Shanghai is both China’s and Asia’s most populated metropolis, as well as the world’s most populous city proper. With a population of more than 24 million as of 2014, it is the second most populous of the four direct-controlled municipalities in mainland China. It is a worldwide financial center as well as a transportation hub with the busiest container port in the world. Shanghai is located in East China’s Yangtze River Delta, on the south side of the Yangtze’s mouth in the center of the Chinese coast. The municipality is flanked to the north, south, and west by the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang, and to the east by the East China Sea.
Shanghai, an important administrative, maritime, and commercial center for millennia, gained in significance in the nineteenth century as Europeans recognized its advantageous port position and economic potential. Following the British victory over China in the First Opium War, the city was one of five forced open to Western commerce, with the subsequent 1842 Treaty of Nanking and 1844 Treaty of Whampoa allowing the construction of the Shanghai International Settlement and the French Concession. The city thus thrived as a crossroads of trade between east and west, and in the 1930s, it was the unquestioned financial capital of the Asia-Pacific area. However, once the Communist Party took control the mainland in 1949, commerce was restricted to communist nations, and the city’s worldwide significance dwindled. In the 1990s, Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms resulted in significant redevelopment of the city, facilitating the return of finance and international investment.
Shanghai is a famous tourist destination known for its historical attractions such as The Bund, City God Temple, and Yu Garden, as well as the huge Lujiazui skyline, many skyscrapers, and prominent museums such as the Shanghai Museum and the China Art Museum. It has been hailed as the “showpiece” of China’s rising economy.
Tourism in Shanghai
Shanghai (Shànghi) is China’s biggest and most developed metropolis, the country’s primary financial and fashion hub, and one of the world’s most populated and significant cities.
Shanghai has been there for millennia, but it skyrocketed once it became a major hub of China commerce in the 1840s. Shanghai was the biggest and most opulent metropolis in the Far East by the early twentieth century, as well as one of the craziest. Shanghai has recaptured much of its old splendour and has exceeded it in many areas since China’s opening up in the last several decades; the speed of growth in recent years has been utterly frenetic. Shanghai is now one of Asia’s biggest and most wealthiest cities, albeit not as as wild as it once was. It is today a highly appealing city for visitors from all over the globe, as well as a significant tourist and commercial destination. According to Forbes, Shanghai was the 14th most visited city in the world in 2012, with 6.5 million tourists.
Shanghai is unquestionably cosmopolitan by Chinese standards, but less diversified than many western cities. According to the 2010 census, the city had a population of 23 million people, with 9 million (almost 40%) of them being migrants, individuals from other parts of China who had come to find employment or to attend one of Shanghai’s numerous educational institutions. There is also a sizable international population: 208,300 foreigners resided in Shanghai in 2010, accounting for somewhat more than one-third of the national total of 594,000. There are businesses that cater to various markets, such as restaurants serving cuisine from all over China for migrants (particularly plenty of delicious inexpensive Sichuan food and West-of-China noodles) and a decent selection of grocery shops, restaurants, and bars for foreigners.
Climate of Shanghai
The climate in Shanghai is humid subtropical. New Orleans, Cairo, and Perth are all located at fairly identical latitudes (just over 30°).
Spring weather may be overcast and wet for extended periods of time.
Summer temperatures often exceed 35°C (95°F) with extremely high humidity, which means you will perspire profusely and therefore bring many changes of clothes or plan on purchasing for clothing during your vacation. During the summer, thunderstorms are also common. Typhoons are possible throughout the July–September season, although they are not frequent.
Autumn weather is often moderate, with warm and sunny days.
Temperatures seldom reach above 10°C (50°F) during the day and often dip below 0°C (32°F) at night during the winter. Snowfall is uncommon, happening just once every few years on average, however transportation networks might be affected in the case of a sudden blizzard. Despite the fact that winter temperatures in Shanghai are not especially low, the wind chill effect mixed with excessive humidity may make it seem less pleasant than in far colder areas where snowfall is common. Also, under Mao’s reign, buildings north of the Yangtze were required to be heated in the winter, but those south of it were not; Shanghai sits on the south bank, hence many older structures lack heating.
Geography of Shanghai
Shanghai is located on China’s east coast, nearly halfway between Beijing and Guangzhou. The Old City and contemporary downtown Shanghai are currently positioned in the heart of a spreading peninsula created by natural deposition of the Yangtze River Delta and manmade land reclamation initiatives between the Yangtze River Delta to the north and Hangzhou Bay to the south. The eastern section of this peninsula, as well as several of its adjacent islands, are administered by the provincial-level Municipality of Shanghai. Jiangsu borders it on the north and west, Zhejiang on the south, and the East China Sea on the east. Its northernmost point lies on Chongming Island, which has grown to become the second-largest island in mainland China after its growth over the twentieth century. However, the municipality does not contain a Jiangsu exclave in northern Chongming or the two islands that make up Shanghai’s Yangshan Port, which are part of Zhejiang’s Shengsi County. This deep-water port was necessitated not just by the growing size of container ships, but also by the silting of the Yangtze, which narrows to less than 20 meters (66 ft) as far as 45 miles (70 km) from Hengsha.
