Ok, if you have never heard of Shenzhen, China you might want to get yourself up to date with this quick article – because really, it is getting more and more attention lately, as it has turned into a major platform of electronic hardware manufacturing of the past 15 years.
Located north of Hong Kong, Shenzen is the center of the supply chain hub for electronics. All of the major contract manufacturers working for Apple, HP, Microsoft and all the big guys all are there.
This is probably what is the most flashy and amazing part of Shenzhen: the Huaqiangbei electronic market.
A market of spare parts which will have probably anything you could need if you wanted to build any kind of electronic device (check what how this guy has built his own iPhone from spare parts bought on the market)
(quick gallery collected by W. Oskay from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories)
And if you want a guided tour – here is one made by Maker’s Muse inside the Shenzhen Electronic Market<div class='avia-video avia-video-16-9 av-lazyload-immediate av-lazyload-video-embed ' itemprop="video" itemtype="https://schema.org/VideoObject" data-original_url='https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwM1B_4Ai0o' >
Shenzhen is not just about factories and spare parts for geeks – but because of its rich electronics ecosystem, it has become home to a couple of startup accelerators – like HAX :
It makes sense : if you have a hardware startup – better to negotiate directly with the people that will launch your product in mass-production – and since most founders will this hard to do alone, having an infrastructure to guide you is really an attractive proposition for a startup incubator.
Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware
This goes beyond spare parts – it is slowly turning into a major place for hardware innovation.
If you want to know more – I suggest you have a look at a piece done by Wired.
They go into making a parallel between the Silicon Valley and how it developed and how Shenzhen is now growing and the differences that comes in.
Even if you don’t plan to launch a hardware startup tomorrow, it is one of the places to know about.