Shanghai, China (Asia)
What Makes Shanghai, China Interesting?
At a Glance
Area: 6,340.5 km2 (2,448.1 sq mi)
Population (2014): 24,256,800
People Are Called (Demonyms): Shanghainese, Shanghailanders
Time Zone: UTC+8
GPS Coordinates: 31°12′N 121°30′E
Gross Domestic Product (2008 GDP): CNY2.356 trillion (US$383.55 billion)
What’s in the Name?
The two Chinese characters in the city’s name are 上 (shàng, “above”) and 海 (hǎi, “sea”). Together, they mean “Upon-the-Sea.” The earliest use of the city’s name dates back to the 11th-century Song dynasty. There was already a river confluence and a town with this name in the area. Chinese historians have concluded that Shanghai was literally on the sea during the Tang dynasty. Shanghai is officially abbreviated 沪 (Hù) in Chinese, a contraction of 沪渎 (Hù Dú, lit “Harpoon Ditch”). This 4th- or 5th-century Jin name calls upon the mouth of Suzhou Creek when it was the main conduit into the ocean. The character appears on all motor vehicle license plates issued in the city. Another alternative for Shanghai is Shēn (申) or Shēnchéng (申城, “Shen City”). This derives from Lord Chunshen, a third-century BC nobleman and prime minister of the state of Chu. His fief included modern Shanghai. Sports teams and newspapers in Shanghai often use Shen in their names. Examples are Shanghai Shenhua F.C. and Shen Bao. Huating (华亭) was another early name for the city. In AD 751, during the mid-Tang dynasty, Huating County was established at modern-day Songjiang, which was the first county-level administration within modern Shanghai. Huating now appears as the name of a four-star hotel in the city. Two nicknames for the city are “Pearl of the Orient” and “Paris of the East.”
The earliest Neolithic settlements known in this area date to the Majiabang culture (5000–3300 BC). This was overlapped by the Songze culture between around 3800–3300 BC.
4th through 5th centuries — the Eastern Jin dynasty (317–420) developed along the Song River.
746 — the first garrison is founded, during the Tang dynasty (618–907).
751 — area became part of Huating county.
977 — Longhua Temple is rebuilt.
12th Century — market town is developed.
1216 — Jing’an Temple is built.
1291 — first became a city, during the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368), with a population of about 300,000.
1292 — town became county seat.
1294 — Wen Miao (temple) became active.
1553 — the city walls are constructed to protect the town from raids by Japanese pirates.
1602 — the City God Temple is erected during the Wanli reign (1573–1620).
1603 — first contact with the Jesuits.
1664 — city had become a major cotton and textile center.
1684 — the Kangxi Emperor reversed the Ming dynasty prohibition on ocean-going vessels.
18th through early 19th centuries — exports of cotton, silk, and fertilizer reached as far as Polynesia and Persia.
1732 — the Yongzheng Emperor moved the customs office to Shanghai from Songjiang.
1735 — the city had become the major trade port for all of the lower Yangtze region.
1780 — Yu Garden is opened.
1789 — Guyi Garden becomes communal property.
1832 — the British East India Company eyed a potential trading center for tea, silk, and opium; rebuffed by local officials.
1839-1842 — the First Opium War is waged.
1842 — city is taken by British forces and opened up to British consuls, merchants, and their families.
1845 — the British established their concession.
1850 — the North-China Herald newspaper began publication.
1853 — Small Swords Society occupies Old City.
1854 — Shanghai Municipal Council formed by westerners.
1855 — Shanghai Race Club founded.
1856 — Wills’ Bridge is constructed.
1859 — Astor House Hotel is opened.
1860 — Taiping rebels unsuccessfully attempt to take city.
1861 — the Battle of Shanghai is staged.
1862 — American settlement is established.
1863 — gas lighting is introduced.
1872 — Shen Bao newspaper begins publication.
1874 — rickshaws are introduced.
1876 — Woosung Railway began operating.
1882 — Electricity introduced.
1898 — Songhu Railway began operating.
1907 — Waibaidu Bridge is constructed.
1908 – Electric tram began operating, Hongkou cinema opened.
1909 – Shanghai–Hangzhou Railway began operating.
1911 — the Xinhai Revolution led to the establishment of the Republic of China.
1912 — Old City walls are dismantled.
1914 — Trolleybus began operating along Fokein Road.
1921 — Communist Party of China founded during meeting in Xintiandi.
1923 — Hongqiao Airport in operation.
1925 — protest quashed, May Thirtieth Movement launched, Shanghai East Library opens.
1927 — Shanghai massacre unfolded, city became a special municipality.
