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

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Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware (Full Documentary) | Future Cities | WIRED 4.5

Future Cities, a full-length documentary strand from WIRED Video, takes us inside the bustling Chinese city of Shenzhen.

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".

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.

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.


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.

💬 Comments on the video

It's always a funny thing that as a Chinese, I learned quite a lot about China from these kinds of documentary produced by foreigners.

Author — Ryan Yao


it is amazing where utube autoplay brings me when i fall asleep!!!

Author — Mohammad Faisal


Bom para quem? Para os operários, q me remetem ao filme Tempos Modernos" do Chaplin... No meu ponto de vista monte de coisas totalmente dispensáveis.Geladeira q me diz o q há dentro e o q está mais velho? Ñ, ñ precisamos desse luxo técnologico para termos uma vida plena. A meu ver o modelo chinês reproduz o capitalista com salários melhores . Continuam a haver os q " deram certo" e os de baixo, operários substituíveis. Tecnologia sim mas com um outro modelo de sociedade .

Author — Rachel Reis


They found a really good guy to have as the main interviewee - what a resource, he puts together the big picture so well.

Author — Jonas C


It’s funny how we rationalize theft. When you put an established logo on an “improved” product you are not trying to benefit society you are making money off other people’s work.

Author — One One


This concept is both terrifying as an engineer and one of the best things to happen for humanity. As an engineer, I would be terrified to live there. To think that I would need to stay one step ahead of everyone else for the rest of my life in order to make any money is a scary concept. Sure, it promotes constant improvement of technologies which is great for the common good, but the concept of having to be the best to stay afloat is a very stressful one. Here in the US, it takes one real great invention or advancement to guarantee someones' financial future. In Shenzhen, you would need to do that every day. It's like having to find gold every time you swing a pickaxe.

Author — ashiha


I want an iPhone X running Android 10 with a Ryzen 7 cpu

guess I'm coming for a visit there then

Author — PurrrmishunToDiez


Bunnie would be a cool guy to talk to. He's so involved!

Author — abishek sundar


Love the guy at 8:20 flipping off batman take it they missed this when editing lol

Author — kyle farrington


46:12 ...I've seen these phony demonstrations before. Cracks me up every time. Look at her try to sync the pre-recording like it's a touch screen.




"I forgot who signed this.... It's somebody famous.... I forgot. "

Author — R Yarbrough



Author — Martin


Your right once we reach the pinnacle of use everything in use ends up going off the cliff meaning the whole platform will eventually fail.

Author — andre swanson


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

Author — BeginPanicAttack


That early ATM machine had me laughing. That was funny.

Author — patricia poston


Oh my god! A Kardashian mute program! Love it!

Author — Geraldine C


8 years old and already programing hardware. That's awesome!

Author — Dean Nelson


In 2002 - 2003, I was a tech rep for my US company in China (and Singapore). Our Chinese manufacturing partner was in Hangzhou, but our Chinese offices were in Shenzhen and Hong Kong where most of our Chinese sales were, so I had a chance to see the start of the development and innovation process this film so ably explains. What I saw back then blew me away, but when I got back Stateside no one would credit what I saw developing. The misunderstanding and complacency among my friends and business acquaintances was striking. Today we see the consequence of that sort of thinking. This film ought to be required viewing in our schools and communities. Thanks!

Author — angeleum


i know why youre there mr businessman, cheap labor...

Author — unki3259


i woke up from a nap and this is on... im not mad though?

Author — Eden Angelia