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Location of Shenzhen City jurisdiction in Guangdong
Location of Shenzhen City jurisdiction in Guangdong
Shenzhen is located in Guangdong
Location of the city center in Guangdong
Shenzhen is located in China
Shenzhen (China)
Shenzhen is located in Asia
Shenzhen (Asia)
Coordinates (Civic Center (市民中心)): 22°32′29″N 114°03′35″E / 22.5415°N 114.0596°E / 22.5415; 114.0596Coordinates: 22°32′29″N 114°03′35″E / 22.5415°N 114.0596°E / 22.5415; 114.0596
County-level divisions9
City23 January 1979
SEZ formed1 May 1980
Municipal seatFutian District
 • TypeSub-provincial city
 • BodyShenzhen Municipal People's Congress
 • CCP SecretaryMeng Fanli
 • Congress ChairmanLuo Wenzhi
 • MayorQin Weizhong (acting)[1]
 • CPPCC ChairmanLin Jie
 • Prefecture-level and sub-provincial city2,050 km2 (790 sq mi)
 • Urban
1,748 km2 (675 sq mi)
0–943.7 m (0–3,145.7 ft)
 • Prefecture-level and sub-provincial city17,560,000
 • Density8,600/km2 (22,000/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Urban density8,400/km2 (22,000/sq mi)
 • Metro23,300,000
 • Major ethnicities
Time zoneUTC+8 (China Standard)
Postal code
Area code(s)755
ISO 3166 codeCN-GD-03
GDP (Nominal)2021[5]
 - Total¥3.07 trillion
$475.42 billion
 - Per Capita¥174,629
 - GrowthIncrease 6.7%
Licence plate prefixes粤B
City flowerBougainvillea
City treesLychee and Mangrove[6]
Shenzhen (Chinese characters).svg
"Shenzhen" in Chinese characters
Hanyu Pinyin Shēnzhèn
Cantonese YaleSāmjan or Sàmjan
Literal meaning"Deep Drainage"

Shenzhen (/ˌʃɛnˈɛn/;[7] /ʃɛnˈʒɛn/;[8] Chinese: 深圳; pinyin: Shēnzhèn; Mandarin pronunciation: [ʂə́n.ʈʂə̂n] (listen)), also historically known as Sham Chun, is a major sub-provincial city and one of the special economic zones of China. The city is located on the east bank of the Pearl River estuary on the central coast of southern province of Guangdong, bordering Hong Kong to the south, Dongguan to the north, and Huizhou to the northeast. With a population of 17.56 million as of 2020, Shenzhen is the fourth most populous city proper in China. Shenzhen is a global center in technology, research, manufacturing, business and economics, finance, tourism and transportation, and the Port of Shenzhen is the world's fourth busiest container port.

Shenzhen roughly follows the administrative boundaries of Bao'an County, which was established since imperial times. The southern portion of Bao'an County was seized by the British after the Opium Wars and became Hong Kong, while the village of Shenzhen was situated on the border. Due to the completion of a train station that was the last stop on the Mainland Chinese section of the railway between Guangzhou and Kowloon, Shenzhen's economy grew and became a market town and later a city by 1979, absorbing Bao'an County for the next decade.

In the early 1980s, economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping resulted in the city becoming the first special economic zone of China due to its close proximity to Hong Kong, attracting foreign direct investment and migrants searching for opportunities. In thirty years, the city's economy and population boomed and has since emerged as a hub for technology, international trade, and finance. It is the home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, one of the largest stock exchanges in the world by market capitalization and the Guangdong Free-Trade Zone. Shenzhen is ranked as an Alpha- (global first-tier) city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Its nominal GDP has surpassed neighboring cities of Guangzhou and Hong Kong and is now among the top ten cities with the largest economies in the world. Shenzhen also has the eighth most competitive and largest financial center in the world, fifth-highest number of billionaires of any city in the world, the second largest number of skyscrapers of any city in the world, the 28th largest scientific research output of any city in the world, and several notable educational institutions, such as Shenzhen University, Southern University of Science and Technology, and Shenzhen Technology University.

