China is getting smarter – but at what cost?

Thirty years ago, Shenzhen was a fishing village, surrounded by paddy fields.

Then came a plan to build China’s first special economic zone to allow foreign investments, and out of the quiet rural landscape grew private businesses and factories which over time transformed into a city.

Now Shenzhen, with a population of 12 million, is just one part of a huge urbanised area running down the Pearl River Delta.

China’s smart cities ambitions are among the grandest in the world. But there are questions about whether their surveillance technologies will improve the quality of inhabitants’ lives or just be used to keep a closer eye on them.