The Huangpu River, a man-made tributary of the Yangtze built by Lord Chunshen during the Warring States Period, cuts through downtown Shanghai. The city’s historic core was situated on the west bank of the Huangpu (Puxi), near the mouth of Suzhou Creek, which connected the Huangpu to Lake Tai and the Grand Canal. On the east bank of the Huangpu River, the important financial area Lujiazui has developed (Pudong). The degradation of local wetlands caused by the construction of Pudong International Airport along the peninsula’s eastern side has been somewhat compensated by the conservation and growth of the neighboring Jiuduansha shoals as a nature park.
Because Shanghai is located on an alluvial plain, the great majority of its 6,340.5 km2 (2,448.1 sq mi) land area is flat, with an average elevation of 4 m. (13 ft). Its sandy terrain has necessitated the construction of skyscrapers with deep concrete piles to prevent them from sinking into the soft ground of the core region. The few hills to the southwest, such as She Shan, are the highest point, while the highest point in Hangzhou Bay is the top of Dajinshan Island (103 m or 338 ft). As part of the Lake Tai drainage basin, the city contains several rivers, canals, streams, and lakes and is noted for its abundant water resources.
Economy of Shanghai
Shanghai is mainland China’s commercial and financial hub, ranking 16th in the 2016 edition of the Global Financial Centres Index released by the Z/Yen Group and the Qatar Financial Centre Authority. During the 1930s, it was the biggest and most affluent metropolis in East Asia, and significant redevelopment started in the 1990s. The Pudong District, a former swampland restored to serve as a trial region for integrated economic changes, exemplifies this. There were 787 financial institutions at the end of 2009, with 170 of them being foreign-invested. In 2009, the Shanghai Stock Exchange ranked third among global stock exchanges in terms of trading volume and sixth in terms of total capitalization of listed companies, and the trading volume of six key commodities on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, including rubber, copper, and zinc, all ranked first in the world. With the support of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the city created the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free-Trade Zone in September 2013, making it the first free-trade zone in mainland China. The Zone implemented a series of experimental changes aimed at creating a favorable climate for international investment. The Banker claimed in April 2014 that Shanghai “attracted the biggest quantities of financial sector foreign direct investment in the Asia-Pacific region in the year to the end of January 2014.” Shanghai was chosen the Chinese Province of the Future 2014/15 by FDi magazine in August 2014, citing “especially outstanding achievements in the Business Friendliness and Connectivity categories, as well as coming second in the Economic Potential, Human Capital, and Lifestyle categories.”
Shanghai has been one of the world’s fastest growing cities during the previous two decades. Except for the global recessions of 2008 and 2009, Shanghai has had double-digit growth practically every year since 1992. Shanghai’s overall GDP increased to 1.92 trillion yuan (US$297 billion) in 2011, with a GDP per capita of 82,560 yuan (US $12,784). Financial services, retail, and real estate are the three main service businesses. Manufacturing and agriculture contributed 39.9 percent and 0.7 percent of total production, respectively. Based on the first three quarters of 2009, the average yearly disposable income of Shanghai residents was 21,871 RMB.
Shanghai, located in the Yangtze River Delta, is the world’s busiest container port, which handled 29.05 million TEUs in 2010. Shanghai aspires to be a worldwide maritime hub in the not-too-distant future.
Shanghai is one of China’s major industrial cities, with a significant role in the country’s heavy industries. Shanghai’s secondary industry is supported by a significant number of industrial zones, including Shanghai Hongqiao Economic and Technological Development Zone, Jinqiao Export Economic Processing Zone, Minhang Economic and Technological Development Zone, and Shanghai Caohejing High-Tech Development Zone. In 2009, heavy industries accounted for 78% of total industrial production. Shanghai is home to China’s biggest steelmaker, Baosteel Group, China’s largest shipbuilding base, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group, and Jiangnan Shipyard, one of China’s oldest shipbuilders. Another significant business is automobile manufacturing. SAIC Motor, situated in Shanghai, is one of China’s three major automotive firms, having strategic alliances with Volkswagen and General Motors.
The conference and meeting industry is also expanding. The city welcomed 780 foreign events in 2012, up from 754 in 2011. The vast supply of hotel rooms has kept room prices lower than predicted, with the average four- and five-star hotel room fee in 2012 being just RMB950 (US$153).
Shanghai also has the biggest free-trade zone in mainland China, the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free-Trade Zone, which opened in September 2013. The zone encompasses 29 square kilometers and incorporates four existing bonded zones: Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, Waigaoqiao Free Trade Logistics Park, Yangshan Free Trade Port Area, and Pudong Airport Comprehensive Free Trade Zone. Several advantageous measures have been put in place to entice international investment in a variety of sectors to the FTZ. Because the Zone is officially not considered PRC territory for tax reasons, goods entering the zone are not subject to tariff and customs clearance as they would otherwise.
Internet, Comunication in Shanghai
Shanghai’s area code for landlines is 21, adding a “0” at the beginning if calling from outside of the city. For international calls add 86, the country code for China.
Shanghai seems to have far fewer Internet cafes than other Chinese cities, but there are some. Most of the bars that cater to the expatriate community and many of the foreign-based fast food chains — Starbucks, KFC. Duncan Donuts and likely others — offer free WiFi. Many hotels also provide WiFi service at prices from free to exorbitant; it is moderately common to find free service in one part of a hotel, such as a coffee shop, but substantial charges elsewhere, such as from the rooms.