounts of time, effort and money in making Pi a success. We don’t want this new deal to interfere with that.

psergiu avatar

Then Farnell & RS better make it available everywhere in the EU.
Farnell for example no longer sells RPis to Romania at all and at the local RS dealer is forever Out-Of-Stock.
There are a couple of shops here buying them from abroad and reselling them with a hefty markup (66 USD).
A Second-Hand PC (P4 with 512Mb RAM, UK keyboard) will cost a bit less that that.
I will try getting a cheaper Red RPi.

Marek Warsaw avatar

Try in Warsaw or in Poland !
our quasiEbay is named “Allegro”,18906,notowania-online exchange price
Good luck !
I`m still thinking about buying my own Pi.I`ts nearly 1/4 of my monthly salary…

Allegro Reseller avatar

Marek don’t play so poor man.
Raspberry Pi in Poland is cheap and available with 24 hour delivery since december. Current price is 170PLN (including delivery), that is about 55USD inc tax, without tax it is: 44USD. Even if you would like to buy it from RS Components or Farnell the price will be the same (139PLN inc tax, plus 30PLN delivery from UK/Germany).

If you earn 4*170PLN=680PLN net I am very very sorry :(
For all other information minimum wage in Poland is 1100PLN net per month. And average salary in Warsaw is about 3000PLN net. My “little” brother working in MC Donalds earns 1600PLN net.

Richard Mullens avatar

I have one from RS and one from Farnell – so the next logical step would be one from China. Anyway, I shall post this to my friend in Shanghai.


tom avatar

i guess i would qualify as a “collector”, but i’d gladly pay a bit more (up to double) for a red one.

just because i like the idea. (and it would cost just about the same in shipping to get it from china.)

benjamin avatar

Looks nice in red but i would kill for a black pcb Raspberry Pi and im probobly not the only one ;)

Markus avatar

Yeah, a matt black PCB would be superawesome! If a “deluxe-rpi” with higher specs would ever come, it should get a black pcb!

don isenstadt avatar

would that be called a “blackberry pi” then? anyway maybe someone will come up with a coating that you could send a signal to and change into any color you want?

ColinD avatar

Let the trademark disputes fly *grin*. But seriously though it would be great to have a whole spectrum of Pi’s.

jeremy avatar

Hello! Give China the green ones and keep the red ones for the rest of the world! #Not fair.

leon avatar

my new life goal is to get a red RPI in the EU :D

Rorto avatar

Notify me when you get it, i neeeeeeeeed it !

Joseph Lee-Mills avatar

I love it! I’m sure the people that wish to use the Pi in China will be happy.

zoelqivlie avatar

“…they are fully compatible with the boards you can buy elsewhere..” goodsound!

James Kasper avatar

My guess is lead solder is cheaper?

Perhaps red = !ROHS

Ditto on the black pi. call it rev C…

p4trykx avatar

I would love to have an illegal Red Pi :)

The Rufmeister-General avatar

Some in the west might call it “illegal” or different. Others might call it “difficult to find” or “a collector’s item”. :D

I predict some of these will find their way to western countries, where they will be very popular and make their owners proud (and their buddies jealous)!

Edward O'Regan avatar


“Sad news for collectors: unless you’re in China, you won’t be able to get your hands on one of these.”

Challenge accepted.

diereinegier avatar

And I want to have them in infra-death and ultra-violent!

Vinicius Tinti avatar

Would be great to have multiple RPI colors. Like lego. I would like to have one white and one black.

Chongchen Saelee avatar

Wow, wow, wow! This might be a sign that this once-exclusive-to-nerds trend is becoming stylish. No one usually looks at any mobo when in use, so to really customize even the color means that people do care about the association. Red Raspberry Pi is looking sweet (and delicious)!

