Feeds

Meet Shenzhen, tech capital of China

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

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?