The country''s first special economic zone - the brainchild of late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping - was established here in 1980. Shenzhen has been a touchstone for China''s reform and opening-up policy since then.
In merely 34 years, Shenzhen, once a tiny border town of just over 30,000 people, has grown into a modern metropolis. It established many firsts in the history of world industrialization, urbanization and modernization.
In 2012, Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone was fully launched. The zone will explore innovations in modern service industries, pilot cooperation between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, and lead the industrial upgrading of the Pearl River Delta area. Shenzhen will continue its historic role as a pioneer in China''s development.
One of China''s gateways to the world, Shenzhen is one of the country''s most developed cities and one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.
The city is the high-tech and manufacturing hub of southern China, home to the world''s third-busiest container port, and the fourth-busiest airport on the Chinese mainland. It is one of the country''s most popular tourist destinations. It was also elected one of the top 10 Chinese cities popular with expats in 2013. The high-tech, financial services, modern logistics and cultural industries are mainstays of the city. New industries of strategic importance and modern service industries are quickly becoming new engines for the city''s economic growth.
As a State-level innovative city, Shenzhen has chosen independent innovation as the dominant strategy for its future development. The number of Shenzhen''s PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) applications has topped Chinese cities for 10 consecutive years. Shenzhen ranked fourth in Forbes'' 2013 list of innovative mainland cities.
The city is also well-known for design, with more than 6,000 design companies employing more than 60,000 people. On Nov. 19, 2008, UNESCO named Shenzhen a member of its Creative Cities Network and awarded Shenzhen the title of City of Design.
Shenzhen has unique cultural charm. The city has a network of first-class public cultural facilities that allow residents to enjoy thousands of cultural performances. Since 2003, when Shenzhen took the national lead in establishing the strategy for a "culture-based city," its cultural and creative industries have achieved robust expansion with annual growth rates of more than 20% and become important engines for the city''s economic development.
Shenzhen is an ecological garden city, with half of its total area under a form of environmental protection that bans construction. The urban greenbelt coverage in developed areas is 45.07%. Shenzhen is China''s first city to win the Nations in Bloom Award, and named on the United Nations Environment Program''s Global 500 Laureate Roll of Honor.
A picturesque coastal city, Shenzhen is a popular tourist destination in South China and has been listed by the Chinese Government as an Excellent Tourist City. It was named one of the world''s 31 must-see tourist destinations in 2010 by The New York Times.
Shenzhen is a city of compassion, with a deep-rooted volunteer culture. Voted the City Most Favored by Migrant Workers, it promotes Project Care each year to help disadvantaged groups, and has thus been called "a city with no winter."
The 34-year-old city is stepping up to change modes of economic development and realize marketization, legalization, and internationalization. The city now is speeding up the construction of Qianhai strategic platform and striving to develop the bay-area economy - to integrate regional resource superiority and build an economy corridor that connects Qianhai Bay, Shenzhen Bay, Dapeng Bay and Daya Bay. Shenzhen continues to achieve the goal of development from the "Shenzhen Speed" to "Shenzhen Quality" and to build an innovative and environmental-friendly city where people can live happily and make dreams come true.
The development of Shenzhen, China''s gateway to the outside world, is regarded as the epitome of the country''s drive toward reform and modernization.
Shenzhen is a coastal city in South China, adjoining Hong Kong. Its longitude lies between 113.46 and 114.37 degrees east, and its latitude between 22.27 and 22.52 degrees north. Sitting south of the Tropic of Cancer, it is in southern Guangdong Province. Demarcated from Hong Kong by the Shenzhen River in the south, it is bordered by Dongguan and Huizhou in the north, Daya Bay and Dapeng Bay in the east and the Lingding Sea and the mouth of the Pearl River in the west.
The total area of Shenzhen is 1,991.64 square kilometers.Shenzhen has more than 310 rivers and streams, which are associated with the hydrographic systems of the Dongjiang River, coastal bays and the Pearl River. There are 171 water conservation projects in the city, storing a total volume of 610 million cubic meters. Shenzhen Reservoir in the east has a total volume of 44.96 million cubic meters, and is the main water source for Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
Shenzhen has 230 kilometers of coastline rich in marine life and products. Deep-water ports have been built at various locations in the city. Several scenic mountains surround Shenzhen, the highest of which is Wutong Mountain, with a peak at 943.7 meters above sea level. The city has rich natural attractions that are ideal for developing tourism. In the east lie the popular beach resorts of Dameisha, Xiaomeisha and Dapeng Bay. In the west are scenic areas including the Mangrove Nature Reserve, Inner Lingding Island and Waterlands Resort.
There has been migration to southern Guangdong and what is now Shenzhen since the late Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), but the population increased dramatically after the city of Shenzhen was established. By the end of 2013, the permanent resident population reached 10.63 million, of which 3.10 million had permanent hukou.
As a city of migrants, Shenzhen is open-minded, tolerant and innovative. It is an ideal place for domestic and international talent to start businesses. It has been voted as China''s Most Dynamic City and City Most Favored by Migrant Workers. In 2013, Shenzhen was ranked by Forbes'' Chinese version as fourth among 25 most innovative cities on the Chinese mainland. According to the 2014 Competitiveness of Chinese Cities Blue Book, released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Shenzhen was the second-most competitive city in China after Hong Kong.
Shenzhen is the only city in Guangdong where Mandarin is the dominant language, because of its huge migrant population from all over China. Many public service employees, professionals and businesspeople speak English too. Most of the young people speak English and Cantonese. The Shenzhen Speaks Foreign Languages campaign is conducted across the city to encourage more residents and government employees to learn to speak foreign languages.
Shenzhen has a subtropical marine climate. The weather is generally temperate to mild, with plenty of rain and sunshine. The annual average temperature is 22.4 degrees Celsius. A total of 355 days a year are frost-free. The yearly rainfall totals 1,933 millimeters and the average annual number of hours of sunshine is 2,120.
OFFICIAL TREES AND FLOWER
The litchi and mangrove trees are Shenzhen''s official trees and bougainvillea is the official flower.
Shenzhen will be a pilot zone for a national comprehensive reform program and will be built into a national economic hub, State-level innovative city, model city with Chinese characteristics and an international metropolis.
Counties and Districts in Shenzhen »
Town and Subdistrict »