Due to the city being a leading global technology hub, Shenzhen has been dubbed by media China's Silicon Valley. The city's entrepreneurial, innovative, and competitive-based culture has resulted in the city being home to numerous small-time manufacturers or software companies. Several of these firms became large technology corporations such as phone manufacturer Huawei, holding company Tencent, and drone-maker DJI. As an important international city, Shenzhen hosts numerous national and international events every year, such as the 2011 Summer Universiade and the China Hi-Tech Fair [zh]. Shenzhen's rapid success has resulted in the Chinese government turning Shenzhen into a model city for other cities in China and the world to follow.


The earliest known recorded mention of the name chen could date from 1410, during the Ming Dynasty.[9] Locals call the drains in paddy fields "Zhen" (Chinese: ; lit. 'ditch, drain'). Shenzhen was named after a deep (Chinese: ; lit. 'deep') drain that was located within the area."[10][11]


Prehistory to Ming era

The oldest evidence of humans in the area on which Shenzhen was established dates back during the mid-Neolithic period.[12][13] Since then, this area has seen human activity from more than 6,700 years ago, with Shenzhen's historic counties first established 1,700 years ago, and the historic towns of Nantou and Dapeng, which was built on the area that is now Shenzhen, established more than 600 years ago.[14] The Hakka people also have a history in Shenzhen since 300 years ago when they first immigrated.

In 214 BC, when Emperor Qin Shi Huang unified China under the Qin Dynasty, the area went under the jurisdiction of the established Nanhai Commandery, one of the three commanderies that were set up in Lingnan, and was assimilated into Zhongyuan culture.[15] In 331 AD, the Eastern Jin administration split up Nanhai and established a new Dongguan Commandery [zh] (东官郡).[16] The seat of both the commandery and Bao'an County, one of its six counties, was located around the modern town of Nantou. In 590, the Sui administration merged the region back into Nanhai. In 757, the Tang administration renamed the county Dongguan, and moved its seat to what is now Dongguan city, although a military garrison remained.[15]

During the Song Dynasty, Nantou and the surrounding area became an important trade hub for salt and spices in the South China Sea.[15][17] The area then became known for producing pearls during the Yuan Dynasty. In the early Ming era, Chinese sailors of a fleet would go to a Mazu temple in Chiwan (in present-day Nanshan District) to pray as they go to Nanyang (Southeast Asia). The Battle of Tunmen, when the Ming won a naval battle against invading Portuguese, was fought south of Nantou.[18] In 1573, the Ming administration established Xin'an County, based in Nantou, which had authority over regions that would be Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Xin'an County's economy primarily was based on the production and trade of salt, tea, spices, and rice.

Qing-era to 1940s

To prevent a rebellion from Ming loyalists under Zheng Chenggong, better known as Koxinga, on the Chinese coast, the recently established Qing administration resettled coastal residents inland and re-organized coastal counties.[15] As a result, Xin'an County lost two-thirds of its territory to the neighboring Dongguan County and was later incorporated into Dongguan in 1669, though Xin'an was restored about 15 years later, in 1684. After the Qing dynasty was defeated by the United Kingdom in the First and Second Opium Wars, Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula were separated from Xin'an and ceded to the British in the Treaty of Nanking and the Convention of Peking. On 21 April 1898, the Qing government signed a "Special Article for the Exhibition of Hong Kong's Borders" with the United Kingdom, and leased the New Territories from Xin'an to the United Kingdom for 99 years.Xin'an was briefly occupied by a British force under the command of Henry Arthur Blake, the governor of Hong Kong, for half a year in 1899.[19] From the 3,076 square kilometres (1,188 sq mi) of territory that Xin'an held before the treaties, 1,055.61 square kilometres (407.57 sq mi) of the county was ceded to the British.[16]

In response to the Wuchang Uprising in 1911, Xin'an residents rebelled against the local Qing administration and successfully overthrew them.[20] In the same year the Chinese section of the Kowloon–Canton Railway (KCR) was opened to the public, and the last stop of the Chinese side, Shenzhen Railway Station, had opened in Shenzhen, helping the town's economy and opened Shenzhen up to the world.[19][21] In 1913, the Republic of China administration renamed Xin'an County back to Bao'an County to prevent confusion from another county of the same name in Henan Province.[15] During the Canton–Hong Kong strike, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions set up a reception station for strike workers in Hong Kong in Shenzhen.[22] Strike workers were also given pickets and armored vehicles by the strike committee to create a blockade around Hong Kong.In 1931, Chen Jitang and his family established several casinos in Shenzhen, the largest of which being Shumchun Casino.[23] While only in operation until 1936, they significantly increased KCR's passenger traffic to and from Shenzhen.

