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Hangchow, Hang Tsei
Hangzhou montage.png
Top: View of the "Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon" at West Lake, Middle left: Liuhe Pagoda, Middle upper right: Su Causeway at West Lake, Middle lower right: Hu Xueyan Residence Garden, Bottom: Huxin Pavilion on West Lake
Hangzhou City Seal.png
Location of Hangzhou City jurisdiction in Zhejiang
China edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location in China
Coordinates: 30°15′N120°10′E / 30.250°N 120.167°E / 30.250; 120.167 Coordinates: 30°15′N120°10′E / 30.250°N 120.167°E / 30.250; 120.167
Country People's Republic of China
Province Zhejiang
  TypeSub-provincial city
  Party Secretary Zhou Jiangyong ( 周江勇 )
   Prefecture-level & Sub-provincial city 16,596 km2 (6,408 sq mi)
8,000 km2 (3,000 sq mi)
34,585 km2 (13,353 sq mi)
   Prefecture-level & Sub-provincial city 9,806,000
  Density590/km2 (1,500/sq mi)
22,594,000 Hangzhou Metropolitan Area (including Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Jiaxing, Huzhou) [1]
  National rank
Demonym(s) Hangzhouians
Time zone UTC+8 (China Standard)
Postal code
ISO 3166 code CN-ZJ-01
GDP (Nominal) 2018
 - Total CNY 1.35092 trillion
(US$204.15 billion)
 - Per capitaCNY¥140,180
 - GrowthIncrease2.svg 6.7%
 - Metro (2018) CNY 2.6517 trillion [1]
(US$400.7 billion)
Licence plate prefixes浙A
Regional variety Wu: Hangzhou dialect
Website City of Hangzhou
City tree
Camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora)City flower
Sweet Osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans)
Hangzhou (Chinese characters).svg
"Hangzhou" in Chinese characters
Chinese 杭州
Wu ɦaŋ-tsei (Hangzhou dialect)
Postal Hangchow
Literal meaning"Hang Prefecture"
Simplified Chinese 钱塘
Traditional Chinese 錢塘

Hangzhou (Mandarin: [xǎŋ.ʈʂóu] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); local dialect: /ɦɑ̃.tse/), formerly romanized as Hangchow, is the capital and most populous city of Zhejiang Province in East China. [2] It sits at the head of Hangzhou Bay, which separates Shanghai and Ningbo. Hangzhou grew to prominence as the southern terminus of the Grand Canal and has been one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China for much of the last millennium. The city's West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage site immediately west of the city, is among its best-known attractions. A study [3] conducted by PwC and China Development Research Foundation saw Hangzhou ranked first among "Chinese Cities of Opportunity". Hangzhou is also considered a World City with a "Beta+" classification according to GaWC. [4]

Mandarin Chinese major branch of Chinese spoken across most of northern and southwestern China

Mandarin is a group of related varieties of Chinese spoken across most of northern and southwestern China. The group includes the Beijing dialect, the basis of Standard Chinese or Standard Mandarin. Because Mandarin originated in North China and most Mandarin dialects are found in the north, the group is sometimes referred to as the Northern dialects. Many local Mandarin varieties are not mutually intelligible. Nevertheless, Mandarin is often placed first in lists of languages by number of native speakers.

Hangzhou dialect, is spoken in the city of Hangzhou and its immediate suburbs, but excluding areas further away from Hangzhou such as Xiāoshān (蕭山) and Yúháng (余杭). The number of speakers of the Hangzhou dialect has been estimated to be about 1.2 to 1.5 million. It is a dialect of Wu, one of the Chinese varieties. The Hangzhou dialect is of immense interest to Chinese historical phonologists and dialectologists because phonologically, it exhibits extensive similarities with the other Wu dialects; however, grammatically and lexically, it shows many Mandarin tendencies.

Zhejiang Province

Zhejiang, is an eastern coastal province of the People's Republic of China. Its capital and largest city is Hangzhou. Zhejiang is bordered by Jiangsu and Shanghai to the north, Anhui to the northwest, Jiangxi to the west, and Fujian to the south. To the east is the East China Sea, beyond which lie the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. The population of Zhejiang stands at 57 million, the 10th highest among China. Other notable cities include Ningbo and Wenzhou.


Hangzhou is classified as a sub-provincial city [5] and forms the core of the Hangzhou metropolitan area, [1] the fourth-largest in China. [6] During the 2010 Chinese census, the metropolitan area held 21.102 million people over an area of 34,585 km2 (13,353 sq mi). [1] Hangzhou prefecture had a registered population of 9,018,000 in 2015. [7]

Hukou is a system of household registration used in mainland China. The system itself is more properly called "huji", and has origins in ancient China; hukou is the registration of an individual in the system. A household registration record officially identifies a person as a resident of an area and includes identifying information such as name, parents, spouse, and date of birth. A hukou can also refer to a family register in many contexts since the household register is issued per family, and usually includes the births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and moves, of all members in the family.

Hangzhou was repeatedly rated as the best commercial city in the mainland of China by Forbes. As the headquarters of Internet industry enterprises such as Alibaba, Hangzhou has strongly attracted people those work in Internet industry [8] . Therefore, in the new growing cities that became popular in the 2010's, Hangzhou is one of the main representative cities. Since 2014, the rapid growth of population has caused the rapid growth of local housing prices.

