Note — Jan 13, 2019

Inside Shenzhen’s Race to Outdo Silicon Valley

An Xiao Mina and Jan Chipchase with some of the history of Shenzhen, its current transition to more design and consultancy, “China as a service,” the human toll of decades of rapid change, the hurdles of political restrictions, and exporting the model to Africa.

Moving beyond its reputation for developing cheap rip-offs of other people’s ideas, it’s become more of a hub that connects innovation, manufacturing, and knowledge all over the world. […]

“I think the real hero of the story is the small-scale businesses in Accra, in Lagos, in Nairobi, in Shenzhen, reaching out across to each other and building things they think have value for their own people.” […]

“Products made in Shenzhen have a hundred percent Chinese DNA and a hundred percent Western DNA. A hundred percent Western because, even if they’re made in China, they are consumed by the world.”