Shanzhai - Shanzhaiism


Shanzhaiism 山寨主義 is a philosophical term denoting a Chinese style of innovation with a peasant mind-set. Some observers think that Western style innovation cannot be developed in China. They say that, in the Web2.0 era, most innovative products and services are produced by the west, so it seems that China has no say and no way in this era.

Shanzhaiism has a long tradition. Products needed to be designed to suit peasants, which form most of China's population.

Shanzhaiism has an equivalent English term: tinker. Lacking a garage, they build products in villages in the mountains that have stockade houses. However, with shanzhaiism in mind, people can produce fake and pirate products in a massively organized way.

Shanzhaiism can be analyzed using a term coined by Jean-Paul Sartre: Bad faith. Fake and pirate products are produced. For example, there was once a so-called Fake-One Road ( 山寨一條街 ) in China.

This kind of phenomena is not confined to fake products. The mind set of shanzhaiism even extends to advertisements. For example, a shanzhai phone advertisement uses the president of the United States, Obama, to promote its shanzhai products.

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