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Foshan montage.jpg
Clockwise from top right: Zumiao of Foshan, Qingyun Tower in Shunfengshan Park, Gaoming, Guanyin atop Mount Xiqiao, & Downtown Foshan in Chancheng District
Guangdong subdivisions - Foshan.svg
Location of Foshan in Guangdong
Coordinates: 23°01′0″N113°07′0″E / 23.01667°N 113.11667°E / 23.01667; 113.11667 Coordinates: 23°01′0″N113°07′0″E / 23.01667°N 113.11667°E / 23.01667; 113.11667
Country People's Republic of China
Province Guangdong
Municipal seat Chancheng District
   CPC Committee SecretaryLu Yi (鲁毅)
   Mayor Zhu Wei (朱伟)
   Prefecture-level city 3,848.49 km2 (1,485.91 sq mi)
  Water690 km2 (270 sq mi)
3,848.49 km2 (1,485.91 sq mi)
17,572.9 km2 (6,784.9 sq mi)
16 m (52 ft)
   Prefecture-level city 7,197,394
  Density1,900/km2 (4,800/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+8 (China Standard Time)
Postal code
Area code(s) (0)757
ISO 3166 code CN-GD-06
License plate prefixes 粤E
粤Y(for motor vehicles registered in Nanhai before February 2018),
粤X(for motor vehicles registered in Shunde before February 2018)
GDP ¥ 701.0 billion (2013)
GDP per capita ¥ 96,535 (2011)
Foshan (Chinese characters).svg
"Foshan" in Chinese characters
Chinese 佛山
Hanyu Pinyin Fóshān
Cantonese Yale Fahtsàan or Fahtsāan
Postal Fatshan
Literal meaning"Buddha Mountain"

Foshan,alternately romanized as Fatshan, is a prefecture-level city in central Guangdong Province, China. The entire prefecture covers 3,848.49 km2 (1,485.91 sq mi) and has an urban population around 7.2 million in 2012. It forms part of the western side of the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone, which includes Guangzhou to the east and northeast and Zhongshan to the southeast.

The romanization of Chinese is the use of the Latin alphabet to write Chinese. Chinese uses a logographic script, and its characters do not represent phonemes directly. There have been many systems using Roman characters to represent Chinese throughout history. Linguist Daniel Kane recalls, "It used to be said that sinologists had to be like musicians, who might compose in one key and readily transcribe into other keys." The dominant international standard for Putonghua since about 1982 has been Hanyu Pinyin. Other well-known systems include Wade-Giles (Mandarin) and Yale Romanization.

Prefecture-level city Peoples Republic of China prefecture-level subdivision

A prefectural-level municipality, prefectural-level city or prefectural city; formerly known as province-administrated city from 1949 to 1983, is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China (PRC), ranking below a province and above a county in China's administrative structure. Prefectural level cities form the second level of the administrative structure. Administrative chiefs (mayors) of prefectural level cities generally have the same rank as a division chief of a national ministry. Since the 1980s, most former prefectures have been renamed into prefectural level cities.

Guangdong Most populous province of the Peoples Republic of China

Guangdong is a coastal province in South China on the north shore of South China Sea. Its capital of the province is Guangzhou. With a population of 113.46 million across a total area of about 179,800 km2 (69,400 sq mi), Guangdong is the most populous province of China and the 15th-largest by area. Its economy is larger than that of any other province in the nation and the 6th largest sub-national economy in the world with a GDP size of 1.47 trillion US dollars in 2018. The Pearl River Delta Economic Zone, a Chinese megalopolis, is a core for high technology, manufacturing and foreign trade. Located in this zone are two of the four top Chinese cities and the top two Chinese prefecture-level cities by GDP; Guangzhou, the capital of the province, and Shenzhen, the first special economic zone in the country. These two are among the most populous and important cities in China, and have now become two of the world's most populous megacities.


Foshan is regarded as the home of Cantonese opera, a genre of Chinese opera; Nanquan, a martial art; and lion dancing.

Cantonese opera Chinese opera tradition originating in Guangdong province

Cantonese opera is one of the major categories in Chinese opera, originating in southern China's Guangdong Province. It is popular in Guangdong, Guangxi, Hong Kong, Macau and among Chinese communities in Southeast Asia. Like all versions of Chinese opera, it is a traditional Chinese art form, involving music, singing, martial arts, acrobatics, and acting.

Nanquan Southern Chinese martial arts

Nanquan refers to a classification of Chinese martial arts that originated south of the Yangtze River of China with emphasis on "short hitting" on the arms movement predominantly on southern styes such as Hung Kuen, Choi Lei Fut, Hak Fu Mun, Wuzuquan, Wing Chun and so on.

