China is among the rich countries in the world. It is not only prosperous but also developed. China's GDP growth has averaged 100% annually since 1978. The government has removed at least 800 million people from poverty. In the same period, access to healthcare, and education, among other services, has increased rapidly. This article discusses some of the richest cities in China that you ought to know. According to this list, Shanghai leads among the ten richest cities, followed closely by Shenzhen and Beijing.
The list features the wealthiest cities in China based on the GDP per capita, happiness index, and living standards. It is good to understand that GDP is not the only determinant factor of a city's wealth. Additionally, the order followed in the list does not reflect the affordable cities. Every city has something unique to offer. As you will see below, different industries in China contribute to the economic growth of these cities. According to China Planning, The excellent business environment and low taxation and minimal government involvement attract investors in China. All these have made the country make substantial economic strides. Without further ado, we present the ten wealthiest cities in China as of 2022.
10. Chongqing (GDP: $200.2 Billion)
Chongqing is among the wealthiest cities in China. The rapid rise in the population of Chongqing explains all that. According to statistics, newly erected buildings add about 13,700 square meters of usable space every day. This meets the demand for commercial, residential, and factory space. There are more than 1300 individuals who relocate to Chongqing city every day, which brings at least $15.00 million to the city's local income. This city was separated from the Sichuan Province in 1997, which made it a municipality in its rights.
Several key industries contribute to the economy of Chongqing city. These include infrastructure building, mining, information technology, car manufacturing, electronics, export, and iron and steel industries. Additionally, Chongqing has been a major military center in history for weapon research and development. According to Study in China, the city's geographical isolation makes it suitable for this activity. What disadvantages this city is the fact that it is positioned in China's interior. This means that the export sector is so small despite having varied industries.
9. Wuhan (GDP: $274 Billion)
Wuhan City is known for its cultural heritage that spans more than 3500 years. It is the origin of the urban civilization in the Yangtze River Region. Wuhan also serves as the terminus of the old Tea Road on the East. The city has been recognized as a special maritime and transportation hub owing to its suitable geographic location. People also know Wuhan for its technical know-how in bridge and high-speed trail construction. It is also resilient in high-tech businesses and urban design.
Given that Wuhan is an industrial city, you can expect a sizeable population, among which migrant workers form the majority. Most of these workers are employed in the car and steel sectors. At least two hundred Fortune Global 500 companies have already invested in Wuhan city. These companies find Wuhan suitable due to its three national development zones and the four technical and scientific development parks. Additionally, Wuhan boasts at least 350 institutions of research, many business incubators, and up to 1656 high-tech businesses.
8. Hangzhou (GDP: $285.9 Billion)
Opening up our list of the richest cities in China in Hangzhou. This city has five pillar industries: machinery and electronics, high-tech chemicals, textile and chemical fiber, food manufacturing, and biology & pharmaceuticals. In terms of the number of resident billionaires in China, Hangzhou comes in the sixth spot after Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Beijing. It is worth noting that the sector in Hangzhou has improved over the years but notwithstanding, the city has been the center for forward-thinking and creative firms.
Most people are relocating to Hangzhou as expats opt to remain here for an extended period. If you ask most locals in this amazing city, they will have so many good things to tell you about it. Apart from being sandwiched in valleys and hills, Hangzhou is known for its gardens, architecture, and landscape design. According to Tell me China, the city also hosts some of the most famous monasteries in China. Without a doubt, Hangzhou has amazingly beautiful geographical features. For that reason, the city is among the most-visited destinations in China.
7. Chengdu (GDP: $308.79)
Chengdu is ranked at position 8 in the list of the wealthiest cities in China, with a GDP of $308.79 billion. It is one of the country's biggest luxury markets, just like Beijing and Shanghai. Chengdu draws several wealthy people from neighboring regions such as Xinjiang, Tibet, and Yunnan. These people consider the eastern cities like Beijing, Shenzhen, and Shanghai to be so far. They say that Chengdu offers a similar level of an upscale shopping experience in a very convenient location.
As far as economic vitality is concerned, Chengdu is a city serving as the national model. This city is slowly becoming among the most sought-after destinations for investment in both Western and Central China. As of 2009, 133 out of the world's 500 biggest corporations maintained their branch or subsidiary offices in Chengdu. A host of multinational enterprises in Chengdu include Intel, Sony, Cisco, and Toyota. Generally, Chengdu prides itself on business excellence, environmental preservation, and tourist appeal.
6. Suzhou (GDP: $309.16 Billion)
Suzhou City is among China's most famous investment sites. Investors take advantage of its proximity to Shanghai and the fact that it has very low operational expenses. According to A Soothing Living, the city is primarily known for producing silk and being a major commercial hub. Key sectors in Suzhou include information technology, pharmaceuticals, electronics, auto components, and fine chemicals. On the service side, Suzhou is known for banking, research services, and logistics. Suzhou's municipal government has already taken initiatives that stimulate the FDI (Foreign Direct Investment).
