Mao and Silicon

It's 6.15am and over loudspeakers across quiet streets of Nanjiecun blares out a song more familiar during the days of Chairman Mao, "The East is Red". As the sun rises, a huge white statue of Chairman Mao, surrounded by four equally huge portraits of Lenin, Marx, Stalin and Engels become visible in the town's main square. This the last Maoist collective in China, a little enclave of the past in the socialist market economy that China has now developed. How does their economy work and what is it like to live there? Meanwhile, at 3W Coffee in Beijing's 'Silicon Valley' district entrepreneurs are queuing up for their early morning burst of caffeine. This is Beijing's first tech business incubator where you're catapulted to the China of the twenty first century, with young people pushing the boundaries of the internet to create a very different China to that of Mao sixty years ago.

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30 minutes

Last on

Sun 1 Dec 2013 21:30

Contributors to this programme

Li Juanjuan – worker in Nanjiecun factory


Liao Gaomin –  Nanjiecun resident


Sheng Ganyu – Nanjiecun Maoist Commune Propaganda Chief


Ella Bao

Co-Founder of 3W Coffee in Beijing


Francis Kao

Co-Founder, 玩编程.com – PlayCoding


Jacob Chen

Entrepreneur at 3W Coffee business incubator


Ahmed al-Sayedi

Co-Founder of Amor


Yang Licong



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