Feeds

Meet Shenzhen, tech capital of China

El Reg journeys to the city where much of our tech is made

Reducing security risks from open source software

Gartner’s Sheng, however, argued that heart of the region – the small, independent supply chain and white box manufacturers – will remain intact.

“I don’t think that the white box players will move out in the near future. The big [ODMs] like Foxconn will get subsidies and grants and lower labour costs [by moving] but the smaller guys can’t get these benefits from local government,” he said.

“Many of these factory owners are local people, from Guangdong, so it’s not easy for them to move.”

Forrester's Wang told The Reg that Chengdu and Chongqing in western China are already emerging as new manufacturing hubs for PCs and phones thanks to lower wages and local government incentives.

“However, we do not expect any of these cities will challenge Shenzhen in terms of the size and completeness of the supply chain in the next five to ten years,” he added.

Aside from the obvious environmental impact - the air quality in Shenzhen is pretty abysmal, like most Chinese cities - there's also a human cost to all of this technology. The labour rights violations of local supplier factories run by the likes of Foxconn, VTech, HEG and others to supply the big tech brands are well documented.

Shenzhen downtown

According to China Labour Bulletin spokesman, Geoff Crothall, workers in the smaller white box factories and workshops are even more poorly paid than their counterparts on the Foxconn shop floor, although the working environment might be less stressful.

“Low pay has undoubtedly been one of the PRD's main competitive advantages, along with good logistics and business oriented government,” he told The Reg. “What it also has now is a pool of highly skilled and experienced labour at a managerial level as well as a supply of slightly more expensive unskilled labour. So although the ‘sweatshop’ model may eventually go out of business, the PRD will as the local government hopes, gradually move up the value chain.”

It looks like Shenzhen will retain its crown as the tech manufacturing centre of China for some years to come. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.