China released a list of its most affluent cities with an A+ prosperity index based on residents’ income, consumption, savings, basic public services, economic development and fiscal control.
China’s wealth is not just concentrated in its better-known cities of Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou, but prosperity and purchasing power are rising in other areas of the country.
The affluent areas are mostly in the more developed eastern coast. Besides the four municipalities directly under the central government — Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Chongqing, the three provinces with the most prosperity are eastern China’s Zhejiang Province and Jiangsu Province and Southern China’s Guangdong Province.
There are 42 affluent areas with a total population of 164 million. Topping the list are these 10 cities:
Dongguan, Guangdong Province
Strategically located in the middle of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong economic corridor, Dongguan is one the fastest growing cities in China with a population of almost 6.48 million. It is also the home to the world’s largest shopping mall, South China Mall.
Karamay, Xinjiang Uygur Region
In northwestern China, Karamay or Qaramay comes from the Uyghur language that means “black oil”. In 1955, one of the largest oil fields in China was discovered there.
Suzhou, Jiangsu Province
Located in the Yangtze River Delta economic zone, Suzhou is praised as the ‘Oriental Venice’. Known not just for its natural beauty, history, or cultural heritage, Suzhou has one of the fastest growing economies in China. The city’ GDP has surpassed its neighboring cities in the region except Shanghai. More than 80 of the world’s top Fortune 500 corporations have offices in Suzhou.
Foshan, Guangdong Province
Near Guangzhou city in southern China, Foshan is a modern city and one of the earliest ports involved in foreign trade since China’s open door policy. Foshan is the third largest city in Guangdong Province, combining its manufacturing industries with tourism.
Wuxi, Jiangsu Province
A city on the Yangtse River north of Suzhou and half way between Shanghai and Nanjing, Wuxi is dubbed “Little Shanghai” which refers to its massive economic development. The city is split into halves by the gorgeous Lake Taihu, Wuxi borders Changzhou to the west and Suzhou to the east.
Zhuhai, Guangdong Province
Located in the southwest of the Pearl River, Zhuhai (meaning “pearl” and “sea”) is where the Pearl River flows into the South China Sea. Bordering Hong Kong by sea and Macau by land, Zhuhai is 140-kilometer away from Guangzhou. Due to its proximity to Hong Kong and Macao, the city thrives economically. Zhuhai is also famous for its hot springs and golf clubs.
Zhongshan, Guangdong Province
Formerly known as Xiangshan County, the city was named after Dr. Sun Yatsen (pronounced Zhongshan in mandarin Chinese), and is among the five richest areas in the Zhujiang River Delta. The local government encourages both high quality of living environment and industrial growth. Zhognshan is attractive to investors from home and abroad. The world’s Fortune 500 has set up more than 20 enterprises in the city. At the same time, the local Hi-Tech industry is developing rapidly.
Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province
China’s largest archipelago, Zhoushan is an island in the middle of the “Zhoushan Fishery”, one of the world’s four largest fisheries. In the central part of China’s coastline, it is only nautical miles away from Shanghai.
Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province
Wenzhou lies in the southeastern coast of Zhejiang Province and is an economic and cultural center. For centuries, Wenzhou has relied on shipping, trading and fishing. Its location on the sea has also been crucial to international trades. Wenzhou citizens are progressive and open to western ideas. A modern city with many good hotels, restaurants and a shopping paradise with stores along commercial pedestrian streets. It has a vibrant nightlife.
Changzhou, Jiangsu Province
Changzhou, nicknamed the Dragon Town, is a national tourist hub and one of the provincial industrial centers. Changzhou has remained one of the most developed cities in Jiangsu, ranked third after Suzhou and Wuxi.
There are 23 provinces, five autonomous regions (Guangxi Zhuang, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia Hui, Xinjiang Uygur, and Tibet), four directly administered municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and two highly autonomous special administrative regions – Hong Kong and Macau — under the central government in China today.