Four megacities drive urban-cluster boom, report says

China's four megacities Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen have driven the emergence and prosperity of the country's urban clusters, according to a report issued Tuesday.


An aerial view of Xiamen, Fujian Province. (File photo: China News Service)

The report Cities of Opportunity 2018, jointly released by the China Development Research Foundation and PricewaterhouseCoopers, surveyed 30 Chinese cities on 10 dimensions, including intellectual capital, innovation and technological maturity.

The four megacities, with Beijing in first place, played a strategic role in promoting economic development and social growth in three clusters.

Beijing, seen as the center of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Shanghai as the head of the Yangtze River Economic Zone, and Shenzhen and Guangzhou as the center cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, have driven China's three urban agglomerations, and will probably help create new urban clusters, the report said.

In addition, Beijing leads other cities in five factors—intellectual capital and innovation, technology maturity, health and safety, transportation and urban planning, and economic influence. Shanghai, as the country's biggest business and financial center, scored highest in regional importance and business environment.

Shenzhen has exceeded Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, in overall economic development and enterprise development in the past 40 years, said Jin Jun, a partner with PwC's China strategic consulting department. However, Jin said Guangzhou will see huge development opportunity due to its beneficial regional place in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.

Hangzhou, Wuhan, Nanjing, Chengdu and Xiamen have made them the new engines promoting the development of Chinese urbanization, said the report.