Shanghai City Guide: Economic Performance, Brand Strength and Reputation

Shanghai, characterized by its iconic, modern Luijazui skyline, is one of the biggest cities in the world. It is a major transport hub, as well as an increasingly important global financial center. Home to the largest free-trade zone of mainland China, how does this huge metropolis do in terms of city performance, brand strength and reputation?

In our Shanghai city guide:

  • Shanghai’s economic performance
  • Shanghai a good place to live?
  • The city’s global power, reputation and innovation potential

Shanghai’s economic performance

Shanghai is located on the eastern coastline of China and sits at the tip of the Yangtze River. Its name literally translates into ‘upon-the-sea,’ which could be seen as symbolic for its importance as harbor city. According to Llyod’s List Top 100 Port Reports (2017), Shanghai is the busiest transhipment hub of the world, since 2010.

Not just is the city important in terms of transport, it can also be considered one of the most important global financial centers. The Global Financial Centres Index ranks Shanghai 5th, closely followed by Hong Kong and Singapore.

Shanghai a good place to live?

The city's strong economic performance is not reflected in its attractiveness as healthy city to live in. The Healthiest Cities study ranks Shanghai only 87 th (out of 89 cities). Especially the ratio of obese adults, the food and air quality and the (easy) accessibility to fast-food outlets have contributed to this low position.

The Sustainable Cities Index comes to a similar verdict. In the sub-index ‘people,’ the city is ranked 67th. This is a little better than the study's overall position for Shanghai (76th), but still very low.

It should be taken into account that Shanghai is doing better than most other 'megacities' with comparable population size (such as Mumbai or Beijing).

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The Editorial Team

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