Last modified on 27 March 2015, at 02:43


For other uses, see Shenzhen (disambiguation).
Sub-provincial city
Clockwise from top: Shenzhen skyline at night, Shun Hing Square, Shenzhen Port, Shenzhen North Railway Station, Billboard of Deng Xiaoping, Kingkey 100
Clockwise from top: Shenzhen skyline at night, Shun Hing Square, Shenzhen Port, Shenzhen North Railway Station, Billboard of Deng Xiaoping, Kingkey 100
Location of Shenzhen City jurisdiction in Guangdong
Location of Shenzhen City jurisdiction in Guangdong
Shenzhen is located in China
Location in China
Coordinates: 22°33′N 114°06′E / 22.550°N 114.100°E / 22.550; 114.100Coordinates: 22°33′N 114°06′E / 22.550°N 114.100°E / 22.550; 114.100
Country People's Republic of China
Province Guangdong
County-level divisions 6
City March 1979
SEZ formed 1 May 1980
 • Type Sub-provincial city
 • CPC Committee Secretary Ma Xingrui (马兴瑞)
 • Mayor Xu Qin (许勤)
 • Sub-provincial city 1,991.64 km2 (768.98 sq mi)
 • Urban 1,991.64 km2 (768.98 sq mi)
Elevation 0-943.7 m (0-3,145.7 ft)
Population (2013)[1]
 • Sub-provincial city 10,630,000
 • Density 5,300/km2 (14,000/sq mi)
 • Urban 10,630,000
 • Urban density 5,300/km2 (14,000/sq mi)
 • Major ethnicities Han
Demonym Shenzhener
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 518000
Area code(s) 755
GDP 2014[2]
 - Total CNY 1.600 trillion
USD 260.48 billion
 - per capita CNY 149,500
USD 24,336
 - Growth Increase 8.8%
Licence plate prefixes 粤B
City flower Bougainvillea
City trees Lychee and mangrove[3]
Shenzhen in Chinese.png
"Shenzhen", as written in Chinese
Chinese 深圳
Cantonese Jyutping Sam1 zan3
Cantonese Yale sāmjan
Hanyu Pinyin Shēnzhèn
Postal Map Shamchun
Literal meaning deep drains

Shenzhen (Chinese: 深圳) is a major city in the south of Southern China’s Guangdong Province, situated immediately north of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The area became China’s first—and one of the most successful—Special Economic Zones (SEZs).[4] It currently also holds sub-provincial administrative status, with powers slightly less than a province.[5] According to a report published by Shenzhen Daily in 2012, Shenzhen has a population of approximately 15 million.[6] It's one of the most built-up areas in the world[citation needed] and the so-called Pearl River Delta Mega City had more than 44.7 million inhabitants at the 2010 census spread over 9 municipalities (including Macao) and an area of 17,573 km2.[7]

Shenzhen’s modern cityscape is the result of the vibrant economy made possible by rapid foreign investment since the institution of the policy of “reform and opening” establishment of the SEZ in late 1979, before which it was only a small village. Both Chinese citizens and foreign nationals have invested enormous amounts of money in the Shenzhen SEZ. More than US$30 billion in foreign investment has gone into both foreign-owned and joint ventures, at first mainly in manufacturing but more recently in the service industries as well. Shenzhen is now considered one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.[8]

Being southern mainland China’s major financial center, Shenzhen is home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange as well as the headquarters of numerous high-tech companies. Shenzhen is also one of the busiest container ports in the world.[9] In 2007, Shenzhen was named one of China’s top ten most livable cities by Chinese Cities Brand Value Report, which was released at 2007 Beijing Summit of China Cities Forum.[10]


Human habitation in Shenzhen dates back to ancient times. The earliest archaeological remains so far unearthed are shards from a site at Xiantouling on Mirs Bay, dating back to 5000 BC. From the Han Dynasty (third century BC) onwards, the area around Shenzhen was a center of the salt monopoly, thus meriting special Imperial protection. Salt pans are still visible around the Pearl River area to the west of the city and are commemorated in the name of the Yantian container terminal (盐田, meaning “salt fields”).[11][12]

The settlement at Nantou was the political center of the area from early antiquity. In the year 331 AD, six counties covering most of modern south-eastern Guangdong were merged into one province or “jun” named Dongguan Jun with its center at Nantou.[11][12] As well as being a center of the politically and fiscally critical salt trade, the area had strategic importance as a stopping off point for international trade. The main shipping route to India, Arabia and the Byzantine Empire started at Canton. As early as the eighth century, chronicles record the Nantou area as being a major commercial center, and reported that all foreign ships in the Canton trade would stop there. It was also as a naval defense center guarding the southern approaches to the Pearl River.[13]

