Shanghai facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Clockwise from top: Lujiazui skyline with the Huangpu River, Yu Garden, China pavilion at Expo 2010 (now China Art Museum), Qibao, Nanjing Road, and The Bund
|Etymology: 上海浦 (Shànghăi Pǔ)
"The original name of the Huangpu River."
Location of Shanghai Municipality in China
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|Settled||c. 4000 BC|
- Qinglong Town
|- Shanghai County||1292|
|- Municipality||7 July 1927|
210 towns and subdistricts
|• Municipality||6,341 km2 (2,448 sq mi)|
|• Water||697 km2 (269 sq mi)|
| • Urban
|4,000 km2 (1,550 sq mi)|
|Elevation||4 m (13 ft)|
|• Rank||1st in China|
|• Density||3,822.39/km2 (9,900.0/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+08:00 (CST)|
|ISO 3166 code||CN-SH|
|- Total||¥3.27 trillion (11th)
|- Per capita||¥135,212 (2nd)
|HDI (2017)||0.863 (4th) – very high|
|License plate prefixes||沪A, B, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N
沪C (outer suburbs only)
|Abbreviation||SH / Chinese: 沪 (Hù)|
|City flower||Yulan magnolia|
|"Shanghai" in regular Chinese characters|
|Literal meaning||"Upon the Sea"|
Shanghai is one of the four municipalities of the People's Republic of China. It is located on the southern estuary of the Yangtze, and the Huangpu River flows through it. With a population of 24.2 million as of 2018[update], it is the most populous urban area in China and the second most populous city proper in the world. Shanghai is a global center for finance, innovation, and transportation, and the Port of Shanghai is the world's busiest container port.
Originally a fishing village and market town, Shanghai grew in importance in the 19th century due to trade and its favorable port location. The city was one of five treaty ports forced open to foreign trade after the First Opium War. The Shanghai International Settlement and the French Concession were subsequently established. The city then flourished, becoming a primary commercial and financial hub of the Asia-Pacific region in the 1930s. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, the city was the site of the major Battle of Shanghai. After the war, with the CPC takeover of mainland China in 1949, trade was limited to other socialist countries, and the city's global influence declined.
In the 1990s, economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping resulted in an intense redevelopment of the city, especially the Pudong district, aiding the return of finance and foreign investment to the city. The city has since re-emerged as a hub for international trade and finance; it is the home of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, one of the largest stock exchanges in the world by market capitalization, and the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone, the first free-trade zone in China.
Shanghai has been described as the "showpiece" of the booming economy of China. Featuring several architecture styles such as Art Deco and shikumen, the city is renowned for its Lujiazui skyline, museums, and historic buildings—including the City God Temple, the Yu Garden, the China Pavilion, and buildings along the Bund. Shanghai is also known for its sugary cuisine and distinctive dialect, Shanghainese. Every year, the city hosts numerous national and international events, including Shanghai Fashion Week, the Chinese Grand Prix, and ChinaJoy.
Shanghai is located on the Yangtze Estuary of China's east coast, with the Yangtze River to the north and Hangzhou Bay to the south. The land is formed by the Yangtze's natural deposition and modern land reclamation projects. As such, it has sandy soil, and skyscrapers are to be built with deep concrete piles to avoid sinking into the soft ground. The provincial-level Municipality of Shanghai administers both the estuary and many of its surrounding islands. It is roughly equidistant from Beijing and Guangzhou, bordering the East China Sea to the east, Zhejiang to the south, and Jiangsu to the west and north. The municipality's northernmost point is on Chongming Island, which is the second-largest island in mainland China after its expansion during the 20th century. However, it does not include an exclave of Jiangsu on northern Chongming or the two islands forming Shanghai's Yangshan Port, which are parts of Zhejiang's Shengsi County.
Shanghai is located on an alluvial plain. As such, the vast majority of its 6,340.5 km2 (2,448.1 sq mi) land area is flat, with an average elevation of 4 m (13 ft). The city's few hills, such as She Shan, lie to the southwest, and its highest point is the peak of Dajinshan Island (103 m or 338 ft) in Hangzhou Bay. Shanghai has many rivers, canals, streams, and lakes, and it is known for its rich water resources as part of the Lake Tai drainage basin.
Downtown Shanghai is bisected by the Huangpu River, a man-made tributary of the Yangtze created by order of Lord Chunshen during the Warring States period. The historic center of the city was located on the west bank of the Huangpu (Puxi), near the mouth of Suzhou Creek, connecting it with Lake Tai and the Grand Canal. The central financial district, Lujiazui, has been established on the east bank of the Huangpu (Pudong). Along Shanghai's eastern shore, the destruction of local wetlands due to the construction of Pudong International Airport has been partially offset by the protection and expansion of a nearby shoal, Jiuduansha, as a nature preserve.