During World War II, the Japanese occupied Shenzhen and Nantou,[15] forcing the Bao'an County government to relocate to the neighboring Dongguan County.[24][25] In 1941, the Japanese army tried to cross into Hong Kong through the Lo Wu Bridge in Shenzhen, though this was detonated by the British, preventing the Japanese from entering Hong Kong.[26] When Japan surrendered in September 1945, the Bao'an County government moved back to Nantou.

1950s to 1970s

In 1953, four years after the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Bao'an County government decided to move to Shenzhen, since the town was closer to the KCR and had a larger economy than Nantou.[15] From the 1950s to the end of the 1970s, Shenzhen and the rest of Bao'an County oversaw a huge influx of refugees trying to escape to Hong Kong from the upheavals that were occurring in mainland China, and a range from 100,000[27] to 560,000[28] refugees resided in the county.

In January 1978, a Central Inspection Team sent by the State Council investigated and established the issue of creating a foreign trade port in Bao'an County.[29] In May, the investigation team wrote the "Hong Kong and Macao Economic Investigation Report" and proposed to turn Bao'an County and Zhuhai into commodity export bases. In August 1978, the Huiyang District Committee reported to the Provincial Committee on the "Report on the Request for the Change of Bao'an County to Shenzhen". On 18 October, the Standing Committee of the Guangdong Provincial Party Committee decided to change Bao'an County into Bao'an City and to turn it into a medium-level prefecture-level city with a foreign trade base. The Huiyang District Committee and the Bao'an County Committee, however, defended the change to rename Bao'an County to Shenzhen, claiming that people in the world know more about Shenzhen and its port than they know about Bao'an County.

On 23 January 1979, the Guangdong provincial administration and the district of Huiyang announced their proposal to rename Bao'an County to Shenzhen and was approved and put into effect by the State Council on March 5 of that year.[29] Also, the city would establish six districts: Luohu, Nantou, Songgang, Longhua, Longgang and Kuiyong. On 31 January 1979, the Central Committee of the Communist Party approved a plan to establish the Shekou Industrial Zone in Shenzhen with the purpose "to lead domestic, overseas, and diversified operations, industrial and commercial integration, and trading" based on the systems of that of Hong Kong and Macau.[30] The Shekou Industrial Zone project was led by Hong Kong-based China Merchants Group under Yuan Geng's leadership and was to become the first export processing industrial zone in mainland China.

At the beginning of April 1979, the Standing Committee of Guangdong Province discussed and proposed to the Central Committee to set up a "trade cooperation zone" in Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Shantou.[29] In the same month, the Central Working Conference decided on the "Regulations on Vigorously Developing Foreign Trade to Increase Foreign Exchange Income" and agreed to pilot the first special economic zones (SEZ) in Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shantou, and Xiamen.[31] In November, Shenzhen was elevated to the status of prefecture-level city at the regional level by the Guangdong provincial administration.[20]

Special Economic Zone (1980s–present)

In May 1980, the Central Committee designated Shenzhen as the first SEZ in China,[15][32] which was promoted by then-paramount leader Deng Xiaoping as part of China's "reform and opening-up" reforms which were set up a year prior.[33] Its objective is to be an experimental ground for the practice of market capitalism within a community guided by the ideals of "socialism with Chinese characteristics".[34][35][36] On 26 August, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) approved the "Regulations of the Guangdong Special Economic Zone."[37] Under these regulations, Shenzhen formulated a series of preferential policies to attract foreign investment, including business autonomy, taxation, land use, foreign exchange management, product sales, and entry and exit management. Through the processing of incoming materials, compensation trade, joint ventures, cooperative operations, sole proprietorship, and leasing, the city has attracted a large amount of foreign investment and helped popularize and enable rapid development of the SEZ concept.

