Shenzhen’s new stats intriguing

Shenzhen has just released its latest Economic and Social Development Statistical Communique, which sheds new light on the city’s development. As is already known,

Shenzhen’s GDP hit RMB2.4 trillion in 2018, up 7.6%, surpassing Hong Kong. But it is still RMB846 billion behind Shanghai, a city with a much bigger population. Shenzhen remains the richest city in the country in per-capita GDP terms, although its growth in the past five years has been gradually slowing.

Despite Guangdong’s overall imports falling, Shenzhen’s are booming: up 19.4% last year to RMB1.37 trillion. Exports fell slightly, down -1.6% to RMB1.63 trillion.

Perhaps the most interesting are those related to the tech economy. The tech sector accounts for more than one third of GDP, led by computing, telecommunications and electronic manufacturing, and sales were up 9% to RMB925.4 billion last year.

Not all districts in the city are growing equally. The biggest, Nanshan, saw its GDP break the RMB500 billion mark, although YoY growth was just 4.5%, behind Longgang, Longhua, and Pingshan – which were all above 10% – and Futian’s 7.4%.


As reported previously, Shenzhen attracted 498,300 more permanent residents last year, ranked number one in China. Here is a collection of other key indicators:

  • Public budget revenue – taxes plus dividends from SOEs – was RMB353.8 billion, up 6.2% and more than double Guangzhou’s RMB163.2 billion. The city recorded a deficit on total expenses of RMB428.25 billion, which were down -6.8%.
  • Shenzhen saw 228,600 patent applications, and 140,200 were approved, up 29.1% and 48.8%, respectively.
  • Manufacturers saw their profit overall dip -4%, although average worker productivity was up 19.1%
  • More than 300 million mobile phones and 20,000 robots were produced. New energy vehicles led sales of all products in terms of YoY growth.
  • F&B sales rose 8.4% to RMB74.4 billion.
  • Real estate investment rose slightly, although completed projects fell by more than 30%, reflecting government restrictions on the market.
  • Total savings stand at RMB7.26 trillion, nearly RMB2 trillion more than Guangzhou’s.
  • The average resident is RMB150,000 in debt, while residential mortgages total RMB2 trillion. Residents spent roughly 30% of their salary on mortgages or rent.
  • Air transport increased 10% to 1.08 million tonnes, while waterway and railway transportation decreased.
  • Train arrivals jumped 16.4%, while airport passenger throughput rose 8.2% to 50 million. The metro carried 1.89 trillion passenger-trips, up 14%.
  • There is roughly one car for every fourth resident (3.36 million total).
  • There are more than two mobile phones for every resident (29.78 million total).
  • There are 650 libraries and 50 museums (Guangzhou has only 31), although it only has 139 hospitals. Shenzhen also has 973 parks, having added 31 last year.
  • Despite a tight land supply, Shenzhen has 59,100 pigs, although this was down -15.7%.

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