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.
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 to follow.
The earliest known recorded mention of the name chen could date from 1410, during the Ming Dynasty. Locals call the drains in paddy fields "Zhen" (Chinese: 圳; lit. 'ditch, drain'). Shenzhen was named after a deep (Chinese: 深; lit. 'deep') drain that was located within the area."
The oldest evidence of humans in the area on which Shenzhen was established dates back during the mid-Neolithic period. 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. 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. In 331 AD, the Eastern Jin administration split up Nanhai and established a new Dongguan Commandery [zh] (东官郡). 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.
During the Song Dynasty, Nantou and the surrounding area became an important trade hub for salt and spices in the South China Sea. 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. 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.
During World War II, the Japanese occupied Shenzhen and Nantou, forcing the Bao'an County government to relocate to the neighboring Dongguan County. 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. When Japan surrendered in September 1945, the Bao'an County government moved back to Nantou.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. In November, Shenzhen was elevated to the status of prefecture-level city at the regional level by the Guangdong provincial administration.
Special Economic Zone (1980s–present)
Billboards of high-rise construction in Shenzhen, 1982
In May 1980, the Central Committee designated Shenzhen as the first SEZ in China, which was promoted by then-paramount leaderDeng Xiaoping as part of China's "reform and opening-up" reforms which were set up a year previously. 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". On 26 August, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) approved the "Regulations of the Guangdong Special Economic Zone." 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 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. In February 1992, the Standing Committee of the NPC granted the government of Shenzhen the power to make local laws and regulations. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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." In August 2011, the city hosted the 26th Universiade, an international multi-sport event organized for university athletes. In April 2015, the Shekou Industrial Zone and the Qianhai Zone were integrated within the newly established Guangdong Free-Trade Zone.
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.
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. 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. Notable rivers in Shenzhen include the Shenzhen River, Maozhou River and Longgang River.
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 (KöppenCwa) 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.
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. 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). 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.
Like virtually all governing institutions in mainland China, Shenzhen has a parallel party-government system, in which the Party Committee Secretary, officially termed the Communist Party of China Shenzhen Municipal Committee Secretary, outranks the Mayor. The party's committee acts as the top policy-formulation body, and is typically composed of 12 members (including the secretary).
Despite being a sub-provincial city, Shenzhen as a SEZ still wields a lot of autonomy from the central government. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
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). 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. 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. 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'). 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.
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. The area of the Shenzhen SEZ also increased from 396 square kilometres (153 sq mi) to 1,953 square kilometres (754 sq mi). Since June 2015, the existing unused border structures have been demolished and are being transformed into urban greenspaces and parks. On 15 January 2018, the State Council approved the removal of the barbed wire fence set up to mark the boundary of the SEZ.
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. The zone is under the jurisdiction of Shenzhen instead of Shantou, with residents living there considered to be permanent residents of Shenzhen.
The Shenzhen government later established two new districts on 27 October 2011, Longhua New District and Dapeng New District. 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.
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). 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. According to Forbes, Shenzhen has the fifth-highest number of billionaires of any city in the world. 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 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.
Shenzhen had prioritized the cultural industry in according to the 13th Five-Year Plan [zh], establishing the Shenzhen Fashion Creative Industry Association (深圳市时尚文化创意协会) and planning the 4.6 square-kilometer Dalang Fashion Valley (大浪时尚创意城). On 7 December 2008, UNESCO approved Shenzhen's entrance into the Creative Cities Network, and awarded the Shenzhen the title of "United Nations Design Capital." Altogether, the cultural industry in turn contributes to 5.8% (102.116 billion RMB) of Shenzhen's economy in 2015.
In addition to the four pillar industries that was listed by the municipal government, Shenzhen also has a relatively notable real-estate industry. The real-estate industry altogether contributes to 9.2% (162.777 billion RMB) of Shenzhen's economy in 2015, which was an increase of 16.8% compared to last year. Real estate developers such as the Evergrande Group,Vanke, and China Resources Land are headquartered within the city.
