Manufacturing Heat-Not-Burn: Shenzhen, China, the Manufacturing Capitol
Part-One of our Manufacturing Heat-Not-Burn Series
While reading through our review section, you’ve probably noticed that most HnB devices we review are manufactured in China; most often Shenzhen, China. This is really no surprise, seeing as China is one of the leading manufacturing hubs of the modern world. What we here at Heat180 have always been curious about, though, is, why China? Why Shenzhen? And, most importantly, how can we make sense of the sophisticated economic practices within China? In this two-part series, we’ll discuss how China, with focus on Shenzhen, developed into what it is today as well as the different aspects of the manufacturing economy that everyone should know. Lastly, we’ll examine how this relates to Heat-Not-Burn and affects you, the user.
The Development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs)
We’ll start off with a bit of history about Chinese economic practices. In the mid-1970s, after previous attempts to implement several, ultimately unsuccessful, economic policies, China’s economy was faltering. Government officials were beginning to worry that if China did not achieve some form of economic growth within the next decade, the nation would fall behind in a rapidly globalizing world. This was especially troubling as other countries in Asia, such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, etc., were becoming quite powerful due to their advancements in the fields of science, technology, and business.
Following the death of Mao Zedong, Chinese officials began implementing new and experimental economic practices that would open the Chinese market to the global community, while still focusing on investment within China. While the entire history is fascinating, we will focus on Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
Special Economic Zones are specific geographic areas (cities, provinces, and/or other regions) that were permitted by the Chinese government to operate under more of a free-market structure than most other parts of the country. In addition, businesses that established themselves within these areas were offered incentives in an attempt to attract foreign experts and investors.
It worked. Incentives brought foreign businesses, innovators, and experts, which, in turn, created a demand for products and labor. As a result China’s economy began growing and more Special Economic Zones were created. Even as more SEZs were created, the most successful of all SEZs remained the very first that was created: the city of Shenzhen.
Shenzhen, China’s Most Influential SEZ
Shenzhen is a port city located in the south of China, very near to Hong Kong. It’s geographic location was one of the greatest factors in its success. Its close proximity to Hong Kong, a well-established global region that housed individuals from numerous nations, was beneficial, as foreign businesses could, essentially, operate out of Hong Kong while having their manufacturing plants a short commute away. In addition, Shenzhen’s status as a port city made the transportation of goods easy. Many of the businesses within SEZs rely on importation and exportation, so easy access to transportation routes is essential.
As the city grew and developed as an SEZ, businesses were able to access all stages of production (research, design, manufacturing, packaging, promotion, and shipping) all in one area. Businesses took advantage of these features and over the past 40 years since Shenzhen first became an SEZ, the city has become a essential contributor to China’s economy and standing in the world.
Some fun facts
- Shenzhen’s population has grown by over 400% since 1979.
- The city now has it’s own stock exchange, which is the 8th largest in the world
- Shenzhen is known as China’s “Silicon Valley”
Heat-Not-Burn in the Special Economic Zone of Shenzhen
Now SEZs are in no way exclusive to China – China has just been the most successful at implementing them. And it’s obvious that they do work not only for Shenzhen, but China as a whole.
SEZs create an environment that fosters innovation, creation, and advancement. That’s where technological advancements like vape, Heat-Not-Burn, and other harm reduction devices come in. Even though Heat-Not-Burn did not originate in Chinese companies, it is businesses like those fond in Shenzhen that enhance and sometimes redesign existing ideas altogether.
In part-two of this series, we will examine the economic policies at play that shape how Heat-Not-Burn is developed within China, as well as how it affects you, the consumer.