Shenzhen, Guangdong province

Updated: Apr 22, 2019 www.chinaservicesinfo.com Print
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The city of Shenzhen [Photo/VCG]

Major social and economic indicators (2018)

Area: 1,997 sq km
Population: 12,528,000
Gross domestic product (GDP): 2.42 trillion yuan ($361.36 billion)
GDP per capita: 190,000 yuan
Value of total merchandise trade: 2.998 trillion yuan
Value of export: 1.627 trillion yuan
Value of import: 1.37 trillion yuan
Industrial structure (% of GDP):
Primary industry (agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, fishery): 0.1% of GDP
Secondary Industry (industrial and construction): 41.1% of GDP
Tertiary industry (service industry): 58.8% of GDP
Port cargo throughput: 251 million tons
Passenger throughput:
Visitors received: 64.08 million passenger trips
Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport: 49.35 million passenger trips

Note: the above figures are provided by relevant Guangdong provincial and municipal government departments.


Shenzhen, also known as "Pengcheng," or the City of the Giant Eagle, is a coastal city in south China, adjoining Hong Kong. It is an "early and pilot implementation area" under the country's reform, opening-up and modernization.

The Shenzhen Special Economic Zone was established in August 1980. In March 1981, Shenzhen was promoted to a sub-provincial city. In July 1992, Shenzhen was granted with legislative power for its special economic zone.

The four pillar industries of Shenzhen are advanced technology, modern logistics, financial services, and the cultural industry. Shenzhen focuses on the development of seven emerging industries of strategic importance, namely biotechnology, Internet, new energy, new materials, cultural and creative industries, new generation information technology, and energy conservation and environmental protection, as well as future industries on life and health, marine, aerospace and aviation, robots, wearable devices, and smart equipment.


Shenzhen has developed a convenient and efficient integrated transport system. Beijing-Kowloon Railway, Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, and Xiamen–Shenzhen Railway form a national railway node at Shenzhen. Shenzhen Metro consists of eight lines, of which the Longhua Line connects with Hong Kong's mass transit railway network. Shenzhen has a well-developed highway network connecting to other cities of the Pearl River Delta. Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport is connected to 145 cities in 17 countries and regions with 190 passenger air routes and 34 freight routes.

Shenzhen has boundary checkpoints covering land, sea, and air travel. It is the city with the largest number of checkpoints, the largest inbound/outbound passenger flow and vehicular flow in the mainland. Among them, Lo Wu Checkpoint is one of the busiest Chinese land passenger checkpoints, Huanggang Checkpoint offers 24-hour clearance, Futian/Lok Ma Chau Checkpoints connects directly to Shenzhen metro and Hong Kong mass transit railway respectively, and Shenzhen Bay Checkpoint adopts a "colocation" arrangement.

Major development areas

National level:

Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone
Shenzhen High-Tech Industrial Development Zone
Shenzhen Bonded Zone
Shenzhen Export Processing Zone
Shenzhen Qianhaiwan Free Trade Port Area
Shenzhen National Innovation Demonstration Zone

China (Guangdong) Free Trade Pilot Zone

Qianhai & Shekou Area of Shenzhen of the China (Guangdong) Free Trade Pilot Zone was officially launched on April 27, 2015. The planned area is 28.2 square kilometers, divided into Qianhai Block (15 sq km, i.e. Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone) and Shekou Block (13.2 sq km). The Overall Development Plan on Hong Kong/Shenzhen Cooperation on Modern Service Industries in Qianhai Area was endorsed by the State Council in August 2010. It positioned the 15-square-kilometre Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone as a demonstration area of innovation and cooperation of the Guangdong-Hong Kong modern service industry, focusing on the development of finance, modern logistics, information services, technology services, and other professional services.

There are a number of preferential policies for Hong Kong residents and enterprises in Qianhai, including:

Implementation of cross-border Renminbi (RMB) lending;

Imposition of 15 percent enterprise income tax for eligible Hong Kong enterprises;

Rebate of personal income tax paid in excess of 15 percent of taxable income from the Shenzhen municipal government to eligible Hong Kong talents in Qianhai;

Dedicated funding program on innovation and entrepreneurship for eligible Hong Kong enterprises, and funding program for Hong Kong-invested headquarters in Qianhai;

Housing quota for eligible Hong Kong enterprises and talents;

Designation of Qianhai as a pilot area for Hong Kong and Guangdong law firms operating in the form of partnership associations;

Pilot housing construction projects in which Hong Kong's construction and related engineering enterprises and professionals are allowed to provide services in Qianhai;

An exemption from the employment permit requirement for Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao residents in Qianhai.

As of December 2017, there were over 7,000 Hong Kong-invested enterprises registered in Qianhai & Shekou Area of Shenzhen (Free Trade Zone). In terms of land sales, from 2013 to the end of December 2017, the floor area sold to Hong Kong-invested enterprises in Qianhai accounted for 2.57 million square meters; among the 31 plots of land sold, 15 of them were sold to Hong Kong-invested enterprises.

Role in Greater Bay Area

According to the development plan of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Shenzhen is positioned as one of the four core cities of the area. It is expected to: play a leading role as a special economic zone, a national economic center city and a national innovative city, accelerate the establishment of a modern international city, and strive to become an innovative and creative city with world influence.

Key words for Shenzhen in the Greater Bay Area

Development platform:

Enhance the functions of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone in Qianhai of Shenzhen

Entrepreneurship & employment:

Establish experimental zones for entrepreneurship and employment for Hong Kong and Macao in Qianhai of Shenzhen.

Accelerate the construction of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation Entrepreneurship Base and the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneur Hub.

Implement the Macao Youth for Internship and Work in Shenzhen Project.

Leading role of growth poles:

Leverage the leading roles of the powerful combination of Hong Kong-Shenzhen, deepen cooperation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, enhance their overall strength and global influence, and lead the Greater Bay Area in participating in international cooperation in great intensity.

Collaborative innovation:

Support the establishment of the Belt and Road Life Science and Technology Advancement Alliance by relying on the China National Gene Bank in Shenzhen.

Industry layout:

Develop a globally influential and competitive cluster of world-class high-end manufacturing industries, such as electronic communications, on the east bank of the Pearl River with Shenzhen and Dongguan as its core.

Characteristic finance:

To support Shenzhen in developing a pilot zone for development in insurance innovation, further enhance the level of connectivity between Hong Kong and Shenzhen markets, and promote cooperation between Macao and Shenzhen with respect to special financial products.

Marine economy:

Support Shenzhen in developing into a key global marine city.

Culture development:

Support Shenzhen in bringing in international high-end creative and design resources, and vigorously develop its modern cultural industries.

Information about transport, industry and Qianhai & Shekou Area of Shenzhen of China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone is courtesy of bayarea.gov.hk.

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