Shenzhen Special 3 – Vicky Xie at SZOIL

In this episode, I speak with Vicky Xie, who’s the global cooperation director of SZOIL (Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab). As well as running a fablab, they help foreign companies plug into the local supply chain, helping them understand how to work with factories, component manufacturers and designers in Shenzhen.

We talk about open source in China, copycat products and the way Chinese makers and manufacturers embrace the free market.

In particular, we focus on Shanzhai, an approach to technology development which has a complicated past, but is now credited with fuelling Shenzhen’s rapid innovation culture.


This podcast series is part of the British Council’s Hello Shenzhen programme. It is a Lighthouse production. Lighthouse is an arts and culture agency based in Brighton in the UK, producing, supporting and presenting new art, film, music, design and games.

Music is by Blank & Kytt.