Shenzhen was also involved in the events surrounding the end of the Southern Song Dynasty (1276–79). The Imperial court, fleeing Kublai Khan’s forces, established itself in the Shenzhen area and the last Emperor died strapped to the back of his chief Minister who preferred suicide to the possibility of the Emperor being captured and bringing shame to the dynasty.[11][12] In the late 19th century the Chiu or Zhao (Zhao was the Song Imperial surname) clan in Hong Kong identified the Chiwan(in Chinese: 赤湾) area as the final resting place of the Emperor and built a tomb to him. The tomb, since restored, is still in Chiwan.[14]

Earliest known ancient records that carried the name of Shenzhen date from 1410 during the Ming Dynasty.[15] Local people called the drains in paddy fields “zhen” (). Shenzhen (深圳) literally means “deep drains” as the area was once crisscrossed with rivers and streams, with deep drains within the paddy fields. The character is limited in distribution to an area of South China with its most northerly examples in Zhejiang Province which suggests an association with southwards migration during the Southern Song Dynasty (12th and 13th centuries).[16] The County town at Xin'an in modern Nanshan dates from the Ming Dynasty where it was a major naval center at the mouth of the Pearl River. In this capacity it was heavily involved in 1521 in the successful Chinese action against the Portuguese Fleet under Fernão Pires de Andrade. This battle, called the Battle of Tunmen, was fought in the straits between Shekou and Lintin Island.[13]

Shenzhen was singled out to be the first of the five Special Economic Zones (SEZ). It was formally established in 1979 due to its proximity to Hong Kong. The SEZ was created to be an experimental ground for the practice of market capitalism within a community guided by the ideals of "socialism with Chinese characteristics".[17]

Shenzhen eventually became one of the largest cities in the Pearl River Delta region, which has become one of the economic powerhouses of China as well as the largest manufacturing base in the world.[citation needed]

In November 1979, Shenzhen, then known as Bao'an County (宝安县), was promoted to prefecture level, directly governed by Guangdong province.[11][12] In May 1980, Shenzhen was formally nominated as a "special economic zone", the first one of its kind in China. It was given the right of provincial-level economic administration in November 1988.[11][12] With a population of 30,000 in 1980, economic development has meant that by 2008 the city has had 12 million inhabitants.[18]

For five months in 1996, Shenzhen was home to the Provisional Legislative Council and Provisional Executive Council of Hong Kong.[19]


Shenzhen's administrative area (Shenzhen City or Shenzhen Prefecture) is highlighted in yellow on this map of Guangdong.
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Shenzhen Meteorological Bureau 1981–2010 normals

Shenzhen is located in the Pearl River Delta, bordering Hong Kong to the south, Huizhou to the north and northeast and Dongguan to the north and northwest. The municipality covers an area of 1,991.64 square kilometres (769 sq mi) including urban and rural areas, with a total population of 10,358,381 at the 2010 census.[7] It makes part of Pearl Delta River Mega City built-up area with 44,738,513 inhabitants spread on 9 municipalities (including Macao) and 17,573 km2.

The city was originally a hilly area, with fertile agrarian land. However, after becoming a special economic zone in 1979, Shenzhen underwent tremendous change in landscape. The once hilly fishing village is now replaced by mostly flat ground in city center area, with only Lianhua Shan (Lotus Hill), Bijia Shan (Bijia Mountain) and Wutong Shan the only three places that have some kind of elevation as viewed from satellites. With the influx of migrants from inland China, Shenzhen is experiencing a second stage boom, and it is now expanding peripherally and the hills in surrounding areas such as Mission Hills are now being levelled to make land for more development.[citation needed]

Shenzhen is located on the border with the Hong Kong SAR across the Sham Chun River and Sha Tau Kok River, 100 kilometres (62 mi) southeast of the provincial capital of Guangzhou, 60 kilometres (37 mi) south of the industrial city of Dongguan and 60 kilometres (37 mi) north-northeast of the resort city of Zhuhai.


Though Shenzhen is situated about a degree south of the Tropic of Cancer, due to the Siberian anticyclone, it has a warm, monsoon-influenced, humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa). Winters are mild and relatively dry, due in part to the influence of the South China Sea, and frost is very rare; it begins dry but becomes progressively more humid and overcast. However, fog is most frequent in winter and spring, with 106 days per year reporting some fog. Early spring is the cloudiest time of year, and rainfall begins to dramatically increase in April; the rainy season lasts until late September to early October. The monsoon reaches its peak intensity in the summer months, when the city also experiences very humid, and hot, but moderated, conditions; there are only 2.4 days of 35 °C (95 °F)+ temperatures.[20] The region is prone to torrential rain as well, with 9.7 days that have 50 mm (1.97 in) or more of rain, and 2.2 days of at least 100 mm (3.94 in).[20] The latter portion of autumn is dry. The annual precipitation averages at around 1,970 mm (78 in), some of which is delivered in typhoons that strike from the east during summer and early autumn. Extreme temperatures have ranged from 0.2 °C (32 °F) on 11 February 1957 to 38.7 °C (102 °F) on 10 July 1980.[21]

