Hello from Shenzen
How China is creating Silicon Valleys, just like on an assembly line
In the 1980’s Bill Gates and Steve Jobs built innovative computers. At the same time, China understood that new technologies are a key success factor of a national economy’s future. No sooner said than done. Put the pedal on the metal. Built a city from scratch. Silicon Valley: from zero to one. Shenzhen: from zero to a 17m population and a hot spot for innovation. How? In this EARLY BRANDS insight Alexander gives some fresh insights into his experiences and meetings with people on the spot – from Bremen around the world.
Already today China‘s “Greater Bay Area” with Shenzhen has an economic power similar to Russia. In the next 10 years it is going to hold a top 5 position worldwide. With high speed, more than 110m inhabitants will rock the future in the smallest of spaces. How many people in Germany have ever heard of Shenzhen? Silicon Valley may become old school. Shenzhen is new school. As early as in primary school, children get taught robotics and artificial intelligence + much more.
S H E N Z H E N – On the pulse of time. But why?
SPEED: A high innovation speed. Already today, state of the art digital innovations with Internet of Things (IoT) and sensor technology is realized two to three times faster than “Made in Germany”. Originally being a location to produce smartphones like iPhone & Co., Shenzhen is much more than this today: a fully interconnected space for rapid prototyping, manufacturing and user testing. From smart airport to IoT to real-time networks for mobility and energy.
HOLISTIC: Innovation efforts are integrated holistically. Innovation and research are the basic cornerstones for economic progress + prosperity of the population. Thus, economic promotions for AI, IoT, mobility innovations and digital competences due to education is closely related to multi-million invests of the economic system. For example: technology and digital company Huawei invests 15% of their revenue into research and innovation – the German economy only 3%.
ENERGY: Shenzhen is a big wheel of “digital innovation machine” China. The energy of the people: the unconditional will to reach prosperity. Six days a week. From nine to nine. And without holidays. In Shenzhen as a matter of course – 996 Work Culture.
NO REGULATORY BARRIERS: Government regulations on data collection, analysis and monetization are low. Provided that everything stays in China. Especially in establishing a pioneering role in AI in the health sector, this is a huge advantage. Another impressive example: mobility services.
ZOOM: With the central master plan 2025 and multi-billion financing, key technologies and innovative business models are catapulted forward: AI, IoT, mobility and green energy. If you like to dive deeper into this topic – here are some other impressive insights on China’s AI strategy. No wonder then that children learn to program robots visually even in elementary school.
HIGH PERFOMANCE: China already has more wind turbines than any other country. A total of 30% of all wind turbines worldwide. Massive investment is made in sustainable energy production. And this is where strong synergies with the ambitions surrounding the “Internet of Things” and “Artificial Intelligence” emerge. This is because networking makes it possible to precisely control the system and provide digital services.
ECONOMY OF SCALE: A gigantic market with more than 1.3 billion people. Innovative services and business models that connect people digitally are nowhere more scalable than here.
NO RETURN. NO WORRIES: There is only one direction for China and the Greater Bay Area with Shenzhen: forward. Why a Silicon Valley, if you can have more? China is on the rise. The “Digital Silk Road” is already in operation. In the cloud. In the street. Everywhere.
Is China going to outstrip the United States in many sectors? Step by step. Europe and Germany must go full throttle – and use and respect China as an innovation partner. Without questioning our core values.
Let’s rock together.
Catch the Future…!