Lion dance traditional Chinese dance in which performers mimic a lion in a lion costume to bring good luck and fortune, usually performed during the Chinese New Year and other important days

Lion dance is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture and other Asian countries in which performers mimic a lion's movements in a lion costume to bring good luck and fortune. The lion dance is usually performed during the Chinese New Year and other Chinese traditional, cultural and religious festivals. It may also be performed at important occasions such as business opening events, special celebrations or wedding ceremonies, or may be used to honour special guests by the Chinese communities.


"Faesan" (Foshan), from Nieuhof's 1665 Embassy of the Dutch East India Company to the Emperor of China Nieuhof-Ambassade-vers-la-Chine-1665 0837.tif
"Faesan" (Foshan), from Nieuhof's 1665 Embassy of the Dutch East India Company to the Emperor of China

Fóshān is the pinyin romanization of the city's Chinese name 佛山 , based on its Mandarin pronunciation. The Postal Map spelling "Fatshan" derives from the same name's local Cantonese pronunciation. Other romanizations include Fat-shan [2] and Fat-shun. [3] Foshan means "Buddha  Mountain" and, despite the more famous present-day statue of Guanyin or Kwanyin on Mount Xiqiao, who isn't a Buddha, it refers to a smaller hill near the centre of town where three bronze sculptures of Buddha were discovered in AD 628. The town grew up around a monastery founded nearby that was destroyed in 1391. [4]

Pinyin Chinese romanization scheme for Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.

Chinese language family of languages

Chinese is a group of related, but in many cases not mutually intelligible, language varieties, forming the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Chinese is spoken by the ethnic Chinese majority and many minority ethnic groups in China. About 1.2 billion people speak some form of Chinese as their first language.

Mount Xiqiao mountain

Mount Xiqiao is a 40- to 50-million-year-old extinct volcano situated in the south west of the Nanhai District, Foshan, Guangdong, People's Republic of China 68 km (42 mi) from Guangzhou. The mountain is an important scenic area and designated as a national forest park and national geological park. Covering an area of 14 square kilometres (5.4 sq mi), the area features a total of 72 peaks with the highest, Dacheng Peak (大秤峰), rising to 346 m (1,135 ft).


Foshan remained a minor settlement on the Fen River for most of China's history. It developed around a Tang-era Buddhist monastery that was destroyed in 1391. [4] The Foshan Ancestral Temple, a Taoist temple to the Northern God (Beidi) that was rebuilt in 1372, became the new focus of the community by the 15th century. [4] By the early Ming, Foshan had grown into one of the four great markets in China, primarily on the strength of its local ceramics but also on account of its metalwork. [5] Under the Qing, its harbor on the Fen River was limited to ships of a thousand tons' burden but it remained well connected with Guangdong's other ports. [5] By the 19th century, it was considered the "Birmingham of China", with its steel industry responsible for the consumption of the majority of the province's iron production. [3] It was connected to Guangzhou and Sanshui by rail in the early 20th century. [5] The Ancestral Temple was converted into the Foshan Municipal Museum upon the victory of the Communists in the Chinese Civil War in 1949.

Tang dynasty State in Chinese history

The Tang dynasty or the Tang Empire was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period in Chinese history. Historians generally regard the Tang as a high point in Chinese civilization, and a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Tang territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, rivaled that of the Han dynasty. The Tang capital at Chang'an was the most populous city in the world in its day.

Foshan Ancestral Temple building in Foshan, China

Foshan Ancestral Temple aka. Foshan Zumiao is a Daoist temple in Foshan, Guangdong, China. It is a national AAAA tourist attraction approved by the China National Tourism Administration, covering an area of 25,000 square metres (270,000 sq ft). Foshan Ancestral Temple captures a million visitors at home and abroad every year with its well preserved ancient construction complex and its luxuriant folk culture. Foreign leaders and celebrities of various counties are frequent visitors of the temple.

Taoist temple

A Taoist temple is a place of worship in Taoism.

Foshan remained primarily focused on ceramic and steel production until the 1950s, when it became an urbanizing political center. On 26 June 1951 it left Nanhai County to become a separate county-level city and, in 1954, it was made the seat of the prefectural government. [5] Its economy stagnated through the Cultural Revolution—traditional ceramic ware was forbidden and its workshops were turned to producing Maoist and Revolutionary folderol — but it continued to grow, reaching 300,000 people by the 1970s, making it the province's second city after Guangzhou. [5] As early as 1973, however, its agriculture and consumer industries were permitted to become an export production base and a modern highway linked it to Guangzhou soon after; this permitted its party secretary Tong Mengqing and mayor Yu Fei to take full advantage when Deng Xiaoping introduced his Opening Up policies after the fall of the Gang of Four. [5] In 1983, Foshan was promoted to a prefecture-level city with its former core becoming the new Chancheng District, but lost the southwestern half of its former territory to Jiangmen. [5] On 8 December 2002, Shunde and Nanhai joined its urban core as a full district. Shunde has gone on to obtain an unusual autonomous status in 2009, placing its oversight in the hands of the provincial government rather than the prefectural one.