<i>Forbes</i> American business magazine

Forbes is an American business magazine. Published bi-weekly, it features original articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics. Forbes also reports on related subjects such as technology, communications, science, politics, and law. Its headquarters is located in Jersey City, New Jersey. Primary competitors in the national business magazine category include Fortune and Bloomberg Businessweek. The magazine is well known for its lists and rankings, including of the richest Americans, of the world's top companies, and The World's Billionaires. The motto of Forbes magazine is "The Capitalist Tool". Its chair and editor-in-chief is Steve Forbes, and its CEO is Mike Federle. In 2014, it was sold to a Hong Kong-based investment group, Integrated Whale Media Investments.

Alibaba Group Hangzhou-based group of Internet-based e-commerce businesses

Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a Chinese multinational conglomerate holding company specializing in e-commerce, retail, Internet, and technology. Founded on 4 April 1999 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, the company provides consumer-to-consumer (C2C), business-to-consumer (B2C), and business-to-business (B2B) sales services via web portals, as well as electronic payment services, shopping search engines and cloud computing services. It owns and operates a diverse array of businesses around the world in numerous sectors, and is named as one of the world's most admired companies by Fortune.

In September 2015, Hangzhou was awarded the 2022 Asian Games. It will be the third city in China to host the Asian Games after Beijing 1990 and Guangzhou 2010. [9] Hangzhou, an emerging technology hub and home to the e-commerce giant Alibaba, also hosted the eleventh G20 summit in 2016. [10]

2022 Asian Games 19th edition of Asian games to be held in Hangzhou, China. This is the 3rd time China will host the games.

The 2022 Asian Games, also known as XIX Asiad, will be a multi-sport event celebrated in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China from 10 to 25 September 2022. Hangzhou will be the third Chinese city to host the Asian Games, after Beijing 1990 and Guangzhou 2010.

China Country in East Asia

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion in 2017. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third or fourth largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

Asian Games multi-sport event

The Asian Games, also known as Asiad, is a continental multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from all over Asia. The Games were regulated by the Asian Games Federation (AGF) from the first Games in New Delhi, India, until the 1978 Games. Since the 1982 Games, they have been organized by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), after the breakup of the Asian Games Federation. The Games are recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and are described as the second largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games.


A ceremonial jade bi of the Liangzhu culture CMOC Treasures of Ancient China exhibit - jade disk.jpg
A ceremonial jade bi of the Liangzhu culture
Xiangji Temple was built in 978 AD during the Northern Song Dynasty Xiangji Temple in Hangzhou 38 2013-10.JPG
Xiangji Temple was built in 978 AD during the Northern Song Dynasty
Statue of Su Shi at the end of Su Causeway at the West Lake Statue of Su Shi at the end of Su Causeway in Hangzhou.JPG
Statue of Su Shi at the end of Su Causeway at the West Lake

Early history

The celebrated neolithic culture of Hemudu is known to have inhabited Yuyao, 100 km (62 mi) north-east of Hangzhou, as far back as seven thousand years ago. [11] It was during this time that rice was first cultivated in southeast China. [12] Excavations have established that the jade-carving Liangzhu culture (named for its type site just northwest of Hangzhou) inhabited the area immediately around the present city around five thousand years ago. [13] The first of Hangzhou's present neighborhoods to appear in written records was Yuhang, which probably preserves an old Baiyue name. [14]

Hemudu culture archaeological culture

The Hemudu culture was a Neolithic culture that flourished just south of the Hangzhou Bay in Jiangnan in modern Yuyao, Zhejiang, China. The culture may be divided into an early and late phases, before and after 4000 BC respectively. The site at Hemudu, 22 km north-west of Ningbo, was discovered in 1973. Hemudu sites were also discovered on the islands of Zhoushan. Hemudu are said to have differed physically from inhabitants of the Yellow River sites to the north. Scholars view the Hemudu Culture as a source of the pre-Austronesian cultures.

Yuyao County-level City in Zhejiang, Peoples Republic of China

Yuyao is a county-level city in the northeast of Zhejiang province, China. It is under the jurisdiction of the sub-provincial city of Ningbo.

Chinese jade

Chinese jade refers to the jade mined or carved in China from the Neolithic onward. It is the primary hardstone of Chinese sculpture. Although deep and bright green jadeite is better known in Europe, for most of China's history, jade has come in a variety of colors and white "mutton-fat" nephrite was the most highly praised and prized. Native sources in Henan and along the Yangtze were exploited since prehistoric times and have largely been exhausted; most Chinese jade today is extracted from the northwestern province of Xinjiang.

Medieval history

Hangzhou was made the seat of the prefecture of Hang in AD 589, entitling it to a city wall which was constructed two years later. By a longstanding convention also seen in other cities like Guangzhou and Fuzhou, the city took on the name of the area it administered and became known as Hangzhou. Hangzhou was at the southern end of China's Grand Canal which extends to Beijing. The canal evolved over centuries but reached its full length by 609. [15]

Chinese city wall

Chinese city walls refer to defensive systems used to protect towns and cities in China in pre-modern times. In addition to walls, city defenses often included towers and gates.

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.

Fuzhou Prefecture-level city in Fujian, Peoples Republic of China

Fuzhou, alternately romanized as Foochow, is the capital and one of the largest cities in Fujian province, China. Along with the many counties of Ningde, those of Fuzhou are considered to constitute the Mindong linguistic and cultural area.

In the Tang dynasty, Bai Juyi was appointed governor of Hangzhou. [16] Already an accomplished poet, his deeds at Hangzhou have led to his being praised as a great governor. He noticed that the farmland nearby depended on the water of West Lake, but due to the negligence of previous governors, the old dyke had collapsed, and the lake so dried out that the local farmers were suffering from severe drought. He ordered the construction of a stronger and taller dyke, with a dam to control the flow of water, thus providing water for irrigation and mitigating the drought problem. The livelihood of local people of Hangzhou improved over the following years. Bai Juyi used his leisure time to enjoy the West Lake, visiting it almost daily. He also ordered the construction of a causeway connecting Broken Bridge with Solitary Hill to allow walking, instead of requiring a boat. He then had willows and other trees planted along the dyke, making it a beautiful landmark. This causeway was later named "Bai Causeway", in his honor.

