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Shanzhai Innovation. Shanzhai: China’s Collaborative Electronics Design Ecosystem - Silvia Lindtner, Anna Greenspan, and David Li. COLUMNS - Shanzai! The Era of DIY Warfare. Low-cost knocks offs of multimillion dollar weapons systems - the era of large scale, run-and-gun DIY micro-warfare is just around the corner.

COLUMNS - Shanzai! The Era of DIY Warfare

SEVERAL months ago, awaiting a delayed night flight at LaGuardia airport, I engaged in some idle banter on Twitter with a friend and former colleague, Josh Calder, about the latest Libya dispatch from New York Times war correspondent C.J. Chivers. We were discussing his report that the rebels had successfully fired a 57mm launcher when, to our mutual surprise, Chivers chimed in, presumably from some roadside cover between Brega and Ajdabiya. He pointed out that success is a relative term in those conditions: “What do you mean by ‘succesful (sic) firing?’ The rockets left the launcher? Un écosytème d’innovation singulier : les Shan Zhai. Quel est le lien entre un téléphone porte-cigarettes, un téléphone qui dispose d’un système sonore “7.1”, une montre qui permet de téléphoner, un téléphone doté d’une lampe UV pour détecter les faux billets, un téléphone avec un zoom optique démontable, un téléphone en forme de « petite voiture majorette » ou un Iphone avec une batterie changeable facilement mais qui s’appellerait Hi-Phon ?

Un écosytème d’innovation singulier : les Shan Zhai

Tous ces téléphones ont été créés et développés en Chine, près de Shen Zhen, dans le delta de la rivière des Perles à un endroit où s’est développé un écosystème de la contrefaçon appelé Shan Zhai. Le succès de l’écosystème de la contrefaçon chinoise Originellement le terme Shan Zhai était utilisé pour définir un bastion de bandits hors du contrôle des gouvernements locaux. Certains succès industriels foudroyants intéressent de nombreux chercheurs et spécialistes de l’innovation. Image : une belle interprétation du Copyright par les Shan Zhai : « le copyright, c’est le droit de copier ». 1. Shanzai! This article was taken from the January issue of Wired magazine.


Be the first to read Wired's articles in print before they're posted online, and get your hands on loads of additional content by subscribing online On a humid August afternoon, Jan Chipcase, an itinerant technologist, shrugs off the noise and commotion of the five bustling floors of Bu Ye Cheng, a towering electronics market that stands in the heart of Shanghai. Around him, traders sell mobile phones, laptops, quirky media players and tablet PCs. The 40-year-old Briton, a former Nokia researcher who has spent the past decade documenting the way technology is used around the world, has whiled away countless hours in similar places.

Chinese pirates are tech's new innovators. I've recently started writing The Digital Life, a monthly tech column in our sister Conde Nast magazine, GQ.

Chinese pirates are tech's new innovators

This is my second column, from last month's issue (dated June), which doesn't seem to be on the GQ website. Shanzhai. Tech Trend: Shanzhai. The shanzhai of China are a tech trend to keep an eye on.

Tech Trend: Shanzhai

Typically dismissed by popular press as simply the “copycat barons from China”, I think they may have something in common with Hewlett and Packard or Jobs and Wozniak back when they were working out of garages. I’ve heard quite a few stories about the shanzhai while on my most recent trip to China, some of which I will share here. First, let’s try to understand the cultural context of the word shanzhai. Shanzhai (山寨) comes from the Chinese words “mountain fortress”. The literal translation is a bit misleading.

Patterns from IDEO. ‘Shiny points’ stand out One of the key design principles of Shanzhai is to make the assets of the product stand out.

Patterns from IDEO

Shanzhai is not about being subtle. It’s about bringing up the distinctive character of a product and accentuating it. Of the population, “80-90% are unsophisticated consumers,” explains Wang, a Shanzhai mobile phone manufacturer. “When they buy a mobile phone, they want to see values that they can understand. Whether it’s a big camera lens or speakers attached to the phone, these consumers want focal points, because they are the “face” of products.

Shanzhai: Flexible Manufacturing for the Next Generation. The Chinese shanzhai phenomenon was featured recently in posts by Andrew “Bunnie” Huang and Tom Igoe.

Shanzhai: Flexible Manufacturing for the Next Generation

To me it’s striking reminiscent of the flexible manufacturing networks of Emilia-Romagna and the Third Italy. The literal meaning of shanzhai is “mountain fortress,” but it carries the connotation of a fortified area or stronghold outside the state’s control, or a place of refuge for bandits or rebels (much like the Cossack communities on the fringes of the Russian Empire, or Sherwood Forest). The 108 bandits of Song Jiang, one of the more notable shangzhai legends, also carry a flavor something like “Robin Hood meets Che Guevara,” according to Huang. Shanzhai. A Shanzhai version of has just been created and launched in China, introducing


It is not a joke, this website is to compete with the world’s number one search engine, it is also said to be a gesture to press Google to stay in China. The appearance of the website is almost identical to Analyzing Shanzhai Tech Culture & Gadgets. Funny And Clever Chinese ‘Shanzhai’ Brands. KFG 啃他鸡 = "Nibble His Chicken" (rest assured the innuendo applies in Chinese as well).

Funny And Clever Chinese ‘Shanzhai’ Brands

Awsome video from China, a small airplane (Shanzhai Glider) made by a farmer in China. Update on June 28: There's now another video with some other perspectives of this plane. So, I don't think it's fake: The name of the author is "Bin Xu", aka "徐斌" in Chinese.