Robots, Diaper Monitors and Putin: What We Saw at Maker Faire Shenzhen 2015

Posted on by Jason Li

Photo of Maker Faire mascot

Now in its fourth year, the Maker Faire Shenzhen was bigger than ever. Aside from ever-larger booths and robot sculptures (see above), there was also a much larger corporate presence from sponsors, and, given Premier Li Keiqiang’s recent interest in “maker culture,” probably a great leap in government support. In short, Maker Faire Shenzhen has grown up.

As with Maker…

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Like Apple, Xiaomi has its own cult followers

Posted on by Jason Li

In light of Mary Meeker’s recent statistic from KPCB’s 2005 Internet Trends report (slide 163):

XiaomiStatsKPCB
I want to focus on the ramifications of last two rows in this article

I wanted to revisit Stratechery’s previous article about Xiaomi’s ambition to become a high-end, all-purpose consumer electronics brand for China.

First they quote a New York Time’s report that has…

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Hardware Makers Thrive in the Grey Area of Chinese IP Rights

Posted on by Jason Li

From bunnie’s blog:

About a year and a half ago, I wrote about a $12 “Gongkai” cell phone… that I stumbled across in the markets of Shenzhen, China. My most striking impression was that Chinese entrepreneurs had relatively unfettered access to cutting-edge technology, enabling start-ups to innovate while bootstrapping. Meanwhile, Western entrepreneurs often find themselves trapped in a spiderweb of IP frameworks, spending more money on lawyers than on tooling. Further investigation…

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Fact checking the hype around mesh networks and FireChat

Posted on by Jason Li

Being based in Hong Kong, my tech friends and I still occasionally get asked, “So what’s the deal with FireChat?” In case you missed it, FireChat, a smartphone chat app with basic mesh support, made headlines during the recent Occupy Hong Kong protests. Protesters on the ground here turned to it in late September when rumors began to circulate that the government would shut down the internet. It never did, but plenty…

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Cheat Sheet for Hardware Startup Accelerators

Posted on by Jason Li

Here’s the link to the original Google spreadsheet. Please feel free edit! :)

* * *

What’s interesting about the data above is that there are two programs that criss cross China, and a bunch that don’t:

  • HAXL8R starts in Shenzhen and does their final demo day in San Francisco; it’s all about an immersion in China for them.
  • Highway1 is mostly based…

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Stats: The kinds of tech startups in HK

Posted on by Jason Li

Last month, my friend Paul Orlando and I launched Startup Hug*, an experiment in cultivating an early adopter community here in Hong Kong. As part of the process, we evaluated over 130 local startup websites (the list came from Paul’s We Are HK Tech). One side product is that we categorized and annotated this list of 130.

While the data is still up to date, I wanted to share some of…

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Shanghai Government to Sponsor Hacking Spaces?

Posted on by An Xiao Mina

I came across this article recently on hackaday.com, talking up the possibility of new hackerspaces in China:

Government leadership in Shanghai wants to build 100 community hackerspaces funded by the Chinese government. Each space will be at least 100 square meters, open 200 days a year, and come equipped with wood and metal lathes, saws, drills, grinders, mills, and more…

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