The Tecsun S-9900: A new high-performance shortwave portable?

[Update: Please check out this post about the Tecsun S-9900.]

[Update: Also see this post that includes an image of a Tecsun PL-990. I will try to confirm if one or both of these radios may indeed be produced this year.]

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor and producer, Scott Gamble, who notes the following tweet from @katsu3_uc on Twitter:

Shortly after publishing this photo, Katsu added the following message (this translation via Google Translate):

“I apologize apparently I have put a photo of the prototype stage. However, it seems that there will be no doubt that a new model will be released from TECSUN at the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, so we will tweet from time to time if there is final information.”

This radio prototype looks a lot like the classic Grundig Satellit 700:

I’ve known for some time that Tecsun has been working on a “high-performance” shortwave receiver and that it would be released by end of year. If this is it, they’re ahead of schedule!

Rest assured, I’ll be checking out this receiver as soon as it’s available! Check out @katsu3_uc on Twitter and, of course, we’ll post updates here on the SWLing Post. Simply follow/bookmark the tag: Tecsun S-9900

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12 thoughts on “The Tecsun S-9900: A new high-performance shortwave portable?

  1. george

    hi there…personally im interest for good ham good f m during the day & excellent long distance a m listening during the night time from 530khz to 1700 khz but not pure of bbbrrrr i have quite enough of that i love long distance talk show & mexican& carribean music now if the engineers can do this & a pure clear & stable signal can reached me on my bed without of the above then surely i will consider the s 9900 because of its advantage over all other receivers on the market today since will be very effective otherwise i dont see of any other way of just getting it .

  2. Adam Ebel

    I don’t know if I am in the plans in buying another flag ship Tecsun receiver, because these receivers are lacking features such as Aux Input, Record Output and a bluetooth receiver. Also these Tecsun receivers are a waste of money because these receivers don’t let you use a passive or active loop antenna for to listen to your favorite long wave or mediumwave broadcasts. They keep on leaving out the loop antenna connection, and they have been doing it on many of their receivers. Also why should I spend lots of money when they cannot get the long wave band below 200 kHz just tuned right?

  3. Keith Perron

    They are finally going to sell them off. At one of Tecsun’s storage centers in Shenzhen I remember seeing these on pallets back in 2015..The only reason they were made was because of an initiative from Shenzhen Business and Investment Department, which eventually ended after the official who was involved in securing funds was was arrested on corruption charges at the beginning of 2016.

      1. Keith Perron

        The radio is “new”, but like many Tecsun radios as an SOE (State Owned Enterprise) and an OEM, have the mandate to produce from the 5 year plan. The 5 year plan is decided at the plenary sessions of the Central Committee and national congresses.

        At these meetings its decided on what SOE should have as a production target. Even if these is no market. SOEs are not in the business of using market forces to decide what their output is. I don’t remember the exact date, but a few years ago I did a piece on Media Network Plus about the Tecsun radios that have been produced but haven’t reached the market yet. This was one we talked about. At the time they didn’t have a model number.

        To give you a better example on how it works. In Beijing there is an SOE called the China Beijing Electronic Company. They have been around since the 50s. One of their products is manufacturing radios tubes. Today in 2019 their output for radios tubes is exactly the same as it was 50 years ago. The company itself can’t sell them, because it’s 1950s Chinese quality, which is horrible. they have about 150 staff left and their sole job is making them in one part of the factory. Then walking them over to another part of the factory where they are destroyed and the glass is then resued to make more. And so on and so on and so on. Today they are still using the same equipment they bought from East Germany. Why are they doing this? Because they need to give jobs to the people that are working there.

        Ever since the major economic reforms started taking place in China in the mid to late 1990s. many of these SOEs have closed down. At one time there were around 3000 across China. Today there are about 300 or so left.

        When Tecsun was created it was an arm of an SOE that spit off.

        If you ever have a chance and your in Shenzhen you really need to go and visit them. They will also show you the warehouse, which is very impressive. But you will see lots of product that hasn’t even hit the market yet. Every 2 to 3 years Tecsun also sends to a crusher lots of product.

        It’s very much like what I remember when I visited East Germany in the 1980s.

        1. 13dka

          Hi Keith,

          Thank you for these insights! I’m quite speechless. Being as ignorant as probably anyone else in the non-Chinese part of the world population regarding “stuff made in China”, I always thought they had left behind all that socialist economy insanity and I sure didn’t consider that this huge country had to supersize that beyond all imagination. So it’s not suprising that modernizing that is still WIP.

          The ignorant buyer like me is just seeing the other side, what looks like the most agile and progressive factories in the world. I remember ads in the early 2000s where Chinese electronics manufactures advertized for prototype creation within 24 hours after receiving specifications and stuff like that. I had no idea that development can still be dictated (and hindered) by 5-year plans like in East Germany. We W-Germans learned only after 1990 how much brilliant stuff was conceived but never produced and prototypes scrapped because innovation or customer wishes was not part of the current plan.


          1. Keith Perron

            Yes. Major parts of the economy have changed. There are no where near as many SOEs as 20 years ago. But the ones that exist today are not in the business of making a profit. They are in the business of keeping people on the payroll and the more people they have the bigger the budget they get from the government.

            In Cuba and Vietnam I saw exactly the same thing. On my few trips to North Korea its exactly the same. Gee there are SOEs in China still producing electrical parts that they can’t even use in China anymore, but they keep churning them out as if they were still sending them to their ex-partners in Eastern Europe and the USSR. These are just like old GDR companies where the “work unit” provides housing. But if they leave the factory they need to return the apartment. Single workers need to share dorm rooms with 4 to 5 people per room.

            When people look at China they see cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. First tier cities are modern and have modern economies. But third tier cities are like visiting the China of the 1980s.

            You might be aware of Degan and Red Sun who also make shortwave radios. They are part of the same central company that also owns Tecsun.

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