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Sub-provincial city
Clockwise from top left: East Pacific Center, KK100, Shun Hing Square, Coastal City, Shenzhen Bay at night, and Shenzhen Stock Exchange
Clockwise from top left: East Pacific Center, KK100, Shun Hing Square, Coastal City, Shenzhen Bay at night, and Shenzhen Stock Exchange
Location of Shenzhen City jurisdiction in Guangdong
Location of Shenzhen City jurisdiction in Guangdong
Shenzhen is located in China
Location in China
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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
 • Mayor Xu Qin
 • Sub-provincial city 2,050 km2 (790 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 10,628,900
 • Density 5,200/km2 (13,000/sq mi)
 • Urban 10,630,000
 • Urban density 5,300/km2 (14,000/sq mi)
 • Major ethnicities Han
Demonym(s) Shenzhener
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 518000
Area code(s) 755
GDP 2014[2]
 - Total CNY 1.600 trillion
USD 257.76 billion
 - per capita CNY 149,500
USD 24,084
 - Growth Increase 8.8%
Licence plate prefixes 粤B
City flower Bougainvillea
City trees Lychee and Mangrove[3]
Shenzhen in Chinese.png
"Shenzhen" in Chinese
Chinese 深圳
Cantonese Jyutping Sam1-zan3
Postal Shumchun
Literal meaning "Deep drains (in the paddy fields)"

Shenzhen ([ʂə́nʈʂə̂n]; Chinese: 深圳[4]) is a major city in Guangdong Province, China. Situated immediately north of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the area became China’s first and one of the most successful Special Economic Zones (SEZ).[5] It currently also holds sub-provincial administrative status, with powers slightly less than a province.[6] According to the Government report for 2014, Shenzhen had a population of 10,628,900 people in the city,[7][8] and a metropolitan area population of over 18 million.

Shenzhen’s modern cityscape is the result of its 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 market town called Sham Chun Hui (深圳墟) which the Kowloon-Canton Railway passes through. Significant sums of finance have been invested into the SEZ by both Chinese citizens and foreign nationals. 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 was one of the fastest-growing cities in the world during the 1990s and the 2000s.[9] Shenzhen's population boom slowed down to less than one percent per year by 2013 as the manufacturing boom ebbed in favor of other industries.[10] Shenzhen is a major financial center in southern China. The city is home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange as well as the headquarters of numerous high-tech companies.[11] It was dubbed as China's Silicon Valley due to this high concentration of technology companies. Shenzhen ranks 22nd in the 2015 edition of the Global Financial Centres Index published by the Z/Yen Group and Qatar Financial Centre Authority.[12] It also has one of the busiest container ports in the world.[13] In 2007, Shenzhen was named one of China’s ten most livable cities by Chinese Cities Brand Value Report.[14]


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 Yantian District (盐田, meaning “salt fields”).[15][16]

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” (郡) named Dongguan Jun with its center at Nantou.[15][16] 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.[17]

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.The Emperor Bing, aged 8, last emperor of the Southern Song Dynasty was killed strapped to the back of Lu Xiufu, his chief minister. Lu realized all was lost and knowing the Mongolian forces would soon take over the area, he preferred suicide instead of the emperor being captured which might have brought shame to the dynasty.[15][16] In the late 19th century the Chiu or Zhao (Zhao was the Song Imperial surname) clan in Hong Kong identified that Chiwan (Chinese:赤湾), an area near Shekou as the final resting place of the Emperor and built a tomb for him. The tomb, since restored, is still in Chiwan.[18]

Earliest known ancient records that carried the name of Shenzhen date from 1410,during the Ming Dynasty.[19] 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).[20] 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.[17]

Shenzhen was singled out to be the first of the five Special Economic Zones (SEZ). It was designated a city and formally established as a SEZ in 1980 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".[21]

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, Bao'an County (宝安县) was promoted to prefecture level, directly governed by Guangdong province. It was renamed Shenzhen, after Shenzhen town, the then administrative centre of the county which stood approximately around present location of the Dongmen.[15][16] In May 1980, the southern part of Shenzhen, of size 327.5 km2 comprising the current Luohu, Futian, Nanshan, and Yantian districts was formally nominated as a "Special Economic Zone", the first one of its kind in China. In 1982 Bao'An county was reestablished though this time being a part of Shenzhen.The county was converted to become Bao'an district, which lies out of the Special Economic Zone. It was promoted to a Sub-provincial City in March 1983 was given the right of provincial-level economic administration in November 1988.[15][16] With a population of 30,000 in 1980, economic development has meant that by 2008 the city has had 12 million inhabitants.[22]

For five months in 1996, Shenzhen was home to the Provisional Legislative Council and Provisional Executive Council of Hong Kong.[23]

On 1 July 2010, the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone was expanded to include all districts, a five-fold increase over its pre-expansion size.


