City Spotlight: Shenzhen

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WHAT TO KNOW

If you’re searching for a city that attracts growth, look no further than Shenzhen. Since the Chinese government turned the city into a Special Economic Zone to attract foreign investment in 1980, Shenzhen has quite literally exploded. It’s grown from a small fishing community of 30,000 to an international hub with a population of nearly 12 million in just under four decades. 

Today, Shenzhen is the third largest economic center in China. Its convenient location on China’s southern coast makes it an easy access point for industries such as manufacturing and technology. Shenzhen is also a major travel destination, with a wide range of hotels, restaurants, and attractions available to entertain up to 4 million tourists each year.

WHAT TO DO

Shenzhen is a great place to dive headfirst into Chinese culture. Window of the World and Splendid China are two parks which feature miniature replicas of landmarks from within China and around the world. Shenzhen Museum showcases history, culture, and art, both specific to the region and from the country as a whole. Of course, don’t forget to simply take a walk through the city center to see some of Shenzhen’s supersize skyscrapers, such as KK100, or explore one of the city’s many parks, like the beautiful Lianhuashan urban park.

To experience Shenzhen’s tech industry, visit Huaqiangbei electronics market, the largest of its kind in the world. For food, don’t miss the opportunity for fresh seafood and typical Cantonese cuisine.

STARTUP SCENE

They call Shenzhen the Silicon Valley of China for a reason. With enormous local manufacturing and electronics markets, Shenzhen is paradise for tech startups. As a result, the city has attracted big names in the global startup scene. Startup Grind maintains an impressive local presence, with a large member base and regular events. In 2017, TechCrunch chose Shenzhen as the location to host its first event in China.

For budding startups, Shenzhen is far from short of resources. Seeed Studio is an electronics manufacturer that also offers services such as prototyping and local integration for international companies. HAX Accelerator, which specializes in developing hardware startups, brings an overwhelmingly international group of entrepreneurs to its headquarters in Shenzhen for a 4-month program each year.

Shenzhen is also a great place to hire talent. Thousands of China’s recent college graduates flock to the metropolitan area each year in search of tech jobs, many of whom have studied abroad. For foreign workers, Shenzhen’s specialized local laws make the visa process easier than in other parts of China in an effort to attract top international talent.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur with an idea for a tech startup or a skilled STEM professional looking for a change, Shenzhen might be the place for you! Don’t let the cost of living scare you away; although Shenzhen is considered one of the most expensive cities in China, it’s still much cheaper than Western hubs like New York and London. This tech paradise has just about everything you’ll need, from professional resources to a rich local culture.


Want to experience life in Shenzhen for yourself? Our first-ever Shenzhen cohort leaves in Summer 2018. Applications are now open!