Who's in Shenzhen

Shenzhen - the workshop of the future

By Jeanette Reichelt, co-coordinator of the German China Week


From November 17 to 24, 2018 we will be part of theGerman China Week zto take a trip to the Chinese startup ecosystem for the first time. In advance, we will introduce you to the Middle Kingdom in more detail and show you why a trip to China is definitely worthwhile: This time Jeanette will introduce you to the Silicon Valley of hardware - Shenzhen.


“The whole city is a startup,” says the program director of the successful HAXAccelerator about Shenzhen. And the growth of the city can actually be compared with a startup: In less than three decades, a sleepy fishing village has become a megacity that attracts large companies and startups as well.


From the “workbench of the world” to a high-tech metropolis

The city in the south of China is actually a huge industrial area, in which warehouse after warehouse is lined up for kilometers. Shenzhen is also called the “Silicon Valley of Hardware” and Shenzhen has achieved this status in just one generation. With China's opening policy in the late 1980s, the small fishing village was declared an experimental laboratory for capitalist experiments and quickly attracted factories and manufacturing facilities for the textile industry, toys, shoes and much more. Migrant workers from all over China came to Shenzhen, the city grew - today the population is around 12 million people.

In recent years, more and more electronics manufacturers have come to Shenzhen and continue to transform the city. Companies like Foxconn, Huawei, ZTE and Tencent settled in the city. Today, Shenzhen is home to the largest collection of electronics stores in the world. In Huaqiang Road, for example, huge buildings are lined up in rows, in which everything from copper cables to finished drones can be found on up to 20 floors.


A paradise for tinkerers and inventors

But what particularly distinguishes Shenzhen are the many hundreds of thousands of small companies and startups that cavort in the city. They develop new products and quickly find exactly the parts they need for their invention in electronics stores. This is an advantage that can hardly be found in any other city.

Another advantage is the innovative network. In the city there is an incredible number of engineers, developers, electronics technicians and programmers who are working on building the next iPhone or the car of the future. If you have problems you help each other.

If you have an idea and want to start tinkering and building right away, Shenzhen is definitely the right place. Large accelerators such as HAX support the startups in getting their products ready for the market quickly and thus contribute to the fact that Shenzhen is basically a huge workshop.


At the first German China Week from November 17th to 24th, selected startups, other representatives of the German startup ecosystem, established companies and politicians will have the opportunity to experience an intensive week in China. The German China Week program includes a large number of informative meetings with top-class startups, the most innovative companies and venture capitalists and provides a broad insight into the development of the Chinese startup ecosystem. To register for the German China Week, click here!


INSIDE is the magazine ofFederal Association of German Startups e.V. (Startup Association). The Startup Association is the representative and voice of startups in Germany and is committed to creating a framework that is friendly to founders. In dialogue with decision-makers in politics, he develops proposals that promote a culture of independence and lower the hurdles for business start-ups. The startup association promotes innovative entrepreneurship and carries the startup mentality into society. As a network, it connects founders, startups and their friends with one another.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the startup association, you can find out something about them hereMembership Benefits and here you canApply for membership.