Shanghai has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with an average annual temperature of 15.8 °C (60.4 °F) for urban districts and 15.2–15.7 °C (59.4–60.3 °F) for suburbs. The city experiences four distinct seasons. Winters are chilly and damp—northwesterly winds from Siberia can cause nighttime temperatures to drop below freezing. Each year, there are an average of 6.2 days with snowfall and 2.8 days with snow cover. Summers are hot and humid, and occasional downpours or freak thunderstorms can be expected. On average, 8.7 days exceed 35 °C (95 °F) annually. In summer and the beginning of autumn, the city is susceptible to typhoons, which have not caused considerable damage in recent years.
The most pleasant seasons are generally spring, although changeable and often rainy, and autumn, which is usually sunny and dry. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 34% in March to 54% in August, the city receives 1,895 hours of bright sunshine annually. Extremes since 1951 have ranged from −10.1 °C (14 °F) on 31 January 1977 (unofficial record of −12.1 °C (10 °F) was set on 19 January 1893) to 40.9 °C (106 °F) on 21 July 2017 at a weather station in Xujiahui. Template:Shanghai weatherbox
Shanghai has been described as the "showpiece" of the booming economy of China. The city is a global center for finance and innovation, and a national center for commerce, trade, and transportation, with the world's busiest container port—the Port of Shanghai. As of 2018[update], Shanghai had a GDP of CN¥3.27 trillion (US$494 billion) that makes up 3.63% of China's GDP, and a GDP per capita of CN¥135,212 (US$20,425). Shanghai's six largest industries—retail, finance, IT, real estate, machine manufacturing, and automotive manufacturing—comprise about half the city's GDP. In 2018, the average annual disposable income of Shanghai's residents was CN¥64,183 (US$9,695) per capita, making it one of the wealthiest cities in China, but also the most expensive city in mainland China to live in according to a 2017 study by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Shanghai was the largest and most prosperous city in East Asia during the 1930s, and rapid redevelopment began in the 1990s. In the last two decades, Shanghai has been one of the fastest-developing cities in the world; it has recorded double-digit GDP growth in almost every year between 1992 and 2008, before the financial crisis of 2007–08.
Shanghai is a global financial center, ranking fifth in the 26th edition of the Global Financial Centres Index (and third in Asia, after Singapore and Hong Kong), published in September 2019 by Z/Yen and China Development Institute. As of 2019[update], the Shanghai Stock Exchange had a market capitalization of US$4.02 trillion, making it the largest stock exchange in China and the fourth-largest stock exchange in the world.
As one of the main industrial centers of China, Shanghai plays a key role in domestic manufacturing and heavy industry.
Shanghai is home to China's largest steelmaker Baosteel Group, China's largest shipbuilding base Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group, and one of China's oldest shipbuilders, the Jiangnan Shipyard. Auto manufacturing is another important industry. The Shanghai-based SAIC Motor is one of the three largest automotive corporations in China, and has strategic partnerships with Volkswagen and General Motors.
Tourism is a major industry of Shanghai. In 2017, the number of domestic tourists increased by 7.5% to 318 million, while the number of overseas tourists increased by 2.2% to 8.73 million. As of 2018[update], the city had 72 five star hotels, 65 four star hotels, 1639 travel agencies, 113 rated tourist attractions, and 34 red tourist attractions.
Shanghai has an extensive public transportation system comprising metros, buses, ferries, and taxis, all of which can be accessed using a Shanghai Public Transport Card.
Shanghai's rapid transit system, the Shanghai Metro, incorporates both subway and light metro lines and extends to every core urban district as well as neighboring suburban districts. As of 2018[update], there are 16 metro lines (excluding the Shanghai maglev train and Jinshan Railway), 414 stations, and 704.91 km (438 mi) of lines in operation, making it the longest network in the world. On 8 March 2019, it set the city's daily metro ridership record with 13.3 million. The average fare ranges from CN¥3 (US$0.48) to CN¥9 (US$1.28), depending on the travel distance.
Opened in 2004, the Shanghai maglev train is the first and the fastest commercial high-speed maglev in the world, with a maximum operation speed of 430 km/h (267 mph). The train can complete the 30-kilometer (19 mi) journey between Longyang Road Station and Pudong International Airport in 7 minutes 20 seconds, comparing to 32 minutes by Metro Line 2 and 30 minutes by car. A one-way ticket costs CN¥50 (US$8), or CN¥40 (US$6.40) for those with airline tickets or public transportation cards. A round-trip ticket costs CN¥80 (US$12.80), and VIP tickets cost double the standard fare.
With the first tram line been in service in 1908, trams were once popular in Shanghai in the early 20th century. By 1925, there were 328 tramcars and 14 routes operated by Chinese, French, and British companies collaboratively, all of which were nationalized after the PRC's victory in 1949. Since the 1960s, many tram lines were either dismantled or replaced by trolleybus or motorbus lines; the last tram line was demolished in 1975. Shanghai reintroduced trams in 2010, as a modern rubber-tire Translohr system in Zhangjiang area of East Shanghai as Zhangjiang Tram. In 2018, the steel wheeled Songjiang Tram started operating in Songjiang District. Additional tram lines are under planning in Hongqiao Subdistrict and Jiading District as of 2019[update].