As a SEZ, Shenzhen has established several industrial zones to encourage economic activities. The Shekou Industrial Zone was approved and established back on 31 January 1979 by the Central Committee of the CPC to assist in the "Hong Kong-based" economy of Shenzhen. In 1996, the State Council approved and established the 11.5 km2 (4.4 sq mi) Shenzhen High-tech Industrial Development Zone, helping to develop Shenzhen's high-tech industry in areas such as electronics and information technology. In accordance to the National Plan in 2001, the Shenzhen Software Park, integrated within the High-tech Industrial Development Zone, was established for software production and assist in the development of the city's software industry. On 26 August 2010, the State Council approved the "Overall Development Plan for Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone" to solidify ties between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
Tourism is gradually growing as an important industry for Shenzhen. Shenzhen has been ranked second on the list of 'top 10 cities to visit in 2019' by Lonely Planet. The Shenzhen administration in its "12th Five-Year Plan for Tourism Development of Shenzhen" had focused on turning the city into an international tourist hub, with emphasis on the city's scientific, fashion, and industrial elements. The Shenzhen tourist industry is claimed by the local administration in having a strong development advantage, due to the city being one of the tier-one cities in China, as well as being known for its coastal resources, climate environment, capitalist economy, and technological innovation. In 2015, the tourism industry's total revenue was 124.48 billion RMB (US$17.6 billion), a 98.1% increase from 2010.Out of the total revenue, 28% (35 billion RMB or US$4.968 billion) came from international tourists, an increase of 56.2% from 2010. In addition, in that year, Shenzhen received 11.63 million tourists, a 51% increase from 2010.
Shenzhen's tourism industry is recently expanding under the "13th Five-Year Plan for Tourism Development of Shenzhen" as promoted under the Shenzhen local government. In this plan, the tourist industry plans to exceed 200 billion RMB and receive 150 million domestic and foreign tourists by 2020. Part of the plan includes organizing the tourist industry within five brands: theme parks, retail, natural recreational areas, sports, and international gatherings, as well as speeding up construction of future tourist attractions and turning Shenzhen into a Chinese hub for sports.
Retail is an important pillar of Shenzhen's tertiary sector. Out of the added value of Shenzhen's tertiary sector of 1.42 trillion RMB (US$201 billion) in 2018, retail contributed 43% (616.89 billion RMB) of this amount, a 7.6 percent increase compared to last year (601.62 billion RMB). In addition, 10.9% of Shenzhen's FDI is directed towards the wholesale and retail sector.
"Smart retail", which uses technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data in production, circulation, and sales of consumer goods, has been growing popular within enterprises in Shenzhen. Businesses in Shenzhen are encouraged to use the Internet to develop the consumer market and new retail projects would be assisted with the use of technology. In addition, the Shenzhen administration is setting up a new retail industry development fund to promote the use of "smart retail", with the intention of stimulating the economy of Shenzhen and to turn the city into a "new retail" hub.
Due to Shenzhen's population overshooting the 14.8 million population target for 2016 to 2020, the Shenzhen justice bureau on 25 May 2021 had announced it would make it harder to earn a hukou to live in the city. In regards to the registered population (hukou), Shenzhen has seen an increase of 2.178 million or 58.9% of registered residents in the city from 2015 to 2020. In regards to permanent population, the city has seen an increase of 7,136,088 or 68.46% of permanent residents in the city from 2010 to 2020, creating an average annual growth rate of 5.35%.
According to the Department of Religious Affairs of the Shenzhen Municipal People's Government, the two main religions present in Shenzhen are Buddhism and Taoism. Every district also has Protestant churches, Catholic churches, and mosques. According to a 2010 survey held by the University of Southern California, approximately 37% of Shenzhen's residents were practitioners of Chinese folk religions, 26% were Buddhists, 18% Taoists, 2% Christians and 2% Muslims; 15% were unaffiliated to any religion. Most new migrants to Shenzhen rely upon the common spiritual heritage drawn from Chinese folk religion. Shenzhen also hosts the headquarters of the Holy Confucian Church, established in 2009.
Prior to the establishment of Special Economic Zone, the indigenous local communities could be divided into Cantonese and Hakka speakers, which were two cultural and linguistic sub-ethnic groups vernacular to Guangdong province. Two Cantonese varieties were spoken locally. One was a fairly standard version, known as standard Cantonese. The other, spoken by several villages south of Fuhua Road was called Weitou dialect. 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. Younger generations of the Cantonese communities now speak the more standard version. Today, some aboriginals of the Cantonese and Hakka speaking communities have dispersed into urban settlements (e.g. apartments and villas), but most of them are still clustering in their traditional urban and suburban villages.