In March 1981, Shenzhen was promoted to a

Futian CBD in the spring of 1998 from Lianhuashan Park

In December 1990, under the authority of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange was established to provide a platform for centralized securities trading.[41] In February 1992, the Standing Committee of the NPC granted the government of Shenzhen the power to make local laws and regulations.[11] In 1996 and early 1997, the Shenzhen Guesthouse Hotel in Shenzhen was home to the Provisional Legislative Council and Provisional Executive Council of Hong Kong in preparation for the handover of Hong Kong in 1997.[42][43] By 2001, as a result of Shenzhen's increasing economic prospects, increasing numbers of migrants from mainland China chose to go to Shenzhen and stay there instead of trying to illegally cross into Hong Kong.[44] There were 9,000 captured border-crossers in 2000, while the same figure was 16,000 in 1991. Around the same time, Shenzhen hosted the second Senior Officials' Meeting of APEC China 2001 on 26 May 2001 in its southern manufacturing center and port.[45] In May 2008, the State Council approved the Shenzhen SEZ to promote Shenzhen's administrative management system, economic system, social field, independent innovation system and mechanism, system and mechanism for opening up and regional cooperation, and resource conservation and environmental friendliness.[46]

On 1 July 2010, the State Council dissolved the "second line," and expanded the Shenzhen SEZ to include all districts, a five-fold increase over its pre-expansion size.[47] On 26 August 2010, on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Shenzhen SEZ, the State Council approved the "Overall Development Plan for Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone."[48] In August 2011, the city hosted the 26th Universiade, an international multi-sport event organized for university athletes.[49] In April 2015, the Shekou Industrial Zone and the Qianhai Zone were integrated within the newly established Guangdong Free-Trade Zone.[50]

On 18 August 2019, the central government in Beijing unveiled reform plans covering economical, social, and political sectors of Shenzhen, intending to have the SEZ be a model city for cities in China and the world to follow.[51]


The urban area of Shenzhen in 2005, with the New Territories of Hong Kong can be seen in the bottom. Notice the land reclamation in the western parts of the city left of Shenzhen Bay. The land in the future would result in the rise of the Nanshan District
's cityscape for the next ten years.

Shenzhen is located within the Pearl River Delta, bordering Hong Kong to the south, Huizhou to the north and northeast, Dongguan to the north and northwest. Lingdingyang and Pearl River to the west and Mirs Bay to the east and roughly 100 kilometres (62 mi) southeast of the provincial capital of Guangzhou. As of the end of 2017, the resident population of Shenzhen was 12,528,300, of which the registered population was 4,472,200, the actual administrative population was over 20 million.[52] It makes up part of the Pearl River Delta built-up area with 44,738,513 inhabitants, spread over 9 municipalities (including Macau). The city is elongated measuring 81.4 kilometers from east to west while the shortest section from north to south is 10.8 kilometers.

Over 160 rivers or channels flow through Shenzhen. There are 24 reservoirs within the city limits with a total capacity of 525 million tonnes.[53] Notable rivers in Shenzhen include the Shenzhen River, Maozhou River and Longgang River.[54]

Shenzhen is surrounded by many islands. Most of them fall under the territory of neighbouring areas such as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Huiyang District, Huizhou. But there are several islands under Shenzhen's jurisdiction, such as Nei Lingding Island, Dachan Island (Tai Shan Island), Xiaochan Island, Mazhou, Laishizhou, Zhouzai and Zhouzaitou. (See List of islands in Shenzhen)


Although 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) though it is fairly close to a Tropical one. 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.

Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Shenzhen Meteorological Bureau 1981–2010 normals

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.[55] 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).[55] 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.[56]

Climate data for Shenzhen (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 29.1
Average high °C (°F) 19.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 15.4
Average low °C (°F) 12.5
Record low °C (°F) 0.9
Average rainfall mm (inches) 26.4
Average rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 7.1 10.1 10.8 12.7 15.6 18.5 17.0 18.3 14.8 7.6 5.6 6.0 144.1
Average relative humidity (%) 71.7 76.8 79.5 81.0 81.7 81.8 80.5 81.8 78.8 72.4 68.4 67.1 76.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 138.7 92.4 94.9 104.6 146.4 160.3 215.6 182.5 169.9 189.6 175.8 166.9 1,837.6
Percent possible sunshine 44 31 27 29 37 43 53 47 49 55 56 53 44
Source: Shenzhen Meteorological Bureau[55]



National Emblem of the People's Republic of China (2).svg
National Emblem of the People's Republic of China (2).svg
Charter of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) logo.svg
Title Party Committee Secretary SMPC Chairman Mayor Shenzhen CPPCC Chairman
Name Meng Fanli[57] Luo Wenzhi[58] Qin Weizhong[59] Lin Jie[60]
Ancestral home Linyi, Shandong Foshan, Guangdong Yulin, Guangxi Yingde, Guangdong
Born September 1965 (age 56) August 1960 (age 61) July 1971 (age 50–51) April 1963 (age 59)
Assumed office April 2022 January 2019 April 2021 September 2020

Like virtually all governing institutions in mainland China, Shenzhen has a parallel party-government system,[61] in which the Party Committee Secretary, officially termed the Communist Party of China Shenzhen Municipal Committee Secretary, outranks the Mayor.[62] The party's committee acts as the top policy-formulation body, and is typically composed of 12 members (including the secretary).[63]

Despite being a sub-provincial city, Shenzhen as a SEZ still wields a lot of autonomy from the central government.[12][15] In addition to being promoted to a sub-provincial city, the National People's Congress (NPC) in 1981 granted legislative powers to Shenzhen and other Special Economic Zones, giving the city the privilege to make its own laws and regulations.[64] The Standing Committee of the NPC also granted Shenzhen voted and passed the "Decision on Authorizing the Shenzhen Municipal People's Congress and its Standing Committee and the Shenzhen Municipal People's Government to respectively formulate laws and regulations for implementation in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone" in order to give fully strengthen Shenzhen's legislative powers without interference from the central government.[65]


There were several cases of high-ranking Shenzhen officials that were arrested on charges relating to corruption. In December 2002, the Shenzhen People's Intermediate Court sentenced Zhao Yucun, former Commissioner of Shenzhen Customs, to life imprisonment for taking bribes of 9 million RMB.[66] In November 2003, the Guangzhou People's Intermediate Court charged former Shenzhen Deputy Mayor Wang Ju with bribery and abuse of power and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.[67] In June 2005, the Shenzhen People's Intermediate Court charged sentenced Luohu District Public Security Director An Huijun to 15 years in prison for accepting bribes.[68] In May 2011, the Zhengzhou Intermediate Court sentenced former mayor Xu Zongheng to the death penalty with a two-year reprieve for accepting bribes up to US$5.4 million.[69]

Administrative divisions

Shenzhen has direct jurisdiction over nine administrative Districts and one New District:

Administrative divisions of Shenzhen
Division code[70] Division Area in km2[71] Population (2020)[72] Seat Postal code Subdivisions
Subdistricts Residential communities
440300 Shenzhen 1996.78 17,494,398 Futian 518000 74 775
440303 Luohu 78.75 1,143,801 Huangbei Subdistrict 518000 10 115
440304 Futian 78.65 1,553,225 Shatou Subdistrict 518000 10 115
440305 Nanshan 185.49 1,795,826 Nantou Subdistrict 518000 8 105
440306 Bao'an 398.38 4,476,554 Xin'an Subdistrict 518100 10 123
440307 Longgang* 387.82 3,979,037 Longcheng Subdistrict 518100 11 111
440308 Yantian 74.63 214,225 Haishan Subdistrict 518081 4 23
440309 Longhua 175.58 2,528,872 Guanlan Subdistrict 518110 6 100
440310 Pingshan 167.00 551,333 Pingshan Subdistrict 518118 6 30
440311 Guangming 155.44 1,095,289 Guangming Subdistrict 518107 6 28
  Dapeng 295.05 156,236 Dapeng Subdistrict 518116 3 25
* — The stats does not includes the subordinated new district.
All new district are management areas; not administrative divisions registered under the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
* – Dapeng is subordinate to Longgang

