There are numerous ways on how the city of Shenzhen is described and characterized; ‘Silicon Valley for Hardware’, ‘The World’s Tech Incubator’, ‘Sprawling Electronics Ecosystem’, ‘Capital of Consumer Electronics’, and a lot more. Shenzhen is a city in the Southern China which has become a global market for electronic manufacturing, but also the best place for the flock of tiny start -ups where they incubate products and market it in the most inexpensive and as quickly as possible. So, what does Shenzhen has to offer to be marked with those breathless labels.
Many years ago, this city was a small and border town village with fishing primary source of living. It was designated as first every Special Economic Zone of China which wherein an open and reform policy was prescribed. The communist government will have little interference as the city was allowed the practice of market capitalism but guided by ideals of the Chinese socialism. This resulted in the boom of this city that created the widest manufacturing centre and marketplace for electronic industry. Over the years it has become a magnet for the innovators, the makers and the start-ups.
Shenzhen city measures about 800 square miles making it double the size of the city of New York. This geographic size is the host of the sprawling ecosystem which makes up the major support for the electronic industry of the city. Located at the very heart of the ecosystem is Huaqiangbei , the world-renowned electronics marketplace. This is also popularly known as the wonder-planet of hackers as in this place you can find and buy all kinds of electronic tool, component or equipment which you desire. All these can be purchased in any kind, sizes and even on wholesale price. Component marketplace, supply chains, manufacturing facilities are of close in proximity with each other. All of them do fast shipping internationally and considering that they cater also to small start-ups, this make this place irresistible for the professional makers.
So, how does one begin exploring the manufacturing opportunities that Shenzhen has to offer? You have to go and buy a ticket to this city. Then you have to go and look around. Then, try to look for some more. Please be advised that most of the residents in Shenzhen does not speak much English and this is also generally true even when it comes to someone who are in the electronic business industry. You will need to have a professional interpreter in Shenzhen to make the most of your trip. It’s essential that your interpreter should have some sort of engineering or technical background if you want to have a deeper conversation with the engineers or staffs from the factory regarding some merging technologies. Most of the products with cutting-edge technology you see in CES can be manufactured here in Shenzhen.
As a better alternative, you may want to consider having a experienced sourcing agent in Shenzhen. A qualified sourcing agent normally have fluent working proficiency in English and Chinese. Your sourcing agent will not only be your personal interpreter who bridges the language and cultural gaps during the course of your stay in Shenzhen, but more importantly your trip will also become very productive with the aid of an experienced sourcing agent. No one can be a better tour guide than someone who knows the local market, speaks the native languages, and has the industrial experience.
Try making calls and try harder making connections. It might take at least a week to roam around the factories in this city. Visiting the factories will give you some sense of what is really going on, the media which you will be working on, the process of manufacturing, and numerous new ideas. In these factories, you will be exposed to things you would never think possible in the process of manufacturing. This will give you brilliant ideas that can be done on your own products that you have never considered.
Some may be tempted to work on long distance in the numerous factories rather than being personally present in this huge city. If that’s what you prefer, the sourcing agent is able to offer a one-stop service which covers the all the work from sourcing suppliers to shipping the products to your port. However, for those who are serious in this endeavour, there is really a need to visit Shenzhen. This is for you to have knowledge of the supplier’s situation, meet factory owners and establish relationship with them, and be knowledgeable about their standards of quality control.