Your City Match: Shanghai


  Population: 24.2 million

  Average Wage: $18,828/year

  Air Quality Index: 124 (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups)

  Migrant Percentage: 40.2%

Located on the coast where the Yangtze River meets the East China Sea, Shanghai is the most cosmopolitan and modern city in mainland China. Shanghai is home to the world’s busiest port, Asia’s second-largest stock exchange, and now an iconic and instantly recognizable skyline. Its economy is very diverse, spanning finance, manufacturing, and logistics. One of the largest international banks, HSBC, has its dual headquarters in Shanghai and London, and the American International Group was in fact founded in Shanghai in 1919. Beyond financial institutions, the city is also home to China’s largest steelmaker Baowu Steel Group and SAIC Motors, one of the “big four” state-owned automakers.

Because of its high quality of life and modern amenities, Shanghai holds significant appeal for expats, totaling about 170,000 today (roughly the size of Providence, Rhode Island). Public transport is very convenient as the city has one of the largest metro systems in the world, consisting of 16 lines stretching over 400 miles. English is more prevalent in Shanghai than in other Chinese cities, and there is no shortage of Starbucks. Top attractions in Shanghai include The Bund, a string of historic European buildings overlooking the Huangpu River. The French Concession is also a lively neighborhood full of boutique bars, music venues, and expensive real estate. Given its pulsing energy, diversity, and cosmopolitanism, the city is often compared to New York City.

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