Every once in a while a new blog comes along and after only a few posts, you just know it is going to be good. Shenzhen Undercover is that blog.
Its tag-line is “a Chinese-American’s journey to understand China: cultural insights, Johnny Walker, politicking and toys … all while attempting to blend into the background.” This blog deserves more than just background. The blogger’s profile says he is a 23 year old manager of a Shenzhen manufacturing facility and his “blog was created to document my life in Shenzhen, China by examining personal experiences within a cultural, social, economic and political context.”
There are only eight posts up on the site so far and I hate to recommend a site so early for fear it will be gone in a few weeks, yet my post will remain. But, I am going to do so because this blog has already had one stretch with insufficient postings and I want to do what I can to encourage it.
The blog itself is somewhat difficult to describe. It is pretty much an observational blog on Shenzhen, done right. It focuses on the micro, but by doing such a good job on that, it speaks to the macro. And by speaking to the macro, it is helpful to foreign companies doing business in China, especially those looking to manufacture product in China. For instance, there is a great post called Chinese Small Business Taxation, that though nominally on little more than a sidewalk food stand, is really about China, writ large. Ditto on the post on this post, entitled, Cab Advertising.
The blog also reminds me of the conversations I have with my 9 year old daughter when I drive her to school. “How many garbage trucks are there in Seattle? Does each one have a permanent route or do they change? How much do the drivers get paid? Do you think their kids hate the smell of the driver when he gets home? Do you think they like their jobs? I am certain my daughter will be a writer some day and I am certain Shenzhen Undercover should keep writing now.
Be sure to check it out.