It is listed as one of the Seven Ancient Capitals of China. It was first the capital of the Wuyue Kingdom from 907 to 978 during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Named Xifu ( 西府 ) at the time, [17] it was one of the three great bastions of culture in southern China during the tenth century, along with Nanjing and Chengdu. [18] Leaders of Wuyue were noted patrons of the arts, particularly of Buddhist temple architecture and artwork. The dyke built to protect the city by King  Qian Liu gave the Qiantang its modern name. [19] Hangzhou also became a cosmopolitan center, drawing scholars from throughout China and conducting diplomacy with neighboring Chinese states, and also with Japan, Goryeo, and the Khitan Liao dynasty.

In 1089, while another renowned poet Su Shi (Su Dongpo) was the city's governor, he used 200,000 workers to construct a 2.8 km (1.7 mi) long causeway across West Lake. The lake was once a lagoon tens of thousands of years ago. Silt then blocked the way to the sea and the lake was formed. A drill in the lake-bed in 1975 found the sediment of the sea, which confirmed its origin. Artificial preservation prevented the lake from evolving into a marshland. The Su Causeway built by Su Shi, and the Bai Causeway built by Bai Juyi, a Tang dynasty poet who was once the governor of Hangzhou, were both built out of mud dredged from the lake bottom. The lake is surrounded by hills on the northern and western sides. The Baochu Pagoda sits on the Baoshi Hill to the north of the lake.

Hangzhou depicted in a French illustration from 1412 Hangzhou 1412.jpg
Hangzhou depicted in a French illustration from 1412

Arab merchants lived in Hangzhou during the Song dynasty, due to the fact that the oceangoing trade passages took precedence over land trade during this time. [20] There were also Arabic inscriptions from the 13th century and 14th century. During the later period of the Yuan dynasty, Muslims were persecuted through the banning of their traditions, and they participated in revolts against the Mongols. [21] The Fenghuangshi mosque was constructed by an Egyptian trader who moved to Hangzhou. [22] Ibn Battuta is known to have visited the city of Hangzhou in 1345; he noted its charm and described how the city sat on a beautiful lake and was surrounded by gentle green hills. [23] During his stay at Hangzhou, he was particularly impressed by the large number of well-crafted and well-painted Chinese wooden ships with colored sails and silk awnings in the canals. He attended a banquet held by Qurtai, the Yuan Mongol administrator of the city, who according to Ibn Battuta, was fond of the skills of local Chinese conjurers. [24]

Hupao ("Dreaming of the Tiger") Spring in Hangzhou Hupao.jpg
Hupao ("Dreaming of the Tiger") Spring in Hangzhou
Cuiguang Pavilion by the West Lake Cuiguang Pavilion by the West Lake.jpg
Cuiguang Pavilion by the West Lake
"Lotus in the Breeze at the Winding Courtyard", one of the Ten Scenes of the West Lake Lotus at West Lake.JPG
"Lotus in the Breeze at the Winding Courtyard", one of the Ten Scenes of the West Lake

Hangzhou was chosen as the new capital of the Southern Song dynasty in 1132, [25] when most of northern China had been conquered by the Jurchens in the Jin–Song wars. [26] The surviving imperial family had retreated south from its original capital in Kaifeng after it was captured by the Jurchens in the Jingkang Incident of 1127. [27] [28] Emperor Gaozong moved to Nanjing, then to modern Shangqiu, then to Yangzhou in 1128, and finally to Hangzhou in 1129. [27] The Song government intended it to be a temporary capital, but over the decades Hangzhou grew into a major commercial and cultural center of the Song dynasty, rising from being a middling city of no special importance to being one of the world's largest and most prosperous. [29] Once the prospect of retaking northern China had diminished, government buildings in Hangzhou were extended and renovated to better befit its status as a permanent imperial capital. The imperial palace in Hangzhou, modest in size, was expanded in 1133 with new roofed alleyways, and in 1148 with an extension of the palace walls. [30]

From 1138 until the Mongol invasion of 1276, Hangzhou remained the capital of the Southern Song dynasty and was known as Lin'an ( 臨安 ). It served as the seat of the imperial government, a center of trade and entertainment, and the nexus of the main branches of the civil service. During that time the city was a gravitational center of Chinese civilization: what used to be considered "central China" in the north was taken by the Jin, an ethnic minority dynasty ruled by Jurchens.

Numerous philosophers, politicians, and men of literature, including some of the most celebrated poets in Chinese history such as Su Shi, Lu You, and Xin Qiji came here to live and die. Hangzhou is also the birthplace and final resting place of the scientist Shen Kuo (1031–1095 AD), his tomb being located in the Yuhang district. [31]

During the Southern Song dynasty, commercial expansion, an influx of refugees from the conquered north, and the growth of the official and military establishments, led to a corresponding population increase and the city developed well outside its 9th-century ramparts. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica , Hangzhou had a population of over 2 million at that time, while historian Jacques Gernet has estimated that the population of Hangzhou numbered well over one million by 1276. (Official Chinese census figures from the year 1270 listed some 186,330 families in residence and probably failed to count non-residents and soldiers.) It is believed that Hangzhou was the largest city in the world from 1180 to 1315 and from 1348 to 1358. [32] [33]

Because of the large population and densely crowded (often multi-story) wooden buildings, Hangzhou was particularly vulnerable to fires. Major conflagrations destroyed large sections of the city in 1132, 1137, 1208, 1229, 1237, and 1275 while smaller fires occurred nearly every year. The 1237 fire alone was recorded to have destroyed 30,000 dwellings. To combat this threat, the government established an elaborate system for fighting fires, erected watchtowers, devised a system of lantern and flag signals to identify the source of the flames and direct the response, and charged more than 3,000 soldiers with the task of putting out fire.

