Shanghai is the most populous city in China and one of the most populous city in the world. A global city, Shanghai exerts influence over global commerce, finance, culture, art, fashion, research and entertainment. The city is located at the middle portion of the Chinese coast, and sits at the mouth of the Yangtze.
Once a fishing and textiles town, Shanghai grew to importance in the 19th century due to its favourable port location and as one of the cities opened to foreign trade by the 1842 Treaty of Nanking. The city flourished as a centre of commerce between east and west, and became a multinational hub of finance and business by the 1930s. After 1990, the economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping resulted in intense re-development and financing in Shanghai, and in 2005 Shanghai became the world's largest cargo port.
The city is a tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks such as the Bund and City God Temple, and its modern and ever-expanding Pudong skyline including the Oriental Pearl Tower. Today, Shanghai is the largest centre of commerce and finance in mainland China, and has been described as the "showpiece" of the world's fastest-growing major economy.
Shanghai is often regarded as the centre of finance and trade in mainland China. Modern development began with the economic reforms in 1992, a decade later than many of the Southern Chinese provinces, but since then Shanghai quickly overtook those provinces and maintained its role as the business centre in mainland China. Shanghai also hosts the largest share market in mainland China.
According to official statistics from 2005, the non-state sector has grown to generate 42.5 percent of Shanghai's GDP, while the reformed state-sector generates 57.5 percent of GDP. Since 2005, Shanghai has ranked first of the world's busiest cargo ports throughout, handling a total of 560 million tons of cargo in 2007. Shanghai container traffic has surpassed Hong Kong to become the second busiest port in the world, behind Singapore. Shanghai and Hong Kong are rivaling to be the economic centre of the Greater China region. Hong Kong has the advantage of a stronger legal system, greater international market integration, superior economic freedom, greater banking and service expertise, lower taxes, and a fully convertible currency. Shanghai has stronger links to both the Chinese interior and the central government, and a stronger base in manufacturing and technology. Shanghai has increased its role in finance, banking, and as a major destination for corporate headquarters, fueling demand for a highly educated and modernised workforce. Shanghai has recorded a double-digit growth for 15 consecutive years since 1992. In 2008, Shanghai's nominal GDP posted a 9.7% growth to 1.37 trillion yuan. The Shanghai Stock Exchange is the world's fastest growing, with the Shanghai Composite Index growing 130% in 2006.
As in many other areas in China, Shanghai is undergoing a building boom. In Shanghai the modern architecture is notable for its unique style, especially in the highest floors, with several top floor restaurants which resemble flying saucers. For a gallery of these unique architecture designs, see Shanghai (architecture images). The bulk of Shanghai buildings being constructed today are high-rise apartments of various height, color and design. There is now a strong focus by city planners to develop more "green areas" (public parks) among the apartment complexes in order to improve the quality of life for Shanghai's residents, in accordance to the "Better City – Better Life" theme of Shanghai's Expo 2010.
Industrial zones in Shanghai include Shanghai Hongqiao Economic and Technological Development Zone, Jinqiao Export Economic Processing Zone, Minhang Economic and Technological Development Zone, and Shanghai Caohejing High and New Technological Development Zone (see List of economic and technological development zones in Shanghai). Logistics Park in Shanghai include BLOGIS Park (Shanghai) and GLP Park Lingang.
You may want to check out great Shanghai Hotels.