Shenzhen ([ʂə́n.ʈʂə̂n] (About this sound listen); Chinese: 深圳) is a major city in Guangdong Province, China. It forms part of the Pearl River Delta megalopolis. The city is located in immediately north of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and holds sub-provincial administrative status, with powers slightly less than a province.
Shenzhen was a market town of 30,000 people on the route of the Kowloon–Canton Railway. That changed in 1979 when Shenzhen was promoted to city-status and in 1980 designated China’s first Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Official statistics based on China 2010 Census put Shenzhen's total population of 10,357,938, that included migrants staying at least six months. Popular press speculate that counts do not include migrant workers living in the city who come and go daily weekly or monthly and do not stay the entire year. Such estimates put the instantaneous or sum total of individuals who have lived in Shenzhen for any length of time to at least 18 million. Shenzhen was one of the fastest-growing cities in the world during the 1990s and the 2000s. A nationwide 2015 intercensal survey (mini-census conducted five years after the official census in every decade) surveyed for every city in the country recorded 11.389 million residents (9.186 million holding city residency (hukou), the remainder are considered migratory who were present at least six months of the year), while the household size increased to 2.49 people from 2.11 in 2010, indicative of soaring rents. Those not present six months of the year were not tallied.
Shenzhen's modern cityscape is the result of its vibrant economy made possible by rapid foreign investment since the institution of the policy of "reform and opening" in late 1979 in which SEZ established.
Shenzhen is a major financial center in southern China. The city is home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange as well as the headquarters of numerous home grown multinational well-known companies such as Vanke, JXD, Hytera, CIMC, Shenzhen Airlines, Nepstar, Hasee, Ping An Bank, Ping An Insurance, China Merchants Bank, Tencent, ZTE, Huawei and BYD. Shenzhen ranks 22nd in the 2017 edition of the Global Financial Centres Index published by the Z/Yen Group and Qatar Financial Centre Authority. It also has one of the busiest container ports in the world.
Human habitation in Shenzhen dates back to ancient times. The earliest archaeological remains so far unearthed are shards from a site at Xiantouling on Dapeng Bay, dating back to 5000 BC. From the Han dynasty (third century BC) onwards, the area around Shenzhen was a center of the salt monopoly, thus meriting special imperial protection. Salt pans are still visible around the Pearl River area to the west of the city and are commemorated in the name of Yantian District (盐田, meaning "salt fields").
The settlement at Nantou was the political center of the area from early antiquity. In the year 331 AD, six counties covering most of modern southeastern Guangdong were merged into one province or “jun” (郡) named Dongguan with its administrative center at Nantou. As well as being a center of the politically and fiscally critical salt trade, the area had strategic importance as a stopping off point for international trade. The main shipping route to India, Arabia and the Byzantine Empire started at Guangzhou. As early as the eighth century, chronicles recorded the Nantou area as being a major commercial center, and reported that all foreign ships in the Guangzhou trade would stop there. It was also as a naval defense center guarding the southern approaches to the Pearl River.
Shenzhen was also involved in the events surrounding the end of the Southern Song dynasty (1276–79). The imperial court, fleeing Kublai Khan’s forces, established itself in the Shenzhen area. Lu Xiufu, the then-chief minister, realized all was lost and knew the Mongolian forces would soon take over the area, he preferred suicide instead of the emperor being captured which might have brought shame to the dynasty. He jumped off a cliff with Emperor Bing, aged 7, the last emperor of the Southern Song Dynasty strapped to his back, killing both. In the late 19th century the Chiu or Zhao (Zhao was also the Song Imperial surname) clan in Hong Kong identified that Chiwan (Chinese:赤湾), an area near Shekou as the final resting place of the Emperor and built a tomb for him. The tomb, since restored, is still at the same location.
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. The municipality covers an area of 1,991.64 square kilometres (769 sq mi) including urban and rural areas, with a total population of 10,358,381 at the 2010 census. It makes up part of Pearl Delta River 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.
Rivers and reservoirs
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.
Shenzhen is surrounded by many islands. Most of them falls 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). 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.