Administrative divisionsEdit

Shenzhen is a sub-provincial city. It has direct jurisdiction over six districts (区 qu) and four new districts:

Map Name Simplified Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Population
(2010 census)
Futian District 福田区 Fútián Qū 1,318,055 79 16,756
Luohu District 罗湖区 Luóhú Qū 923,423 79 11,726
Nanshan District 南山区 Nánshān Qū 1,087,936 182 5,877
Yantian District 盐田区 Yántián Qū 208,861 72 2,798
Bao'an District 宝安区 Bǎo'ān Qū 2,638,807 402 6,564
Longgang District 龙岗区 Lónggǎng Qū 1,831,225 382 2,794
Guangming New District 光明新区 Guāngmíng Xīn Qū 481,420 156 3,097
Pingshan New District 坪山新区 Píngshān Xīn Qū 309,211 168 1,852
Longhua New District 龙华新区 Lónghuá Xīn Qū 1,379,000 175 7,880
Dapeng New District 大鹏新区 Dàpéng Xīn Qū 180,000 294 612
Total 10,357,938 1,989 5,201

The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) comprised only Luohu, Futian, Nanshan, and Yantian districts until 1 July 2010, when the SEZ was expanded to include all districts, a fivefold increase over its pre-expansion size.

Adjacent to Hong Kong, Luohu is the financial and trading center of Shenzhen. Futian, at the heart of the SEZ, is the seat of the Municipal Government. West of Futian, Nanshan is the center for high-tech industries. Formerly outside the SEZ, Bao'an and Longgang are located to the north-west and north-east, respectively, of central Shenzhen. Yantian is the location of Yantian Port, the second busiest container terminal in mainland China and the third busiest in the world.


Shenzhen population dynamics
  population with permanent registration (hukou)
  population with non-permanent registration
Shenzhen city annual growth rate (%)
Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1979[22] 314,100 —    
1980[22] 332,900 +6.0%
1982[23] 351,871 +5.7%
1985[22] 881,500 +150.5%
1988[22] 1,201,400 +36.3%
1990[24] 1,214,800 +1.1%
1995[22] 4,491,500 +269.7%
2000[24] 7,008,428 +56.0%
2001[22] 7,245,700 +3.4%
2002[22] 7,466,200 +3.0%
2003[22] 7,782,700 +4.2%
2004[22] 8,008,000 +2.9%
2005[22] 8,277,500 +3.4%
2006[22] 8,711,000 +5.2%
2007[22] 9,123,700 +4.7%
2008[22] 9,542,800 +4.6%
2009[22] 9,950,100 +4.3%
2010[1] 10,357,938 +4.1%
2011[22] 10,467,400 +1.1%
Population size may be affected by changes on administrative divisions.

Shenzhen has seen its population and activity develop rapidly since the establishment of the SEZ. Shenzhen's population is roughly ten million. About six million of these people are non-local migrant workers who may return to their home town/city on the weekends and live in factory dormitories during the week. Shenzhen is the largest migrant city in China.[25]

There had been migration into southern Guangdong province and what is now Shenzhen since the Southern Song Dynasty (1127–1279) but the numbers increased dramatically since Shenzhen was established in the 1980s. In Guangdong province, it is the only city where the local language, Cantonese, is not the main language; It is Mandarin that's mostly spoken, with migrants from all over China. At present, the average age in Shenzhen is less than 30. Among the total, 8.49 percent are between the age of 0 and 14, 88.41 percent between the age of 15 and 59, one-fifth between 20 and 24 and 1.22 percent are aged 65 or above.[26]

The population structure polarizes into two opposing extremes: intellectuals with a high level of education, and migrant workers with poor education.[27] It was reported in June 2007 that over 20 percent of P.R.C's PhD's worked in Shenzhen.[28]

According to the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, in 2002, 7,200 Hong Kong residents commuted daily to Shenzhen for work, and 2,200 students from Shenzhen commuted to school in Hong Kong. Though neighbouring each other, daily commuters still need to pass through customs and immigration checkpoints, as travel between the SEZ and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) is restricted.

In late July 2003, China relaxed travel restrictions to allow individuals from the southern cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, as well as Beijing and Shanghai, to visit Hong Kong. Previously, mainland travelers could only visit the city as part of tour groups. (See Individual Visit Scheme.)

Immigration into Shenzhen from China's interior was previously restricted by the hukou system. One consequence is that just outside of Shenzhen, there exist large towns consisting of now settled migrants who had previously attempted to enter the city.


