IoT Startup City Spotlight: Shenzhen, China

Is Shenzhen poised to become another international startup stronghold?Every so often, we take a minute to highlight a city or country gaining popularity in the startup community. Last time, we discussed Estonia. Today, let’s take a look at Shenzhen — China’s booming IoT haven.

Where is it?

A short 40km north of Hong Kong, Shenzhen was the first city to be declared a Chinese Special Economic Zone.

Generally Speaking, What Drives Shenzhen’s Economy?

The city’s population has steadily grown since 1980. In 2015, Shenzhen’s GDP weighed in at nearly $270 billion.

The city is home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) and one of the busiest container ports on the planet.

Who Is Flocking To Shenzhen?

Shenzhen is considered the “darling of IoT entrepreneurs from around the world.”

Several big names already landed in the Chinese city. Famously, Zach Smith of Makerbot moved there a few years back. An executive at IoT accelerator Brinc explained why Shenzhen has become an attractive option for the niche:

“Time and time again, IoT startups aren’t able to successfully manufacture their product and nothing beats in-person, hands-on experience and knowledge working with the manufacturer.”

Drone manufacturers are also converging on the city.

Shenzhen-based companies have begun to “westernize” working environments by establishing “campus style” facilities, like Google.

Best Non-Work-Related Benefit of Shenzhen

The climate. It’s never too hot or too cold; typically, the mercury lands between 60 and 84 degrees.

Worst Aspects Of Shenzhen

Oddly enough, Internet access isn’t the best; decent, but not the highest-end. Plus, some people aren’t impressed — or even satisfied — by the cultural and dining offerings. That said, world-class Hong Kong is a short ride away.

Shenzhen In A Nutshell

A manufacturing mecca, Shenzhen is emerging as a hub for the Internet of Things community. For IoT startups, a contact in Shenzhen may be worth considering.

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Article Sources

Desai, F. (2016, May 7). Innovators Find Internet of Things Paradise in Shenzhen. Retrieved June 16, 2016, from

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