PSFK recently caught up with Tai-Pan, Editor-in-Chief of to find out more about Shanzhai and China's local to global tech culture.

Tai-Pan was born in Canada, but has been living and working in the Asian technology & hardware industry for over 12 years. He is the Editor-in-Chief of a website dedicated to tracking the products, trends and reach of China's local to global tech culture. PSFK caught up with Tai-Pan to find out more about Shanzhai.

1.For our Western readers, please explain exactly what Shanzhai culture in China is.

Well it's not easy to hit a moving target or explain what shanzhai culture is because it's one that is continually evolving. Originally the term shanzhai was used to identify copycat products or the businesses that were making them… known locally as “Mountain Bandits”. Shanzhai's literal translation from Chinese meaning something akin in English to mountain bandit or mountain stronghold. The participants in the shanzhai business operations saw themselves as Robin Hood-like rebels competing with the established industries they copied, hence the bandit association.

PSFK’s Premium Subscription provides access to a database of over 100,000 articles featuring new ideas, interviews, analysis and opinion on the latest innovation in brand, customer and retail experience.
Already a subscriber? Log in
(powered by Wallkit)