Giles avatar

I’m fascinated to note the copyright date – 2011.12 – implying that the Red Pi has been skulking around in the background for over a year…

jfedor avatar

That’s 2011,[20]12.

cnxsoft avatar

I have the feeling anybody will eventually be able to buy a Red Pi, just not through the official channels…

Jim Manley avatar

Anyone else remember “Better Dead Than Red”?

Wombat avatar

I wonder if it would be possible to make one on a CLEAR pcb, and add several RGB led’s to “light” the pcb? Now I for one would pay a few squid extra for a RGB PI!

Wombat avatar

Yes eBAY in about 2 weeks time! And given most things on eBay from china the postage to the UK will be less than the amount charged from offical channels!

Wombat avatar

Liz, “see from the vegetation, I’m not in Cambridge today”. I wonder if your in China?

eben avatar

In Santa Barbara, where I’ve been speaking at an Activision Blizzard exec offsite. Hard life :)

Dave Akerman avatar

Not jealous not jealous not jealous … :)

We were there in October as part of our Calfornia RV road trip. Gorgeous place.

Eric P. Scott avatar

All we need now are red, white, and blue Raspberry Pis, made in the USA, and priced at USD 105. (Hey, it works for Levi’s jeans…)

Andy avatar

Scottish ones? Tartan?

yakko TDI avatar

I would buy one of those and I’m not even Scottish.

Mike avatar

Then again, the Pis made in Wales should prompt “Y Ddraig Goch ddyry cychwyn” on startup or something like that.

DaveE avatar

Do I spy a small change to the board. Looks like a three port USB connector instead of two. An upgraded USB controller perhaps. Always wanted the third USB port, but connected to the micro socket. Lucky far eastern peoples!

exartemarte avatar

All very odd. If the price differential is small then there doesn’t seem much point in producing a separate product. Presumably the price differential will, eventually, be significant and Pirate Pis (there’s a name to conjure with) will inevitably find there way into western markets, legal or not.

exartemarte avatar


gyeben avatar

OK, so you are going to hate me for this, but personally, I think that the green ones look much better :)

BUT, if choosing a colour would be possible, I would like to have a blue Pi.

eben avatar

Hold on to that thought :)

LighteningSoup avatar

Blue model A’s, perhaps?

Robert_M avatar

Eben, your hint therapy seems to have gone awry. I’d suggest getting a refund from your therapist. ;-)

eben avatar


Vicary avatar

Can I still get the international version in Hong Kong later on?

Dispite the fact that all green Pis are made in China, I (and many Hong Kong locals) don’t really much appreciate “China” branded things.

Maybe I’ll start trading with those who want reds in EU and rest of the world! :D

jfedor avatar

Some of the green ones are actually made in the UK.

Ivo avatar

Hey! That’s exactly what I want — a UK made Raspberry Pi!! Is there a way to order specifically that?

bigfoothippy avatar

Yes get one from Farnell

eben avatar

Yes – RS and Farnell will continue to sell Pis in China (and at a very competitive cost). The intention is that Egoman will broaden our reach in China, not replace the existing licensees.

Ralph Corderoy avatar

I always wondered, is (C) not being a valid substitution for Copyright or © only true in the USA? The rest of the world is happy with it? It seems silkscreen fonts often lack the © glyph and space for Copyright can be hard to find.

clive avatar

I always wondered, is (C) not being a valid substitution for Copyright or © only true in the USA?

It hasn’t been true in the US since 1989 and it’s not the case in any country that is party to the Bern Convention (which is most of them, including China.) In fact you don’t need a symbol or wording at all — copyright is simply a byproduct of creating the work. For example, when you take a picture you instantaneously own the copyright.

Ralph Corderoy avatar

Are you sure you aren’t mixing two things here? I’m aware that copyright exists without declaring it under the Berne convention. However, where copyright is claimed, as in the Pi’s silkscreen, is (C) valid or must it be Copyright or ©?

I’ve since found Copyright Notices and it makes no mention of (C) suggesting it isn’t valid. (It also suggests that Copyright is ideally used since © alone isn’t sufficient in some countries.)