Circle frame.svg

Religion in Shenzhen (2010)

  Buddhism (26%)
  Taoism (18%)
  Christianity (2%)
  Islam (2%)
  Others (15%)
Hongfa Temple, of which the first abbott was Ben Huan.
Tianhou Temple

According to data from the year 2010 collected for a research project by the University of Southern California the people of Shenzhen are approximately for a 37% practitioners of Chinese folk religions, 26% Buddhists, 18% Taoists, 2% Christians and 2% Muslims, and 15% unaffiliated to any religion.[29]


Prior to the establishment of Special Economic Zone, the indigenous local communities could be divided into Cantonese and Hakka speakers,[30] which were two cultural and linguistic sub-ethnic groups vernacular to Guangdong province. In particular, the Cantonese variety spoken locally was called Weitou dialect,[31] whereas now the younger generations of the Cantonese communities are being assimilated into the more prestigious variety, known as standard Cantonese, probably because of the influence of Hong Kong's broadcasting. Today, the original inhabitants of the Cantonese and Hakka speaking communities are dispersing into more recently built urban settlements (e.g. apartments and villas), but a large proportion of them are still clustering in their traditional urban and suburban villages.[32]

Since the 1980s, the unprecedented influx of immigrants drastically altered the linguistic landscape, in which Shenzhen as a whole has undergone a language shift towards Mandarin, which was both promoted by China's Central Government as a national lingua franca and natively spoken by most of the out-of-province immigrants and their descendants.[33][34] Since then, the Cantonese and Hakka speaking populations were diluted into trivial proportions. Despite the ubiquity of Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Hakka, and Teochew are still spoken among people of in-province ancestries in private occasions to a lesser extent than Mandarin. Hokkien and Hunanese are also sometimes observed.

Generally speaking, in most circumstances, people who are monolingual in either Cantonese, Hakka, or Teochew are senior citizens of in-province ancestries; people who are bilingual in both Cantonese and Mandarin are the middle-aged and youngsters of Cantonese ancestry; people who are trilingual in Cantonese, Mandarin, and either Hakka or Teochew are of either Hakka ancestry or Teochew ancestry; and people who are monolingual only in Mandarin are those of out-of-province ancestry.

Mandarin native speakers, whose majority is out-of-province immigrants and their descendants are found unwilling to learn Cantonese, Hakka or Teochew, probably due to Mandarin's dominance, advantages, administrative legitimacy, educational priority, societal bias, and official statuses at national, provincial, and municipal levels,[35][36][37] as well as those languages' inherent complexities and difficulties. However, in recent years trilingualism is on the rise as descendants of immigrants begin to assimilate into the local culture through friends, television and other media.[38]


East Pacific Center Towers (2), second building from the right being the headquarters of China Merchants Bank

In 2014, Shenzhen's GDP totaled $260.48 billion, putting it on par with a mid-sized province by terms of total GDP. Its total economic output is higher than that of Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, and Vietnam. Its per capita GDP was ¥149,500($24,336) as of 2014, on par with some of the developed countries of the OECD. Shenzhen's overall GDP grew by 16.3 percent yearly from 2001 to 2005 on average, though growth has slowed to around 10% per year since 2012. Shenzhen is in the top ranks among mainland Chinese cities in terms of comprehensive economic power. Shenzhen's economic output is ranked fourth among the 659 Chinese cities (behind Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou).

In 2001, the working population reached 3.3 million. Though the secondary sector of industry had the largest share (1.85 million in 2001, increased by 5.5%), the tertiary sector of industry is growing fast (1.44 million in 2001, increased by 11.6%). The proportion of the three industries to the aggregate of GDP was 0.1:46.7:53.2 in 2009. The proportion of the primary industry to GDP was down by 13.4%, and the tertiary industry was up by 12.5%.[39] Its import and export volumes have been first for the last nine consecutive years. It is the second in terms of industrial output. For five consecutive years, its internal revenue within local budget ranks third. It also ranks third in the use of foreign capital.[40]

Shenzhen is a major manufacturing center in China. In the 1990s, Shenzhen was described as constructing "one highrise a day and one boulevard every three days". The Shenzhen's rapidly growing skyline is regarded as one of the best in the world.[41] It currently has 26 buildings at over 200 meters tall, including the Kingkey 100 (the 9th tallest building) in the world, and Shun Hing Square (the 19th tallest building in the world).[42]

Shenzhen is home to some of China's most successful high-tech companies, such as BYD, Hasee, Huawei, Konka, Skyworth, Tencent, Coolpad, ZTE, Gionee, DJI and BGI (Beijing Genomics Institute). BYD, Hasee and Huawei are headquartered in the Longgang District.[43] TCL Corporation, best known as China's number one TV brand, has a presence in the city. Taiwan's largest company Hon Hai Group (Foxconn) has a manufacturing plant based in Shenzhen. Many foreign high-tech companies have their operations in the Science and Technology park in Nanshan District or outside the core districts where labor and land are much cheaper. China International Marine Containers is the largest container-manufacturing company in the world.[44] CSG Holding is the largest architectural glass manufacturer in China.[45] Vanke is the largest residential real estate developer in China.[46] In the financial sector, Ping An Bank, China Merchants Bank and Shenzhen City Commercial Bank are some of the largest banks in China, with headquarters in Shenzhen.

