Shenzhen (Chinese: 深圳市; pinyin: Shēnzhèn Shì;) is a city of sub-provincial administrative status in southern China’s Guangdong province, situated immediately north of Hong Kong, within the Pearl River Delta. The municipality covers an area of 2,050 km² (790 sq. miles) including urban and rural areas. Shenzhen is also 100 km southeast of the provincial capital of Guangzhou, and 60 km south of the industrial city of Dongguan. To the southwest, the resort city of Zhuhai is another 60 km away.
Owing to China’s economic liberalization under the policies of reformist leader Deng Xiaoping, the area became China’s first—and arguably one of the most successful—Special Economic Zones.
Shenzhen’s novel and modern cityscape is the result of the vibrant economy made possible by rapid foreign investment since the late 1970s, when it was a small fishing village.
Since then, foreign nationals have invested more than US$30 billion for building factories and forming joint ventures. It is now reputedly one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Being southern mainland China’s major financial center, Shenzhen is home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange as well as the headquarters of numerous high-tech companies. Shenzhen is also the third busiest port in mainland China, after Shanghai and Ningbo.
Shenzhen is home to the world’s ninth tallest building, the Shun Hing Square (Diwang Building). The city has 23 buildings over 200 meters, mostly concentrated in Luohu and Futian districts. The second tallest building in Shenzhen is SEG Plaza at a height of 356 meters (292 meters to roof-top), located in the popular electronics district of Hua Qiang Bei.
Shenzhen has some of the largest public projects in China. The International Trade Center (国贸), built in 1985, was the tallest building in China when built, and the Shun Hing building was also the tallest in Asia when it was built.
Shenzhen has seen its population develop rapidly alongside its economic boom since the establishment of the SEZ. Its official population is listed at around 14 million and has been one of the three fastest growing city in China for the past 30 years. Many people believe that Shenzhen has far more residents than officially listed, thanks to commuters from Dongguan and other surrounding areas. The actual population of Shenzhen is rummored to be around 20 million people.
Shenzhen has a humid subtropical climate. Winters are mild and relatively dry, due in part to the influence of the South China Sea, and frost is very rare. Spring begins somewhat dry, but rainfall begins to dramatically increase in April, and the rainy season lasts until early to mid October. The monsoon reaches its peak intensity in the summer months, when Shenzhen also experiences very humid, and hot conditions. The latter portion of fall is mainly dry. The annual precipitation averages at over 1,933 mm, some of which is delivered in typhoons that strike from the east during summer and early fall.