Why China's tradition of copying is becoming a creative force

China’s copycat culture is equal parts famous and infamous. Blatant imitation was an integral part of the international trade that launched China’s emergence on the world stage three decades ago, and, despite improvements, it remains a problem for the Chinese government, international and local companies—and artists. Yet out of south China’s rapid development and massive-scale manufacturing, a strange space between copying, appropriation, hacking and original creation has emerged, known as shanzhai.