Urbanization in China Urbanization in the peoples republic of China

Urbanization in China increased in speed following the initiation of the reform and opening policy. By the end of 2017, 58.52% of the total population lived in urban areas, a dramatic increase from 17.92% in 1978.

Nanhai County was a former county in Guangdong Province, China, named after the South China Sea.

County-level city Peoples Republic of China county-level subdivision

A county-level municipality, county-level city, or county city is a county-level administrative division of mainland China. County-level cities are usually governed by prefecture-level divisions, but a few are governed directly by province-level divisions. Formerly known as prefecture-controlled city.


Foshan lies on the Fen River in the estuaries making up the west side of the Pearl River Delta. Guangzhou lies 25 kilometers (16 mi) to the northeast, Zhongshan to the southeast, Jiangmen to the south, Qingyuan to the west, and Zhaoqing to the west. [6]

Fen River river in the Peoples Republic of China

The Fen River drains the center of Shanxi Province, China. It rises in the Guancen Mountains of Ningwu County in northeast Shanxi, flows southeast into the basin of Taiyuan, and then south through the central valley of Shanxi before turning west to join the Yellow River west of Hejin. The Fen and the Wei Rivers are the two largest tributaries of the Yellow River. The river is 694 kilometers (431 mi) long and drains an area of 39,417 km2 (15,219 sq mi), 25.3% of Shanxi's area. The Fen River is the longest in Shanxi. It is also the second-longest tributary of the Yellow River. Within Taiyuan, the Fen runs from north to south; the prefecture includes one-seventh of the river's course.

Pearl River Delta Metropolitan region and area

The Pearl River Delta Metropolitan Region is the low-lying area surrounding the Pearl River estuary, where the Pearl River flows into the South China Sea. It is one of the most densely urbanized regions in the world, and is often considered as a megacity. It is now the wealthiest region in South China and one of the wealthiest in the whole of China along with Yangtze River Delta in East China and Jingjinji in North China. The region's economy is referred to as Pearl River Delta Economic Zone, it is also part of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.

Guangzhou Prefecture-level and Sub-provincial city in Guangdong, Peoples Republic of China

Guangzhou, also known as Canton and formerly romanized as Kwangchow or Kwong Chow, is the capital and most populous city of the province of Guangdong in southern China. On the Pearl River about 120 km (75 mi) north-northwest of Hong Kong and 145 km (90 mi) north of Macau, Guangzhou has a history of over 2,200 years and was a major terminus of the maritime Silk Road, and continues to serve as a major port and transportation hub, as well as one of China's three largest cities.


Foshan experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa).


The prefecture-level city of Foshan administers five county-level divisions, all of which are districts. The five districts are Chancheng, Nanhai, Sanshui, Gaoming and Shunde.

Administrative divisions of Foshan
(km2) [8]
(2010) [9]
Subdivisions [10]
Subdistricts Towns Residential
440600Foshan3848.497197394 Chancheng 5280001121408328
440604 Chancheng 154.151,101,077 Zumiao Subdistrict 528000318954
440605 Nanhai 1073.942,588,844 Guicheng Subdistrict 5282001618367
440606 Shunde 806.552,464,784 Daliang Subdistrict 5283004693108
440607 Sanshui 874.22622,645 Xinan Subdistrict 528100252248
440608 Gaoming 939.64420,044 Hecheng Subdistrict 528500132151

These are further divided into 32 township-level divisions, including 11 subdistricts and 21 towns.

Foshan is close to Guangzhou and considers its link with Guangzhou to be very important. As such, it is part of the Pearl River Delta and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area metropolis, centered on Guangzhou.


Foshan has been well known for its ceramics since the Ming dynasty, although it was forced to cease production during the Cultural Revolution. [5]

Foshan had a ¥8.01 trillion gross domestic product in 2015, raising its per capita GDP past ¥10,000. [11] Shunde District in particular has a high standard of living, with its 3,000+ electronical appliance factories responsible for more than half of the world's air conditioners and refrigerators. [12] Foshan now has more than 30 towns specialized in particular industries, including furniture, machinery, and beverages. [12]

The Foshan Hi-Tech Development Zone was founded in 1992. Its total planned area is 7.55 km2 (2.92 sq mi). The zone is very close to the national highway G325 as well as Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport. The major industries in the zone including automobile assembly, biotechnology and chemicals processing. [13]


A dialect from the Samyap branch of the Cantonese language is being used by the city natives. Besides that, Mandarin is also used, mainly in business and education, although the city natives don't use much of it in their daily lives.


