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

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Future Cities, a full-length documentary strand from WIRED Video, takes us inside the bustling Chinese city of Shenzhen. Subscribe to WIRED►► http://po.st/SubscribeWired 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". ABOUT FUTURE CITIES 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. HOLY LAND: STARTUP NATIONS (SERIES 2) 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. CONNECT WITH WIRED Web: http://po.st/WiredVideo Twitter: http://po.st/TwitterWired Facebook: http://po.st/FacebookWired Google+: http://po.st/GoogleWired Instagram: http://po.st/InstagramWired Magazine: http://po.st/MagazineWired Newsletter: http://po.st/NewslettersWired ABOUT WIRED 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.
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Text Comments (3683)
zysis (14 hours ago)
In my case, I need Shenzen, Shenzen needs me. I'm so limited here in Australia as to what I can give the world because what I give is always stolen, taken by another and made their own. For this I fear sharing and innovation, I know whom it is empowering and feel that it only benefits a select few who view anyone outside their realm as mere tools. There are too many things worth mentioning, but what is blatantly obvious to me is that I'm not the only one. Brilliant story, it made me very sad and also very happy. One day, we'll be able to zoom in very close to the human DNA strand, and at that time, we will read something written along the strand; Made in China.
geraldo bispo (1 day ago)
REMEMBER people chinese teens will steal your ideas for fun. Before you put it out there, trademark and patent it in more populous countries. Be smart, be safe from chinese theft because the chinese government doesn't care unless you are recognized by them as the inventor. 👌
Praise365 TV (1 day ago)
Who else wants to take a trip to Shenzhen?
Phang Kuan Hoong (1 day ago)
and this is three years ago.
you guys know how to solder can help us now .....yay win win...not
Miguel Nieves Nieves (2 days ago)
We did not “forget” how to manufacture goods, solder, etc. big tech companies simply outsource to China while perfectly serviceable US citizens get put out of work. American companies should hire AMERICAN workers. And by the way, the middle class is growing once again!
Ultra Mega (3 days ago)
Only Apple can make phones with rounded corners. <- NOPE. Completely not factual.
TheBdd4 (3 days ago)
Boy, what I learned about Shenzen! I have ordered electronic parts from there and never knew that a a small vendor from a great city responded to my needs. Thanks for a great video, great narration, great scenes!
Justin Brown (3 days ago)
$700 i phones worth really 100$. Makes sense
Justin Brown (3 days ago)
😢👊🏽. Seeing those Village kids in poverty made me bust out in tears. I’m glad they Became a Mega city.
Tom (3 days ago)
There is a huge difference between Silicon Valley and Shen Zhen. Silicon Valley produces new tech never seen before and defines the direction the industry will go in the future while shen zhen simply produces existing tech faster, easier, cheaper. It is not difficult to see which is the more innovative area.
Roger Underhill (4 days ago)
Three years later, Baishizhou urban village is still here. They refused to sell out to the developers in order to protect their lifestyle. We’re all so happy about that as we love to eat and drink in that amazing, friendly and raw environment.
Mark Arnott (4 days ago)
2019 Video killed the radio star - still going on we die, build ,reconstruct ,enivate this is GOOD video 👩‍⚕️
Pierre Pessiot (4 days ago)
Is there some subtitles I can find for this video somewhere ? :)
marax (4 days ago)
they should air this on US TV for people to understand better this "patent theft"
Edward VanNoy (4 days ago)
The openness of the makers is a beautiful thing I wish I could be part of it
Phexism (5 days ago)
about 40:00 that guy comes off like a yakuza.
Phexism (5 days ago)
they talk about how these phones are evolved from the product they were copied from but how good is the security? that's mostly what people want, people want a responsive phone that is easy to use and secure. four golden rules that consumers want. 1. looks good 2. easy to use 3. fast 4. secure that's why apple is such a successful product, they look clean, their OS is extremely easy and fluent, they're fast and the security is unparalleled.
