Shanghai is a metropolitan area in China
Inhabitants: 17,500,000 (World Rank 9)
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Shanghai (Chinese: 上海) is the largest city in China in terms of population and one of the largest urban areas in the world, with over 20 million people in its extended metropolitan area. Located on China's central eastern coast at the mouth of the Yangtze River, the city is administered as a municipality with province-level status.
Originally a fishing and textiles town, Shanghai grew to importance in the 19th century due to its favorable port location and as one of the cities opened to foreign trade by the 1842 Treaty of Nanking. The city flourished as a center of commerce between east and west, and became a multinational hub of finance and business by the 1930s. However, Shanghai's prosperity ground to a sharp halt after the 1949 Communist takeover and the subsequent cessation of foreign investment. After being allowed economic reforms in 1990, Shanghai is booming once more with intense development and financing, and in 2005 became the world's largest port.
The city is an emerging tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks such as the Bund and Xintiandi, its modern and ever-expanding Pudong skyline including the Oriental Pearl Tower, and its new reputation as a cosmopolitan center of culture and design. Today, Shanghai is recognized as China's most important centre of commerce and finance, and is widely regarded as[weasel words] a future global city and as the showpiece of the world's fastest-growing economy.