Hangzhou was besieged and captured by the advancing Mongol armies of Kublai Khan in 1276, three years before the final collapse of the Southern Song. [34] The capital of the new Yuan dynasty was established in the city of Dadu (Beijing), but Hangzhou remained an important commercial and administrative center for their southern lands.

Yuan China was very open to foreign visitors, and several returned west describing Hangzhouunder the names Khinzai, [35] Quinsai, [36] [lower-alpha 1] Campsay, [38] &c. [lower-alpha 2] as one of the foremost cities in the world. The Venetian merchant Marco Polo supposedly visited Hangzhou in the late 13th century. In his book, he records that the city was "greater than any in the world" [29] and that "the number and wealth of the merchants, and the amount of goods that passed through their hands, was so enormous that no man could form a just estimate thereof." The manuscripts of Polo's account greatly exaggerate the city's size, although it has been argued that the "hundred miles" of walls would be plausible if Chinese miles were intended instead of Italian ones [40] and that the "12,000 stone bridges" might have been a copyist error born from the city's 12 gates. [41] In the 14th century, the Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta arrived; his later account concurred that al-Khansā was "the biggest city I have ever seen on the face of the earth." [42] [43] [44]

Modern history

Jingdezhen Green-and-white-glazed Porcelain Statue of Goddess of Mercy. Yuan Dynasty. Unearthed near Wensan Street, Hangzhou in 1987. Jing De Zhen Yao Qing Hua Ci Su Guan Yin Xiang .jpg
Jingdezhen Green-and-white-glazed Porcelain Statue of Goddess of Mercy. Yuan Dynasty. Unearthed near Wensan Street, Hangzhou in 1987.

The city remained an important port until the middle of the Ming dynasty era, when its harbor slowly silted up. Under the Qing, it was the site of an imperial army garrison. [45]

An area map of Hangzhou in 1867 Hangzhou1-a.JPG
An area map of Hangzhou in 1867

In 1856 and 1860, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom occupied Hangzhou. The city was heavily damaged during its conquest, occupation, and eventual reconquest by the Qing army.

Hangzhou was ruled by the Republic of China government under the Kuomintang from 1927 to 1937 and 1945 to 1949. On May 3, 1949, the People's Liberation Army entered Hangzhou and the city came under Communist control. After Deng Xiaoping's reformist policies began in the end of 1978, Hangzhou took advantage of being situated in the Yangtze River Delta to bolster its development. It is now one of China's most prosperous major cities.


View of Hangzhou Bay from the Hangzhou Bay Bridge Hang Zhou Wan Kua Hai Da Qiao Hai Zhong Ping Tai (Zao Chen ).jpg
View of Hangzhou Bay from the Hangzhou Bay Bridge
Tidal bore at the Qiantang River in Hangzhou Tidal bore at the Qiantang river, Hangzhou.jpg
Tidal bore at the Qiantang River in Hangzhou

Hangzhou is located in northwestern Zhejiang province, at the southern end of the Grand Canal of China, which runs to Beijing, in the south-central portion of the Yangtze River Delta. Its administrative area (sub-provincial city) extends west to the mountainous parts of Anhui province, and east to the coastal plain near Hangzhou Bay. The city center is built around the eastern and northern sides of the West Lake, just north of the Qiantang River.


Hangzhou's climate is humid subtropical (Köppen Cfa) with four distinctive seasons, characterised by long, very hot, humid summers and chilly, cloudy and drier winters (with occasional snow). The mean annual temperature is 17.0 °C (62.6 °F), with monthly daily averages ranging from 4.6 °C (40.3 °F) in January to 28.9 °C (84.0 °F) in July. The city receives an average annual rainfall of 1,438.0 mm (56.6 in) and is affected by the plum rains of the Asian monsoon in June. In late summer (August to September), Hangzhou suffers typhoon storms, but typhoons seldom strike it directly. Generally they make landfall along the southern coast of Zhejiang, and affect the area with strong winds and stormy rains. [46] Extremes since 1951 have ranged from −9.6 °C (15 °F) on 6 February 1969 up to 41.6 °C (107 °F) on 9 August 2013; [47] unofficial readings have reached −10.5 °C (13 °F), set on 29 December 1912 and 24 January 1916, up to 42.1 °C (108 °F), set on 10 August 1930. [48] With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 30% in March to 51% in August, the city receives 1,709.4 hours of sunshine annually.

Administrative divisions

The sub-provincial city of Hangzhou comprises 10 districts, 1 county-level city, and 2 counties. The ten urban districts occupy 8,292.31 km2 (3,201.68 sq mi) and have a population of 8,241,000, in which there are six central urban districts and four suburban districts. The central urban districts occupy 706.27 km2 (272.69 sq mi) and have a population of 3,780,000 and the suburban districts occupy 7,586.04 km2 (2,928.99 sq mi) and have a population of 4,461,000.

In the early 90s, the urban districts of Hangzhou only comprises Shangcheng, Xiacheng, Gongshu, Jianggan.

On December 12, 1996, Bingjiang District was established.

