Design in China

I have never visited China yet. I am contemplating if it is better to go for a vacation or to actually visit factories.
Chinese manufacturers have become very good at what they do so I am wondering if it is worth doing factory visits. My thought is that it is only worth when you want to do innovations on the manufacturing side, have a plan for long-term collaborations or you want to impact the Chinese economy and learn about the culture.

I’ve been living in China for more than 2 years now and I think design is picking up.

It is still a developing country, so you can find a bit of everything. For example, housing and architecture can go from super high quality, well-designed housing or public spaces to the shitty, poorly design ones. Same applies for mostly every other thing. However, in some aspects they are very advanced. Mobile payment and services are ubiquitous, they have tons of bike sharing systems which are better than anything I’ve seen before (Mobike as an example), public transportation is pretty good (At least in 1st tier cities), etc. As an example, here in Shanghai there are electric buses (3-4 different types I’ve seen on the street), they are starting to use trolleybuses and there are around 4 to 6 metro lines in construction when there are already 16-18 metro lines I believe.

At the same time, people are really aware of technology and try innovate and become the best. Every week there’s something new and innovative in the market, people really care about technology but this development is driven by engineers. At the moment, most companies are lagging in design, branding and service, but I’m sure they will get there. It’s an exciting to place for designers.

One little example: