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Welcome to Shenzhen, the birth place of the electronic cigarette and one of the fastest growing cities in China.
Thirty-five years ago, Shenzhen was just a fishing village outside of Hong Kong. In 1979, China's Communist Party leader Deng Xiaoping designated the city the country's first Special Economic Zone, opening the region up to capitalism and foreign investment to fuel its development.
Today, the boomtown is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, with about 12 million residents. In 1979, just 30,000 people called Shenzhen home.
While China may have invented the e-cigarette with the release of the first Ruyan E-Cig back around 2004 (more on this here) it wasn't until recently that the vaping become a "thing" in the country of it's origin. Still, most vape related hardware and mod chip manufacturers are based here and several companies have become worldwide powerhouses in vape devices (mods, tanks, chips that regulate the mods, etc) like Apire, Kanger, JoyTech and many others.
China has approx 350 Million smokers, a population greater than the entirety of the USA It's also the world's 2nd largest economy and is undergoing a major transformation. China has the fastest growing middle class in the world supported by a widening consumer focus on health. It was only natural that the Chinese export focused vape companies would start to look at their domestic market as a huge opportunity to help convert people from combustable tobacco to non-combustables.
The 2016 IECIE Expo was the largest vape event in China to date and was a watershed moment for the global vape movement. With over 50,000 mostly business to business attendees through the gates over the course of the 3 day event and brands going all out on their booths, it was a sight to behold!
Vape Shop Locations in China
Vaping is still very new in China. Like most emerging trends, Beijing is leading the waywith the highest number of vape shops followed by Shanghai. New shops are sprouting up like mushrooms all over China and the demand for premium products, especially on the e-Liquid side, is very strong.
ZT Vape Booth going OFF
The show was held at the mega exhibit center in the heart of Shenzhen and was very well organized with a great team that went the extra mile to make sure that the experience for exhibitors and attendees was top notch. Big ups to IECIE for throwing down an epic event and for helping in the vape community's quest to save a Billion Lives!
IECIE Team Jumping into Action
Here are some photos from the event. We'll be releasing a video soon and will update the blog when it's ready. Cheers!
Group shot with some top vape reviewers in China - trying out some new "secret" Cafe Racer flavor creations we brought to get feedback before releasing
Getting a Cafe Racer bike for the booth was not easy task - but we were pretty happy with the results
Our bike was nothing compared this bad boy Lambo but..... 4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul!
Cloud Comp Stage
A look at one of the two exhibit hall layouts with the many top brands that exhibited at the show
Finding a bar in Shenzhen that specialized in Belgian craft beers was a great plus and a nice way to unwind after a long day in the vape expo trenches
Dinner with the ZT Vape Team was always full on with an endless variety of food - some of which we had no idea what it was - like the turtle soup here
The Chinese Government's Firewall prevents you from using google products, facebook, instagram and a host of other everyday web services .... hello WeChat
and good by for now ...... till we meet again !