On March 12, the City of Xiaoshan and the City of Yuhang was included into the City of Hangzhou as two districts.

On December 13, 2014, and in July 2017, the City of Fuyang and Lin'an were included into the City of Hanghzou as two districts.

SubdivisionChinesePinyinPopulation (2018)Area (km2)Density
Central Urban Districts
Shangcheng District 上城区Shàngchéng Qū345,00026.0613,238.68
Xiacheng District 下城区Xiàchéng Qū526,00029.3317,933.86
Jianggan District 江干区Jiānggàn Qū1,186,000200.005,930.00
Gongshu District 拱墅区Gǒngshù Qū574,00069.258,288.81
Xihu District 西湖区Xīhú Qū890,000309.412,876.44
Binjiang District 滨江区Bīnjiāng Qū392,00072.225,427.86
Suburban Districts
Xiaoshan District 萧山区Xiāoshān Qū1,719,0001,417.831,212.42
Yuhang District 余杭区Yúháng Qū1,603,0001,228.411,304.94
Fuyang District 富阳区Fùyáng Qū742,0001,821.03407.46
Lin'an District 临安区Lín'ān Qū593,0003,118.77190.14
Tonglu County 桐庐县Tónglú Xiàn432,0001,829.59236.12
Chun'an County 淳安县Chún'ān Xiàn358,0004,417.4881.04
County-level City
Jiande 建德市Jiàndé Shì446,0002,314.19192.72


Hangzhou city had a population of 5,162,039 (including Xiaoshan and Yuhang) at the 2010 census, an increase of 4.8% per year since the 2000 census. [51] The most recent estimates of the city's urban area population are between 6,658,000 and 6,820,000. [52] [53]

The entire province had a population of 8,700,373 at the 2010 census, [54] and the encompassing urban agglomeration (including Shaoxing) is estimated to have population of 8,450,000. [55]

The encompassing metropolitan area was estimated by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) to have, as of 2010, a population of 13.4 million, [56] although other sources put the figure at over 21 million. The Hangzhou metropolitan area includes the major cities of Shaoxing, Jiaxing and Huzhou. [1] [57]


Qianjiang CBD in Hangzhou Qianjiang guoji shidai plaza 09.jpg
Qianjiang CBD in Hangzhou
View of the night time Hangzhou skyline from the West Lake View of the night time Hangzhou skyline from the West Lake.JPG
View of the night time Hangzhou skyline from the West Lake
Alibaba's Binjiang Campus in Hangzhou, headquarters for Alibaba's B2B service Alibaba Binjiang Park.jpg
Alibaba's Binjiang Campus in Hangzhou, headquarters for Alibaba's B2B service
Hangzhou International Conference Center at night Hangzhou conference center night.jpg
Hangzhou International Conference Center at night

Hangzhou's economy has rapidly developed since its opening up in 1992. It is an industrial city with many diverse sectors such as light industry, agriculture, and textiles. It is considered an important manufacturing base and logistics hub for coastal China. [58] In recent years, Hangzhou has seen substantial development in its financial sector, featuring for the first time in the Global Financial Centres Index in 2018 at rank 89.

The 2001 GDP of Hangzhou was RMB 156.8 billion, which ranked second among all of the provincial capitals after Guangzhou. The city has more than tripled its GDP since then, increasing from RMB 156.8 billion in 2001 to RMB 1.3509 trillion in 2018 and GDP per capita increasing from US$3,020 to $21,184. [58] [59]

The city has developed many new industries, including medicine, information technology, heavy equipment, automotive components, household electrical appliances, electronics, telecommunication, fine chemicals, chemical fibre and food processing. [60]

Economic and Technological Development Zones

Hangzhou Economic & Technological Development Zone was established and approved as a national development zone by the State Council in 1993. It covers an area of 104.7 km2 (40.4 sq mi). Encouraged industries include electronic information, biological medicine, machinery and household appliances manufacturing, and food processing. [61]
Hangzhou Export Processing Zone was established on April 27, 2000 upon approval of the State Council. It was one of the first zones and the only one in Zhejiang Province to be approved by the government. Its total planned area is 2.92 km2 (1.13 sq mi). It is located close to Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport and Hangzhou Port. [62]
Hangzhou Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone was set up with approval from the State Council as a state level Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone in March 1991. The HHTZ is composed of three parts, with the main regions being the Zhijiang Sci-Tech Industrial Park and Xiasha Sci-Tech Industrial Park. HHTZ has become one of the most influential hi-tech innovation and hi-tech industry bases in Zhejiang Province. As of 2013, HHTZ hosts more than 1,100 software developers and BPO enterprises. Major companies such as Motorola, Nokia and Siemens have established R&D centers in the zone. In 2011, the GDP of the zone rose by 13.1 percent, amounting to RMB 41.63 billion. This accounted for 5.9 percent of Hangzhou's total GDP. The HHTZ positions itself as the "Silicon Valley" of China. The Alibaba Group, the world's largest online B2B portal and China's largest website in terms of market value, is headquartered in the zone. [63] [64]
In 2016, G20 Summit was held in Hangzhou.


