Moving to Shenzhen – A Guide for Startups and Entrepreneurs

YoStartups Team

China has established itself as a manufacturing and tech hub globally with Shenzhen as one of its key startup ecosystems. Are you planning to move to Shenzen for being a part of its dynamic startup culture? Here is a precise guide about the strengths of this Chinese ecosystem and which sectors may be the most notable ones for entrepreneurs and startup job seekers.

More than 10 million people reside in Shenzhen and the population includes a good share of expats who have moved here for being a part of this fertile business location. The main industries that are helping the regional economy grow include electronics and telecom equipment manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, modern logistics, and finance among the others.

Moving to Shenzen offers access to diverse Chinese and international markets as the city creates a link between important destinations and mainland China. The tech industry in the city has seen unfathomable growth which has helped the little fishing town of Shenzhen grow into a prominent startup hub in China. Hardware entrepreneurs moving to Shenzhen can get their hands on readymade resources that can help them grow.

Shenzhen – A Startup City Worth Moving To

Also referred to as the ‘Silicon Valley of Hardware’, the city is seeing a surge in the number of expats moving to Shenzhen. This includes both entrepreneurs and startup job seekers. The growing number of startups in the region has helped in creating many jobs across the different fields in the city. While the hardware sector is an ideal startup niche in Shenzhen worth moving to the city for, there is also a growing tech sector that is gaining international recognition.

Shenzhen is a Good Place to Get Familiar with the Chinese Markets

For entrepreneurs and startups looking for a soft landing center in China should undoubtedly move to Shenzhen. The city offers an ideal market for testing various products and services that can help startups understand how well they can fare in the other regions in China.

The city also plays a key role in connecting Hong Kong to mainland China which makes it an important gateway to Hong Kong and other Chinese markets. This is especially ideal for startups that intend to scale up and expand within the country. Shenzhen’s location offers ease in making this expansion.

International Startups in China have Favorable Business and Living Conditions

The local governing bodies of Shenzhen have attempted to make it easier for international entrepreneurs and startups to thrive in the city. This has been done by introducing new policies and the amendment of old policies to make it more expat friendly.

The recent amendment to the Shenzhen Housing Fund to make it inclusive of foreign nationals is one of the recent steps taken by the local agencies. The fund is a kind of a social security program for helping the residents save up for a house. This can be beneficial for expat entrepreneurs wanting to hold abode in the city in the longer run.

Shenzhen municipal government also introduced the 2017 Interim Measures for Attracting High-Level Foreign Talents to encourage international start-ups and job seekers to move to Shenzhen. International entrepreneurs and job seekers with a permit for permanent residence can get subsidies of $240,000 to $450,000 as a part o these measures. There are several other provisions as well for taking care of spousal employment expenses, education costs for children, medical care, tax, social security and much more.

Ample Venture Capital and Angel Investors in Shenzhen for startups & entrepreneurs

The city is home to many members of the China Venture Capital and Private Equity Association and other non-member venture capital firms. Entrepreneurs and startups moving to Shenzhen also have access to a robust angel investors’ community comprising of 6000 investors who are willing to offer funds and guidance to entrepreneurs and startups with strong business propositions.

Another uncommon driving factor that is helping startups find investors in their ideas is the popularity of crowdfunding. With close to 100 active crowdfunding platforms, startups and entrepreneurs can always turn to one of these websites and forums to raise money.

Move to Shenzhen for the Best Co-Working Office Spaces

Co-working spaces have made it a lot simpler for startups to find affordable areas to run their business from. A number of startups events,  multiple networking opportunities, and a host of free amenities is what startups on Shenzhen working in the co-working spaces can expect.

Most of the shared office brands in Shenzhen offer common spaces and refreshments as a part of the deal. The popular spaces include Naked Hub, Soho3Q, UR Work, YiGather, Cowork, and Simply Work.

Some of the co-working offices also have incubator and accelerator programs offering even more support to the entrepreneurial community. These programs help with guidance and even finding the right sources of funding.

Prep yourself with the pre-accelerator program from YoStartups, a global accelerator program run by the best of entrepreneurs and industry experts. Their virtual accelerator program is ideal for those who want to polish their entrepreneurial skills before moving to Shenzhen. The program can be undertaken from the comfort of your homes and offices and involves chats with experts from different relevant fields.  Visit to find out more about their range of programs for entrepreneurs and to schedule a free consultation for your business.

The Dominant Tech Sector in Shenzhen

 The city’s growth as a prominent nest for tech startups in Shenzhen has brought startups, entrepreneurs and tech talent from around the world to the city. From its excellent connectivity features to ample resources in terms of funding and government policy, the city has grown to become an important technological and economical hub in the region. The sub-sector of advanced manufacturing and robotics steals the spotlight with its stellar performance in the tech niche.

China is home to two of the four global advance manufacturing unicorn companies – Da Jiang Innovations and UBTECH Robotics. The country also has the highest concentration of industrial robots in use globally. That is why it is not surprising that the country is growing to become the global of advanced manufacturing technologies.

Shenzhen reportedly is responsible for manufacturing the majority of electronics and makes the highest investment (almost 4% of the GDP) in R&D among all the cities in China. The private companies in  Shenzhen conduct most of the R&D in the sub-sector. Some of the giants closely involved in R&D activity in the city include Gionee, Huawei, TP-Link, Tencent, and OnePlus among the others. These giants play a crucial role in developing R&D throughout China and not just in Shenzhen’s startup ecosystem by allocating a major chunk of their budgets towards it. International tech giants like Oracle, Facebook, and Apple have been left behind in this race and surpassed by Huawei.

Close to $17 billion is expected to be spent for R&D in this segment as per Shenzhen’s 13th five-year plant which is up to 2020. The city is also a wellspring of investors whose network has grown immensely due to the proximity to Hong Kong.

Another notable feature of the advanced manufacturing and robotics sector is the impressive increase in patents in recent years. A sound business environment, lower labor costs, easy prototyping infrastructure and accelerators like HAX (world’s largest hardware accelerator ) are some of the catalysts for the growth of the advanced manufacturing and robotics industry.

Shenzhen’s location paired with its reputation as the ” Silicon Valley of Hardware” have attracted a growing number of startups, entrepreneurs, and startup job seekers to move to Shenzhen. Apart from the discussion on how the city has produced the maximum number of imitations of Western brands, there are only good things that are being said about the startup ecosystem in Shenzhen.

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This article is from Yostartups, YoStartups is a Pre Accelerator, and it empowers entrepreneurs to propel their business ideas into successful ventures. Yostartups’ core mission is to take the message of entrepreneurship to 1 billion people globally by 2020.

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