Due to its unique status, Shenzhen is also an extremely fertile ground for startups, be it by local or foreign entrepreneurs. Successful startups include PetCube, Palette, WearVigo, OnePlus and Notch.[47]

Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center is a large public construction project with multiple functions of hosting business activities, celebrations, conferences, conventions, entertainment events, exhibitions, restaurants and all kinds of shows.

Traditionally, Shenzhen city was composed of two areas, the Shenzhen special economic zone (called 关内 (guān nèi), lit. "(with)in the border") and the rest (called 关外 (guān wài), lit. "out(side) of the border"), separated by a border. Thus Shenzhen SEZ was separated from the rest of mainland China (from Hong Kong by another border). Initially, the border control was very strict, and required that mainland China citizens from out of Shenzhen SEZ obtain and hold special permissions for SEZ. Over recent years, the border controls have been gradually weakened, and the permission requirement has been abandoned. On 1 July 2010, the distinction was broken, the original SEZ border control was cancelled, and the Shenzhen special economic zone was expanded to the whole city. The area of Shenzhen SEZ thus increased from 396 square kilometres (153 sq mi) to 1,953 square kilometres (754 sq mi). [48]

Shenzhen Futian Central Business District

Industrial zonesEdit

  • Shenzhen Hi-Tech Industrial Park (SHIP) was founded in September 1996. It covers an area of 11.5 km2 (4.4 sq mi). Industries encouraged in the zone include Biotechnology/Pharmaceuticals, Building/Construction Materials, Chemicals Production and Processing, Computer Software, Electronics Assembly & Manufacturing, Instruments & Industrial Equipment Production, Medical Equipment and Supplies, Research and Development, Telecommunications Equipment.
  • Shenzhen Software Park is integrated with Shenzhen Hi-Tech Industry Park, an important vehicle established by Shenzhen Municipal Government to support the development of software industry. The Park was approved to be the base of software production of the National Plan in 2001. The distance between the 010 National Highway and the zone is 20.8 km (12.9 mi). The zone is situated 22 km (14 mi) from the Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport.[49]

Shenzhen Stock ExchangeEdit

Shenzhen stock exchange center

The Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) is a mutualized national stock exchange under the China Securities Regulatory Commission (the CSRC) that provides a venue for securities trading. A broad spectrum of market participants, including 540 listed companies, 35 million registered investors and 177 exchange members, create the market. Since its creation in 1990, the SZSE has grown with a market capitalization around 1 trillion yuan (US$122 billion). On a daily basis, around 600,000 deals, valued at US$807 million, trade on the SZSE.


The tallest building in Shenzhen is now Kingkey 100, which rises to 441.8 metres (1,449 ft) and contains 100 floors for office space and a hotel.[50] It is currently the tallest building in Shenzhen as well as one of the tallest buildings in southern China. Shenzhen is also the home to the world's 14th tallest building, the Shun Hing Square (Diwang Building). The city has 23 buildings over 200 m (656 ft), mostly concentrated in Luohu and Futian districts. The third tallest building in Shenzhen is SEG Plaza at a height of 356 meters (291.6 meters to roof-top[51]), located in the popular electronics district of Hua Qiang Bei.

Shenzhen has some of the largest public projects in China. The International Trade Center (国贸), built in 1985, was the tallest building in China when built, and the Shun Hing building was also the tallest in Asia when it was built (still the tallest steel building in the world). Shenzhen is also the site for many tall building projects. Some of the supertalls that have been either proposed or approved are well over 400 m (1,312 ft). Other proposed buildings would surpass the Kingkey 100's height in the near future.

For example, the 660meters tall Ping An International Finance Centre will be the tallest in China and the second tallest building in the world upon completion in 2016, after the Burj Khalifa. See list of tallest buildings in Shenzhen.


Integration with Hong KongEdit

View of Shenzhen from Hong Kong, 2012

Hong Kong and Shenzhen have very close business, trade and social links as demonstrated by the statistics presented below. Except where noted the statistics are taken from sections of the Hong Kong Government (HKG) website.[52]

As of December 2007, there are six land crossing points on the boundary between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. From west to east these are Shenzhen Bay Port road crossing (opened 1 July 2007); Fu Tian Kou An to Lok Ma Chau rail connection linking Shenzhen Metro Line 4 to the MTR's East Rail Line Lok Ma Chau Spur Line (opened 15 August 2007); Huanggang to Lok Ma Chau road connection; Futian to Man Kam To road connection; Luohu to Lo Wu rail connection linking the MTR East Rail Line to Shenzhen Metro Line 1, Shenzhen Rail Station and Luohu in general; and the Shatoujiao to Sha Tau Kok road connection.[53] Both of the rail connections require the passengers to cross the Shenzhen River on foot as there is no direct rail connection between the two cities, although the Hong Kong intercity trains to other mainland cities pass through Shenzhen without stopping.