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. However, in recent years multilingualism has been on the rise as descendants of immigrants of out-of-province Mandarin native speakers have begun to assimilate into the local culture through friends, television and other media. Despite the ubiquity of Mandarin Chinese, according to the SCMP, some Shenzhen residents, Cantonese and non-Cantonese alike, have attempted to revive the Cantonese language as part of Shenzhen's culture.
Nighttime panoramic view of the Shenzhen Civic Center, with the Ping An Finance Centre towards the right. Located in the Central District, the civic center building was designed by Lee | Timchula Architects and was the main focal point of the urban plan.
According to Laurie Chen of the South China Morning Post, Shenzhen, which had 15 million people as of 2019, had not built as many primary and secondary schools for its populace as it should have, compared to similarly developed cities in China. Laurie Chen cited the acceptance rate of Shenzhen secondary schools in 2018: 35,000 slots were available for almost 80,000 applicants. She also cited how Guangzhou had 961 primary schools while Shenzhen had only 344 primary schools, as well as how Guangzhou's count of primary school teachers exceeded that of Shenzhen's by 17,000; Chen argued that Guangzhou and Shenzhen have similar populations. In response Shenzhen schools began increasing salaries for prospective teachers.
system in mainland China and second such system in Guangdong.
The Shenzhen Metro serves as the city's rapid transit system. The system in 2022 reaches 419 kilometres (260 miles) of route operating on 12 lines with 290 stations. By 2030 the network is planned to be 8 express and 24 non-express lines totalling 1142 kilometres of trackage. The average daily metro ridership in 2021 is 5.99 million passengers. The metro also operates a tram system in the Longhua District.
As of August 2019, the city's bus system encompasses over 900 lines, with a total of over 16,000 electric vehicles, the largest of its kind in the world. The system is operated by multiple companies. As at January 2019 conversion of Shenzhen's taxi fleet to electric vehicles reached 99%.Electric taxis have a blue and white colour scheme. Petroleum fuelled taxis are coloured either green or red.
Due to its proximity to Hong Kong, Shenzhen has the largest number of entry and exit ports, the largest number of entry and exit personnel, and the largest traffic volume in China. Shenzhen is busiest in China when it comes to border crossings, with people entering and exiting the country through the city and Hong Kong reaching 239 million in 2015. In the same year, a total of 15.5 million vehicles crossed the border in Shenzhen, a 0.4% increase of last year. Border crossing ports include the Shenzhen Bay Port, Futian Port, Huanggang Port, Man Kam To Port, and Luohu Port.
Multiple ports on the part of the coastline of Shenzhen constitute the Shenzhen Port. In 2019, Shenzhen had 211 international container routes, and the container throughput of the entire Shenzhen port reached nearly 25.77 million boxes in 2019, ranking fourth in the world. Yantian Port is the busiest port among Shenzhen ports and the main foreign trade channel in South China in the mid-term.
As Shenzhen is located in Guangdong, the city historically has a Cantonese culture before its transition to a SEZ. Migrants coming to the city to find work and opportunities have turned Shenzhen into a cultural melting pot. Despite this, the municipal government and some of the residents living in Shenzhen, including those who are not from Guangdong, have invested in keeping and reflecting off the city's Cantonese heritage. Shenzhen has presented itself as a city of opportunity for young people in China. The competitive culture that the city promotes among the youth have also used the term "Shenzhen speed," which resulted from the fast construction of the tallest building in Shenzhen. The term also describes a period of constant competition, quick changes, and high-efficiency.
In 2003, the municipal government announced plans to turned Shenzhen into a cultural city by promoting design, animation, and library construction. The municipal government also intends to develop the city's cultural industry in accordance to the 13th Five-Year Plan [zh], establishing the Shenzhen Fashion Creative Industry Association [zh] and the 4.6-square-kilometre (1.8 sq mi) Dalang Fashion Valley [zh]. Shenzhen's cultural industry specializes in being one of the largest handicraft manufacturers in China, and is also an industry center for oil painting in bases such as Dafen Village. Shenzhen also hosts the Shenzhen International Cultural Fair which specializes as an expo for the world's cultural industries, with the first expo being in November 2004. As a result of these developments, Shenzhen was awarded by UNESCO the title of "United Nations Design Capital" and was accepted entry into the Creative Cities Network on 7 December 2008.