Bondy (6 days ago)
Of course it's copying. And if it's copied without permission then it's said to be stealing. However the west views IP theft differently. So the real question becomes, is the concept of IP ( intellectual property ) worth anything in China? Or is it a complete waste of effort to try to get a IP patient in China? I heard that the Chinese government is starting to take IP rights more seriously nowadays. Not sure how true that is.
onehappynegro (7 days ago)
never seen so many tech girls. good work.
john williams (7 days ago)
intuiting market infrastructure is extremely important in that,overproduction should be limited to market demographic analysis as to what will be needed for replacement parts in that industry ie auto parts per year and amount of running cars needing parts of that year,or which laptops need parts that were made in what year still in use needing parts,that way overproduction wont have to be dissassembled for higher use in the future...this will help the manufacturers and developers in those areas as well as cutting on obsolesent stock unused and unsold....
Nguyen Tanthien (7 days ago)
Welcher Tiere Zeichnungen für die Behinderung & für Zukunft........Möchten Sie alles von Tiger Wissenheit......Träumen Sie es Lebens....
Nguyen Tanthien (7 days ago)
Sorry, kann es mir nicht kaufen......
Nguyen Tanthien (7 days ago)
Ich schreibe & Beschreibungen......Keine Dummer Malerei & Psychologie Visionär........
Nguyen Tanthien (7 days ago)
Gewinnt allen Jungs + Männers + Vaters + Opas.......Macht schlechter Verloren gegen Babies......Schönheit Männer Gesicht & Gedichte...
Nguyen Tanthien (7 days ago)
Verlangt auf der Races mit Verhungrr ohne Flüssigsmitteln......Lächeln der Menschheit als Business Succcess mit Verstand........
Nguyen Tanthien (7 days ago)
Unterstützungen für Behindert Guru.....Denken Sie nur Behindert Olumpia......Wo sind Gesundheiten Menschen........?
Nguyen Tanthien (7 days ago)
Aber nicht als Babies rauben........Es gibt Elenden Museum.......Zivil Gericht ...Medizin Gerichte....Militärische Grichten ......Krankhaft Schämlos.....Ohne Ferien & Ohne Urlaubt ......Rauben Flüchtlingskinder.......Organs + Geburtscheint + Augen.......Unbeschreibbar......
Nguyen Tanthien (7 days ago)
Muss ich immer als Erwarte......Langweiliger Wissenschaftler. ....Mich Verhunger lassen mit Fr1.900 in der Schweiz Leben Existen.....!
valmach2 (7 days ago)
9 months ahead of anywhere else .... stealing intellectual property certainly gives Shenzhen advantages over the west.. No one in China is held responsible
Nemanja Ignjatović (8 days ago)
5:00 Ha! Commodore 64!!!
Anh Cunningham (9 days ago)
Invasion is the top priority from China!! Chinese Communist all they cares is for themselves!! Chinese wants to control the world!! But how? Where ever any places Chinese comes is stealing technology, invaded land…Blah…Blah…China # 1 like they are the boss!! Chinese is good brain wash peoples! Be careful, aware of these Communist China!!
Hing Yee (9 days ago)
You are ugly but (10 days ago)
0:51 Indian ? are we everywhere ? with that accent...Halooooooo
Carlos Gomez (8 days ago)
Yes they are everywhere and still procreating and spreading even more...
Lexicon Devil (10 days ago)
😂😂😂 these counterfeit justifications are ridiculous 😂😂
Matthew 123456 (4 days ago)
China is crumbling under trump thank God he exposed the cheating paper tiger
CHOKMAH SHALOMAH (10 days ago)
China bought America and now selling americans junk in a empty box!
Syed Siraj (10 days ago)
And US wants to contain China using India, well wish you luck..
Jeff W (10 days ago)
yeah forward and backward buttons!!