In 2006, there were around 20,500 daily vehicular crossings of the boundary in each direction. Of these 65 percent were cargo vehicles, 27 percent cars and the remainder buses and coaches. The Huanggang crossing was most heavily used at 76 percent of the total, followed by the Futian crossing at 18 percent and Shatoujiao at 6 percent.[54] Of the cargo vehicles, 12,000 per day were container carrying and, using a rate of 1.44 teus/vehicle, this results in 17,000 teus/day across the boundary,[55] while Hong Kong port handled 23,000 teus/day during 2006, excluding transshipment trade.[56]

Trade with Hong Kong in 2006 consisted of US$333 billion of imports of which US$298 billion were re-exported. Of these figures 94 percent were associated with China.[57] Considering that 34.5 percent of the value of Hong Kong trade is air freight (only 1.3 percent by weight), a large proportion of this is associated with China as well.[58]

Also in 2006 the average daily passenger flow through the four connections open at that time was over 200,000 in each direction of which 63 percent used the Luohu rail connection and 33 percent the Huanggang road connection.[53] Naturally, such high volumes require special handling, and the largest group of people crossing the boundary, Hong Kong residents with Chinese citizenship, use only a biometric ID card (Home Return Permit) and a thumb print reader. As a point of comparison, Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok Airport, the 5th busiest international airport in the world, handled 59,000 passengers per day in each direction.[58]

Hong Kong conducts regular surveys of cross-boundary passenger movements, with the most recent being in 2003, although the 2007 survey will be reported on soon[when?]. In 2003 the boundary crossings for Hong Kong Residents living in Hong Kong made 78 percent of the trips, up by 33 percent from 1999, whereas Hong Kong and Chinese residents of China made up 20 percent in 2006, an increase of 140 percent above the 1999 figure. Since that time movement has been made much easier for China residents, and so that group have probably increased further still. Other nationalities made up 2 percent of boundary crossings. Of these trips 67 percent were associated with Shenzhen and 42 percent were for business or work purposes. Of the non-business trips about one third were to visit friends and relatives and the remainder for leisure.[59]

After Shenzhen's attempts to be included in the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge project were rejected in 2004, a separate bridge was conceived connecting Shenzhen on the Eastern side of the Pearl River Delta with the city of Zhongshan on the Western side: the Shenzhen-Zhongshan Bridge.

Future integration plansEdit

In Section 114(1) of the policy address on 10 October 2007,[60] Donald Tsang, Hong Kong Chief Executive, stated:

Jointly developing a world-class metropolis with Shenzhen: In my Election Platform, I have put forward the vision of developing the Hong Kong-Shenzhen metropolis and undertaken to strengthen our co-operation. My proposals met with positive responses from the Shenzhen authorities. We share a common goal and have had some preliminary exchange of views. Currently, we are discussing airport collaboration and the development of the Lok Ma Chau Loop.

On 21 November 2007, the Shenzhen Government officially endorsed this policy and included it in the Shenzhen planning blueprint for the period up to 2020. It was announced that Shenzhen mayor, Xu Zongheng, would visit Hong Kong in December 2007 to sign a metropolis agreement with the SAR government.[61]

The plans were originally detailed by the Hong Kong non-governmental think tank, Bauhinia Research Foundation in August 2007, and covered such matters as financial services, hi-tech and high-end research and development, transport, environmental matters and ecology. It was claimed that Shenzhen-Hong Kong could be the third largest metropolis in the world in GDP terms by 2020, only behind New York City and Tokyo. The plan was also endorsed by the China Development Institute, a Shenzhen-based non-government think tank.[62]

Qianhai (Foresea)Edit

Main article: Qianhai

Qianhai, which means "foresea" in Chinese language, formally known as the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industries Cooperation Zone, is "a useful exploration for China to create a new opening up layout with a more open economic system."[63] A 15 km² area located in western Shenzhen, Qianhai lies at the heart of the Pearl River Delta, adjacent to both Hong Kong and Shenzhen international airports. Strategically positioned as a zone for the innovation and development of modern services, Qianhai will facilitate closer cooperation between Hong Kong and mainland China, as well as act as the catalyst for industrial reform in the Pearl River Delta.[64]

