For all the attention being heaped on Shenzhen lately, Guangzhou is deserving some of its own, too. It is, after all, China’s No. 1 city in two measures much-loved by mainland residents: population mobility and urban vitality.
This is according to Baidu Map, the service that probably knows more about how people move around than any other. Among 100 Chinese cities surveyed by Baidu Map, Guangzhou topped the list with an “attractiveness index” of 14.277, ahead of Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
Guangzhou had 14.904 million permanent residents at the end of last year. The government plans to increase its population to around 20 million by 2035.
The reasons why Guangzhou is appealing to outsiders can be summarized as follows:
- The city has fantastic landscape as well as mild and humid climate. It even ranked among the top five livable cities of China last year.
- It has been at the forefront of Reform and Opening, with a dynamic economic structure and good public facilities, such as hospitals and universities.
- A highly diversified economy provides more opportunities for job seekers from various sectors.
- Industrial upgrading in the GBA has increased Guangzhou’s attractiveness as the southern China base for multinational companies.
- House prices in Guangzhou are relatively more affordable compared to other major cities.
The local government has also rolled out a series of measures to attract talent.
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The special economic zone on the southern tip of Guangzhou is experimenting with some bold, innovative reforms. From the farmlands of Hengli Island, a new financial powerhouse is rising.
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