Shenzhen is a prominent city in China’s Guangdong Province. Shenzhen is situated just north of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It presently has sub-provincial administrative status, having significantly less powers than a province.
Shenzhen was a 30,000-person market town on the Kowloon–Canton Railway line. That changed in 1979, when Shenzhen was elevated to the rank of city, and in 1980, when it was named China’s first Special Economic Zone (SEZ). According to the 2015 Government report, Shenzhen has grown to a city with a population of 10,778,900 and a metropolitan area population of more than 18 million people. During the 1990s and 2000s, Shenzhen was one of the world’s fastest-growing cities. By 2013, Shenzhen’s population growth had slowed to fewer than one percent per year, as the industrial boom had waned in favor of other sectors.
Shenzhen’s contemporary cityscape is the product of its thriving economy, which has been made possible by fast foreign investment since the implementation of the “reform and openness” program and the founding of the SEZ in late 1979. Both Chinese people and international nationalities have invested significant amounts of money in the SEZ. More than $30 billion in foreign investment has gone into both foreign-owned and joint ventures, first mostly in manufacturing but more recently in service sectors as well.
Shenzhen is a prominent financial hub in China’s south. The city is home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange as well as the headquarters of a number of high-tech firms. Shenzhen is ranked 19th in the 2016 edition of the Z/Yen Group and Qatar Financial Centre Authority’s Global Financial Centres Index. It also boasts one of the world’s busiest container ports.