Renegades on the frontier of innovation: The shanzhai grassroots communities of Shenzhen in China's creative economy

Keane, Michael A. & Zhao, Elaine Jing (2012) Renegades on the frontier of innovation: The shanzhai grassroots communities of Shenzhen in China's creative economy. Eurasian Geography and Economics, 53(2), pp. 216-230.

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Two Australian researchers specializing in China's creative industries examine recent developments in southern China commonly associated with the shanzhai phenomenon (e.g., production and sale of cheap local facsimiles of globally branded goods). While shanzhai is often condemned as the embodiment of China's "knock-off" industries, the authors argue that it might be more appropriately viewed as an instance of China's emerging creative economy and an example of rapid prototyping. The paper traces the evolution of shanzhai mobile phones and the materialization of the shanzhai ethos in popular culture. In arguing that shanzhai provides inputs into creative industries, the paper describes the fuzzy boundary between formal and informal culture and notes the interaction between three spheres of activity: official culture, the market, and grassroots culture.

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12 citations in Scopus
8 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 50302
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: shanzhai, creative economy, grassroots culture, regional innovation, second generation innovation, intellectual property
DOI: 10.2747/1539-7216.53.2.216
ISSN: 1938-2863 (online) 1538-7216 (Print)
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > HUMAN GEOGRAPHY (160400) > Urban and Regional Studies (excl. Planning) (160404)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Bellwether Publishing, Ltd.
Deposited On: 15 May 2012 02:48
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2012 12:28

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