ElPocho DelMundo (11 days ago)
Deng did nothing. He just stopped prohibiting the natural economic forces of production that exist everywhere else.
DirtyNapkins101 (11 days ago)
I love how they understate how many fakes that are sold in that “mall”
life1 system (11 days ago)
😑🤚🚫no China 👹evil GOV
Randalf Steward (11 days ago)
From the word of these Chinese techs themselves; they have admitted to stealing intellectual property. The Chinese develop few new things, they steal them. When someone has an idea and spends time and a lot of money to develop it, they deserve to be rewarded. If they are not, innovation is dependent on people like the Chinese who don't develop new things. We would be stuck in a dark age. I suspect that this documentary has Chinese Government money behind it.
zigzagbigbag (11 days ago)
Watch out for the vast lies Chinese will tell you. It's all about saving face. You ask them a direct important question about quality and manufacturing dates and they will tell you what you want to hear. It's NEVER the truth. And all the while they're trying to steal from you.
zigzagbigbag (11 days ago)
All this sounds nice however, I've purchased many Chinese made items and they're all junk. The Chinese are out for a quick buck and that's it. I don't see innovation I just see copy/steal tech and then slap it together as cheap as possible and sell as many as they can before people get wise to the junk.
Daniel Robles (12 days ago)
He said from inside the facility! LOL
Watson AI (12 days ago)
Those are all fake copy. Chainses doesn't like American products however there are so many fake apple phones. They dont like USA but they send their kids to USA for studying and better life. Mr Xi has a lot of his money in USA. But he is fighting with usa.
Seattle Solar Supply (12 days ago)
Although the Chinese are widely known to build knock off products, it's a good alternative for people that don't want to pay unrighteously high prices for Apple store hardware. Foxconn and other manufacturers have underpaid Chinese workers, while Apple rakes in high profits and pays American workers enough to drive the price of real estate to an astronomical level. Don't even mention the price of rent in the city. Working class citizens have to move into public housing apartments. No wait... Most of them don't qualify for public housing, because the standard for approval caters to people that have never worked a day in their entire lives. Build housing for people that are too lazy to work and give them food assistance, while working class people can't even get a discount on bus passes to get to work every day? I'm not paying for over priced phones and junk, but I will pay for good quality Japanese, German, and Chinese products that are valuable.
QPDS (12 days ago)
China just builds, builds, builds. The USA just bombs, bombs, bombs.
capitan latino (12 days ago)
Arthur Trauer (12 days ago)
I love the concept of open source information and the freedom it provides for developers along with the potential for higher standards of living for more people. I am also very concerned about the overall ecology of our ever developing world. There has to be a balance there somewhere or we are doomed to fail. All this stuff produces enormous amounts of waste while consuming natural resources at an ever increasing rate. I would like to see that addressed as an equally important topic of concern as well, alongside prosperity. We can’t live like there’s no tomorrow or our children’s children will pay a heavy price for that in many ways. Take care, much love and good fortune.
Skull Fucker (13 days ago)
just absolute low quality garbage
Adam Derbent (13 days ago)
Why this is not possible in the West? We give the Chinese the best technology and allow unfair competition to ourselves.
Hentai Commander (14 days ago)
I ordered a sex doll from shenzhen, thanks!! ^_^
Jay Saenz (14 days ago)
Give the power to lawyers and you will get a huge inefficient and corrupt burocracy. Give the power to engineers and you will get a developed society. Democracy is overrated.
Ryan Sayre (14 days ago)
40:09 this bit here is literally just a man playing with wording to make his blatant copying look less bad.
Adrian Luhring (14 days ago)
shenzhen was able to boom...due to it's easy export access to Hong Kong...it was China's clap back to English colonization of Hong Kong...please look at the bigger picture
Adrian Luhring (14 days ago)
literally no one: VICE: patent theft is innovative
Pritam Roy (14 days ago)
wtf ....I just watched 1 hours and 7 minutes of people justifying and romanticizing patent theft.
