back to article Meet Shenzhen, tech capital of China

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 Tokyo’s Akihabara, where these days maid cafes and manga shops are more prevalent than stores selling …


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  1. heyrick Silver badge

    Ah, good ol' Shenzhen

    Most of the attempts at hacking my blog (iis scripts, phpmyadmin, etc; none of which exist) come from IP addresses that ip-db says are in Shenzhen...

  2. K Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Love that place..

    China gets a lot of bad press, but they are more capital driven than the West... and the culture our there can be summed up in 1 word, Respectful..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Love that place..

      You make them out to sound so peaceful and lovely. Not at all like a country the runs people over with tanks.

      You might want to read this, it's just the beginning of a more aggressive China.

      1. HMB

        Re: Love that place..

        "You make them out to sound so peaceful and lovely. Not at all like a country the runs people over with tanks.

        You might want to read this, it's just the beginning of a more aggressive China."

        Well... I'm so glad that the police in the UK never push over protesters and kill them. Isn't it a good job we've never built aircraft carriers. I mean otherwise we might look like the aggressive ones eh?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @HMB Re: Love that place..

          And your point would be that two wrongs make a right?

          1. pewpie
            Black Helicopters

            Re: @HMB Love that place..

            The point is clearly that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Or to put it a little more coarsely dont be a fuggin hypocrite.

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Love that place..

          >. Isn't it a good job we've never built aircraft carriers.

          Quote from the BBC article - "For now the carrier has no operational aircraft "

          Once more china is just producing blatant copies of UK inventions

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Love that place..

            I was gonna say, sounds just like UK, and who can forget Tornados with concrete blocks in the nose .... :P

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Love that place..

      Are you joking, the people are totally rude and unhygienic.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Love that place..

        Tip- All foreigners are "rude" and "smell weird", doesn''t matter where you are from, they will think the same of you, too ;)

  3. Richard Wharram

    It's not just hi-tech

    Shenzhen is the export hub of Asia. Every product under the sun gets put on big boats there.

  4. nemenator

    Great article though I found that the universities there did have a major input on product development, unlike the UK.

    What about a healthy eating or beer angle for future outings?

  5. sebacoustic
    Thumb Up

    Great article

    Thank you for this.. shame the pictures don't have the <click for full full resolution> link. Would be interested in having a closer look.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The fabled SEG market drew me to Shenzhen a few years ago and it was an awe-inspiring experience. Similar markets have sprung up in other major Chinese cities like Suzhou and Nanjing, so anyone interested in visiting should also consider these.

  7. J.H.

    Luohu Commercial Centre

    The majority of shops in Luohu Commercial Centre appearing to sell electronics are actually just a front for selling pirated DVDs. If you look closely at the kit in the shops you'll see it's all fake - in fact a lot of it just looks like an empty chassis. For those in the know, you enter the shop, hint at your intentions, then before you can say "the register" one of the guys has rolled down the shutter and locked you in while the other guy is disappearing up into the false roof space to bring down a sort of makeshift catalogue of all the pirated DVDs available.

    I assume if you then buy something they get it from some other store room buried away in the shopping centre or perhaps they keep them in the roof space - I genuinely don't know because the time I went the girl I was with didn't actually buy any DVDs in the end, which is probably a good thing, as if you get caught taking pirated DVDs back into Hong Kong the fine is something like £100 per DVD!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Living the iPhone Dream

    Isn't it lovely that China has applied an Instagram filter to the whole country.

  9. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    Good article, but...

    ...What's the approved apréz-pub nosh in Senzhen?

  10. RPF

    Extreme Capitalism



    The pollution, noise and ugliness of that place is hellish.

    Only when these money-obssessed locusts have eaten or concreted over every thing will they realise:

    You can't eat money.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Extreme Capitalism

      Fortunately the process is reversible.