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, Dong Guan to the north and northwest. Lingding Yang (Lintin Sea) and Pearl River to the west and Mirs Bay to the east. 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.[24] 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 is elongated measuring 81.4 kilometers from east to west while the shortest section from north to south is 10.8 kilometers.[25]

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. Most of these smaller hills were leveled in the early 1980s. 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 still continuously being leveled to make way 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 city of Zhuhai.

Over 160 rivers or channels flow through Shenzhen. Notable ones include Shum Chun River, Maozhou River and Longgang River. There are currently 24 reservoirs within the city limits with a total capacity of 525 million tonnes.


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.[26] 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).[26] 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.[27]

Administrative divisions

Shenzhen is a sub-provincial city, among the smaller ones in territorial extent in China, but still more expansive than Houston. It has direct jurisdiction over six administrative districts (区 qu) and four management new districts:

Administrative divisions of Shenzhen
Division code[28] English name Chinese Pinyin Area in km2[29] Population 2010[30] Seat Postal code Divisions[31]
Subdistricts Residential communities
440300 Shenzhen City 深圳市 Shēnzhèn Shì 1996.78 10,358,381 Futian District 518000 59 792
440303 Luohu District 罗湖区 Luóhú Qū 78.75 923,421 Huangbei Subdistrict 518000 10 115
440304 Futian District 福田区 Fútián Qū 78.65 1,317,511 Shatou Subdistrict 518000 10 114
440305 Nanshan District 南山区 Nánshān Qū 185.49 1,088,345 Nantou Subdistrict 518000 8 105
440306 Bao'an District * 宝安区 Bǎo'ān Qū 398.38 2,638,917 Xin'an Subdistrict 518100 6 266
440307 Longgang District * 龙岗区 Lónggǎng Qū 387.82 1,672,720 Longcheng Subdistrict 518100 8 170
440308 Yantian District 盐田区 Yántián Qū 74.63 209,360 Haishan Subdistrict 518000 4 22
  Guangming New District 光明新区 Guāngmíng Xīnqū 155.44 480,907 Guangming Subdistrict 518107 2 28
  Pingshan New District 坪山新区 Píngshān Xīnqū 167.00 300,800 Pingshan Subdistrict 518118 2 30
  Longhua New District 龙华新区 Lónghuá Xīnqū 175.58 1,379,460 Guanlan Subdistrict 518110 6 100
  Dapeng New District 大鹏新区 Dàpéng Xīnqū 295.05 126,560 Dapeng Subdistrict 518116 3 25
  Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong
Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone
前海深港现代服务业合作区 Qiánhǎi Shēngăng
Xiàndài Fúwùyè Hézuòqū
* — The stats does not includes the subordinated new districts.
All new districts are management areas; not administrative divisions registered under the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
* - Guangming and Longhua are subordinate to Bao'an
* - Pingshan and Dapeng are subordinate to Longgang

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 the other districts, a five-fold increase over its pre-expansion size.

Adjacent to Hong Kong in southern China, 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. ±%
1980[32] 332,900 —    
1990[33] 1,214,800 +264.9%
2000[33] 7,008,428 +476.9%
2010[1] 10,357,938 +47.8%
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 has a population of over 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.[34]

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 is 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, and 3.1 percent are aged 65 or above.[35]

The population structure polarizes into two opposing extremes: intellectuals with a high level of education, and migrant workers with poor education.[36] It was reported in June 2007 that over 20 percent of P.R.C's PhD's worked in Shenzhen.[37]

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 neighboring 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 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.
Tin Hau Temple in Chiwan

According to 2010 data collected by a University of Southern California research project, approximately 37% of Shenzhen residents were practitioners of Chinese folk religions, 26% are Buddhists, 18% Taoists, 2% Christians and 2% Muslims; 15% were unaffiliated to any religion.[38]


