Shenzhen Ready Made Design Electronics
Shenzhen has been in the spotlight as the leading innovation center for the future. Many articles such as “How a tiny fishing village became the gadget factory of the world, and why that’s just the beginning of its ambitions” and documentaries such as Wired UK’s “Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware” just begin to scratch the surface of the complex electronics production ecosystem built up rapidly in the past three decades that transformed Shenzhen from zero percent of electronics production to the ninety one percent of the global electronics production.
Let me repeat this again. 91% of the electronic devices for the global 7 billion people are now being produced in one single city. Let’s ponder on this and let this sink in. 91% of global electronics are now made in one single city. It is an unprecedented concentration of production in human history. Five decades of outsourcing have built a global supply chain infrastructure that makes Shenzhen today.
Moreover, Shenzhen produces information technologies products which follow the Moore’s Law. The products are outdated as soon as they hit the shelves, and better models are already enabled by the exponential growth of computation power.
In response to the increasing scale of productions and shortening life cycle of the products, a complex business ecosystem has emerged in Shenzhen. Each one of the boxes represents tens of hundreds of companies involved. For example, in the industrial design, there are four thousand industrial design studios and one hundred and fifty thousands industrial designers working in Shenzhen. There are tens of thousands of factories. The ecosystem evolves to be open and collaborative for survival.
The Shenzhen White Label Electronics industries emerged out of the ecosystem where tens of thousands vendors speculate at the edge of commodity electronics and each pushes a bit further with new features as they being enabled by the latest integrated circuits. As the products have short and limited life cycle and getting to manufacture efficiently require to reach certain volume. White labels are created to address such issues. Rather then bringing out their own branded products, the white label vendors create new products and collaborate others to brand the products for all possible channels. The white label electronics have grown to market worth of tens of billions of dollars annually.
But where are the white labels?
While white labels are everywhere in Huaqiangbei, seeing them is not easy for the first time visitors. White label stores look like a retail store front with nicely packaged goods. For first time visitor, the consumer mindset kick in once inside the setup. One must change to see these products on the shelves are components that can be branded, modified and reprogrammed to suit ones’ need.
Several malls in Huaqiangbei including Mingtong specialized in mobile phones, Shanda in tablets and Longshen in accessories are full of the white label shops.
The white label also two trade publications “Shenzhen Info Today” (深圳今日资讯) and “Shenzhen Daily Express” (深圳今日快递) which are available on the street side newsstands for free but one copy per person.