The Silicon Valley of Asia

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Of all the amazing changes that have taken place in China over the past 40 years, the rise of Shenzhen from a small fishing village in the 1970s to a high tech powerhouse with an economy which is now larger than Hong Kong is perhaps the most remarkable. Since 1979, Shenzhen’s GDP has grown by a rate of 21.6% per annum. Think about that for a moment – that’s a doubling of Shenzhen’s economy every four years!

There are so many things to say about Shenzhen’s economy (and you can find many interesting statistics in this SCMP infographic) but perhaps the most significant point to make is that, despite all of the amazing achievements of the past, Shenzhen’s best years are still ahead of it. As the tech hub of the Greater Bay Area, including plans to expand their high tech industrial development zone to cater for an additional 2,000 high-tech companies (rubbing shoulders with the likes of Tencent, Huawei, BYD and ZTE, amongst others), it’s easy to see how Shenzhen is now ‘the Silicon Valley of Asia’.

I was in Shenzhen last year and it did feel like a futuristic experience. On my last morning, I jumped into an electric powered taxi, travelled swiftly along a wide freeway lined by young trees admiring large skyscrapers until I reached the spacious Futian station and, after swiping the ticket machine with the Wechat Pay QR code on my mobile phone, I took the 12 minute fast train on the Express Rail Link to Hong Kong. Once you’ve experienced that, nothing else comes close!

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