1928 — Fahua District became part of city.
1929 — Shanghai Stock Exchange is formed.
1932 — January 28 Incident unfolded.
1936 — city stood as one of the largest cities in the world (3,000,000 inhabitants).
1937 — Battle of Shanghai unfolded; Japanese occupation began.
1938 — Wen Hui Bao newspaper began publication.
1943 — British and American concessions ended.
1945 — Japanese occupation ended.
1948 — city divided into 30 administrative districts.
1946 — French concession ended.
1949 — Shanghai Campaign unfolded.
1950 — Shanghai Women’s Federation is founded.
1951 — Shanghai Shenhua Football Club is formed.
1955 — Hongkou Stadium is opened.
1958 — Baoshan, Fengxian, Jiadang, Jinshan, Qingpu, Songjiang districts and Chongming County became part of city.
1966 — Cultural Revolution began.
1970 — One Strike-Three Anti-Campaign unfolded.
1974 — Shanghai Botanical Garden is established.
1988 — Jin Jiang Tower is built.
1991 — Nanpu Bridge and Yangpu Bridge are opened.
1993 — Shanghai Metro began operation.
1996 — Yan’an Elevated Road and King Tower are built.
1997 — Xupu Bridge is opened.
1998 — Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai Sen Mao International Building, Shanghai Futures Building, and Lippo Plaza are built.
1999 — Shanghai Pudong International Airport begins operating.
2000 — International Ocean Shipping Building, World Finance Tower, and Bank of China Tower are constructed.
2002 — Hong Kong New World Tower, Maxdo Centre, Jin Jiang Oriental Hotel, Bund Center, and Bocom Financial Towers are built; Shanghai Fashion Week began; Shanghai Golden Eagles baseball team is formed.
2003 — Lupu Bridge, Tomorrow Square, Shanghai Dong Hai Plaza, Aurora Plaza, and Raffles Square are built.
2004 — Chinese Grand Prix began.
2005 — Donghai Bridge, Shimao International Plaza, Grand Gateway Shanghai, Longemont Shanghai, Citigroup Tower, and Bank of Shanghai Headquarters are built; Shanghai Oriental Art Center and Qi Zhong Stadium are inaugurated.
2008 — Shanghai World Financial Center, One Lujiazui, and Zhongrong Jasper Tower are built.
Shanghai Yangtze River Tunnel and Bridge and Happy Valley (amusement park) are opened.
2010 — Expo Shanghai China (world expo) is held; Shanghai Arena is opened; Minpu Bridge and Shanghai Wheelock Square are built.
2011 — Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway began operating; Huamin King Tower is built.
2014 — Shanghai Stampede unfolded.
The below images have been licensed through Big Stock Photo and other resources for editorial purposes only.
• Feature, CNBC: “Shanghai, Beijing Enter List of the World’s Most Expensive Cities”
• A complete archive of curated articles is forthcoming on this destination (see page on Dhaka, Bangladesh for the model).
Shanghai has a humid subtropical climate and experiences four distinct seasons. Winters are chilly and damp, with cold northwesterly winds from Siberia. Most years, there are only one or two days of snowfall. Summers are hot and humid, with occasional downpours and thunderstorms to be expected. The city is susceptible to typhoons in summer and the beginning of autumn. The most pleasant seasons are spring and autumn, with the latter being generally sunny and dry. Temperatures range from 8.1°C / 46.6°F in January to 32.2°C / 90°F in July.
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Shanghai is home to several professional association football (soccer) teams. This includes Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League (one of China’s most popular and successful squads), Shanghai SIPG, and Shanghai Shenxin. The Shanghai Sharks compete in the Chinese Basketball Association and developed Yao Ming before he entered the NBA. The city also has an ice hockey team (China Dragon) and a baseball team (Shanghai Golden Eagles) which plays in the China Baseball League. The city is the hometown of many outstanding and well-known professional athletes. These include Yao Ming, the 110-meter hurdler Liu Xiang, the table-tennis player Wang Liqin, and the former world women’s single champion and Olympic silver medalist badminton player Wang Yihan. Shanghai started hosting the Chinese Grand Prix (one round of the Formula One World Championship) in 2004. In 2010, the city hosted German Touring Car Masters (DTM), which raced in a street circuit in Pudong. She also stages the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament (part of ATP World Tour Masters 1000), as well as the BMW Masters and WGC-HSBC Champions golf tournaments. The Shanghai Cricket Club was a cricket team that played various international matches between 1866 and 1948. With cricket unpopular in the rest of China, they had been the de facto Chinese national side.