René Plougsgaard (16 days ago)
No one is speaking of tank man.
Willy Wonka (17 days ago)
Precisely why the Tim Cooks of the world are useless anachronisms. Time to put the secret societies OUT OF BUSINESS.
persona2grata (17 days ago)
It seems like there is a bit of a continuum going on here. On the one end are patent trolls who, as they say in the video, make nothing but control the rights to ideas and make money by suing people. I don't think that is helpful to a broader economy. But at the other end is Shenzhen where they have this "open ip" euphemism for stealing other peoples work. I mean, let's not kid ourselves; apart from a handful of products that became fads like the hover boards these "open ip" communities make a significant amount of their money by exploiting their position in the manufacturing chain to find good engineering ideas and then just blatantly rip them off. This feels like they are simply trying to rationalize the behavior, especially when you consider that successful international products engineered in China aggressively patent their own designs. Huawei, for example, had the largest volume of international patent applications in the world in 2018 with 5405 applications to WIPO and were near the top in 2017 with 4024. Now,I'm just curious, how do you think they would react to being told that their own patents would be ignored by the rest of the world because we're getting behind the "open ip" movement? It doesn't seem fair to say "we don't care about ip because open is better for science" and then turn around and say "except for our own stuff, that should be protected."
Jevon Sims (17 days ago)
There's something soooo satisfying about watching this documentary on my Huawei smartphone.😁
BeginPanicAttack (17 days ago)
me before watching this video : ugh fake chinese tech me after watching this video : wtf i want a fake chinese iphone running android with a replaceable battery and memory card slot for 70 bucks
Spyrit2011 (11 days ago)
Why settle for fake, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SrTYqNdFO0
graham jones (13 days ago)
Ugh... you can take a fake iphone up your bottom it measures temperatures
TheSpoonKing (18 days ago)
This documentary was really interesting until it turned into a defense of IP theft and patent fraud...
Vishal k (18 days ago)
31:48 Man has got a point , we live in a world of monopoly which limits innovation.
guns and guitars (18 days ago)
China are corporate thieves they steal everything from everybody and it stops now ~ TRUMP.
OneElse (18 days ago)
不愉快的是,仍然有1k+的人不喜歡這個視頻。這不好。如果你真心喜歡某樣東西,就去承認,而不是成爲它的對立面。 世界根本就不是完美的,太可悲了。特別是... 當你一旦形成了先發制人的意識,就很難改變。
Threelly AI (19 days ago)
Jungle conclusions.... https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/threelly-ai-for-youtube/dfohlnjmjiipcppekkbhbabjbnikkibo
Nick Name (19 days ago)
bye bye Silicon valley :)
Gul Majeed (19 days ago)
Spell reptilian do you not find the sound of Italian in there Colosseum game what was underneath the Colosseum before the Italians reptilians they called the Chinese as Etruscan just Google it learn about the past
Gul Majeed (19 days ago)
What happened in the past happened in the present and the future if you allow it
Gul Majeed (19 days ago)
Etruscans Tradeoffs Traders ungrounded like old times under the Colosseum Italy then they made an exit with the group sex like the concubine Who Conquered nobody knew who the father was in the group sex just like in the Forbidden City and forbidden knowledge all about the cake it's all about the casing and what is inside transformation of innovation is that why America is after Huawei to break the Cortex and coccyx backbone of China trying to change the head great mother China XI Chen
Gul Majeed (19 days ago)
Etruscans trademarks and copyrights Tricky Terrible Terrific Terrifying America placing Territories Tariffs Target on Chinese
Kell (20 days ago)
Very interesting, now China is descending back into heavy handed communism and inevitable isolation and infighting I wonder how the southerners will handle it
So this is CHINA... I see...
spritzer555 (21 days ago)
31:41 good editing, great tech, very educational. ty.
