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Shanghai Overview

Area: 6200 sq km (2418 sq mi)
Population: 14 million
Country: People's Republic of China
People: Han Chinese
Main language: Mandarin (putonghua)/Shanghaihua
Time Zone: GMT/UTC plus 8 hours
Telephone Code: 021

In the past, Shanghai has got the name as Paris of China and Queen of the Orient; city of quick riches, ill-gotten gains and fortunes lost on the tumble of dice; the domain of adventurers, swindlers, gamblers, drug runners, idle rich, dandies, tycoons, missionaries, gangsters and backstreet pimps; the city that plots revolutions and dances as the revolution shoots its way into town - Shanghai was a dark memory during the long years of forgetting that the Communists visited upon their new China.

Now it is a municipality directly under the Central Government, with the status of a province. The Theatre, ShanghaiAlthough there is evidence of human settlements in this area since around 4,000 B.C, Shanghai only became a major commercial center producing cotton and textiles in the 16th century. The foreign presence, from the 1840s to early 20th century, contributed to the transformation of Shanghai into one of the greatest cities in the world: the Paris of the East and a "paradise for adventurers." Since the founding of the People's Republic in 1949, Shanghai has become one of the major industrial bases in China.

The Pudong New Area, with a size of 204 square miles (522 square kilometers) and a population of 1.5 million, is a triangular area to the east of the HuangpuRiver and to the west of the Yangtze River estuary. It occupies the central spot of China's coastal line where the Yangtze River pours into the East China Sea. With the developed downtown Shanghai and the vast and rich Yangtze River Delta in its west precincts, the new area has an easy access to economically developed countries and regions on the Pacific Rim and in Southeast Asia.

Launched by the government as a development zone in April 1990, the geographic location offers the area exceptional advantages. Pudong has four major districts---the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone (location of Pudong Shangri-La); Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, Jinqiao Export Processing Zone and the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park.

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