Shenzhen is located at the southern tip of the Chinese mainland on the eastern bank of the mouth of the Pearl River and neighbors Hong Kong. Occupying an area of 1,953 square kilometers, the city has a subtropical marine climate with plenty of rain and sunshine and is rich in tropical fruit. By the end of 2009, there were 8.9123 million permanent residents, of whom 2.4145 million had hukou (household registration).
The brainchild of Deng Xiaoping, the country's first special economic zone was established here by the Chinese Government in 1980. It has been a touchstone for China's reform and opening-up policy since then.
In less than 30 years, Shenzhen, a tiny border town of 30,000 people in 1979, has grown into a modern metropolis. It established many firsts in the history of world industrialization, urbanization and modernization.
A gateway to the world for China, Shenzhen is one of the most developed cities in China and a city that has grown the fastest. Its per capita GDP ranks first among China's major cities.
The city is also the high-tech and manufacturing hub in southern China, the world's fourth-busiest container port, China's fourth-busiest airport and China's fourth-largest tourist destination. In 2009, Shenzhen mapped out plans to promote the development of three new industries - namely biotech, new energy and Internet - which are expected to become pillar high-tech industries that yield 650 billion yuan (US$95 billion) in output value by 2015.
The high-tech, logistics, financial services and cultural industries are mainstays of the city. Shenzhen is the first mainland city to use green GDP, an index of economic growth with environmental consequences of that growth factored in, as a performance measure for the city's development. The city's economic development features low-cost, low-energy consumption but high yield and high profit.
Shenzhen has taken the path of independent innovation to build a State-level innovation-oriented city. In 2009, the city's number of patent applications jumped to third place on the mainland, exceeding 20,000. It had 8,132 patent authorizations, ranking second in China. Its PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) applications numbered 3,800 last year, topping China for the sixth consecutive year.