China’s Creative Communities | Reflections: David Li, Shenzhen, Shanzhai and the Maker Movement

David Li is the co-founder of several maker related organizations in China including XinCheJian, first makerspace in China, Hacked Matter, a research hub focusing on the global maker movement and its relationship to China, then Maker Collider, a makerspace accelerator sponsored by Intel and Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab, a hub to Shenzhen supported by Shenzhen government. These experiences give him a unique perspective on the maker movement, especially in terms of connections to China.


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That’s Shenzhen | Have Shenzhen’s Innovation Hubs Become too Commercial?

“Things move quickly here,” is a phrase often heard in reference to Shenzhen’s tech scene. The speakers usually aren’t referring to name-brand companies like Lenovo or Huawei either. Instead, it’s all about the grassroots scene, including the cutthroat competition between shanzhai producers, each pushing out their own new and improved version of the iPhone, for instance. Alongside the local ecology, and sometimes even part of it, is the maker scene.


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