Shenzhen Government Online
Business Environment
From: Invest Shenzhen
Updated: 2018-11-20


Innovation is in Shenzhen's genes. Shenzhen was the first city in China to be named a National Self-Innovation Demonstration Zone, and is forging to be an international innovation center for science and technology. It holds a leading position in fields such as electronic information, the Internet, bioindustry, and new energy. Shenzhen has fostered Huawei, ZTE, Tencent, BYD Auto, BGI, DJI, Kuang-chi, Royole and a wide array of other high-tech enterprises, making it a true capital of innovation.

  • Shenzhen has been ranked first by Forbes China on its listing of 2017 Chinese Mainland's best cities for innovation.

  • Shenzhen was named as the Silicon Delta by The Economist (UK).

  • Shenzhen once again ranked first on the China Institute of City Competitiveness’s "Top 10 Chinese Mainland Cities for Innovation."

  • Shenzhen-Hong Kong has been ranked second among the world’s innovation clusters on the listing of 2017 Global Innovation Index Report co-published by the World Intellectual Property Organization and other institutions.

  • Shenzhen has been listed as one of the best cities for innovation and entrepreneurship.

  • Shenzhen has named a Demonstration City for Small and Micro Enterprise Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

  • Total investment from across all sectors of Shenzhen’s society into research and development exceeded 90 billion yuan, representing 4.13% of GDP.

  • The number of PCT patent applications filed in Shenzhen has constituted approximately half of the entire nation's PCT applications for 14 consecutive years.

  • Shenzhen is home to 11,230 national-grade high and new technology enterprises.


Shenzhen is a beautiful city. Located south of the Tropic of Cancer at the boundary between the tropics and sub-tropics, the city boasts a warm and comfortable climate and approximately 260 kilometers of coastline, bestowing it with a pleasant coastal ambiance and a clean, fresh charm. Shenzhen not only has an excellent natural environment, but also places great emphasis on green low-carbon development, which has become a point of pride for the city—Shenzhen is an advocate for using fewer resources and lower energy consumption to obtain higher-quality economic results.

  • Shenzhen is on the United Nation’s Environment Programme’s "Global 500 Roll of Honor," and was the first “International Garden City” in China.

  • Shenzhen has one of China’s “Eight Most Beautiful Coastlines.”

  • The New York Times selected Shenzhen as one of 31 Places to Go worldwide.

  • Shenzhen has 921 parks, and tree/plant coverage in the urban area is above 45%.

  • Shenzhen’s energy and water consumption per 10,000 yuan of GDP both rank at the lowest (best) levels of all of Chinese Mainland cities.

  • International Talent magazine selected Shenzhen as “one of the three most popular Chinese Mainland cities with foreign talent.”

  • Shenzhen’s air quality was among the best in Chinese Mainland in this category.


Shenzhen is China's portal to the world, and is an emerging immigrant city. The large number of highly cultured people gathered here from around the globe ensures that this is a fantastically vibrant city, and the city has correspondingly embraced the philosophy that "once you've come, you're a Shenzhener." Shenzhen's unique population structure has injected it with a burst of human and economic vibrancy and endowed it with an open, inclusive, innovative and perse approach to life and business. Here, cultures and ideas from a multitude of nations mingle and fuse, resulting in an endless procession of innovations, creations, and new ideas that have made Shenzhen into a "global maker capital".

  • Shenzhen has been honored by UNESCO as a Global Model City for The Promotion of Reading.

  • Shenzhen has 1.54 million registered volunteers, leading to the city being called a “City of Volunteers.”

  • Shenzhen was bestowed with the title “National Model City for Harmonious Community Building”.

  • Shenzhen has been honored as a National Civilized City

  • 95% of Shenzhen's permanent resident population has moved to the city from somewhere else.

  • The average city resident is only 32.5 years old.

  • Over 90% of city residents are of working age.


