Shenzhen – China’s innovation hub - Globalization Shenzhen 100

Shenzhen – China’s innovation hub

As you walk down any street in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, you are assailed with the gleam of burnished metal and the glitter of polished glass. Gazing around, you may notice that the city offers a striking resemblance to San Francisco’s Silicon Valley. In the downtown central business district, newly built architectural structures vie for visual supremacy as construction cranes continue to bolster Shenzhen’s skyline. It is here in the heart of the city that the biggest and most recognizable foreign and domestic companies now reside.



If someone told you that prior to 1980 Shenzhen was a meager fishing village with a population of less than 300,000, it would be difficult to believe. The tremendous velocity of visual transformation reflects that this city is easily one of the most opportunity-rich cities in China. Shenzhen is now home to over 12 million people, all seeming to have settled there to carve out a piece of the innovative atmosphere for themselves and ride the next technology evolution—one that started in the West, but is now transferring to the East.

It is because of its unique innovative atmosphere that CSOFT identified Shenzhen as the most promising area in which to launch its new business initiative: The Shenzhen 100.

The Shenzhen 100 is a report that streamlines Shenzhen’s top startup companies according to their global maturity level. It examines their global readiness by analyzing 12 corporate readiness categories across four distinct dimensions, helping to identify both the strengths and the most significant needs of these startups. The goal of the framework is to identify the top Shenzhen startup companies at an early stage, assess their global development needs and promote their innovative technologies to the world.

In addition to publishing the Shenzhen 100, we will also further examine what it means to be China’s first “Special Economic Zone” by looking at its historical and current policies. By the end of the report, our readers will have broader knowledge of what makes Shenzhen unique. They will be given key insight on why Shenzhen’s economic output consistently outperforms other Chinese cities, why global companies chose this location for their headquarters and how the local government incentivizes and supports businesses in different districts of the city—giving them an all-encompassing look inside one of China’s most promising cities.