Yongjinmen (Yong Jin Men ), one of Hangzhou's city gates, in 1906 Hang Zhou Cheng Men .jpg
Yongjinmen (涌金门), one of Hangzhou’s city gates, in 1906
West Lake and Leifeng Pagoda Hangzhou - West Lake - CIMG2517.JPG
West Lake and Leifeng Pagoda
Hu Xueyan Residence, a historic mansion in Hangzhou Hu Xueyan's former residence, Hangzhou - 012.jpg
Hu Xueyan Residence, a historic mansion in Hangzhou
West Lake at night West Lake at night in Hangzhou.jpg
West Lake at night
Hangzhou Sunset Over the Qiantang River Hangzhou-Sunset-Over-the-Qiantang-River.jpg
Hangzhou Sunset Over the Qiantang River

Hangzhou is known for its historic relics and natural environment. Although Hangzhou has been through many recent urban developments, it still retains its historical and cultural heritage. Today, tourism remains an important factor for Hangzhou's economy. [65] One of Hangzhou's most popular sights is West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The West Lake Cultural Landscape covers an area of 3,323 ha (8,210 acres) and includes some of Hangzhou's most notable historic and scenic places. Adjacent to the lake is an area which includes historical pagodas, cultural sites, as well as the natural environment of the lake and hills, including Phoenix Mountain. There are two causeways across the lake. [65]

Other places of interest

In March 2013 the Hangzhou Tourism Commission started an online campaign via Facebook, the 'Modern Marco Polo' campaign. Over the next year nearly 26,000 participants applied from around the globe, in the hopes of becoming Hangzhou's first foreign tourism ambassador. [67] In a press conference in Hangzhou on 20 May 2014, Liam Bates was announced as the successful winner and won a €40,000 contract, being the first foreigner ever to be appointed by China's government in such an official role. [68]


View of the Chenghuangmiao (City God Pavilion) area Hangzhou City 2 WB (2568).jpg
View of the Chenghuangmiao (City God Pavilion) area
The Liuhe Pagoda of Hangzhou, built in 1165, during the Song dynasty Hangzhou Liuhe Ta 20120518-04.jpg
The Liuhe Pagoda of Hangzhou, built in 1165, during the Song dynasty

Scenic places near West Lake

Other religious buildings


In 1848, during the Qing dynasty, Hangzhou was described as the "stronghold" of Islam in China, the city containing several mosques with Arabic inscriptions. [70] A Hui from Ningbo also told an Englishman that Hangzhou was the "stronghold" of Islam in Zhejiang province, containing multiple mosques, compared to his small congregation of around 30 families in Ningbo for his mosque. [71] Within the city of Hangzhou are two notable mosques: the Great Mosque of Hangzhou and the Phoenix Mosque.


As late as the latter part of the 16th and early 17th centuries, the city was an important center of Chinese Jewry, and may have been the original home of the better-known Kaifeng Jewish community. [72]

There was formerly a Jewish synagogue in Ningbo, as well as one in Hangzhou, but no traces of them are now discoverable, and the only Jews known to exist in China were in Kaifeng. [73]


Two of the Three Pillars of Chinese Catholicism were from Hangzhou. There was persecution of Christians in the early 21st century in the city. [74]


Longjing (Dragon Well Spring) in Hangzhou, known for the Longjing tea cultivated in the surrounding plantations Dragon Well 20090721-4.JPG
Longjing (Dragon Well Spring) in Hangzhou, known for the Longjing tea cultivated in the surrounding plantations
Large statue of Guanyin and carved images of 150 Buddhist personalities in the Grand Hall of the Great Sage in Lingyin Temple Hall of the Five Hundred Arhats in Lingyin Temple, Hangzhou.jpg
Large statue of Guanyin and carved images of 150 Buddhist personalities in the Grand Hall of the Great Sage in Lingyin Temple

The native residents of Hangzhou, like those of Zhejiang and southern Jiangsu, speak Hangzhou dialect, which is a Wu dialect. However, Wu Chinese varies throughout the area where it is spoken, hence, Hangzhou's dialect differs from regions in southern Zhejiang and southern Jiangsu. As the official language defined by China's central government, Mandarin is the dominant spoken language.

There are several museums located in Hangzhou with regional and national importance. China National Silk Museum (中国丝绸博物馆), located near the West Lake, is one of the first state-level museums in China and the largest silk museum in the world. China National Tea Museum (中国茶叶博物馆) is a national museum with special subjects as tea and its culture. Zhejiang Provincial Museum (浙江博物馆) features collection of integrated human studies, exhibition and research with its over 100,000 collected cultural relics.

There are lots of theaters in Hangzhou showing performance of opera shows. Yue opera, originated from Shengzhou, Zhejiang Province, is the second-largest opera form in China. Also, there are several big shows themed with the history and culture of Hangzhou like Impression West Lake and the Romance of Song Dynasty.

Hangzhou has historically been an important hub for artists and scholars. In modern times, Hangzhou was home to the China Art Academy and prominent painters such as Lin Fengmian and Fang Ganmin.

Tea is an important part of Hangzhou's economy and culture. Hangzhou is best known for originating Longjing, a notable variety of green tea, the most notable type being Xi Hu Long Jing. [75] Known as the best type of Long Jing tea, Xi Hu Long Jing is grown in Longjing village [66] near Xi Hu in Hangzhou, hence its name.[ citation needed ]

The local government of Hangzhou heavily invests in promoting tourism and the arts, with emphasis placed upon silk production, umbrellas, and Chinese hand-held folding fans.


Hangzhou's local cuisine is often considered to be representative of Zhejiang provincial cuisine, which is claimed as one of China's eight fundamental cuisines. The locally accepted consensus among Hangzhou's natives defines dishes prepared in this style to be "fresh, tender, soft, and smooth, with a mellow fragrance."

Generally, Hangzhou's cuisines tend to be sweeter rather than savoury. Owing to the fact that Hangzhou is located near the Yangtze river, where the climate is mild, the local people enjoy a light diet incorporating river fishes. The rich history of the city provides the local people with stories revolving the origins of local dishes.