As the Chinese mainland's first special economic zone, Shenzhen is Mainland China's most "marketized" city and enjoys robust, all-around economic development. Over the past 30+ years, Shenzhen’s average annual GDP growth has been 25%, making it one of the world’s most rapidly developing cities, and allowing this former small fishing village to complete a metamorphosis, nearly overnight, into one of China’s most economically developed metropolises. With its level playing field and the abundant respect it shows to enterprise, Shenzhen is not only a world-class home for corporations, but is also a cradle for start-up companies. The city's business-friendly policies have allowed it to foster the Fortune Global 500 enterprises China Ping An Insurance, Huawei, China Merchants Bank, Amer, Vanke, and Tencent.

  • Shenzhen was ranked as the most successful of the world's more than 4,300 special economic zones by The Economist (UK).

  • Shenzhen was part of the first group of "Broadband China" model cities, and is a pilot city in the Information for the People program.

  • On the Global Financial Centers Index (GFCI), Shenzhen ranked as the #20 city for finance worldwide, a category in which it placed third on China's mainland.

  • Shenzhen ranked sixth in economic competitiveness worldwide in the 2017-2018 Global City Competitiveness Report.

  • In 2017, the city's GDP was about 2.2 trillion yuan—its economic output ranked third among China's mainland's medium and large cities.

  • Shenzhen has fostered seven Fortune Global 500 enterprises.

  • 280 of Fortune Global 500 enterprises have made investments in Shenzhen.

  • There are more than 3 million commercial entities citywide, ranking Shenzhen first in China in both its number and density of commercial entities.


Shenzhen’s municipal government is one of China’s most efficient governments, and is an advocate for the establishment of law-abiding, honest, and service-oriented governance. The city has made full use of the legislative advantages conferred by its status as a special economic zone to establish a fair, transparent, and relaxed business environment.

To further its goals of becoming more marketized, improving its law-based governance, and becoming more international, the city has exerted great efforts to promote numerous reforms, optimize administrative procedures, and simplify and decentralize government. Shenzhen led the nation in its reform of the commercial registration system and in the simplification of the procedures required for company incorporation, both improvements that have inspired an enthusiasm for entrepreneurship—the amount of time needed to register a company in Shenzhen has been reduced from twenty business days to one business day.

  • Shenzhen’s government was bestowed with the title “National Model City for Law-abiding Governance” in the Assessment Report on Law-Abiding Government in China 2017.
  • Shenzhen ranked first in overall competitiveness in China in the Chinese Academy of Social Science's City Competitiveness Blue Paper.

  • Shenzhen was ranked first on the China Urban Healthy Development Index for 4 consecutive years.

  • Shenzhen has been ranked first for government efficiency on the listing of 2017 Mainland China’s Top Ten Most Efficient Governments published by China Institute of City Competitiveness.


Shenzhen's favorable geographic location neighboring Hong Kong has bestowed it with exceptional advantages, allowing it to become an important transportation hub for the Asia-Pacific region. Shenzhen possesses an international deep water port and adjacent facilities, a large international airport, and the largest land port of entry in China. The city is also a nexus of China’s highway, railway and passenger transport systems.

Shenzhen is located in the Pearl River Delta, a region that has infrastructure, equipment, and facilities unequaled elsewhere in the world. From Shenzhen, almost any part or piece of equipment needed for industry can be purchased with less than an hour’s drive, meaning that achievements in scientific research can be quickly transformed into innovative products. There is no appreciable distance between Shenzhen and the world’s most developed markets—the crossing with Hong Kong is open 24 hours a day, and Hong Kong airport is only an hour’s ride away. Products can be sent on their way to anywhere in the world within an hour of being manufactured and leaving the factory via the ports of entry/exit connecting Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) magazine has listed Shenzhen as one of its “10 Asia-Pacific Cities of the Future.”

Shenzhen leads other Chinese cities in overall subway rankings in the TOD Development Index Report for China’s Urban Railways.

  • The values of Shenzhen's total foreign trade and exports exceeded 280 million yuan, and its exports have ranked first in the nation for 25 consecutive years.

  • Shenzhen's port-handling capacity ranks third worldwide for container ports for 5 consecutive years.

  • Passenger traffic of Shenzhen's Bao'an International Airport has exceeded 45 million passengers.