Instead, it’s about how young Chinese entrepreneurs are underwhelmed by the lack of penetration of new technologies into daily life on the Peninsula. The whole thing reads like a submarine article artfully placed by the Shenzhen Economic Development Committee, especially given its ending quote: "China is like a startup. The U.S. is like a big corporation”.
One point within the article strikes me as especially bad. The author notes that, “Especially for those in their 20s and 30s, last week’s visit largely failed to impress. To many in the group, northern California’s low-rise buildings looked shabbier than the glitzy skyscrapers in Beijing and Shenzhen.” The clear implication here is that California’s relative backwardness is evidenced by the shabbiness of local buildings.
But that’s entirely the wrong conclusion to draw! The story here is that rich people don’t like new construction near where they live, and a lot of wealth has been created on the Peninsula in the last few decades. The NIMBY-zoning-driven damper on new office construction in the last few years has resulted in a lack of office space relative to demand, which means that it’s a seller’s market, which disincentivizes landlords from renovating buildings....and the onerous zoning makes it virtually impossible for property developers to build new ones.
Having lunch at work is not at all unusual in China, though usually at a lower budget.
> a submarine article artfully placed...
I dunno man, I haven't been to Shenzhen, but the last time I was in Shanghai was mid-2017. I felt like Silicon Valley was some remote backwater. It's not just about shining new buildings. The Shanghai subways are new and shiny, has advanced adtech, and most importantly, does not smell at all like pee (Bart riders know what I'm talking about), and it runs every 2-3 minutes. It takes 3-ish hours to go from Beijing to Shanghai by high speed rail, which is also shiny, new, and has a really nice business class. Anything you need with 2-hour shipping, not 2-day shipping. Not just the limited selection Amazon deigns to put on Prime Now (which typically does not include hardware components).
When I work on an Arduino hobby project, and I suddenly need a component my local Fry's doesn't have, I don't have to wait 2 weeks for shipping. In China, I'd be able to walk to the market and get it the same day.
Look, I still choose to live in Silicon Valley, but admittedly, in Shanghai, there were zero people pooping in the streets, and during the entire time I was there, I was ranted at or yelled at by a complete stranger exactly zero times. And number of times I have been followed by a creepy stranger in Shanghai who might do me harm: zero.
The Shanghai subways are new and shiny, has advanced adtech,
For a more intuitive comparison, the 'fair' day was clearer than Black Rock Desert on a non-windy day before Burning Man gets set up.
has advanced adtech
1) Skechers is having a sale on (some date) at (address), and there's a dude in sneakers doing breakdance moves,
2) upcoming episode teaser for a period drama.
Why South SF is not on this like white on rice, I have no idea.
That the shabby looking (to the hypothetical immigrant) houses are worth millions doesn't matter to the new comer, except that it means that in addition to living in a building they don't like, they are going to have to pay an enormous rent.
Best regards from Shenzhen.
Eh. What you are seemingly saying is that rich people prioritize living like how they grew up over developing the city for the future. I mean, I get it. Surely that is why many people moved to the bay area instead of say NYC. But I don't see how you can think that it isn't backwards.
Also, of course, there's a strong argument to be made that the California bungalow aesthetic of Silicon Valley is a big part of what made it what it is today: an entire generation of bright people saw California as a vision of life that was entirely distinct from the eastern industrial cities that came before it. Visions of surfing and orchards and intellectual freedom were attractive to the kind of liberal thinkers who invented personal computers.