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Shenzhen - the IP and innovation centre


November 12, 2018

Shenzhen (in Chinese, 深圳), a city home to millions of people and full of life, is under the shadow of its better-known sisters, Beijing and Shanghai, for no reason. Culture, technology, and innovations are thriving in this megalopolis, and the city is not called the second Silicon Valley in vain.

Shenzhen is located in the southern part of China, in Guangdong province, on the border with Hong Kong. In a few decades, a little border town grew exponentially into a metropolis of more than 10 million people.

This is a Chinese innovation hub: for each square kilometre of Shenzhen, the city has 5.6 high-tech companies of national importance. This national economics, science and technology centre is also one of the first IP-protection pilot cities in China, where one third of patenting in China takes place. Each day, 51 patent applications are filed.

Kolster set up a subsidiary company in Shenzhen in October.

“This is a strategic solution guaranteeing expansion potential and service for Finnish companies even better than before,” says Timo Helosuo, the managing director of Kolster.

Kolster has put a long-term effort into China, so setting up an office is a natural step in expanding the Kolster China Desk™ service.

So, Shenzhen is firmly looking into the future. The city is unique also for the following reasons.

Home to wealth and innovation

Shenzhen is one of the most important international cities in China. The atmosphere of an influential city is favourable for business activities from the viewpoint of the markets, legislation, and internationality. Shenzhen is also home to such huge global companies as Huawei, Tencent, Vanke, Amer International Group and Evergrande. Shenzhen is furthermore the leading Chinese city in, for example, development of high technology, financing services, foreign trade, as well as creative and culture sectors.

From the viewpoint of economical power, Shenzhen is the third most powerful city in mainland China. In 2017, the gross domestic product of the city increased by 8.8 percent, which is a growth rate only exceeded by Beijing and Shanghai. Export and import volumes have been among the best in the country for 25 years in a row. Shenzhen has, among other things, ports that are some of the biggest in the world.

The city draws start-up companies in the field of technology as well as headquarters of famous high-tech companies like a magnet. The entire city has been converted into a SEZ area, so a special economic zone, where business and economic legislation differs from the rest of the country. The goal is to increase business, investments, and jobs with liberal taxation and legislation related to business, investments, and workforce regulation.

Stronghold of top expertise

To remain in the front row of the world technology hubs, Shenzhen is actively trying to attract top professionals into the city. Companies are encouraged to make innovations by offering them economical support, for example. The Peacock Initiative, launched in 2011, is one of the many projects that provide financing for the participating teams that aim at a scientific breakthrough up to 100 million yuan, so approximately EUR 12.6 million.

Shenzhen has additionally promised to build ten laboratories that seek a breakthrough in the fields of, for example, chemistry, medicine, robotics, and 5G telecommunications. To run these laboratories, Nobel prize winners will be appointed. Many Nobel prize winners already call the city home, such as chemist Robert H. Grubbs, Nobel prize winner in physics Shuji Nakamura, and pioneer in medicine and clinical microbiology Barry Marshall.

Cluster of creativity and culture

In addition to high technology, Shenzhen is a cluster of culture and creative work. The 48 industrial parks of the city cover the field of the creative sector from end to end, including animation, games, new media, and training in industry.

The town planners have increased their cooperation with foreign planners, as a result of which the city design has been on view in several international events of the field. Shenzhen has become a new respectable force in international design markets.

It is additionally the sixth city in the world and the first in China to have been accepted as a member of the Creative Cities Networks, and was granted the title of UNESCO City of Design.

Open to the world

Shenzhen wishes to be more and more open. Out of the millions of people in the international city, most are emigrants who have moved there from elsewhere. Multilingualism is therefore flourishing. Shenzhen is the only city in its province where Mandarin is the dominating language instead of Cantonese. In addition, most of the young people and businessmen speak English.

The megalopolis has not forgot nature: approximately one half of its total land area consists of protected city parks covered by trees. The mild climate is pleasant all year round, which is the reason it is referred to as the winterless city. As to the air quality, Shenzhen is among the best ten cities in China.

In 2017, the city won the title 2017 Amazing China – The 10 Most Attractive Chinese Cities for Foreigners.


China Daily - Shenzhen aims to be a global technology innovation hub

Shenzhen Government Online

Shenzhen Light Show 2018

The Economist - Shenzhen Is A Hothouse of Innovation

UNESCO Creative Cities Network

YiCai Global - Shenzhen Unveils Intellectual Property, Financial Courts in China’s IPR Protection Pilot Zone

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