While the four mega cities in China – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are seeing slower growth in recent years, the second-tier cities, represented by Hangzhou, are rising steadily. Selected as the host of 2016 G20 Summit, Hangzhou draws the global attention to its robust economy and vibrant entrepreneurship (with a little help from Alibaba founder, Jack Ma).
Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang Province on China’s southeastern coast, has long been known for its legendary beauty boasting World Heritage Sites of West Lake and the Great Canal. Riding on the wave of G20 Summit, the city looked to more this perceptions beyond scenery, to being considered as a site of economic dynamism and investment.
As this is unprecedented for a Chinese second-tier city to be under the spotlight of such a global event, here we share some statistics to explain has started to charm the world.
Top 10 Chinese cities by GDP in 2015
According to the national data published earlier this year, with a yearly GDP of 1010 billion, Hangzhou becomes the tenth member of the ‘thousand billion city’ league. It was led by the four first-tier cities of Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen (pink columns in descending order), along with second-tier cities of Tianjin, Chongqing, Suzhou, Chengdu and Wuhan (blue columns in descending order).
Although the total GDP of Hangzhou was not as significant as other cities, Hangzhou was most dynamic with the highest GDP growth rate of 11%.
Top 10 cities with the highest GDP in 2016 H1
In a GDP report of 2016 first half year, it reveals a similar trend as in 2015. While Shanghai is leading the league with a GDP of 1295.7 billion RMB, the highest growth rate of 10.8% was recorded by Hangzhou.
The Internet financial development index for internet finance
Along with the GDP growth, Hangzhou showed potential for leadership of Internet finance. In research published by Peking University evaluating the financial performance of Chinese cities in 2015, Hangzhou, once again, beat its peer cities in Internet finance. It ranked the top with a development index of 1123.98 (the first column). Even Shanghai, China’s most international city, falls behind, ranking in 7th place.
The growth rate of the entrepreneurial projects in 2015
Besides economic growth and financial development, more importantly, Hangzhou have show strong support for local entrepreneurs. In the latest municipal research of Hangzhou, the city showed a higher growth rate in entrepreneurial projects of 32.4% (the first bar), than the other three major cities in China of Beijing (30.2%), Shenzhen (29.3%) and Shanghai (27.1%).
Jack Ma, the founder of China’s largest online e-commerce group Alibaba, expressed the same idea in the trailer video he made for G20. The welcoming attitude and support for entrepreneurship is the key reason he Alibaba headquarters in Hangzhou. He states that Hangzhou is entrepreneurial and friendlier to smaller scale private sectors while Beijing tends to prefer state-owned business, and Shanghai likes multinational companies.(The statement starts from 2:17 in the video)