Brandon B (21 days ago)
"TOO THIC" -random asian lady
RYAN SEACREST (21 days ago)
shenzhen grew so fast because of usa and dont you forget that. you are about to find out what happens when you betray us and violate our trade practice and manipulate your currency.
Company Broadcast (21 days ago)
@RYAN SEACREST lol, I am not even a Chinese. I just said things in unbiased an third person perspective Now, truth always hurts. But, thanks for the video. I will watch it right now, I love to listen to different perspectives 😊
RYAN SEACREST (21 days ago)
​@Company Broadcast watch this video and listen carefully. china has betray usa, china will be banned and kicked out of wto and banned from trade with usa soon. prepare for trade war. good luck you will need it
RYAN SEACREST (21 days ago)
@Company Broadcast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSjlGNaWPbc
Company Broadcast (21 days ago)
Can u pls clarify how they betrayed USA? THEY JUST OUTPACED EVERYONE AND NOW TRUMP IS JEALOUS OF THAT. he does not have any right to be jealous because while he was thinking about building a wall China was innovating and growing
Company Broadcast (21 days ago)
It is obvious why Trump is jealous But jealousy Never leads to fruitful results but Stagnation and degradation
Ken M3ng (21 days ago)
The economy of China was struggling with the constraints of far-left. now is the West's turn.
laura leigh (21 days ago)
Never trust Silicon Valley or China. They are one in the same.
Joker (22 days ago)
China was made a poor country, first by colonialism and then followed by communism.
Jason Jones (22 days ago)
Like I told somebody before. China makes engineers and the USA makes lawyers.
SeKToR (23 days ago)
This doc felt like an advertisement for China. Where are all the stealing of IP?
Etnoscope (22 days ago)
I think The word your looking for is PROPAGANDA
J J (23 days ago)
Then why Chinese keeps on filing their patents in US market if they truly believe in sharing the IP? It seems like a sugarcoated execuse for stealing someone’s property when you want them but don’t want to pay.
J J (18 days ago)
Not only in the U.S. but also in any "developed" countries such as Korea, Japan, England,Germany and etc. I'm not saying there isn't patent abuse such as patent monopoly, where the gov't can regulate by setting a limit for loyalty and terms and so forth. My point is granting the legal protection for any sorta property either intellectual or real estate is very legitimate unless they are developed as part of research and pedagogical purpose for the entire humanity. Who decides this? Surely not the copier, but the inventor and the property holder. Furthermore, if they really want to argue for the open source, then they should open source theirs too consistently. Why China has reaped the benefit of patent/trademark filing system, the very legal platform they seem to oppose using their home advantage? https://www.bbc.com/news/business-36200481
KabbaJabbawockeeZ95 (22 days ago)
That's because it's the norm in the US. If you don't do it, other companies would not hesitate to file the patent for you and sue you out of business.
Victor Martinez (23 days ago)
can we make a society where Education is free for all? Nicola Tesla worked for the benefit of humanity to bring free energy for all because he realized that energy is all around us what is needed is a collective effort by all to tap into this energy source and make everyone's life better in contrast our current society ruled by greed takes from the effort of others to concentrate wealth on the few. there is equal potential on every human being on every human mind only together will humanity be able to solve the big challenges that lay on our path to conquer the Universe.
Z Salty (25 days ago)
American knows that the Israelis stole the Technology from USA and sold it to China and now they are both in business together.
Ima Realist (25 days ago)
Of course they say everything is open source, nobody will be able to claim it as their own...... because CHINA STEALS EVERYTHING!! Bunch of no good crooks! CHINA 🇨🇳 THE SILICON VALLEY OF STOLEN HARDWARE!! TRUMP 2020 🇺🇸
Juicy James (24 days ago)
Not sure if you meant "Software" instead of Hardware. Either way, you dumb af.
Quantum Chang (25 days ago)
Goes to show the sons and daughters of uneducated fishermen can reach the moon when the government put efforts into changing the way they live.
