This is a must-read: Shenzhen trip report – visiting the world’s manufacturing ecosystem

Two excerpts:

These chips were sold, not individually, but by the pound. Who buys chips by the pound? Small factories that make all of the cellphones that we all buy “new” will often be short on parts and they will run to the market to buy bags of that part so that they can keep the line running. It’s very likely that the “new” phone that you just bought from ATT has “recycled” Shenzhen parts somewhere inside.


The pivot from piracy to staking out intellectual property rights isn’t a new thing. The United States blatantly stole book copyright until it developed its own publishing very early in US history. The Japanese copied US auto companies until it found itself in a leadership position. It feels like Shenzhen is also at this critical point where a country/ecosystem goes from follower to leader.

They’re on the cutting edge over there.

If the current crop of tablet manufacturers would get their shit together, they’d be like the Japanese car companies pummeling the American car companies back in the day.


Filed under Reference

3 responses to “Shenzhen

  1. Ian

    Read the book ‘The private life of chairman Mao’ by Li-Zhisui and you will understand why communism and socialism never ever will defeat the (non State interventionism) free market system, but eventually will cause censorship, nepotism, corruption, betrayal, poverty and finally war and total destruction. The same things the EU in Brussels tries to accomplish. And they call themselves ‘democrats’ and ‘liberals’.

  2. Ric Day

    Also remember the last days of WW II, when the Allies were rushing through. Central Europe, cleaning up. There was a very strong insistence by the Americans that they wanted to be responsible for part of Germany’s industrial heartland. Given that responsibility, they went in, dismantled one particular factory, and shipped it to America. They also cut deals with specific people at the factory, to come to America.

    That became the first magnetic media factory in America and the German copyrights were made American .

    “spoils of war” or … ?

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