As part of turning Shenzhen into a cultural city, the municipal government established the "Library City" (图书馆之城) concept in 2003. The plan would create a library network within the city through library construction, service improvement, and create a comfortable reading environment. By the end of 2015, Shenzhen has 620 public libraries, including 3 city-level public libraries, 8 district-level public libraries, and 609 grassroots libraries. Notable libraries include the Shenzhen Library and the Shenzhen Children's Library. Shenzhen also has bookstores, with the most notable being Shenzhen Book City in the Futian District. With an operating area of 42,000 square metres (450,000 sq ft), it claimed to be the largest bookstore of Asia at the time of its opening. Shenzhen has a number of museums and art galleries, such as the Shenzhen Museum, the Shenzhen Art Museum, the Shekou Maritime Museum, the Longgang Museum of Hakka Culture, the Shenzhen Museum of Contemporary Art, and the He Xiangning Art Museum. Shenzhen also has a few theaters, notably the Shenzhen Concert Hall, the Shenzhen Grand Theater, and the Shenzhen Poly Theater.
Shenzhen has a prominent nightlife culture, with most of the activity centered in the entertainment complexes of COCO Park and Shekou, with the former being referred by the South China Morning Post (SCMP) as "Shenzhen's answer to Lan Kwai Fong." There are many bars and clubs in the city, mostly unregulated, that stay open till the morning. Tunnel raves, referred by the SCMP as "a Shenzhen nightlife staple", have earned a reputation in the world, though they are often cracked down by police. Police has also cracked down on prostitution and pornography, which were elements of nightlife entertainment in Shenzhen, with one of the most prominent operations being centered in Shazui (沙嘴村) in the Futian District in the mid-2000s, resulting in closures of entertainment businesses and a decrease of foreign tourists in that area of the city.
One of the most significant sporting events unique to Shenzhen is RoboMaster, an annual intercollegiate robot competition founded and hosted by DJI based on autonomous moving target shooting. Started in 2015, the competition introduced a 5-on-5 MOBA-style robot combat between university students around China and later the world. Rewards to the competition include a prize pool of 3,750,000 RMB and a job landing at DJI.
Shenzhen has an extensive three-level public park system that was established in 2006, which categorizes parks as natural parks, urban parks, and community parks. By 2019, the city had 1,090 parks covering about 39,320 hectares, including 33 natural parks, 152 urban parks and 905 community parks. According to state-owned news outlet Xinhua, Shenzhen plans to build and renovate over 40 parks per year, bringing the number of parks in the city to 1,500 by 2035.
Wutongshan National Park is spread around the mountain of the same name in the Luohu District. From the observation deck, there is a view of the Shenzhen skyline as well as Hong Kong and the surrounding bay, and on the next peak there is a transmission tower of a local television station.
Shenzhen Bay Park, located along the city's coastline along Shenzhen Bay, opened in 2011, which included the nearby Mangrove Park. There are several thematic recreation areas and attractions, and along the 9-kilometer-long coastal strip there is an embankment. The Mangrove Ecopark was established in 2000 in the Futian District and at that time was the smallest national park in China. A large group of birds migrate to the ecopark in the mangroves on an area of 20.6 hectares in a 9-kilometer coastal zone of the Shenzhen Bay.
Shenzhen Bay Park is connected to the Dashahe Park (大沙河公园, 'big sand river'), located in Nanshan District, it follows the Dashahe River.
Other notable parks in Shenzhen include the Shenzhen Garden Flower Exposition Center, Shenzhen Safari Park, Xili Lake Resort, and Yangtai Mountain Fountain Park.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Shenzhen achieved an average air quality index (AQI) score of 44.8 µg/m³ and daily AQI score of 19 µg/m³. Out of ten Chinese mega-cities, Shenzhen recorded the lowest in average PM2.5 concentration (22.5 µg/m³), average PM10 concentration (37.7 µg/m³), average carbon monoxide concentration (0.6 µg/m³), and average nitrogen dioxide concentration (21.9 µg/m³). Swiss environmental technology company IQAir attributed most of the pollution in Shenzhen to stem from the engineering industry, continued use of coal, and traffic.
In 2014, Shenzhen experienced severe water pollution in the city's rivers and waterways, with 173 of the 310 rivers considered to be in "critical" condition and four rivers: the Maozhou, Guanlan, Longgang and Pingshan Rivers, to be the most polluted out of all rivers in the Pearl River Delta. The pollutants in the river consisted mainly of ammonia, phosphorus, and nitrogen. As a result, the city had conducted a campaign to restore the city's rivers by building more water pipes and sewage treatment plants.
