China tech: Shenzhen speed

How did China go from tech imitator to innovator? The FT’s James Kynge reports from Shenzhen, known as China’s Silicon Valley, where he explores the city’s vast electronics markets with inventor Noah Zerkin, an American who’s based himself in China, visits robot start-up Youibot and hears from DJI about how it became the world’s biggest drone manufacturer. Plus, Matt Sheehan, a China watcher focused on technology at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Qi Zhou, a venture capitalist based in Shenzhen, explain why China’s tech success stories are turning established narratives on democratic freedoms and innovation on their head.

Presented by James Kynge. Edwin Lane is the senior producer. The producer is Josh Gabert-Doyon. The executive producer is Manuela Saragosa. Sound design by Breen Turner and Samantha Giovinco, with original music from Metaphor Music. The FT’s head of audio is Cheryl Brumley.

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