Inside China's High-Tech Dystopia

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In part three of Hello World Shenzhen, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ashlee Vance heads out into a city where you can't use cash or credit cards, only your smartphone, where AI facial-recognition software instantly spots and tickets jaywalkers, and where at least one factory barely needs people. This is the society that China's government and leading tech companies are racing to make a reality, with little time to question which advancements are net positives for the rest of us. Part One - Inside China's Future Factory Part Two - China's High Stakes Robot Wars Credits: Creator & Host Ashlee Vance Director David Nicholson Producer Diana Suryakusuma Writers Ashlee Vance Alan Jeffries Director of Photography David Nicholson Editor Alan Jeffries Camera Jack Lam Camera Assistant Qi Yang Motion Graphics Sylvia Yang Fixer Yang Liu Audio Mix Cadell Cook Colorist Allie Ames


Diogo Sales : Here in Europe I've never seen a shop where you can pay with American Express. It's not a thing outside USA

Sotiris Falieris : So, let's see: - When the UK is using CCTV cameras all over the place, it is ok because 'it protects the people from potential terrorists' - The 'Dystopia' of authoritarian, controlled internet is suddenly not so dystopian when you use something exotic like a VPN - China is 'a communist country' even though it has all the luxuries of all highly capitalistic societies around the world, clear low, middle and high social classes as well as it doesn't provide anything as a state to the people as a very naive interpretation of 'communist society' would interpret - The bunch of white, priviliged, upper class, all American, expats that you found gave their impression of China as a strange place to be - Your AMEX card was not accepted at the POS terminals, therefore something is 'wrong' with their way of doing things This is journalism of the lowest type, that aims to stir confrontation and communicate fear and anxiety. I have news for you Ashlee Vance and Bloomberg. America is NOT the beginning and end of civilization. Your payment systems are not the only ones in the world and there are other more widespread. Also, having double standards for what is OK and not OK for a government to do is at least questionable if not deliberate. In a nutshell, crappy and directed journalism, disguised as a fancy, modern opinion about tech, spiced up with lots of QR codes and robot arms.

Cadet Grey : dude i live in shenzhen and I still use cash. it's inconvenient but you can still use it. why does everything the east do have to be a dystopia for americans

Cheybat : American surveillance and over reaching: we need it to prevent terrorism Chinese surveillance and over reaching: TECH DYSTOPIA

WawamuStats : This is kinda biased because using an AMEX credit card in China obviously won’t work... Even in Canada, some places only accept VISA and MasterCard. Tbh I feel more places accept WeChat than AMEX in Vancouver.

Funky Disciple : Getting fined by facial recognition and the money exiting your account without it being authorised by you is crazzzy.

cutepinkbandanaman : Coffee shops not accepting American Express is not a sign of a dystopia. It's a sign of the coffee shop not being located within the borders of the United States of America. Those machines would have accepted Visa and MasterCard just fine. Also, replacing manual labour with machines is a sign of a dystopia? What country is not a dystopia then, North Korea? YouTube needs to stop recommending this trash journalism to me.

KAWALJEET SINGH : Poor journalism... Why make conclusive remarks, instead of presenting data/facts and letting the viewers decide for themselves?

Grant Wang : OMG you use WeChat instead of Facebook?? How dystopian!

joel toh : WeChat isn't a Facebook equivalent. However Facebook seems to become more like WeChat with each update.

K K : OMG Shenzhen makes New York City look like Calcutta.

Sasha is Sasha : Whoever written it was utterly biased. And, man "communist China"?... Are you living in the 1950s?

彬 陈 : Standard conspiracy theory,That's what Western media like best to do

Willie L : Facebook is Weibo Twitter is XinLang Messenger is Wechat

Abhay Achal : According to NSA, CIA and FBI, Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon never track the behaviors of their clients. CNN and FoxNews are neutral objective media. Westerners are never brainwashed. Do you believe these ?

022emiliano : Bloomberg is all like how scary. White people problems...

Willie L : The guy in the middle amongst them 5 talks like Ben Shapiro

kingsong FY : Is anti-utopia anti-American?I finally got it.

RedBunnyFromMars : I feel like this was shallowly researched and poorly communicated. Wechat is so much more than facebook and there are rough "equivalent" platforms that exist, but they've bled into other functions and mutated so much that it's almost erroneous to just say "wechat is the chinese facebook", like no, I can't send my friend $100 via facebook messenger. Yes facial recognition and sesame credit is scary af, government surveillance borders on human rights abuse, but automation happens everywhere. TBH I can't believe the US still SWIPES their credit cards, I was shocked when my server took my card away and made me sign a receipt. The security on that is atrocious.

