Behind the label ‘made in China’
Many of the reports on the Shenzhen region in China criticize work conditions, but the story behind the special economic zone near the border of Hong Kong is more complicated. The city of Shenzhen was once a fishing village, but after 22 years it has been transformed into a vibrant commercial area with 22,050 factories, plants and projects, all fueled by $20 billion in foreign investment. The city demographics are striking—six out of seven people are migrants, mostly single and in their 20’s—and although illegal overtime has become a common occurrence, the young workers don’t complain because more work means more money, and more money means that they are closer to fulfilling their dreams.
See Shai Oster, The Christian Science Monitor, July 1, 2001