Dongguan is a prefecture-level city in central Guangdong Province of South China. An important industrial city in the Pearl River Delta, Dongguan borders the provincial capital of Guangzhou to the north, Huizhou to the northeast, Shenzhen to the south, and the Pearl River to the west. It is part of the Pearl River Delta megacity with more than 44.78 million inhabitants at the 2010 census spread over nine municipalities (including Macao) across an area of 17,573 square kilometres (6,785 sq mi). Dongguan's city administration is considered especially progressive in seeking foreign direct investment.[who?] Dongguan ranks behind only Shenzhen, Shanghai and Suzhou in exports among Chinese cities, with $65.54 billion in shipments. It is also home to one of the world's largest, though largely empty, shopping malls, the New South China Mall. Although the city is geographically and thus culturally Cantonese in the Weitou form and as well as culturally Hakka in the prefectures of Fenggang and Qingxi, the majority of the modern-day population speaks Mandarin due to the large influx of economic migrants from other parts of China.
Although the earliest traces of human habitation in the area stretch back 5,000 years, Dongguan's emergence as a true city is a recent phenomenon.
In 1839, at the outset of the First Opium War, large quantities of seized opium were destroyed in Humen, a town that now belongs to Dongguan. Several of the major battles of the war were fought in this area.
Being a district of the Huiyang prefecture before, as its economy overshadowed the prefectural capital of Huizhou itself, Dongguan earned city status in 1985, and was upgraded to prefecture city status three years later. During this period the city changed its focus from an agricultural town into a manufacturing hub, with an average annual growth of up to 18%.
The city ranked 13th in Forbes China's listing of the most innovative mainland cities, as well as 18th in Foreign Policy's listing of the most dynamic cities in the world.
Geographically, the city is mostly hilly to the east and flat in the west, with 115.98 kilometres (72.07 mi) of shoreline. The urban centre of Dongguan is 50 kilometres (31 mi) from that of Guangzhou to its north, 90 kilometres (56 mi) from Shenzhen to its south, 47 nautical miles (87 km) from Hong Kong and 48 nautical miles (89 km) from Macau by waterway. It is positioned in the middle of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen economic corridor, a hub for both land and sea transport.
Of Dongguan's total area, 27% is water, 25% forest land, and 13% arable land, while 35% of its land area has been fully developed.
Dongguan has a humid subtropical climate, with abundant sunshine and rainfall over the year. It lies just south of the Tropic of Cancer. The average temperature is 22.7 °C (72.9 °F) throughout the year with average rainfall of 1,787 millimetres (70.4 in).
|Climate data for Dongguan (1981−2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||28.0
|Average high °C (°F)||19.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||14.8
|Average low °C (°F)||11.7
|Record low °C (°F)||3.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||39.4
|Average relative humidity (%)||71||76||79||82||81||82||81||80||76||70||66||67||75.9|
|Source: China Meteorological Data Service Center|
Dongguan had an estimated 6,949,800 inhabitants at the end of 2008, among whom 1,748,700 were local residents and 5,201,100 permanent migrants from other parts of the country. At the 2010 Census the population had expanded to 8,220,237. The number reached 8.26 million by 2016, with a density of 5,100 per km².
Dongguan is a prefecture-level city of the Guangdong province. An uncommon administrative feature is that it has no county-level division, but the municipal government does group the 32 township-level divisions into 6 district areas. The city government directly administers 4 Subdistricts and 28 towns:
|Name||Simplified Chinese||Hanyu Pinyin||Population
|Division code||Residential communities||Administrative villages|
|Chengqu District||城区片区||Chéngqū Piànqū||1,653,407||299.0||5529.78||—||4 subdistricts, 2 towns|
|Dongcheng Subdistrict||东城街道||Dōngchéng Jiēdào||492,875||110.0||4,480.68||441900003||23|
|Nancheng Subdistrict||南城街道||Nánchéng Jiēdào||289,255||59.0||4,902.62||441900004||18|
