Shanghai continues to improve as one of China’s most dynamic cities

SHANGHAI, March 27, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A news report from

Shanghai has solidified its position as one of China’s most dynamic cities, leading the country in the dimensions of regional importance, culture and life, and economic influence, according to the Chinese Cities of Opportunity 2024 report released March 20.

The report, a collaboration between the China Development Research Foundation and global consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), offers a comprehensive assessment of 57 cities across 10 dimensions and 50 variables.

Shanghai ranked second only to Beijing in terms of overall strength, with Shenzhen and Guangzhou taking the third and fourth positions, respectively, according to the report, which was launched in 2014 and has since become an annual event.

Besides its leading performance in regional importance, culture and life, and economic influence, Shanghai has shown rapid improvement in technology and innovation, ease of doing business, and particularly in intellectual capital.

The assessment of intellectual capital involves evaluating a city’s investment in innovation resources, intellectual capital reserves, and foundational research levels, using variables such as “key laboratories” and “science and technology expenditure”.

Shanghai’s commitment to research and development in recent years has elevated the city’s rank from the fourth to the third in the intellectual capital dimension. Official data indicates that Shanghai’s expenditure on research and development in 2023 represented about 4.4 percent of the city’s GDP, a 0.2 percentage point increase from the previous year, with expectations to reach around 4.5 percent in 2024.

In terms of culture and quality of life, Shanghai continues to lead nationwide. For instance, cinemas and consumer vitality rank first nationwide, while museums and public libraries rank second.

The report further emphasizes the increasing significance of cities in the Yangtze River Delta, highlighting notable progress for cities like Suzhou and Hangzhou.

PwC notes that the overall strong performance of the Yangtze River Delta cities underscores the region’s balanced and mature development, positioning it as a key economic growth pole.


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