Beijing, China

Beijing is among the most developed cities in China, with tertiary industry accounting for 73.2% of its gross domestic product (GDP); it was the first post industrial city in mainland China. Beijing is home to 41 Fortune Global 500 companies, the second most in the world behind Tokyo, and over 100 of the largest companies in China. Its overall economic influence has been ranked number 1 by PwC. Finance is one of the most important industries. There are 751 financial organizations in Beijing generating revenue of 128.6 billion RMB, 11.6% of the total financial industry revenue of the entire country. That also accounts for 13.8% of Beijing’s GDP, the highest percentage of any Chinese city. Beijing’s nominal GDP is 1.37 trillion RMB. Its per capita GDP is 78,194 RMB. Beijing’s nominal GDP is 1.19 trillion RMB (US$174 billion). Its GDP per capita is 68,788 RMB (US$10,070). Beijing’s primary, secondary, and tertiary industries are worth 11.83 billion RMB, 274.31 billion RMB, and 900.45 billion RMB respectively. The Beijing central business district (CBD), centered on the Guomao area, has been identified as the city’s new central business district, and is home to a variety of corporate regional headquarters, shopping precincts, and high-end housing. Beijing is increasingly becoming known for its innovative entrepreneurs and high-growth startup companies. This culture is backed by a large community of both Chinese and foreign venture capital firms, such as Sequoia Capital, whose head office in China is in Chaoyang, Beijing. Though Shanghai is seen as the economic center of China, this is typically based on the numerous large corporations based there, rather than for being a center for entrepreneurship.

Hong Kong
Hong Kong, China

As one of the world’s leading international financial centres, Hong Kong has a major capitalist service economy characterised by low taxation and free trade. The currency, Hong Kong dollar, is the eighth most traded currency in the world. Hong Kong was once described by Milton Friedman as the world’s greatest experiment in laissez-faire capitalism, but has since instituted a regime of regulations including a minimum wage. It maintains a highly developed capitalist economy, ranked the freest in the world by the Index of Economic Freedom. It is an important centre for international finance and trade, with one of the greatest concentrations of corporate headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region, and is known as one of the Four Asian Tigers for its high growth rates and rapid development. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the seventh largest in the world, with a market capitalisation of US$2.3 trillion. Hong Kong raised 22 percent of worldwide initial public offering (IPO) capital, making it the largest centre of IPOs in the world and the easiest place to raise capital. The Hong Kong dollar has been pegged to the U.S. dollar since 1983. The Hong Kong Government has traditionally played a mostly passive role in the economy, with little by way of industrial policy and almost no import or export controls. Market forces and the private sector were allowed to determine practical development.

Shanghai, China

Shanghai is the commercial and financial center of mainland China, and ranks fifth in the Global Financial Centres Index published by the City of London. ShanghaiIt was the largest and most prosperous city in the Far East during the 1930s, and rapid re-development began in 1990s. This is exemplified by the Pudong District, which became a pilot area for integrated economic reforms. There are now 787 financial institutions, of which 170 are foreign-invested. The Shanghai Stock Exchange ranks third among worldwide stock exchanges in terms of trading volume and sixth in terms of the total capitalization of listed companies, and the trading volume of six key commodities including rubber, copper and zinc on the Shanghai Futures Exchange all ranked first in the world. In the last two decades Shanghai has been one of the fastest developing cities in the world. Shanghai has recorded double-digit growth almost every year except during the global recession, Shanghai’s total GDP grew to 1.92 trillion yuan (US$297 billion) with GDP per capita of 82,560 yuan (US $12,784). The three largest service industries are financial services, retail, and real estate. The manufacturing and agricultural sectors accounted for 39.9 percent and 0.7 percent of the total output respectively. Shanghai is one of the main industrial centers of China, playing a key role in China’s heavy industries. Heavy industries accounted for 78% of the gross industrial output. China’s largest steelmaker Baosteel Group, China’s largest shipbuilding base – Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group, and the Jiangnan Shipyard, one of China’s oldest shipbuilders are all located in Shanghai. Auto manufacture 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.

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