|Wanjiang Subdistrict||万江街道||Wànjiāng Jiēdào||244,765||50.5||4,846.83||441900005||28|
|Guancheng Subdistrict||莞城街道||Guǎnchéng Jiēdào||162,116||13.5||12,008.59||441900006||8|
|Shijie Town||石碣镇||Shíjié Zhèn||246,960||36.0||6,860.00||441900101||1||14|
|Gaobu Town||高埗镇||Gāobù Zhèn||217,436||30.0||7,247.86||441900129||1||18|
|Songshanhu District||松山湖片区||Sōngshānhú Piànqū||1,467,455||433.8||3382.79||—||6 towns|
|Shilong Town||石龙镇||Shílóng Zhèn||141,850||11.3||12,553.09||441900102||3||7|
|Chashan Town||茶山镇||Cháshān Zhèn||156,522||51.0||3,069.05||441900103||2||16|
|Shipai Town||石排镇||Shípái Zhèn||160,202||56.0||2,860.75||441900104||1||18|
|Liaobu Town||寮步镇||Liáobù Zhèn||418,578||87.5||4783.74||441900111||10||20|
|Dalang Town||大朗镇||Dàlǎng Zhèn||310,889||118.0||2,634.65||441900113||12||16|
|Dalingshan Town||大岭山镇||Dàlǐngshān Zhèn||279,414||110.0||2,540.12||441900118||3||21|
|Dongbu District||东部片区||Dōngbù Piànqū||1,349,280||493.5||2734.10||—||7 towns|
|Qishi Town||企石镇||Qǐshí Zhèn||121,693||51.0||2,386.13||441900105||1||19|
|Hengli Town||横沥镇||Hénglì Zhèn||204,830||50.0||4,096.60||441900106||1||16|
|Qiaotou Town||桥头镇||Qiáotóu Zhèn||166,774||56.0||2,978.10||441900107||6||11|
|Xiegang Town||谢岗镇||Xiègǎng Zhèn||99,387||103.0||964.92||441900108||1||11|
|Dongkeng Town||东坑镇||Dōngkēng Zhèn||138,819||27.5||5,047.96||441900109||2||14|
|Changping Town||常平镇||Chángpíng Zhèn||386,378||108.0||3,577.57||441900110||2||31|
|Huangjiang Town||黄江镇||Huángjiāng Zhèn||231,399||98.0||2,361.21||441900114||7|
|Dongnan District||东南片区||Dōngnán Piànqū||1,246,493||472.3||2639.19||—||4 towns|
|Zhangmutou Town||樟木头镇||Zhāngmùtou Zhèn||132,816||118.8||1,117.97||441900112||10|
|Qingxi Town||清溪镇||Qīngxī Zhèn||312,639||143.0||2,186.28||441900115||1||20|
|Tangxia Town||塘厦镇||Tángxià Zhèn||482,067||128.0||3,766.14||441900116||23|
|Fenggang Town||凤岗镇||Fènggǎng Zhèn||318,971||82.5||3,866.31||441900117||1||11|
|Binhai District||滨海片区||Bīnhǎi Piànqū||1,918,652||509.3||3767.23||—||4 towns|
|Chang'an Town||长安镇||Cháng'ān Zhèn||664,230||97.8||6,791.71||441900119||13|
|Humen Town||虎门镇||Hǔmén Zhèn||638,657||178.5||3,577.91||441900121||31|
|Houjie Town||厚街镇||Hòujiē Zhèn||438,283||126.0||3,478.43||441900122||24|
|Shatian Town||沙田镇||Shātián Zhèn||177,482||107.0||1,658.71||441900123||2||16|
|Shuixiang District||水乡片区||Shuǐxiāng Piànqū||543,632||261.5||2078.89||—||5 towns|
|Daojiao Town||道滘镇||Dàojiào Zhèn||143,107||63.0||2,271.53||441900124||1||13|
|Hongmei Town||洪梅镇||Hóngméi Zhèn||58,114||33.0||1,761.03||441900125||1||9|
|Machong Town||麻涌镇||Máchǒng Zhèn||118,062||74.0||1,595.43||441900126||2||13|
|Wangniudun Town||望牛墩镇||Wàngniúdūn Zhèn||84,786||31.5||2,685.65||441900127||1||21|
|Zhongtang Town||中堂镇||Zhōngtáng Zhèn||139,563||60.0||2,326.05||441900128||5||15|
|Administrative divisions of Dongguan|
|Division code||English name||Chinese||Pinyin||Area in km2||Population 2010||Seat||Postal code||Divisions|
|Subdistricts||Towns||Residential communities||Administrative villages|
|441900||Dongguan City||东莞市||Dōngguǎn Shì||2,465.00||8,220,207||City-administered District||523000||4||28||248||350|
|441900||City-administered District||市辖区||Shìxiáqū||2,465.00||8,220,207||Nancheng Subdistrict||523000||4||28||248||350|
One can travel from Hong Kong to Dongguan by bus, ferry, or train. Passengers travelling overland must disembark from their transport at the Hong Kong/China border to go through customs and immigration, except for those traveling on the Mass Transit Railway intercity services (former Kowloon-Canton Railway) from Hung Hom Station to Dongguan, Guangzhou and beyond.
The Humen Pearl River Bridge is a suspension bridge over the Pearl River. Completed in 1997, it has a main span of 888 metres (2,913 ft). Construction work on the Second Humen Pearl River Bridge will start in early 2014.
Among the four metro lines (R1-R4) planned for the Dongguan Rail Transit, R2 Line is presently under construction and was scheduled to open for operations in early 2015. This was delayed and opened in May 2016. The R2 Line will link towns in Western Dongguan, thereby promoting the connection of the entire downtown area with Houjie, Humen and Chang’an. It will also support Dongguan's regional transportation with other cities such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong by joining with the rail transit junctions of the Pearl River Delta.