Prior to the establishment of Special Economic Zone, the indigenous local communities could be divided into Cantonese and Hakka speakers,[39] which were two cultural and linguistic sub-ethnic groups vernacular to Guangdong province. Two Cantonese varieties were spoken locally. One was a fairly standard variety. The other, which was spoken by several villages south of Fuhua Rd. was called Weitou dialect.[40] Two or three Hong Kong villages south of the Shenzhen River also speak this dialect.This is consistent with the area settled by people who accompanied the Southern Song court to the south in the late 13th century.[41] Younger generations of the Cantonese communities now speak the more prestigious variety, known as standard Cantonese, probably because of the influence of Hong Kong 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.[42]

The influx of migrants from other parts of the country has drastically altered the city's linguistic landscape, as Shenzhen has undergone a language shift towards Mandarin, which was both promoted by the Chinese Central Government as a national lingua franca and natively spoken by most of the out-of-province immigrants and their descendants.[43][44] 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 Xiang are also sometimes observed.

Generally speaking, in most circumstances, people who are monolingual in Cantonese, Hakka, or Teochew are senior citizens of local ancestry; people who are bilingual in both Cantonese and Mandarin are the middle-aged and youth 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.[original research?]

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,[45][46][47] 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.[48]


Shenzhen High-Tech Industrial Park
The global headquarters of Huawei is located in Longgang District, Shenzhen

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%.[49] 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.[50]

Shenzhen is a major manufacturing center in China. In the 1990s, Shenzhen was described as constructing "one high-rise a day and one boulevard every three days". The Shenzhen's rapidly growing skyline is regarded as one of the best in the world.[51] It currently has 26 buildings at over 200 meters tall, including the Kingkey 100 (the 14th tallest building in the world) and Shun Hing Square (the 19th tallest building in the world).[52]

Shenzhen is home to some of China's most successful high-tech companies, including BYD, Konka, Skyworth, Tencent, Coolpad, ZTE, Gionee, TP-Link, DJI, BGI (Beijing Genomics Institute), OnePlus and Huawei.[53] Taiwan's largest company, Hon Hai Group, has a large manufacturing plant based in Shenzhen. Many foreign high-tech companies have their China operations centers located in the Science and Technology Park of the Nanshan District.[citation needed] Additional examples of successful Chinese companies with large operation in Shenzhen include, China International Marine Containers which is the largest container-manufacturing company in the world,[54] and Vanke which is the largest residential real estate developer in China.[55] In the financial sector, Ping An Bank and China Merchants 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, Notch and Makeblock.[56][57] Shenzhen is also the product development base of the hardware startup accelerator, HAX Accelerator (formerly HAXLR8R).[58]

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.

SEZ Border

Land borders between Shenzhen SEZ and the rest of China has been set up since the establishment of the SEZ. The border was known as 二线关(Pinyin:er xiàn guan) Initially, the border control was relatively strict, and required mainland Chinese non-Shenzhen SEZ citizens to obtain special permissions for entering. Over the years, border controls have gradually weakened, and 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).[59] The borders themselves have since left abandoned.

Although the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone have been extended to cover the whole of Shenzhen, colloquially Shenzhen is still said to be separated into two areas, with the original four districts comprising the SEZ before 2010 as关内 (Pinyin:guān nèi), literally "within the border") and the rest known as 关外 (Pinyin:guān wài), literally "outside of the border".

From June 2015 the existing unused border structures are starting to be demolished.[60][61]

Industrial zones

  • 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.[62]

Shenzhen Stock Exchange

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 Kingkey 100, rising 441.8 metres (1,449 ft) and containing 100 floors of office and hotel spaces.[63] Shenzhen is also the home to another of the world's 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[64]), located in the popular electronics district of Huaqiangbei.

Shenzhen has some of the largest public projects in China,and a large number of these projects are of tall buildings,to list just a few.The Guomao Building was the tallest building in China when it was completed in 1985. The Shun Hing Square was the tallest in Asia (if the antenna is taken into account) when it was built in 1996. It remains the tallest steel building in China.[citation needed]

A number of the supertalls that have been either proposed, approved or under construction are well over 400 m (1,312 ft). The tallest among these supertalls under construction is the 600-meter Ping An Finance Centre, which will become the second tallest in China and the fourth tallest building in the world upon its scheduled completion in 2016.[65]

Integration with Hong Kong

The Shenzhen Bay Bridge forms part of the Shenzhen Bay Port crossing, connecting Dongjiaotou in Shenzhen with Ngau Hom Shek in Hong Kong

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.[66]

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 connecting Dongjiaotou and Ngau Hom Shek (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.[67] 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.[68] 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,[69] while Hong Kong port handled 23,000 teus/day during 2006, excluding trans-shipment trade.[70]

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.[71] 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.[72]