So I remain of the view that (C) isn’t declaring copyright and if I’m wrong I’d like to know why. :-)

clive avatar

Whether (C) is valid to “declare” copyright is irrelevant because you do not have to “declare” copyright. The symbol isn’t a legal requirement, it’s a nod to a user that this thing they have isn’t open source / Creative Commons etc so don’t bother copying it. Using an “incorrect” symbol cannot somehow void your copyright. Of course, if you mean is (C) valid in the very few countries that aren’t party to an international IP convention* then one might suppose that any symbol — “correct” or otherwise — isn’t going to protect your work anyway if they don’t enforce this nationally.

[*WTO members for example must be party to TRIPS (which is even more stringent than Bern Convention but they don’t have to be party the latter too.]

Ralph Corderoy avatar

OK, so I’m wrong in using “declare” but the fact clearly remains that if one is going to write a copyright notice that (C) doesn’t cut it; it isn’t a copyright notice under the Berne Convention. Can we agree on that?

Robert_M avatar

Well, I’ll still be waiting for the Eddie Van Halen Pi, myself:

Jon avatar

Is 512 the max you can put on the pi or could it have 1GB of ram?

psergiu avatar

The RPi can access 1GB of RAM, the issue is that nobody makes 1Gbyte LPDDR RAM chips. All the existing 1GB or larger chips on the market are not compatible with RPi’s CPU.

Tony avatar

As a foreigner living in China I am very excited about this. Will these red boards be compatible with the Raspberry Pi Camera and any other addons, linux images, etc that may come out in the future and vise versa.

Daniel avatar

Will the red ones have the CCC label instead of CE/FCC?

Florian avatar

Would it be possible that a chinese friend gets one for me and then mails it to me in the EU?

someone avatar

I’m also curious about that.

nope avatar

If it’s electrically equal to the green version it’s not strictly illegal in the EU if the importer guarantees that it conforms with CE. If you import it for yourself nobody will care anyways.

mak avatar

will it be legal to import in Bangladesh from China.

andre avatar

A Red Pi to discourage import. As I’ve read, to some people it will just encourage to import one. Having a Red Pi seems interesting to me as well. I wonder if a site like dealextreme will sell them (free shipping)

IT_Sean avatar

Darnit… we BEGGED you to make the board red at the initial release!! :p

meltwater avatar

Blue, Black?

There must be room for a pink one.

I know my little girl (from Phoebe’s LED Post) would love one!
[Yes I know not all girls are pink crazy]

I have to agree though, the Red really does look good on the RPi.

Mike avatar

That, and a Hello Kitty edition.

Vincent m avatar

I’m actually in China at the moment. The availability of the rpi will be great, but a good part of the marketing and training is not available… YouTube. Most of the posts on this blog use YouTube.


Ryan avatar

Why sell it for $45 in china?
Even it has much much more cheaper labor and manufacturing cost.

Jorge avatar

Might be a good way to finally get a decently priced Raspberry Pi in some parts of south america, since the other distributors won’t sent to where I live and one on resale here goes for around US$90.
So china would be the best option for me, since here packages that come from china pay no import duties if they weight under 2kg, and also shipping costs on china are very cheap.

Golo avatar

I hope we can buy the red edition on ebay! :)

Riley avatar

Just bought the 3rd one, woohoo! for those interested this is their page, take a peek.

StevK avatar

Like the clear box, is it available in the UK?

Riley avatar

Not sure about the box, they start shipping on the 20th I’ll post back here when I figure out which one they actually send me.

Willrandship avatar

Am I the only person here who doesn’t really care about CE or FCC licensing? I mean, the design already got checked, and not being RoHS is a good thing. (Lead solder doesn’t form tin whiskers)

Govinda Kalflez avatar

Ohh, nothing on eBay…. ;-)

Dave avatar

Any chance there is a Red Model A to go with this?

Anon OMas avatar

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