Qianhai represents significant progress in the internationalisation of the RMB. With the goal of loosening capital account restrictions, Qianhai authorities have indicated that Hong Kong banks will be allowed to extend commercial RMB loans to Qianhai-based onshore mainland entities. The People's Bank of China has also indicated that such loans will for the first time not be subject to the benchmark rates set by the central bank for all other loans in the rest of China. According to Anita Fung from HSBC, "This new measure on cross-border lending will enhance the co-operation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen and accelerate cross-border convergence."[63]



An anchor outside the main entrance to the Minsk World theme park in Shenzhen

Situated in the Pearl River Delta in China's Guangdong Province, Shenzhen Port is adjacent to Hong Kong. The city's 260 kilometres (162 miles) coastline is divided by the Kowloon Peninsula into two halves, the eastern and the western. Shenzhen’s western port area lies to the east of Lingdingyang in the Pearl River Estuary and possesses a deep water harbour with superb natural shelters. It is about 20 nautical miles (37 km) from Hong Kong to the south and 60 nautical miles (110 km) from Guangzhou to the north. By passing Pearl River system, the western port area is connected with the cities and counties in Pearl River Delta networks; by passing On See Dun waterway, it extends all ports both at home and abroad. The eastern port area lies north of Dapeng Bay where the harbour is wide and calm and is regarded as the best natural harbour in South China.

Shenzhen handled a record number of containers in 2005, ranking as the world's fourth-busiest port, after rising trade increased cargo shipments through the southern Chinese city. China International Marine Containers, and other operators of the port handled 16.2 million standard 20-foot (6.1 m) boxes last year, a 19 per cent increase. Investors in Shenzhen are expanding to take advantage of rising volume.

Yantian International Container Terminals, Chiwan Container terminals, Shekou Container Terminals, China Merchants Port and Shenzhen Haixing (Mawan port) are the major port terminals in Shenzhen.


Shenzhen airport T3
View from Shenzhen Railway Station
Bus Service to Shenzhen from Hong Kong

Shenzhen Airlines and Jade Cargo International are located at Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport.[65][66] The airport is 35 kilometres (22 miles) from central Shenzhen and connects the city with many other parts of China, and serves domestic and international destinations. The airport also serves as an Asian-Pacific cargo hub for UPS Airlines.[13] Shenzhen Donghai Airlines has its head office in the Shenzhen Airlines facility on the airport property.[67]SF Airlines has its headquarters in the International Shipping Center.[68] Domestic flights can link Shenzhen to almost every major cities in China. International flights are also scheduled to major international cities including Tokyo, Pyongyang, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Seoul and Singapore.


Shenzhen Railway Station is located at the junction of Jianshe Road, Heping Road and Renmin Nan Road and provides links to different parts of China. There are frequent high speed trains to Guangzhou, plus long-distance trains to Beijing, Shanghai, Changsha, Jiujiang, Maoming, Shantou and other destinations. The train from Hong Kong's Hung Hom MTR station to the Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau border crossings take 43 minutes and 45 minutes respectively.

There is another railway station located in Nanshan District, Shenzhen West (Shenzhen Xi), which is used for a small number of long distance trains, such as the one to Hefei.

Shenzhen North Railway Station (Shenzhen North) opened in 2011 in the Longhua area.[69][70] The station is currently handling high-speed trains to Guangzhou South, Guangzhou North, Changsha, Wuhan, Beijing and intermediate stations on the Beijing-Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong HSR route.[71]

Shenzhen East Railway Station (Shenzhen Dong) was opened in December 2012. It was originally called Buji station after the suburb it is located and was a Grade 3 station along the Guangshen Railway with no passenger services. Now after massive renovations, it currently handles mostly regional services.[72]

Pingshan Railway Station is completed in 2013 to serve high-speed trains on the Xiamen-Shenzhen HSR route opened in 2013.

Futian Railway Station is under construction and will be completed by the end of 2015. It is completely underground, located in the centre of its namesake Futian District. The central location means it will become the focal point for most high-speed train services on the Beijing-Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong HSR route upon completion. Connection to West Kowloon Railway Station in Hong Kong will be made in 2017, allowing for 15 minute cross border train journeys.


The Shenzhen Metro system opened on 28 December 2004. In phase I, there are only two lines: the Luobao and Longhua lines. Luobao line is from Luohu (Lo Wu and Shenzhen railway stations) to the Window of the World (Overseas Chinese Town). The Longhua line is from Futian Kouan (Futian checkpoint; it was named Huang Gang at first) to Shaonian Gong (Children's Palace). The Shenzhen Metro currently has 5 lines, 118 stations, and 177 kilometres (110 mi)[73][74] of total trackage in operation.

