Shorty Short China on Your Doorstep

And a worthy outlet for Oil Tankers refurbished as factories? Could be a whole lot cheaper than building new. Could be a useful employment for Africa's jobless millions too.
Posted: 7 February 2008 at 17:07

David Diekmann China ships as factories

I believe it is Japan that's been buying Washington apple crops, shipping them into INT waters, then relabeling them as Japanese apples (Fuji comes to mind) and reselling them stateside at a tidy profit. While this is evil, sneaky, underhanded and no doubt illegal, the business model is clearly already in place. I suspect the major container lines might have something to say about this hypothesis, however!
Posted: 7 February 2008 at 18:54

Doug Vining Floating power stations

It seems the Russians have a solution for providing all the power needed by these factories - floating nuclear power plants:
Construction has started on the first of seven ships each carrying a 70-megawatt nuclear reactor. The ships will provide power to remote coastal towns, or be sold abroad.
Posted: 1 April 2008 at 12:28

Doug Vining Offshoring startups not sweatshops

When we published this MindBullet in 2008, we envisaged a scenario where China establishes floating factories in international waters, just offshore from their largest markets. The obvious place for such a venture would be near the California coast, in the relatively calm waters of the Pacific, and within easy reach of the west coast docks.

Now Blueseed has taken this concept to another level, to overcome immigration barriers when trying to grow tech startups near Silicon Valley. Instead of being forced to establish themselves in another country, they hope to allow entrepreneurs to incubate their businesses from a ship in close proximity to Vancouver. Could this be a new trend in 'borderless' corporations?
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Offshoring startups not sweatshops") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here:
Posted: 29 November 2011 at 07:20

Sarah Britten Offshoring startups not sweatshops

Fascinating - if this works I would expect to see it take off elsewhere. Immigration laws are only going to get tighter. (I'm imagining a scenario where entire generations of kids grow up on these ships without ever going ashore.)
Posted: 30 November 2011 at 17:14

Doug Vining Getting away from government

The Economist is such a great source of well-researched information and ideas. Some time back we published a MindBullet about China creating floating factories, small cities even, close to their target markets, but in international waters.

More recently some venture capitalists have floated the idea of a startup incubator that avoids immigration restrictions by being offshore enough to count as non-resident. Now we hear about plans for 'Seasteading' or building cities on the sea.

The big motivator is freedom - freedom from the control that governments the world over seem to be increasingly intent on, even as social media and ubiquitous communications give us more and more control of our own destinies. But the most likely promoters of floating cities, as in the MindBullet, are giant corporations, and they are bound to have their own rules, which go with the territory.
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Getting away from government") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here:
Posted: 1 February 2012 at 16:06
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