Foshan railway station Foshan railway station.jpg
Foshan railway station

In 2013 to 2014, Foshan planned to improve public transportation by putting forward six measures: [14]


The first line of FMetro opened in 2010, and another two lines are under construction and due to be completed in 2015 and 2020.

The existing line of FMetro network:


Foshan is a main interchange for railway routes linking Guangzhou, Hong Kong and western Guangdong Province. It is connected with Hong Kong via the KCRC Guangdong Through Train service from Foshan Railway Station, an inter-city train service that was extended from Guangzhou to Foshan in the 1990s.[ citation needed ]


There are coach bus services connecting Foshan with Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). [15]


Foshan University's front gate Foshan University Front Gate.jpg
Foshan University's front gate

Like all schools in China, Mandarin is the sole language-of-instruction.

Elementary Schools:

Middle Schools:

High schools:



Foshan will be one of the host cities for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. [16]

The city hosted events during the 2010 Asian Games. Synchronized swimming at the Foshan Aquatics Center and boxing at the Foshan Gymnasium. [17]

In October 2014 the city hosted The Foshan Open golf event on the European Challenge Tour. [18]

Two professional football teams have played in Foshan. From 1989 to 1997 Foshan Fosti (now disbanded) played at the New Plaza Stadium in Chancheng (now demolished). Foshan Fosti mainly played in the second tier, but did play in the eight team top tier in 1993. In 2007, newly created Guangdong Sunray Cave played at Nanhai District Stadium (now demolished), before moving to the Century Lotus Stadium in 2008. Sunray Cave then moved to Guangzhou, although did play the final games of the 2013 China League One back at Century Lotus Stadium. They returned to Guangzhou in 2014 and then disbanded. [19]


Foshan Ancestral Temple GZ FS Prayers 3.jpg
Foshan Ancestral Temple

Sister cities

Notable people

Related Research Articles

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Zhongshan Prefecture-level city in Guangdong, Peoples Republic of China

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Jiangmen Prefecture-level city in Guangdong, Peoples Republic of China

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Shunde District District in Guangdong, Peoples Republic of China

Shunde District, also known as Shuntak, is a district of the city of Foshan, Guangdong province, located in the Pearl River Delta. Once a traditional agricultural county, it has become one of the most affluent counties in Guangdong and mainland China. Since 2009, it is administrated independently of Foshan city, answerable directly to the Guangdong provincial government.

Sanshui District District in Guangdong, Peoples Republic of China

Sanshui District, formerly romanized as Samshui, is an urban district of the prefecture-level city of Foshan in Guangdong province, China. It had about 386,000 inhabitants in 2002. It is known for the "Samsui women", emigrants who labor in Singapore, and for a large fireworks explosion in 2008.

South Central China Geographic region

South central China is a region of the People's Republic of China defined by governmental bureaus that includes the provinces of Guangdong, Hainan, Henan, Hubei, and Hunan, and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, however the two provincial-level special administrative regions (SAR) are also often included under south central China: Hong Kong and Macau. This part is often divided into south China (华南) and central China (华中) regions due to difference between civilian customs.

Nanhai District District in Guangdong, Peoples Republic of China

Nanhai District, is a district of Foshan, Guangdong, China. Its government is the first to have developed e-government informatization at the county level in China.

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Chancheng District District in Guangdong, Peoples Republic of China

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Guangfo Metro inter-city line of the Guangzhou Metro and Foshan Metro

Guangfo Metro, Guangfo line, or Line 1 of the FMetro, formerly known as Guangzhou–Foshan intercity railway or Guangfo intercity railway is a regional intercity metro line that connects the Chinese cities Foshan and Guangzhou. The line is currently 20 km (12 mi) long and has 14 stations, which are all underground. When the line is completed, it will have 32.2 km (20.0 mi) of tracks and 21 stations, of which 17.4 km (10.8 mi) of tracks and 10 stations will be located in Guangzhou. It was expected to start construction in 2002 with a tentative opening in 2009. However, due to capital shortage, its construction was claimed to be suspended until it resumed in 2007. The section between Kuiqi Lu and Xilang was completed in 2010 while the route between Yangang and Lijiao will be completed in 2016. The Xilang-Yangang section began operation on December 28, 2015. Since 24 April 2016, Wi-Fi is available across the entire line.

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Shunde railway station

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Foshan Metro metro system of the city of Foshan in Guangdong Province of China

Foshan Metro is the rapid transit system of the city of Foshan in Guangdong Province of China. It is operated by the state-owned Foshan Railway Investment Construction Group and partly by Guangzhou Metro Corporation and is the tenth metro system to be built in mainland China. Construction began in 2002 and the first line opened on 3 November 2010. The metro system has two new lines and one extension under construction.

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