In June 2011, the Shenzhen Metro extended the Luobao and Longhua lines. The Luobao line runs from Luohu to Shenzhen Bao'an Airport and the Longhua line (now operated by MTR) runs from Futian Kouan (Futian Checkpoint) to Qinghu. Also in June 2011, three lines of the second phase opened before the 26th summer Universiade.[75] They are Shekou line (from Chiwan to Xinxiu), Longgang line (from Yitian to Shuanglong), and Huanzhong line (from Qianhaiwan to Huangbeiling). Currently, there are three lines under construction.[76]


Shenzhen is also connected by fast ferries linking Shekou, on the west edge of the SEZ with Zhuhai, Macau, Hong Kong International Airport, Kowloon, and Hong Kong Island.

Shenzhen has shorelines in its southwest and southeast. Beaches like Dameisha and Xiaomeisha are often crowded with locals and tourists. The Xichong beach, is just one hour drive from Shenzhen's city center, and it still retains its age old natural beauties.


Shenzhen Bay Bridge, taken in 2012

Since February 2003, the road border crossing at Huanggang and Lok Ma Chau in Hong Kong has been open 24 hours a day. The journey can be made by private vehicle or by bus. On 15 August 2007, the Lok Ma Chau-Huanggang pedestrian border crossing opened, linking Lok Ma Chau Station with Huanggang. With the opening of the crossing, shuttle buses between Lok Ma Chau transport interchange and Huanggang were terminated.

The planned Shenzhen-Zhongshan Bridge will connect Shenzhen on the Eastern side of the Pearl River Delta with the city of Zhongshan on the Western side. It will consist of a series of bridges and tunnels, starting from Bao'an International Airport on the Shenzhen side. Construction of the proposed 51 km (32 mi) eight-lane link is scheduled to start in 2015, with completion scheduled for 2021.

Taxis are metered and come in three colors. Red taxis may travel anywhere; green ones are restricted to outside the SEZ, and yellow ones are restricted to inside the SEZ.

There are also frequent bus and van services from Hong Kong International Airport to Huanggang and most major hotels in Shenzhen. A bus service operated by Chinalink Bus Company operates from Kowloon Station on the Airport Express MTR line (below Elements Mall) direct to the Shenzhen International airport.[77]

Tourist attractionsEdit

Interlaken Hotel at OCT East
The beach of Xichong
Shenzhen OCT Bay
Lianhuashan (lit. Lotus Hill) Park
Shenzhen Library and Shenzhen Concert Hall

Shenzhen's major tourist attractions include the Chinese Folk Culture Village, the Window of the World, Happy Valley, Splendid China, the Safari Park in Nanshan district, the Dameisha Promenade, Xiaomeisha Beach Resort in Yantian district, Zhongying Jie/Chung Ying Street, Xianhu Lake Botanical Garden, and Minsk World. The city also offers free admission to a number of public parks including People's Park, Lianhuashan Park, Lizhi Park, Zhongshan Park, and Wutongshan Park.

The OCT East development in Yantian district is also an events hotspot, featuring the Ecoventure Valley and the Tea Stream Resort Valley theme parks, three scenic towns, two 18-hole golf courses and eight themed hotels. OCT East was joined in 2012 by the OCT Bay development, which brought more attractions including an exhibition center, hotels and residences, an artificial beach called CoCo Beach, and an IMAX cinema.[78]

There are over twenty public city parks in Shenzhen.[79]

Some tourists, however, choose to stay in a largely expatriate and exotic residential community called Shekou, home to a large French cruise liner cemented into the ground called Sea World.[80] Shekou was expanded and renovated in recent years, including claiming additional land from the sea.

Shenzhen's central music hall and library are located in the Shenzhen Cultural Center.

In recent years, the East Coast (shoreline) of Shenzhen has attracted more and more tourists, including backpackers.[citation needed] One of the most famous beaches is Xichong in the south of Dapeng Peninsula.


The Shenzhen Special Zone Press Tower in Futian District


Shenzhen is served by a variety of daily newspapers, including Shenzhen Daily.


There is as local football club Shenzhen Ruby F.C. playing at Bao'an Stadium with a capacity of 40,000. It was one of the earliest professional football clubs in Guangdong, originally owned by memberships, later turned to shareholding.[81] The team won Chinese Super League title in 2004 season despite severe financial problems leaving players unpaid for seven months.[82] The team currently plays in China League One, the second tier of Chinese football competition system. The team has been reported to fell into financial crisis and arrears of player wages in 2014.[83]

Shenzhen Stadium

Shenzhen Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium that hosts many events. The stadium is located in Futian District and has a capacity of 32,500. It was built in June 1993, at a cost of 141 million RMB. The 26th Summer Universiade, the latest one to take place, was held in Shenzhen on 12 August 2011.[84] Shenzhen has constructed the sports venues for this first major sporting event in the city.[85]


Colleges and universitiesEdit

High schoolsEdit

Nantou Middle

See alsoEdit


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External linksEdit