Located in southwestern China, Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan province. The City is based in the West of the Sichuan Basin and in the center of the Chengdu Plain (literally “the country of heaven”). Chengdu covers a total area of 14,378 square kilometers. It is considered one of the most important economic centers, transportation and communication hubs in Western China.
Chengdu has the reputation as a very tranquil and serene city, with outstanding cuisine, historical monuments and beautiful scenery. Chengdu is not only rich in cultural heritage, but is also credited with an active nightlife scene and contains a large variety of expat-friendly housing options. Chengdu is particularly known for being home to the giant panda, the Sichuan province being one out of only three provinces where China’s unofficial mascot can still be found.
Chengdu and Chongqing, another large city in southwestern China, have been given the green light to become a new, twin-city special economic zone. Chengdu’s Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone already attracts a large variety of multinational and domestic companies every year.
The City is fast becoming one of the favorite cities for foreign investment in China. Among the World’s 500 leading companies, 268 multinational enterprises have had subsidiaries or branch offices in Chengdu by January 2016. These MNEs include Intel, Sony, and Toyota that have assembly and manufacturing bases, as well as Motorola, Ericsson, and Microsoft that have R&D centers in Chengdu.
The greater city area is divided into five districts and 12 counties, altogether home to more than 14 million people.
The subtropical monsoon climate influenced by the Sichuan Basin brings the annual average temperature in Chengdu to about 16 C (61 F). Another distinctive feature is humidity with clouds and mist and little sunlight. Chengdu’s summer is sultry with low temperature morning and evening, but high after noon.
The average daytime high in July and August is 29.6 °C (85.3 °F), with afternoon highs sometimes reaching 33 °C (91 °F). The average low in January is 2.8 °C (37.0 °F), with lows sometimes dropping below freezing. Rainfall is common year-round but peaks in July and August. Spring (March-April) tends to be sunnier and warmer than autumn (October-November).
The Chengdu dialect, also known as the Sichuan Dialect and Sichuanese, is spoken by approximately 120 million people throughout China. The dialect is similar to neighboring provinces Guizhou and Yunnan. Although not particularly difficult for Mandarin speakers to understand, there are differences in the tonal characteristics, the most apparent one being in the 3rd and 4th tone, which are the exact inverse of the standard Mandarin tones. This means that many words will be confused, for example “to buy” and “to sell.”
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Chengdu is now building itself to be the financial hub for Western China and has successfully attracted major international financial institutions, including Citigroup, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, ABN AMRO, BNP Paribas, JPMorgan Chase, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, etc.
In 2006, Chengdu was named one of China’s most livable cities by China Daily.
The government of Chengdu has recently unveiled a plan to create a ¥100 billion bio medicine sector by 2020. They now in 2017, have over 355 bio pharmaceutical enterprises.
IMB and AMD established R&D centers in Chengdu back in 2007, due to Chengdu’s low costs and high quality human resources. Rents and labor costs may be up to 50-70% below coastal cities.
Chengdu is aiming to become the largest logistics hub in western China. It has invested $286 million to construct a railway container station that will be the largest in Asia when completed.
Did you also know?
Paper money appeared and was first used in China, Chengdu being its birthplace. The paper money made here was the earliest paper money ever used, which played a significant role in promoting trade, financial transaction, and economic development.
Chengdu outnumbers Shanghai in the number of tea houses and bars despite having less than half the population.
For around $100, it is possible to hold a baby panda bear at Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center.