      Under the "Great Leader" Sheffield was transformed from a noisy grimy industrial city into a landscape of open spaces and green (well brown) fields - pretty soon it will just be a small fishing village.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Extreme Capitalism

      I see, and no doubt you have a "Final Solution" for the "Locusts" ? Do tell.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the crosshairs

    Great article !! Now we have a primary nuclear target, if the ChiComms get uppity about Taiwan! They threatened San Diego some years back. And yes they are more capital oriented as long as the capital stays under the control of the ruling party. (I'm sure I'll get criticized for such atavastic views).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In the crosshairs

      They threatened to improve San Diego structurally, or just its cuisine? ;)

  12. DelM

    hazier every day?

    I was in Shenzhen in 2007 when my company at the time still had offices there. The line-level engineers with whom I worked were sharp and good people. The multiple-layers of managers from them to the "top" were ridiculous. Even then my colleagues were bumming over housing inflation - some could have afforded a condo a year or two earlier, but that day was gone.

    The city was not overtly dirty, but was sort of coal-dust-coated grimy. You could tell the age of a formerly-white building by how grey it had become. And the place was friggin' huge. On the streets you'd see "typical" white-collar types heading to work, walking by the straw-hatted laborers who were manually digging trenches for plumbing updates/repairs. The markets were indeed dizzying; I didn't have enough Mandarin nor a translator along, so my foray's were limited to pointing and some guesswork.

    Price-wise, even then it was no real deal at the retail level. So different from when I first visited in 2002.

  13. geejayoh
    Paris Hilton

    Not all fake goods

    Batteries, LCDs, memory cards and other components are being boxed as are smartphones, and the labels being hastily applied to said items makes it difficult to believe that much of it is legit.

    I live in Guangzhou, just up the road (relatively) from SZ and i visit the electronics markets quite a lot, for various things from cases, to thermal paste, to charging blocks for my laptop.

    You do see smart phones being boxed up, but the reason is not necessarily because of fake items.

    As you said, a lot of items are smuggled into China as "grey market" items from HK. For the profit and also because they're not "officially" available in China.

    HTC have only recently exploded in China, (i.e. the last year) and it was very difficult to get original products from places like Gome (Guo Mei in Mandarin). It was only from grey market stores that you could get an HTC desire for instance. Now they're available everywhere. You could put this down to them being kept out because they're taiwanese, or for any other reasons.

    But the point being that these grey market shops often open the boxes and pre-root them (in the case of android phones) or jailbreak them (in the case of iPhones) so they can pre-load them with a bunch of chinese shit.

    There are obvious reasons for this:

    1. the android paid store is not available in China. So they put pirated paid apps on the rooted phones

    2. they're starting to turn phones into bloatware infested swamps (chinese anti-virus / games) AKA Dell / HP etc laptops of old

    3. these apps aren't approved for the android store

    4. Chinese consumers (in general) won't pay for anything after purchase or anything they can get around for free.

    5. The OEM didn't put any chinese language support on the original phone (so the seller's put on a bunch of input sources they think the Chinese consumer wants)

    In general, this means opening the box, and doing something with the phone. Some attempt to re-wrap the phone, but as long as you ask to see it before hand and do some testing, you'll soon find out if it's genuine or not.

    Nice article, but it fails to mention the sky high prices in SZ (beer is 35-40 RMB per pint - 3.50-4.00GBP) in most bars, if not more. The bars play terrible terrible Chinese pop music all day and night and Pizza Hut is considered posh nosh. It's lacking any history or culture (if you into that sort of thing) but if you're into a party and getting wasted, then it's sin city for you.

    For those looking for a bit of "company" too, it must be noted that as it has a massive immigrant population (it literally becomes a ghost town during spring festival (chinese new year) and the average age of the population is freakishly young @ ~ 28, it means that the local female wildlife is, well, smoking hot.

    Paris, because she'd love the no soul hedonism of Shenzhen

    1. K Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Pizza Hut is considered posh nosh

      And thats why I love visiting... My kind of people :D

  14. DocJD


    I was wandering around Shenzhen one day at the end of a trip all over China and met a woman who, along with her husband (both ex-pats), owned a factory there. She told me that name brand products manufactured for export were not allowed to be sold in China. What her company had to do was ship them to Hong Kong, then import them back. Then they could be sold locally.

    Perhaps some of the equipment having labels applied in the smaller places were simply "extra" ones that were sold, unbranded, to avoid having to do the export/import dance.

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