Shanghai also has the world's most extensive bus network, including the world's oldest continuously operating trolleybus system, with 1,543 lines covering a total length of 8,813.80 km (5,477 mi) by 2018. The system is operated by multiple companies. Bus fares generally cost CN¥2 (US$0.32).
As of 2018[update], a total of 41,300 taxis were in operation in Shanghai. The base fare for taxis is CN¥14 (US$2.24), which covers the first 3 km (2 mi) and includes a CN¥1 (US$0.14) fuel surcharge. The base fare is CN¥18 (US$2.55) between 11:00 pm and 5:00 am. Each additional kilometer costs CN¥2.5 (US$0.40), or CN¥3.3 (US$0.47) between 11:00 pm and 5:00 am. In addition to traditional taxis, ridesharing companies including DiDi and Uber play major roles in urban transportation. Ridesharing costs are comparable to those of taxis, and are sometimes even lower due to promotional discounts from ridesharing companies.
Shanghai was formerly a part of Jiangsu province and still shares strong cultural similarities with Jiangsu although mass migration from all across China and the rest of the world has made Shanghai a melting pot of different cultures. It is geographically a part of the Jiangnan region and as such, Wuyue culture dominated Shanghai but the influx of Western influences since the mid-19th century has generated a unique "East Meets West" Haipai culture. Shanghai is considered a center of innovation and progress in China. It was in Shanghai, for example, that the first motor car was driven and (technically) the first train tracks and modern sewers were laid. It was also the intellectual battleground between socialist writers who concentrated on critical realism, which was pioneered by Lu Xun, Mao Dun, Nien Cheng and the famous French novel by André Malraux, Man's Fate, and the more "bourgeois", more romantic and aesthetically inclined writers, such as Shi Zhecun, Shao Xunmei, Ye Lingfeng and Eileen Chang.
In the past years Shanghai has been widely recognized as a new influence and inspiration for cyberpunk culture. Futuristic buildings such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and the neon-illuminated Yan'an Elevated Road are examples that have boosted Shanghai's cyberpunk image.
Cultural curation in Shanghai has seen significant growth since 2013, with several new museums having been opened in the city. This is in part due to the city's most recently released city development plans, with aims in making the city "an excellent global city". As such, Shanghai has several museums of regional and national importance. The Shanghai Museum has one of the best collections of Chinese historical artifacts in the world, including a large collection of ancient Chinese bronzes. The China Art Museum, located in the former China Pavilion of Expo 2010, is the largest art museum in Asia. Power Station of Art is built in a converted power station, similar to London's Tate Modern. The Shanghai Natural History Museum and the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum are major natural history and science museums. In addition, there is a variety of smaller, specialist museums housed in important archaeological and historical sites such as the Songze Museum, the Museum of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, the site of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea, the former Ohel Moshe Synagogue (Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum), and the General Post Office Building (Shanghai Postal Museum). The Rockbund Art Museum is also in Shanghai. There are also many art galleries, concentrated in the M50 Art District and Tianzifang. Shanghai is also home to one of China's largest aquariums, the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium. MoCA, Museum of Contemporary Art of Shanghai, is a private museum centrally located in People's Park on West Nanjing Road, and is committed to promote contemporary art and design.
Shanghai cuisine emphasises the use of condiments and meanwhile retaining the original flavours of the raw ingredients materials. Sugar is an important ingredient in Shanghai cuisine, especially when used in combination with soy sauce. Another characteristic is the use of a great variety of seafood and freshwater food. Followings are Shanghai's signature dishes:
- Xiaolongbao – A type of steamed bun made with a thin skin of dough and stuffed with pork or minced crabmeat, and soup. The delicious soup inside can be hold up until it is bitten.
- Shengjian mantou – A type of small, pan-fried steamed bun which is a specialty of Shanghai. It is made from leavened or semi-leavened dough, wrapped around pork (most commonly found) and gelatin fillings that melts into soup/liquid when cooked.
- Shanghai hairy crab – A variety of Chinese mitten crab. The crab is usually steamed with fragrant ginger, and consumed with a dipping sauce of rice vinegar, sugar and ginger. Mixing crabmeat with lard to make Xiefen, and consuming it in xiaolongbao or with tofu is another highlight of hairy crab season.
- Squirrel-shaped mandarin fish – This dish uses fresh mandarin fish. The fish is deep-fried and has a crispy exterior and soft interior. Yellow and red in color, it is displayed in the shape of a squirrel on the plate. Hot broth is poured over, which produces a high-pitched sound. Sour and sweet flavours are combined in this dish.
- Sweet and sour spare ribs – One of the best known rib dishes. The fresh pork ribs, which appear shiny and red after being cooked, are traditionally deep fried then coated in a delicious sweet and sour sauce.
- Shanghai-style borscht – A Shanghai variety of borscht. The recipe was changed by removing beetroot and using tomato paste to color the soup and to add to its sweetness, cream is replaced by flour to generate thickness without inducing sourness as well.
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Shanghai Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.