Not only Beijing or Shanghai, these 5 PRC Cities’ Economies are Booming


In the not-so-distant future, more than half of the rich Chinese will be in cities we’ve never heard of, that’s why is important to understand which are the raising markets


The list of second-tier cities and new first tier cities includes Chengdu, Wuhan, Yantai, Xian, Shenyang, Nanjing, Xiamen, Dongguan and another metropolis, mostly placed in the eastern part of the country. Second-tier cities have become increasingly attractive for investment. They are some of the fastest growing areas, and consumer behaviour is evolving quickly and, in general, trends are similar to first tier trends.

The second tier is generally made up of provincial capitals, sub-provincial cities, Special Economic Zones such as Shandong Province, and other more developed cities with cultural and economic influence.

The Chinese government doesn’t have an official definition for the tiers and many businesses use slightly different methods for classification such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), political administration, population size, development of services, infrastructure, cosmopolitan nature, retail sales and more. Today we’re going in 5 most booming cities.


Yantai, The Second-Tier is Boosting Shandong Economy



Shandong Province was known as an important region in Chinese ancient civilization – Confucius was born here – and nowadays the area is one of the most important cluster and developed economies in China, and “it is looking to further expand its cooperation with the rest of the world”, said recently Wang Yi, PRC’s Foreign Minister.

Who is boosting Shandong economy? Qingdao, is still the main city of the peninsula, but Yangtai economy growth and development is coming under the spotlight today. The region is working to further advance its innovative ability and competitiveness. Yantai, located along the north coast of the Shandong Peninsula, with almost 7 million people, is currently the second largest industrial city in Shandong, next to Qingdao.

Hi-tech and green economy the new motto: Yantai Port, actually one of the top 10 harbour  in China, is ready to be more involved in Belt and Road Initiative. Actually there are 15 100,000-ton berths in the port, directly accessing to more than 100 harbours all over the world.



Xiamen: the Pearl of Fujian and gateway to southeastern China



Xiamen, second largest city in Fujian Province is growing. The city perfectly embodies the production prototype of China 2.0. Few heavy industrial zones, wide open spaces for high-tech, respect for the environment, and R&D capacity for foreign investors.

Furthermore, Xiamen making an exemplar of a second-tier metropolis that is progressing, developing and looking abroad with curiosity. In short, this city is emerging as a potential market for many foreign brands.

Xiamen is the true pearl of this coastal province and leads to the southeast of the country. Positioned exactly in front of Taiwan and hosting one of the most prestigious universities in all of China, Xiamen has been labeled one of the best Chinese cities for quality of life.

It’s headquarters for the country’s best-known sports brands such as Anta, 360 °, and Peak. Much of the economic success of this second-tier city comes from its nomination as one of the first four Special Economic Zones in China that engaged in trade with the outside world. This advantage, after thirty years, continues today.

Xiamen International Airport welcomes 38 million passengers per year, topping traffic for second-tier cities. Fujian’s flagship airline, Xiamen Airlines, which links the province with some of the best known international destinations such as Amsterdam, Los Angeles, and Singapore, was the first Chinese air carrier founded entirely with private capital. The company has also established 33 new international routes in the past two years.



Nanjing Is Growing and the Time to Invest Is Now



Nanjing, Jiangsu Province capital city, is located in the Yangtze River basin, has recently emerged as one of China’s leading producers of IT products, petrochemicals and automobile components. Nanjing is a rarity in China: the ten- times Chinese capital is one of the very few cities where history, urbanization and nature can be captured simultaneously in one photograph.

Yet it remains relatively unexplored by international travellers. To attract more degree-holding young people to work in Nanjing, the city government on March implemented a policy allowing people under 40 to transfer their hukou to Nanjing — if they hold at least a bachelor’s degree. There is no age restriction for people with master’s or doctoral degrees.

The city’s human resources and social security bureau also announced the same month that it would offer students graduating from universities outside the city coming to attend job interviews a subsidy of 1,000 yuan ($160), which one can apply for via the city’s official app.

And earlier this year, the Nanjing government said that professionals undertaking “major strategic projects” in the city would be eligible to apply for subsidies of at least 3 million yuan to put toward buying a home — or, under the same policy, rent a 200-square-meter “talent apartment” free of charge.



Dongguan, make Greater Bay Area Great Again!



Greater Bay Area has three growth poles, including Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, with advantages in scientific innovation, trade, logistics, finance and services, and it also covers cities with strong manufacturing power in the Pearl River Delta. Among the eleven cities in China’s Greater Bay Area, Huizhou and Zhaoqing became the fastest growing cities in the past decade.

What about Dongguan? This city in the heart of the Pearl River Delta economic zone, is transformed from “world’s factory” to high-tech laboratory and “city of theaters”. From the mid-1980s, Dongguan was China’s leading export and manufacturing base, a hothouse for churning out cheap clothes, toys and shoes bearing the ubiquitous “Made in China” label.  Between 2003 and 2006, the city’s economy grew in excess of 19.5% annually, the fastest in the country. But  it suffered significant loss of economic activity from the impact of the 2008 financial crisis.

Today, with the help of economic input from various levels of government, it is transitioning into a smart manufacturing base focused on producing hi-tech robotics and automated equipment, in the hope that the boom times will return. The city arises again as phoenix.

Last year, Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei moved its data center from Shenzhen to Dongguan, sparking rumors that the company is planning to relocate its headquarters there, too. Plus Dongguan is re-discovering itself again.  In contrast to its industrial image, Dongguan was recognised by the United Nations Environment Programme as an “international garden city” with 10 forest parks, five natural reserves, 13 wetland parks, 1,071 parks and squares and 923.5km of greenways.



Xian: the Chinese city at the start of the New Silk Road


new law for cross-border e-commerce - xi'an - cifnews


Located in central China, Xi’an is the capital of Shaanxi Province. Over the years its strategic position has created easy conditions for excellent connections in its province and in the entire country. For these reasons, it is not surprising that the city is at the center of the New Silk Road strategy to bring the economic prosperity of the People’s Republic to the undeveloped Western regions.

With a population of 8.5 million, Xian is the largest city in the Shaanxi province, but today, this city is also a base for scientific research, higher education, defense, and other hi-tech industries. Why Xian has some way to go to become an innovation hub?

Here are bases PRC most important aerospace industries, such as Xian Aircraft Industrial Corporation, or those companies that produce aircrafts or spaceships components such as carbon fiber materials. Not only “stars and clouds”, Xian-based engineers are PRC frontrunner for Chinese 5g technology.

Xian Hi-tech Industries Development Zone (XHTZ), established in 1991, was one of the earliest Chinese science parks at the national level, and it is regarded as one of the most successful of the 114 national high-tech zones. Thus, in 2014, the State Intellectual Property Office evaluated and selected the Xian Hi-tech Industries Development Zone as a national intellectual property demonstration zone.



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