April 23, 2019
For many young Chinese citizens, Shenzhen is a city where dreams come true. In just 30 years, the once small fishing village has transformed itself into one of the most important innovation hubs within China, becoming the go-to headquarters for tech giants like Huawei and Tencent. Global innovators and entrepreneurs have also identified Shenzhen as a prime location to springboard their entrance into the historically challenging Chinese market thanks to the city’s fast pace of development, the broad range of talent available, and the ease of entry to the wider market.
The quick growth and fast turnover of the full electronic supply chain gives startups in Shenzhen a huge advantage. For example, hardware companies are able to create prototypes in less than a day or purchase parts at fairly cheap prices in HuaQiangBei, the largest electronic market in Shenzhen. Factories are also situated within an hour’s drive from the city cutting down the time to take a product from ideation to production.
There’s a saying – ‘If you’re here, you’re a Shenzhen-er”. More than 90% of people living in Shenzhen today were not originally born or raised in Shenzhen. They made a decision to move to this special economic zone for greater job opportunities and income. They seek a better life and are ready to work hard to achieve it. Moreover, with the population’s average age being only 33.6 years old and the presence of high intensity tech companies, the city has a long track record of producing and retaining talent.
In recent weeks, the spotlight turned once again to Shenzhen, with the announcement of two new indexes by Shenzhen’s Stock Exchange – the Bay Area Innovative 100 Index and the Bay Area Composite Index. The former reflects stock from the 100-leading high-performing companies in emerging sectors while the other provides a broader look at homegrown tech companies. The announcement signals the coming of further developments of the area as a global centre for innovation and science as well as enhanced transparency in business and investment policies within the Greater Bay Area cluster.
With all this and more surrounding Shenzhen, many still ask the hard question – does Shenzhen truly have what it takes to be home for innovation? At LEWIS, we’ve been deeply involved with the exponential growth of the Greater Bay area. At our upcoming Bay to Bay event in Shenzhen, we’ll speak to industry thought leaders from various sectors to discuss how Shenzhen can retain talent, how it measures up against its Silicon Valley counterparts and what local companies need to know when venturing out of China. Find out more on baytobay.com.