I realized that I’ve been talking about going to Shenzhen quite often but the videos and photos I have taken have not really shown much of it. There are a couple of reasons for this. Previously, the vendors at the electronics marts were very camera shy. People in China, in general, are camera shy. I think their history and political climate has an impact on it.
The electronics industry was tarred with the brush of facilitating the creation of imitation goods and Western media were reporting on it. Well, they probably were, and justifiably did not want their business operations caught on film.
However, I have found that in the past year, a lot of that inhibition has disappeared as the perception of Shenzhen has shifted towards it being a hardware startup hub. Now those same electronics component sellers are suppliers to a global startup movement.
Many people have their own preconceived notion of what a city in China, or a manufacturing city looks like, Shenzhen slightly defies a lot of that. Traditionally, the people of southern China have been entrepreneural, they have been sailors and traders throughout history.
Shenzhen focuses on light industry, so does not have the worst of the pollution, and has a great deal more office buildings in the city. Air’s still not great, but much better than some places. It is also right next to Hong Kong, an immediately window to the rest of the world.
I hope you enjoy this very very brief glimpse of what Shenzhen is like. If you want to know more, WIRED UK has a great documentary about Shenzhen that anyone interested should definitely watch.