Shenzhen was originally Bao'an County. On 5 March 1979, the State Council of the People's Republic of China dissolved the county and set up the city of Shenzhen in its place initially with six districts: Luohu (罗湖), Nantou (南头), Songgang (松岗), Longhua (龙华), Longgang (龙岗), and Kuiyong (葵涌), with the seat based in Luohu. In October 1981, Bao'an County was re-established, with its region now based outside Shenzhen. In June 1983, the districts were dissolved and re-established instead as five management areas (管理区): Shekou (蛇口; south-west Shenzhen), Nantou (南头; west Shenzhen), Shangbu (上步; central Shenzhen), Luohu (罗湖; east-central Shenzhen), and Shatoujiao (沙头角; far-east Shenzhen).[73] To enforce law and order in the city, the Shenzhen government erected a border known as the second line (Chinese: 二线关), which consisted of barbed wire and checkpoints between the city and the rest of China.[39][40] Initially, the border control was relatively strict, requiring non-Shenzhen citizens to obtain special permissions for entering. Over the years, border controls have gradually weakened, and permission requirement has been abandoned.

In January 1990, the city merged Shekou Management Area and Nantou Management Area to form the Nanshan District, renamed Shangbu Management Area to the Futian District, and merged Luohu Management Area and Shatoujiao Management Area to form the Luohu District. In December 1992, Bao'an County was dissolved again, with its area taken by Shenzhen and split into two new districts: Bao'an District and Longgang District, though economic privileges within special economics zones did not pertain to them as they were outside the second line border. At this point, Shenzhen has five districts: Luohu, Futian, Nanshan, Bao'an, and Longgang. In March 1998, Shenzhen's government created the Yantian District from the eastern portions of the Luohu District (the original area of the Shatoujiao Management District), and within the second line border.[73] Yantian, Luohu, Futian, and Nanshan together as the special economic districts within the second line border are referred to as guannei (关内; 'within the border') while districts that are outside the second line and do not have special economic privileges such as Bao'an and Longgang are referred to as guanwai (关外; 'outside the border').[74] The Shenzhen government later established two new districts as part of the guanwai: Guangming New District in August 2007 and Pingshan New District in June 2009.[75][76]

On 1 July 2010, the second line border was dissolved, and the Shenzhen SEZ was expanded to cover the entire city. Therefore, the four guanwai districts Bao'an District, Longgang District, Guangming New District, and Pingshan New District, would be given special economic privileges like the guannei districts.[47] The area of the Shenzhen SEZ also increased from 396 square kilometres (153 sq mi) to 1,953 square kilometres (754 sq mi).[77] Since June 2015, the existing unused border structures have been demolished and are being transformed into urban greenspaces and parks.[78][79][80] On 15 January 2018, the State Council approved the removal of the barbed wire fence set up to mark the boundary of the SEZ.[81][82]

In early 2011, the provincial government of Guangdong approved the establishment of the Shenzhen-Shantou Special Cooperation Zone in the city and SEZ of Shantou, Guangdong that will last until 2040 with the purpose of economic development. The zone would be managed by Shenzhen and another Cantonese city, Shanwei.[83] The zone is under the jurisdiction of Shenzhen instead of Shantou, with residents living there considered to be permanent residents of Shenzhen.[84]

The Shenzhen government later established two new districts on 27 October 2011, Longhua New District and Dapeng New District.[85] With approval of the State Council, Shenzhen re-organized Longhua New District as Longhua District and Pingshan New District as Pingshan District on 11 October 2016 and Guangming New District as Guangming District on 24 May 2018, therefore becoming their own jurisdictions.[86][87]


