Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware (Full Documentary) | Future Cities | WIRED


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Uploaded on 07/05/2016

Future Cities, a full-length documentary strand from WIRED Video, takes us inside the bustling Chinese city of Shenzhen.
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We examine the unique manufacturing ecosystem that has emerged, gaining access to the world’s leading hardware-prototyping culture whilst challenging misconceptions from the west. The film looks at how the evolution of “Shanzhai” – or copycat manufacturing – has transformed traditional models of business, distribution and innovation, and asks what the rest of the world can learn from this so-called “Silicon Valley of hardware".

Future Cities is part of a new flagship documentary strand from WIRED Video that explores the technologies, trends and ideas that are changing our world. Subscribe to the WIRED YouTube channel to ensure you never miss an episode.

Premiering in February, the second season of WIRED’s Future Cities series takes us inside one of the world’s biggest startup nations. With the most tech startups and venture capital per capita in the world, Israel has long been hailed as The Startup Nation. WIRED’s four-part series will look beyond Tel Aviv’s vibrant, liberal tech epicentre to the wider Holy Land region – the Palestinian territories, where a parallel Startup Nation story is emerging in East Jerusalem, Ramallah and the West Bank, as well as in the Israeli cybersecurity hub of Beersheba. And we will learn how the fertile innovation ecosystem of Silicon Wadi has evolved as a result of its unique political, geographical and cultural situation and explore the future challenges – and solutions – these nations are facing.


WIRED brings you the future as it happens - the people, the trends, the big ideas that will change our lives. An award-winning printed monthly and online publication. WIRED is an agenda-setting magazine offering brain food on a wide range of topics, from science, technology and business to pop-culture and politics.

Comments (9):

By zengid    2017-09-20

Looking at what's going on in Shenzhen[1] in regards to hardware hacking, I'm not worried.


Original Thread

By tmoreton    2017-09-20

WIRED UK did a great job going into more detail on Shenzhen, highly recommend watching the documentary.

Original Thread

By kirillzubovsky    2017-09-20

Reading it as we speak. For a noob in hardware, it's a very good read that highlights some unexpected aspects of Chinese manufacturing. Sometimes the book takes a turn from a high-level overview and jumps into minute details, but you can always just skip those parts for now.

If you don't want to buy a book, there is a video on YouTube about him which talks about many things covered in the book. It's about an hour long.

Edit: here's the link to that Wired video, "Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware (Full Documentary)" >

Original Thread

By a1371    2017-09-27

I doubt anybody will ever see this response, but about the Hoverboard, here it is:

Hoverboards are originally from China [1] however, most of us have likely learned about them from Kickstarter etc. I think the users of HN would agree that "invention is never a sudden thing". The process for hoverboards has been iterative, of course. I have heard claims of having commercial hoverboards as much as five years before they became household names in the US.


Original Thread

By lubujackson    2018-07-18

For a companion piece I highly recommend this hour long vid by Wired about Shenzhen. It's worth your time:

Things that stood out to me was the maker mindset was so prevalent and competitve that it had filtered down to the buyers. So someone cobbles together some new widget for their phone and starts to sell it. Other people see it selling a nd copy it, but they make modifications. Shoppers see it for the first time and decide they want one with a purple strap, so they shop around until they find it or find someone who will make it that way.

This is where the hoverboard fad bubbled up but also how and why it "flamed" out. I think it's a fascinating testbed for technology and creativity and economics.

Original Thread

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