The expansion of Suzhou's satellite towns has come along with direct bearings for Suzhou. The towns include Kunshan, Taicang, Changshu, and Zhangjiagang. As a result, several high-tech businesses have emerged in Suzhou's prefecture. Additionally, Suzhou Industrial Park has a good tax policy on limited partnership venture capital businesses. Suzhou is among the most highly-productive and rich cities in China. Its HDI (Human Development Index) score is almost similar to that of moderately developed nations.
5. Hong Kong (GDP: $368.14 Billion)
Hong Kong occupies the sixth spot in our list of the wealthiest cities in China. The city has a population of approximately 7.6 million, which is a significant increase from the previous years. People are moving to Hong Kong for a reason. Traditionally, Hong Kong has four primary industries: financial services, commerce and logistics, professional and producer services, and tourism. CBC news has attributed the city's economic expansion to all these industries. These have also fostered the development of other sectors and massive job creation.
Hong Kong's capitalist service economy has been characterized by a well-established financial market internationally. Additionally, the city has low taxation for businesses with little to no government market involvement. The economy in Hong Kong has been termed a top performer since 1995. This is according to the Heritage Foundation economic freedom ranking. However, the territory has a significantly high level of income disparities.
4. Guangzhou (GDP: $393.5 Billion)
Guangzhou is located in the Pearl River Delta. It is one of mainland China's important manufacturing and economic districts. The city is the principal manufacturing center in the Pearl River Delta. Guangzhou has more than 2000 years of maritime history. For that reason, it is home to the largest port in China, besides being a commercial center. Apart from that, Guangzhou has served as one of the main entrances to the historical Silk Road. This is a trans-Asian route.
Guangzhou's GDP is estimated at $394 billion, with a per capita income of $22,317. On the world map, Guangzhou's GDP ranks at position ten. According to Economic Times, the city has a population of 13.97 million, which is a 2.42% increase compared to 2021. Statistics have shown that the main economic pillars of Guangzhou include electronics, automobiles, and petrochemicals. The total output value of all these industries is equivalent to 55.5% of Guangzhou's overall GDP.
3. Shenzhen (GDP: $421.6 Billion)
Deng Xiaoping actually developed Shenzhen into the first SEZ (Special Economic Zone). Upon creating Shenzhen back in 1979 as a Special Export Zone, the city was renamed into Special Economic Zone in 1980. The GDP of Shenzhen is estimated at 3 trillion Yuan. Calculating that in today's cots, Shenzhen is obviously among the most prosperous cities in China. The city has experienced some serious development courtesy of the reforms and opening policies. This will even expand the city's GDP even more.
By last year, Shenzhen had a population of 12.59 million in 791.5 square miles. The industries that have made Shenzhen economically powerful include logistics, culture, finance, and recreation. NBC news has indicated that there are up to 113 billionaires in comparison to New York's 110. It also outdoes London, which has 101 billionaires. The spike in the number of billionaires in Shenzhen is a reflection of a megatrend that will entice young entrepreneurs to the city in the coming years.
2. Beijing (GDP: $562.11 Billion)
Beijing is among the richest cities in China, hosting up to 144 billionaires. Organizations have estimated Beijing at a GDP of $562 billion. This city has a population of approximately 24.9 million, which is a significant increase compared to the previous years. There are 52 Fortune Global 500 corporations headquarters in Beijing and state-owned enterprises. This city is renowned as the entrepreneurial and technical hub in China. The good thing about this city is that its economy is growing at a rapid rate.
By 2007, there were at least 751 financial institutions in Beijing. These were already generating 126.6 billion RMB, equivalent to 11.6% of the entire country's aggregate financial industry's income. Beijing's GDP is at 13.8%, among the highest in all Chinese metropolis. According to China Highlights, this city is known for its historic buildings, which include the Forbidden City Complex. It also stands out for its amazing architecture. Pecking Duck, a very popular dish worldwide, hails from Beijing.
1. Shanghai (GDP: $607.82 Billion)
Rounding off our list is Shanghai which emerges in the first position in the list of the wealthiest cities in China. It is also worth noting that China is one of the most expensive cities all over the world. Shanghai is a good example of China's ever-growing economy. The reason for Shanghai's prosperity is because of its geography. Almost every prosperous capital or commercial center in the world has a neighboring ocean or river. This is what provides easy access to the neighboring countries.
Shanghai is the global center for innovation. It is also a national center for trade, commerce, and transportation. This city has the busiest container in the world; the Port of Shanghai. There are six primary industries in Shanghai: banking, real estate, automotive manufacture, IT, retail, and machine manufacturing. All these industries contribute to nearly half of the city's GDP. Besides that, Shanghai is second in the number of resident billionaires after Beijing. According to research, the GDP in Shanghai is expected to rise to $1.3 trillion by 2035. This will make this city among the top 5 significant cities in the world in terms of GRP.
There you go! Above is the list of the richest cities in China. According to the list above, it is clear that the richest cities of China have dominated the southern part of this country for the last 1000 years. In this same era, the economy in Southern China continued generating more wealth than in northern China. Shanghai, the richest city in China, has become a role model and a leader of other cities in the country. Analysts indicate that China's economy will follow Shanghai in whatever way it goes. If you are lucky enough to live in or visit this prosperous city, you will never regret it. However, you must have a very wise money strategy since you can turn broke due to the high cost of living in this region.
Written by Allen Lee
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