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


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  1. Very illuminating. Does this apply to medical devices hardware too? can a patient monitor be assembled like the iphone? it appears most of the technology focus here is on Telecoms and robotics.

  2. Innovation and product development in China is fine. The outright copying and fake products are not. Build your own thing, not fake Apple products with fake logos.

  3. I really want to go visit Shezhen one day. The humanoid robot I am building is probably 80% components fromm Shenzhen. I have bought hundreds of components from there over the years. Think I would need the help of a local person though to find my way around.

  4. I had a migraine this morning too. Lol conspiracy I'm in Canada that cannot happen! Phil try and get really expensive lights that will apparently give vitamin d, they probably have me in computers too!

  5. and while my filipino kindred is hating on china, china is the reason most of us here are experiencing cutting edge tech in our hands, thanks to china, while in our own land, we are becoming backward digital savages. tbh? i'm really confused of what my people really wants.

  6. I was born and raised in Shenzhen. This documentary is very accurate and I really appreciate that. There are much more things about Shenzhen to be loved than just technology development. I study abroad in America and whenever I tell people where I come from, I say a city near Hong Kong. I hope Shenzhen can one day be widely known in the world and people will see how amazing this city is. If you know a thing or two about Chinese technology enterprises, Tencent, Huawei and Dji are all based in Shenzhen.

  7. I think years from now, children will learn about "The Chinese Dream" and how China once again became the great innovator of the world.


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