Anotherperson ontheweb : Imagine a society where everyone is educated on how to program robots... Seems near to me

Zeronolyn : Definitely one of the most biased video of all time.

omri cohen : Sorry but that's just poor journalism... No research at all nor any statement. I expected higher level story who show's the real Shenzhen population problems

Jia Guo : There are old-fashioned people using concrete credit card.

林Victor : As a Chinese, this video teach me a lot, let me summarize it: 1. Machines are replacing people, creating unemployment. For example, if a corn field used to need 100 man to harvest, now a harvester with 1 driver does this job, 99 people loose their job, really bad. 2. If you used payment through phone, big brother is watching you. But if you use a credit card, then your privacy is protected. 3. Using QR code everywhere should be seriously considered. This thing is wiping out humanity, no human waiters serve customer, the cold machines without soul server human. 4. Crossing a road with red light on is illegal, it is a restriction of freedom, bad. 5. Chinese should not form tech company which potentially taking market share from US company. What Chinese should do, is making clothes and toys.

Stanley Ho : Seriously this is from Bloomberg? Just look at the comments you can see what a twisted view this is. How the western media likes to portray the east. One thing is for sure this is definitely not dystopia. What rubbish journalism.

Jia Guo : If they have the machine, they are supposed to slash the card. It's the problem of the card itself.

iremember la : Doesn't Britain have tons of CC tv's watching the streets? Don't credit companies in North America track your spending habits? Wow, I m impressed by China's technology....

yechen pan : jaywalked and automatically got fined in WECHAT? Thats just straight BS, cant believe he was the one Bloomberg decided to talk to. Say it to anyone using wechat they will just laugh at you. What a cheap opinion from Bloomberg's content, just kicks me out of this biased video.

Colin Barnes : Simple solution for you folks LEAVE, I doubt they will miss you.

Watdafakdude : 6:23 notice how the interviewer gives his cameraman that look "man you got that recorded?"

No Commentary Gameplay : 2:05 looks like the Galaxy fold!

郭争强 : it is very interesting how someone can be so bullshit.

Dhruv Kumar : I honestly didn't think anything they showed was dystopian. Robots are taking over low skilled jobs everywhere, and that's a good thing. In Shenzhen, if you jay walk, a camera system will give you a ticket while in the U.S., a cop will give you a ticket. And the internet may be highly censored, but literally anyone can just get a VPN and have access to the entire internet, so effectively, there is zero censoring. And why the hell were they shitting on paying with your phone? If it was credit cards, I'm sure the government would track that too, and in America, the NSA tracks a bunch of your data too. It's really a debate between whether all this stuff is actually bad or just making China a more efficient society.

Eliah Holiday : When George Orwell's 1984 is looked upon as a guidebook rather than a warning.

Vytautas Šileika : Dude Amex is basically supported only in the US. MasterCard and Visa rules the world.

John Gordon : Some Americans do not like the payment system in China - the Chinese like it but foreign don't however this happens covertly in the U.S. all the time with the use of the credit rating system that also works for the Chinese system,.if you use China's facilities you must adhere to their laws, yours don't work in their country not yours!

fatcatbuzz : I lived in Shenzhen before. I liked it to be honest.

Maverick : the most popular mobile app last year in the world is tik tok, made in China

Cam Robertson : That 'Australian' guy drinking beer sounds like an American.

whataname01 : What's the difference the US government does the same thing just ask Edward Snowden.

S P : 1984? It will eventually be a Brave New World.

THAAD BATTERY EXTRA RANGE : Well done China don't listen to this bias journalist China the future

Luke Faulkner : Dystopia is a bit strong just because you couldn't figure out QR codes..

Ben Leone : You'd be very unimpressed if you came to London or anywhere in the UK. No Amex and no cash either. Dystopian Britain.

Hector : Bladerunner 2049

marshhen : This is great but you without going into detail about their social credit system that rates all citizens based on jaywalking or porn watching, you have mislead your viewer. I look forward to you future videos on that.

Sasquatch Guy : LOL The United States does this as well, its called THE NSA

radry100 : Funny because the US government is monitoring the "freedom internet", so it's just one evil or the other..

Anupam D Sarkar : Shenzhen looks amazing, lots of love from your poor fellow billion-souls nation down south. I wouldn't mind all this if our citizens had jobs and food and cities that looked as amazing as yours.