Shenzhen was the first of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) to be established by general secretary Deng Xiaoping.[88][32] Back to Apr 1979, Shenzhen was reformed as a Special Export Zone to create a favorable investment environment and introduce advanced technology and management experience, later renamed to Special Economic Zone in May 1980.[89] As of 2018, Shenzhen has a nominal GDP of 2.42 trillion RMB (HK$2.87 trillion), which recently had surpassed neighboring Hong Kong's GDP of HK$2.85 trillion and Guangzhou's GDP of 2.29 trillion RMB (HK$2.68 trillion),[90][91][92] making the economic output of Shenzhen the third largest out of Chinese cities,[93] trailing behind Shanghai and Beijing.[94] In addition, Shenzhen's GDP growth between 2016 and 2017 of 8.8% surpassed that of Hong Kong and Singapore, with 3.7% and 2.5% respectively.[95] With a market capitalization of US$2.5 trillion as of 30 November 2018, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) is the 8th largest exchange in the world.[96]

In the 2021 Global Financial Centres Index, Shenzhen was ranked as having the 8th most competitive and largest financial center in the world and 6th in the whole of Asia & Oceania region (after Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, and Tokyo).[97] As of 2020, Shenzhen is ranked as an Alpha- (global first-tier) city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network and ranked as having the 8th most competitive and largest financial center in the world.[98] According to Forbes, Shenzhen has the fifth-highest number of billionaires of any city in the world.[99] Shenzhen's nominal GDP is projected to be among the world top 10 largest cities in 2035 (together with Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in China) according to a study by Oxford Economics[100] and its nominal GDP per capita will reach above US$57,000 (ranking first in mainland China) in 2030, which is comparable to Tokyo and Seoul.[101]

Shenzhen is part of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road that runs from the Chinese coast south to the tip of India via the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean, there to the Upper Adriatic region to the northern Italian hub of Trieste with its rail connections to Central Europe and the North Sea.[102][103][104][105][106]


The global headquarters of Huawei
is located within Shenzhen

Shenzhen's industry is described by its Municipal Bureau of Statistics to be upheld by its four-pillar industries: high-tech, finance, logistics, and culture.[107] Shenzhen is also a large hub of the Chinese and global technology industry and home to a large startup ecosystem. As of 2020, the city was ranked as the 4th Fintech powerhouse in the world after (New York City, Shanghai and Beijing).[108] Shenzhen is primarily known for its high-tech industry, which has a value of 585.491 billion RMB (US$82.9 billion) in 2015, a 13% increase compared to last year.[107] Out of the nominal GDP of 1,750.299 billion RMB in 2015, the high-tech industry comprises 33.4% of this amount. Shenzhen is home to a number of prominent tech firms, such as telecommunications and electronics corporation Huawei,[109] internet giant and holding conglomerate Tencent,[110] drone-maker DJI,[111] and telecommunications company ZTE.[112][113] Other tech firms include personal computer manufacturer Hasee,[114] radio manufacturer Hytera,[115] consumer electronics manufacturer OnePlus,[116] and electronic and automobile manufacturer BYD.[117] Shenzhen annually holds the China International High-tech Achievements Fair [zh], which showcases high-tech products and provides for dialogue and investment for high-tech.[118] As a result, Shenzhen is dubbed by media outlets as "China's Silicon Valley"[119][120][121][122] or the "Silicon Valley of Hardware" for the world.[123][124] Shenzhen ranks 28th globally by scientific research outputs as tracked by the Nature Index.[125][126]

In addition to its numerous high-tech companies, Shenzhen is also home to a number of large financial institutions, such as

Addressing the logistics industry, courier SF Express and shipping company China International Marine Containers (CIMC) have their headquarters in Shenzhen.[133][134] The Port of Shenzhen, composed of Yantian International Container Terminals, Chiwan Container Terminals, Shekou Container Terminals, China Merchants Port and Shenzhen Haixing (Mawan port), handled a record number of containers with rising trade increased cargo shipments in 2005, ranking it as the world's fourth-busiest container port.[135][136][137] Shenzhen's high port traffic levels combined with a high urban population make Shenzhen a large port megacity, the largest type of port-city in the world.[138] Together, the logistics industry accounts for around 10.1% (178.27 billion RMB) of the city's nominal GDP in 2015, which was an increase of 9.4%.[107] Shenzhen Port’s first foreign trade blockchain cargo release platform was launched recently.[139]