Skip to comments.Meet Shenzhen, tech capital of China
Posted on 11/30/2012 10:31:50 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
Welcome to Shenzhen, a geek wonderland at the heart of the technology manufacturing hub of China and the world the Pearl River Delta (PRD).
Last month The Reg had a rather disappointing experience pounding the streets of Tokyos Akihabara, where these days maid cafes and manga shops are more prevalent than stores selling tech wizardry.
So we decided to come to the heart of it all a city that just 30 years ago was little more than a fishing village.
Thanks to former Communist boss Deng Xiaopings vision and some timely economic liberalisation, that village has now grown to a conurbation of over 14 million, which can justly lay claim to the title "China's Technology Capital".
It has so much money they've even built a new Eiffel Tower in a theme park called Window of the World.
Telecoms company ZTE senior vice president Zhu Jinyun had this to say recently about the city that hosts the headquarters of his firm, and those of arch rival Huawei, Chinese web giant Tencent and many more, as well as a stock exchange of over 17m registered investors the second largest in the country:
The spirit of Shenzhen was born when Chinas government chose Shenzhen to be the first of four Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in 1979.
When one recalls that, in 1979, everyone worked for the state or a state-owned enterprise and there were no private companies, Shenzhens success is impressive. The concept of the Shenzhen SEZ seems obvious today, but it was revolutionary in 1979. Allow risk takers to develop companies on the free market model. Find out if they could stand on their own and serve people better. Learn whether Chinese companies, for the first time, could change the way China does business.
The truth, however, is that this Chinese manufacturing revolution was kick started by Hong Kong and Taiwanese investment and lots of it in the very early days of economic reform, according to Gartners Roger Sheng.
This first group of electronic manufacturers came from Hong Kong and Taiwan, they built factories and trained lots of local workers and engineers, who in turn built their own factories. In the past decade theyve really caught the market opportunity for making CDs, DVD players, games consoles, LCD TVs, feature phones and now smartphones, he told The Reg.
Virtually any kind of electronics equipment can be produced in the Shenzhen area if you set up a factory. Its easy to find different kinds of components and engineers to make the devices.
Some of these components, such as semiconductors, are imported (or smuggled) across the border from Hong Kong, where they are greedily snapped up by the huge grey market for electronics goods in the region, he added.
There are two sides to Shenzhen, and the neighbouring cities of Dongguan, Zuhai and Guangzhou where the technology industry has also established itself.
A decidedly unofficial looking iPhone shop
On the one hand there are the barely legal white box or shanzhai factories and workshops churning out counterfeit or semi-legal products, and then there are the huge plants where Foxconn and other ODMs mass produce smartphones, laptops and PCs for vendors like Apple, HP, Nokia, Dell and others.
According to Sheng, while the Foxconn-like companies of Shenzhen undoubtedly generate the majority of revenue, the white box or shanzhai makers win when it comes to sheer volume of factories.
Next page: Heading down to Huaqiangbei
"The fastest growing region of the fastest growing large economy" Professor Michael Enright
our edge on the battlefield is IT. we’ve spent the last 20+ years educating all the communist countries we can... and thanks to the go-go globalists and progressives, Americas future is that of a 3rd world nation enslaved to china
this’ll end well
I know the evil socialist Obama stole the election but many democrats still voted for this socialist Obama that is crippling American companies with more government regulations.Private companies have less regulations in China than in the U.S.A. so which is the more socialist country now? The U.S. is.
Socialism is a lose -lose you lose freedom and you become poorer.
Zerobama’s half-brother lives there.
I lived in Shenzhen from 1993 - 1996. I never saw it looking as clean as those photos. Shenzhen, just like most of China, is a hazy, polluted mess. When I was there, the only good thing about the place was the fact that you could escape to Hong Kong very quickly.
That being said, I found a way to have a lot of fun there!