Dishes such as Pian Er Chuan Noodles (片儿川), West Lake Vinegar Fish (西湖醋鱼), Dongpo Pork (东坡肉), Longjing Shrimp (龙井虾仁), Beggar's Chicken (叫化鸡), Steamed Rice and Pork Wrapped by Lotus Leaves(荷叶粉蒸肉), Braised Bamboo Shoots (油焖笋), Lotus Root Pudding (藕粉) and Sister Song's Fish Soup (宋嫂鱼羹) are some of the better-known examples of Hangzhou's regional cuisine.

The famous and signature restaurants in Hangzhou include Xin Feng restaurant (新丰小吃), Zhi Wei Guan (知味观), Grandma's Home (外婆家), Green Tea Restaurant (绿茶餐厅), ect. These restaurants create the advanced food and dishes of the traditional Hangzhou cuisine, and combine with the western cooking methods.

Longjing tea is the most famous green tea and rank first among top ten famous teas in China. Those planted by the West Lake is the best Longjing tea.

Longjing tea planted near West Lake, we call that xihu longjing Xi Hu Longjing Tea 01.jpg
Longjing tea planted near West Lake, we call that xihu longjing


Hangzhou trolleybus 5713 in 2009.jpg
Hangzhou trolleybus
Dong Feng Ba Shi .jpg
Hangzhou city bus
Hangzhou Yan'an Road 02.jpg
Buses and taxi on Yan'an Road
Service bicyclette hangzhou zhongguo.jpg
Bicycles for rent
Shi Min Zhong Xin Zhan Qiong Ding 6161.JPG
Citizen Center Station, Hangzhou Metro


The Port of Hangzhou is a small river port with a cargo throughput that exceeds 100 million tons annually. [76]


Hangzhou is served by the Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, which provides direct service to many international destinations such as Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, Netherlands, [77] Qatar, Portugal and the United States. Regional routes reach Hong Kong and Macau. It has an extensive domestic route network within the PRC and is consistently ranked top 10 in passenger traffic among Chinese airports. Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport has two terminals, Terminal A and Terminal B. The smaller Terminal A serves all international and regional flights while the larger Terminal B solely handles domestic traffic. The airport is located just outside the city in the Xiaoshan District with direct bus service linking the airport with Downtown Hangzhou. The ambitious expansion project will see the addition of a second runway and a third terminal which will dramatically increase capacity of the fast-growing airport that serves as a secondary hub of Air China. A new elevated airport express highway is under construction on top of the existing highway between the airport and downtown Hangzhou. The second phase of Hangzhou Metro Line 1 has a planned extension to the airport.


Hangzhou sits on the intersecting point of some of the busiest rail corridors in China. The city's main station is Hangzhou East railway station (colloquially "East Station" 东站). It is one of the biggest rail traffic hubs in China, consisting of 15 platforms that house the High Speed CRH service to Shanghai, Nanjing, Changsha, Ningbo, and beyond. The subway station beneath the rail complex building is a stop along the Hangzhou Metro Line 1 and Line 4. There are frequent departures for Shanghai with approximately 20-minute headways from 6:00 to 21:00. Non-stop CRH high-speed service between Hangzhou and Shanghai takes 50 minutes and leaves every hour (excluding a few early morning/late night departures) from both directions. Other CRH high-speed trains that stop at one or more stations along the route complete the trip in 59 to 75 minutes. Most other major cities in China can also be reached by direct train service from Hangzhou. The Hangzhou railway station (colloquially the "City Station" Chinese:城站) was closed for renovation in mid 2013 but has recently opened again.

Direct trains link Hangzhou with more than 50 main cities, including 12 daily services to Beijing and more than 100 daily services to Shanghai; they reach as far as Ürümqi. The China Railway High-Speed service inaugurated on October 26, 2010. The service is operated by the CRH 380A(L), CRH 380B(L) and CRH380CL train sets which travel at a maximum speed of 350 km/h (220 mph), shortening the duration of the 202 km (126 mi) trip to only 45 minutes. [78]


Central (to the east of the city centre, taking the place of the former east station), north, south, and west long-distance bus stations offer frequent coach service to nearby cities/towns within Zhejiang province, as well as surrounding provinces.

Public transportation

Hangzhou has an efficient public transportation network, consisting of a modern fleet of regular diesel bus, trolley bus, hybrid diesel-electric bus and taxi. Hangzhou is known for its extensive Bus Rapid Transit network expanding from downtown to many suburban areas through dedicated bus lanes on some of the busiest streets in the city. Bicycles and electric scooters are very popular, and major streets have dedicated bike lanes throughout the city. Hangzhou has an extensive free public bike rental system, the Hangzhou Public Bicycle system.


The first line of the Hangzhou Metro entered into service in late 2012. [79] with major expansion plans still ongoing. It is the 17th city in China to operate a rapid transit system. In 2018, the state council approved the planning for 15 metro lines, including extensions to the three existing lines, scheduled to open in time for the 2022 Asian Games. [80] By then the Hangzhou Metro network is projected to be 617 km (383 mi) long. [81]

The Hangzhou Metro began construction in March 2006, and the first line opened on November 24, 2012. Line 1 connects downtown Hangzhou with suburban areas of the city from Xianghu to Wenze Road and Linping. By June 2015, the southeast part of Line 2 (starts in Xiaoshan District, ends to the south of the city centre) and a short part of Line 4 (fewer than 10 stations, connecting Line 1 and Line 2) were completed. The system is expected to have 15 lines upon completion; most lines are still under construction. The extensions of Line 2 (Xihu District) and Line 4 (east of Bingjiang) were finished in 2018.