From 2000 to 2014, Shenzhen spent 30 billion RMB to restore the city's rivers from water pollution, which some were considered at the time to be the most polluted in the Pearl River Delta. The city had constructed 33 sewage treatment plants and laid almost 4,300 kilometres (2,700 mi) of sewage pipes. By 2020, the city laid an additional 3,274 kilometres (2,034 mi) of water pipelines and completed 13,793 pipeline renovation projects in urban villages and housing estates.
In 2009, Shenzhen was chosen as one of thirteen cities to pilot a national new-energy vehicle program. In 2017, Shenzhen offered 3.3 billion RMB in subsidies in electric buses and the construction of charging facilities. In mid-2018, the city made major headlines for being the first city to roll an all-electric public bus fleet. In the same year, more than half of the city's taxi fleet are electric, with the goal to turn the fleet all-electric. By early 2019, Shenzhen rolled out an all-electric taxi fleet, with 99% of taxis now electric-powered.
In late 2019, Shenzhen launched a garbage classification program in which waste is to be sorted in four categories: recyclables, kitchen waste, hazardous waste, and other waste. Residents who follow the guidelines will be given cash while those who don't would be fined by the government.
In Shenzhen there are 14 newspapers, one comprehensive publishing house, three video-audio products publishing houses, 88 bureaus of inland and Hong Kong media organizations, 40 periodicals, and about 200 kinds of in-house publications of which the majority belong to enterprises. The most prominent media companies in Shenzhen are the Shenzhen Media Group, the Shenzhen Press Group, China Entertainment Television (CETV), and Phoenix Television branch iFeng.
Shenzhen News [zh] (深圳晚报, sznews.com) is a Chinese-language newspaper owned by the Shenzhen Press Group that serves as Shenzhen's main online news source.Shenzhen Daily is an English-language news outlet for Shenzhen covering local, national and international news.That's Shenzhen is the Shenzhen edition of That's PRD, an English-language media company with an online, print and social footprint. ShekouDaily.com is an online media outlet providing news and resources focusing on the Shekou sub-district in Nanshan District of Shenzhen.
From the establishment of Shenzhen as a SEZ in 1980 to 2007, Hong Kong has been Shenzhen's largest trade partner, with exports to Hong Kong accounted for 46.6% of Shenzhen's total exports. In 2015, the total import and export volume of Shenzhen Port to Hong Kong was 1.1 trillion RMB. Both cities had established the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industries Cooperation Zone within the Nanshan District which is a free-trade zone that mirrors the economic policies of both cities and to bring Hong Kong closer to Mainland China.Tencent estimated that by 2020, Qianhai is expected to create a total output value of 150 billion RMB, with an output of 10 billion RMB per square kilometer. As of 23 February 2021, Qianhai has a total of 11,325 firms from Hong Kong.
Shenzhen has been very active in cultivating sister city relationships. In October 1989, Shenzhen Mayor Li Hao and a delegation travelled to Houston to attend the signing ceremony establishing a sister city relationship between Houston and Shenzhen. Houston became the first sister city of Shenzhen. As of 2015, Shenzhen has established sister city relationship with 25 cities in the world.
As of May 2021[update], Shenzhen is twinned with the following regions, cities, and counties:
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^The gdp and gdp per capita data for Hong kong and Macau SAR, according to IMF World Economic Outlook (IMF WEO) Database "Download WEO Data: April 2019 Edition". International Monetary Fund (Press release). 9 April 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
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^Compare: "The next Silicon Valley? It could be here". Das Netz. 11 July 2017. Archived from the original on 14 June 2018. Retrieved 26 July 2018. Worldwide, 16 cities are in the starting blocks in the race to become the next Silicon Valley. [...] That Shenzhen is being treated as the Chinese Silicon Valley should come as no surprise.
^ 3-2 户数、人口、出生、死亡及自然增长. Shenzhen Statistical Yearbook 2020 [Households, Population, Birth, Death and Natural Growth] (PDF) (in Chinese and English). p. 55. Archived from the original(PDF) on 27 July 2021. - Web version - See column "年末常住人 口数 (万人) Year-end Permanent Population (10 000 persons)". The original source expresses figures in ten thousands. Here the numbers are converted to the ordinary format.
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^联系我们. Shenzhen Donghai Airlines. Archived from the original on 4 December 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2014. Address:Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport, Shenzhen Airlines. Post code：518128" – Chinese address: "地址：深圳市宝安区宝安国际机场航站四路3009号东海航空基地 邮政编码:518128