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.[67] 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.[72]

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.[73]

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 plans

In Section 114(1) of the policy address on 10 October 2007,[74] 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.[75]

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.[76]


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."[77] 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.[78]

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."[77]



Situated in the Pearl River Delta in China's Guangdong Province, Shenzhen Port is adjacent to Hong Kong. The city's 260-kilometre (162 mi) 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 (40 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.[citation needed]

Shenzhen handled a record number of containers in 2005, ranking as the world's third-busiest port, after rising trade increased cargo shipments through the 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

Shenzhen Airlines and Jade Cargo International are located at Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport.[79][80] 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.[17] Shenzhen Donghai Airlines has its head office in the Shenzhen Airlines facility on the airport property.[81]SF Airlines has its headquarters in the International Shipping Center.[82] 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.


View from Shenzhen Railway Station

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.

Shenzhen West Station is located at Qianhai, Nanshan.This station is used for a small number of long distance trains, such as ones to Hefei.

Shenzhen North Railway Station opened in 2011 in Longhua.[83][84] 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.[85]

Shenzhen East Railway Station 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.[86]

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.


Shenzhen Metro Map

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)[87][88] 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.[89] 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.[90]


The Shekou Passenger Terminal in Shekou, Nanshan provides regular ferry transport to and from Zhuhai, Macau, Hong Kong International Airport, Kowloon, and Hong Kong Island[91]



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 four colors. The red taxis may travel throughout the city; charging 10 RMB for the first 2 kilometers with a fuel surcharge of 3 RMB,then 2.4 RMB per additional kilometer travelled and waiting charge of 0.8 RMB per minute. The green taxis are restricted to travel outside of the original Shenzhen Special Economic Zone (SEZ) (Futian, Nanshan, Luohu and Yantian districts). They have a base charge of 6 RMB for the first 1.5 kilometers traveled and fuel surcharge of 2 RMB, then similarly charging 2.4 RMB per additional kilometer and 0.8 RMB per minute waiting charge. Conversely, the less-common yellow taxis charging the same as red ones, runs only within the original Shenzhen SEZ. A recently introduced electric-powered taxi costs similar to the red and yellow ones, only having no fuel surcharge levied on.

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.[92]

As of December 29, 2014, Shenzhen banned passenger vehicles with license plates issued in other places from four of Shenzhen's main districts during peak times on working days.[93]


Tourist destinations, parks and resorts

Major tourist attractions of Shenzhen include the Chinese Folk Culture Village, Window of the World, Happy Valley, Splendid China, the Safari Park in Nanshan district, Chung Ying Street(a street dividing Shenzhen and Sha Tau Kok, Hong Kong), Xianhu Botanical Gardens, Minsk World, amongst others. The city also offers free admission to over twenty public city parks [94] including People's Park, Lianhuashan Park, Lizhi Park, Zhongshan Park, and Wutongshan Park.

Overseas Chinese Town (OCT)

The OCT East (东部华侨城) development in Yantian District is also an events hotspot, featuring the Ecoventure Valley (大侠谷) and the Tea Stream Resort Valley (茶溪谷) theme parks, three scenic themed towns, two 18-hole golf courses and eight themed hotels. OCT East was joined in 2012 by the OCT Bay (欢乐海岸) development in Nanshan, which brought more attractions including an exhibition center, hotels and residences, an artificial beach called CoCo Beach, and an IMAX cinema.[95]


Some tourists choose to stay in Shekou, a former industrial zone with a largely expatriate residential community, also home to a large shopping district called Sea World (海上世界) where a French cruise liner Minghua (明华), (known in French formerly as MS Ancerville) is cemented into the ground to become a hotel complex.[96] Shekou was expanded and renovated in recent years, including claiming additional land from the sea.


Dameisha and Xiaomeisha, two of the city's largest beaches, both located in Yantian District are often crowded. Xichong Beach in the south of Dapeng Peninsula, a two-hour drive away from the city centre is considerably less populated.

Museums and Exhibitions


Shenzhen is served by a variety of daily newspapers, prominent English newspaper include the 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.[97] The team won Chinese Super League title in 2004 season despite severe financial problems leaving players unpaid for seven months.[98][99] The team currently plays in China League One, the second tier of Chinese football competition system.

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.[100] Shenzhen has constructed the sports venues for this first major sporting event in the city.[101]

Shenzhen is also a popular destination for skateboarders from all over the world, due to the architecture of the city and its lax skate laws.[102]


Colleges and universities

International schools

See also


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