Taxis are also popular in the city, with the newest line of Hyundai Sonatas and Volkswagen Passats, and tight regulations. In early 2011, 30 electric taxis were deployed in Hangzhou; 15 were Zotye Langyues and the other 15 were Haima Freemas. In April, however, one Zoyte Langyue caught fire, and all of the electric taxis were taken off the roads later that day. The city still intends to have a fleet of 200 electric taxis by the end of 2011. [82] In 2014, a large number of new electric taxis produced by Xihu-BYD (Xihu (westlake) is a local company which produced televisions in the past) were deployed.



Hangzhou has a large student population with many higher education institutions based in the city. Public universities include Zhejiang University, Zhejiang University of Technology, and Hangzhou Normal University etc. Xiasha, located near the east end of the city, and Xiaoheshan, located near the west end of the city, are college towns with a cluster of several universities and colleges.

Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.

Primary and secondary schools

Public high schools in Hangzhou include:

Private high schools in Hangzhou include:

Hangzhou International School, Wellington College International Hangzhou [85] and Hangzhou Japanese School (杭州日本人学校) (nihonjin gakkō) [86] serve the local expat population in Hangzhou.

Twin towns – sister cities

Hangzhou is twinned with:

Sayama Flag of Saitama.svg  Saitama Prefecture Flag of Japan.svg Japan1978
Gifu Flag of Gifu Prefecture.svg  Gifu Prefecture Flag of Japan.svg Japan1979
Weert Flag of Limburg.svg  Limburg Flag of the Netherlands.svg NetherlandsUnknown
Boston Flag of Massachusetts.svg  Massachusetts Flag of the United States.svg United States1982
Baguio N/A [87] Flag of the Philippines.svg Philippines1982
Leeds West Yorkshire Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom1988
Fukui Flag of Fukui Prefecture.svg  Fukui Prefecture Flag of Japan.svg Japan1989
Nice Flag of Provence-Alpes-Cote dAzur.svg  Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Flag of France.svg France1994
Galway County Galway Flag of Ireland.svg Ireland1996
Paramaribo Paramaribo District Flag of Suriname.svg Suriname1988
Budapest N/A [88] Flag of Hungary.svg Hungary1999
Cape Town Western Cape Flag of South Africa.svg South Africa2005
Curitiba Bandeira do Parana.svg  Paraná Flag of Brazil.svg Brazil2007
Dresden Flag of Saxony.svg  Saxony Flag of Germany.svg Germany2009
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Oulu Northern Ostrobothnia Flag of Finland.svg Finland2011
Atlanta Flag of Georgia (U.S. state).svg  Georgia Flag of the United States.svg United States2012
Hamamatsu Flag of Shizuoka Prefecture.svg  Shizuoka Prefecture Flag of Japan.svg Japan2012
Dnipro Flag of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.svg  Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Flag of Ukraine.svg Ukraine2013
El Calafate Bandera-Santa Cruz.svg  Santa Cruz Flag of Argentina.svg Argentina2013
Split Flag of Split-Dalmatia County.svg Split-Dalmatia County Flag of Croatia.svg Croatia2014
Queenstown Flag of Otago.svg  Otago Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand2015 [89]
Maribor Flag placeholder.svg City Municipality of Maribor Flag of Slovenia.svg Slovenia2017 [90]
Kota Kinabalu Flag of Sabah.svg  Sabah Flag of Malaysia.svg Malaysia2019 [91] [92] [93]
Tallinn Flag of et-Harju maakond.svg Harju County Flag of Estonia.svg EstoniaUnknown
Middlesbrough North Yorkshire Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United KingdomUnknown

Chinese sayings

A typical Chinese garden's window in Hangzhou. It is a common technique for the view to resemble a Chinese painting. Gardens-window.JPG
A typical Chinese garden's window in Hangzhou. It is a common technique for the view to resemble a Chinese painting.
A typical Chinese style architecture in Hangzhou Wanghulou.JPG
A typical Chinese style architecture in Hangzhou

A common Chinese saying about Hangzhou and Suzhou is:

"Paradise above, Suzhou and Hangzhou below." (simplified Chinese:上有天堂, 下有苏杭; traditional Chinese:上有天堂, 下有蘇杭)

This phrase has a similar meaning to the English phrases "Heaven on Earth". Marco Polo in his accounts described Suzhou as "the city of the earth" while Hangzhou is "the city of heaven". [94] The city presented itself as "Paradise on Earth" during the G20 summit held in the city in 2016. [95]

Another popular saying about Hangzhou is:

"Be born in Suzhou, live in Hangzhou, eat in Guangzhou, die in Liuzhou." (simplified Chinese:生在苏州, 活在杭州, 吃在广州, 死在柳州; traditional Chinese:生在蘇州, 活在杭州, 吃在廣州, 死在柳州)

The meaning here lies in the fact that Suzhou was renowned for its beautiful and highly civilized and educated citizens, Hangzhou for its scenery, Guangzhou for its food, and Liuzhou (of Guangxi) for its wooden coffins which supposedly halted the decay of the body (likely made from the camphor tree).

Notable residents

See also


  1. Probably pronounced /kinsai/. [37]
  2. For a discussion of the many sources and variant spellings of the names, see Moule. [39] The ultimate Chinese source of these names has been variously given as Jīngshī ( 京師 , "the Capital"); Xingzai, an abbreviated form of Xíngzàisuǒ ( 行在 , "the Place of Temporary Residence"), which had formerly been a byname for the Song capital from the hope that the court would eventually return north to Kaifeng; and Hangtsei, the Hangzhounese pronunciation of the town's name. [37]

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Further reading

Preceded by
Capital of China (as Lin'an)
Succeeded by
Dadu (present Beijing)