Quantum Chang (6 days ago)
@Aaron Darnell But what I said was factual, not something conjured up from imagination.
Aaron Darnell (7 days ago)
I identify your writing as very eastern/pro-government. Image a world without government.
Jamie Shows (25 days ago)
IP-sharing? That's called theft. China wouldn't be playing that game if they were completely on top.
KabbaJabbawockeeZ95 (22 days ago)
What do you mean? They are already on top
Stefanie Daniella (26 days ago)
it's now 2019, and this 2016 video is more relevant now than ever showing the polar opposites of open source sharing (unlimited makers world) = rapid change for innovation = "next iteration is better" (better for all) versus the western mentality of proprietary hoarding "closed source ideas = frozen in time-stamp-filed patents" (that get obsolete so fast, due to "standing still" too long) = both ego-centric + greedy = results in falling behind, because of selfish unwillingness to share ideas, to move forward, for the good of all
Stefanie Daniella women don't understand what goes into an invention. lol
capitan latino (12 days ago)
@MrFujinko is just because the poor mentality that you have you need a software update to your brain warning warning you need an critical update viejo
MrFujinko (14 days ago)
While opensource is cool and all, it is dellusional to make the comparasion you are making its not selfish to keep something proprietary, specially when it cost money to be made while these makers projects are cool they are a hobby when compared to robust and optimized proprietary software and hardware tell me: why would someone spend a year or more optimizing some piece of software for free? there are people that do that, but the great majority of professionals are going to be doing such work for a company, for a salary sorry for the bad english xo xo
Wo0dy Woodstock (26 days ago)
@Wired UK Very well done, thanks. I lived in Guangdong Province for almost 9 years until 2013 when I returned to USA. I couldn't breath very well in China. My favorite Deng Xiaoping quote is: "It's glorious to be rich." It's even more glorious to breath!!! Wo0dy
P.T.onfire (26 days ago)
Trump was right..they promote ip. Infringement in China...ge3ze
kassie2k4 (26 days ago)
Silas Beall (27 days ago)
19:55 "Kim Kardashian" mute 😂🤣 they couldn't have picked anything better to mute
Willy Wonka (17 days ago)
Like Nancy Pelosi.
Stephen S.T. Lee (27 days ago)
The world has changed so much and especially China. I mean even though I have never been there , just seeing how things have changed just blows my mind.
Manny Ortiz (28 days ago)
So, Shenzhen would not exist if it wasn't for technological theft? or building on someone else's hard work and innovation?
Jack Davies (25 days ago)
@Jamie Shows As if multi-billion, or even multi-trillion dollar companies like Apple and Nike don't exploit workers in 3rd world nations. In fact, because they do they have given the people that work in those places the opportunity to copy designs. I don't blame them whatsoever.
Jamie Shows (25 days ago)
@Jack Davies China is engaging in theft and slavery. So, which is worse? China.
Jack Davies (26 days ago)
Many cities in the west wouldn't exist without slavery and worker exploitation. Which is worse?
两人茶煲teapot4two (28 days ago)
Fast Forward to 2019! Trump + Trade War + .... ! Are you still there ?
barry khuin (1 day ago)
it make china even greater as for HK sad story
Raggamuffinz (29 days ago)
1:04:55 The American Dream: Now Available in Shenzhen.
YoshiPeach Mario (30 days ago)
I compare this with the Bloomberg documentary. It's so much more educational without any condescending tone, probably due to the fact that Wired sent someone of the same ethnicity as the country they are reporting on
Ken L (2 days ago)
David Smith so your solution is be racist and bitter?
Nemanja Ignjatović (8 days ago)
@David Smith quite the opposite... you are saying that they are laying about how oppressed they are, so they can stay oppressed? world doesn't work like that... at lest not in those days...
David Smith (8 days ago)
never trust asians... especially when they are reporting their own country
David Smith (8 days ago)
thus results in fake propagandas helping promote dictatorship

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