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Shenzhen: “From the World’s Factory to Its Incubator”


The EE Times blog recently ran a story covering a significant shift in the economic culture of Shenzhen in China. 

Widely known as the ‘factory of the world’, Shenzhen is the “home of iPhone production, migrant workers, and the center of a huge electronics component bazaar.”  While this is still predominantly true, Shenzhen is rapidly changing.

This change has been brought about by “Chinese workers…driven to seek more knowledge and join movements like ‘chuang ke’ (translated as ‘makers’).”

“Yang Yang, founder of RPTechWorks, has been teaching how to build open-source 3D printers and selling 3D printers since he got first involved in their development at his alma mater, the University of Warwick in the UK.”

“Yang believes that ‘labor intensive’ Shenzhen will eventually become a city known for fast prototyping with ‘shortened development cycles’.”

“Qifeng Yan, ex-director of the Nokia Research Center in Shenzhen (closed last year), is also predicting Shenzhen’s shift from the world’s factory to its global incubator.”

Jingfeng Liu, founder of pcDuino, describes the burgeoning Chinese maker movement: “Unlike their counterparts in the United States who tend to be older, have real jobs, but are high-end hobbyists or aspiring innovators, Chinese makers tend to be much younger, often still university students.”

Photo and Quotes Courtesy of the EE Times    

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