Dongguan is a major manufacturing hub, although it suffered significant loss of economic activity from the impact of the 2008 financial crisis. The largest industrial sector is manufacturing of electronics and communications equipment; international companies with facilities in Dongguan include DuPont, Samsung Electronics, Nokia, Coca-Cola, Nestlé and Maersk.
The Dongguan Science and Technology Museum (opened in December 2005), the high tech commerce park in the Songshan Lake district (opened in 2003) and a partnership with the Global IT Academy of the Brea Olinda Unified School District in Southern California have demonstrated the city's emphasis on attracting technology business. The city announced in 2005 a planned investment of US$500 million over five years for technology infrastructure improvements. The city administration is considered especially progressive in seeking foreign direct investment. Among the investors were Brazilian shoe manufacturers. Brazil excelled in manufacturing cheap footwear in the 1970s and 80s. The Brazilian community in Dongguan numbered 4,000 people in 2013.
While the city is the fourth largest export region in China, behind Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Suzhou, Dongguan has yet to gain the kind of name recognition realized by Shenzhen outside of China. This may be because the city has focused on infrastructure investment rather than the direct targeting of major corporations with financial incentives for economic development. Nevertheless, Dongguan has been identified by high level representatives of the National Development and Reform Commission of the central government as one of the most significant growth regions for technology in the coming years. As part of this plan, the Dongguan local government announced a plan to create and support a 100-billion-yuan photovoltaic manufacturing industry by 2015.
To cope with the impact of the financial crisis, Dongguan city is looking to industrial restructuring, focusing on four pillar platforms — governmental services, supporting measures, technology upgrade, and market expansion. The city government claims that this process has already enhanced the its capability for independent innovation and the quantity of patent applications in 2008.
In Dongguan, manufacturing is prosperous and with a strong tertiary industry and had a total GDP of 501 billion RMB with the scale proportion of the three major industrial sectors standing at 0.4:46.9:52.7 in 2012.
On 9 February 2014, China Central Television aired a special on the sex industry in Dongguan. The same day Guangdong Provincial Police raided and closed all saunas, bars, foot massages, karaokes, and other businesses associated with the sex industry. The economic impact of this crackdown is believed to be 50 billion yuan, or just over $8 billion US dollars. The residual effects of the crackdown affected the livelihood of taxi drivers and restaurants who, while not directly involved in the sex industry, benefited from the increased clientele.
Dongguan is dubbed as a "National Basketball City" and is the only prefecture-level city with three professional basketball clubs in China. The Guangdong Southern Tigers was the first professional basketball club in China, having won eight Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) championships.
Dongguan Yulan Theater is one of China’s newest multipurpose performing arts venues. With its multi-layered exterior suggestive of an unfolding lotus petal, it has become a landmark in Dongguan city. The new cultural hub houses two theatres presenting a full schedule of performances, including Romeo and Juliet and the Chinese classic Butterfly Lovers. So far Dongguan has produced 7 original musicals by its own and made a roadshow of 60 performances in over 30 cities of China.
The city and province have been the recent focus of press and journalist attention with coverage of the many young Chinese workers, principally females (so-called factory girls), from agricultural areas who work in the area's factories and manufacturing/assembly facilities, where many are housed in large dormitories, usually several to a room.
An article in the High Tech Misery in China series reports research conducted, over 2008 to 2009, on working conditions at one of the city's major keyboard makers (Dongguan Meitai Plastics & Electronics Factory); in it, Meitai factory won some unwanted attention due to the poor conditions for its young, mostly female workers. The article includes details of those conditions, photos, translations of employer's rules and evidence that well-known computer brands use this keyboard supplier's products.
Dongguan has as well a variety of types of brothels, massage parlours, nightclubs, sauna centres and karaoke bars. The city has more than 120 top-end luxury hotels and hundreds of other mid-range places that offer illegal sexual services or lease floors to sex operators, and many parts of the broader service sector benefit from the trade brought by visitors. Although much of the business is illegal, police operations to limit these activities were for a long time largely ineffective, in part because many members of the local administration and other officials have business interests in the sector.
On 9 February 2014, CCTV aired a report about prostitution in Dongguan. In reaction, on the same day, Dongguan police launched a crackdown on brothels, massage parlours, nightclubs, sauna centres and karaoke bars, leading to some commentary that the city's days as China's sex capital were numbered.
The city is home to 650 educational institutions: one general college, a TV University as well as technical and vocational schools, 550 primary schools and 480 kindergartens. The number of professional teachers, including those at kindergartens, totals 20,268. A comparatively integrated educational system has been set up including preschool, basic, vocational, higher and lifelong adult education. Senior high school education has developed since 1995.
The Dongguan University of Technology is located in Dongguan.
Donguan is host to the following annual festivals:
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dongguan.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Dongguan.|
Largest cities or towns in China
Sixth National Population Census of the People's Republic of China (2010)
|10||Hong Kong||Hong Kong||7,055,071||20||Zhengzhou||Henan||3,677,000|