Thoughts and rumors about Hacker Camp Shenzhen & Maker Faire


This past week we rocked Hacker Camp 5 and Shenzhen Maker Faire. It was a huge party, as always, thank you to everyone who came!

Instead of covering the camp and fair directly, we saved the images and chat transcript from the shenzhen_hacker_bei group on WeChat. Nearly 100 hackers, makers, and organizers shared a week long discussion. Hopefully this is a very different  perspective than you’ll get from anywhere else. We’ll clean it up and post it in the forum and blog over the coming week.

China is embracing hacking, making, to an insane extent. Local, provincial, and national governments are all funding hackerspaces and promoting innovation. The Shenzhen Maker Faire is probably the most impressive Maker Faire I’ve ever been to in terms of infrastructure and presentation.

Open source seems to be on fire in China. At the first Shenzhen Maker Fair I explained open source to skeptical locals. This year almost every major product on display was open hardware (or claimed to be…).

Here are some whispers, gossip, rumors, and outright lies overheard at Hacker Camp and Maker Faire. None of this should be taken as true and is totally unverified:

  • Seeed Studio has an new office in a technology park funded by China’s Innofund and is going IPO, possibly a local hacker space too
  • Radio Shack is opening a new chain that finally brings mobile phones to the totally under served Asian market. They will have a section with Hackcelerator projects. #shax
  • Make Block has a paper valuation around 50M
  • Business accelerators are out, decelerators are the new hotness. Keep an eye on this space
  • Whatever remains of Arduino after nasty infighting supposedly doesn’t own the Arduino trademark in China (and some other places). They’ve released Genuino for the Chinese market with a new name, and 39RMB ($6) price tag to complete with 10RMB clones on Taobao. Seeed is manufacturing it. Hey guys, looking for US distributors? #peak-duino
  • While 3D printers are still an enormous part of the fair, it seems to be giving away to wireless dev boards. #50dollar3dprinter
  • Hacker Camp has been an amazing run: 5 camps in 18 months, more than 100 participants. We’ve never met a group of more interesting and talented people. We’re not sure what happens next, but no more camps are scheduled. There will probably be a smaller and more informal successor, we’re still scheming
  • Hack a Day throws a kick sass party with local brews from Joe @ Bionic Brew and China pizza champions NYPD. Thanks guys! #poolsidebusinessmeeting
  • Bunnie is now doing angel funding, slamming down 2 big reds for a new industrial waste stream recovery project. Mike @ Hack a Day’s LED hat was spotted scrolling the name of the same company at the Maker Faire after party. #theexpresswaytogreatness


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  1. No more hacker camps? Awww. I was madly saving recovering financially from my trip to 31C3 so I could go. ;_;

  2. No more camps is very unfortunate!
    I was very much hoping to attend the next camp this fall.
    Has anyone stepped up to take over?
    Shenzhen seems daunting for the uninitiated.

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