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. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
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 ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?