Shantou, alternately
romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas ...
as Swatow and sometimes known as Santow, is a
prefecture-level city Image:Yangxin-renmin-huanyin-ni-0022.jpg, A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply "Huangshi" (). This is a useful distinction, because the sign is located ''already'' within Huangshi prefectural level city (imm ...
on the eastern coast of Guangdong, China, with a total population of 5,391,028 as of 2010 and an administrative area of . Shantou, a city significant in 19th-century Chinese history as one of the treaty ports established for Western trade and contact, was one of the original
special economic zones of China Special economic zones (SEZs) in mainland China are granted more free market-oriented economic policies and flexible governmental measures by the government of China, compared to the planned economy elsewhere. This allows SEZs to utilize economic m ...
established in the 1980s, but did not blossom in the manner that cities such as Shenzhen,
and Zhuhai did. However, it remains eastern Guangdong's economic centre, and is home to
Shantou University
Shantou University
, which is under the provincial Project 211 program in Guangdong.


Shantou was a fishing village part of Tuojiang Du (), Jieyang County during the
Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou, ending the Five Dynasties a ...
. It came to be known as Xialing () during the Yuan dynasty. In 1563, Shantou became a part of Chenghai County in Chao Prefecture ( Chaozhou). As early as 1574, Shantou had been called Shashanping (). In the seventeenth century, a cannon platform called Shashantou Cannon () was made here, and the place name later was shortened to "Shantou". Locally it has been referred to as Kialat. Connecting to Shantou across the Queshi Bridge is Queshi () which had been known by the local people through the 19th century as Kakchio. It was the main site for the American and British consulates. Today the area is a scenic park but some of the structures from its earlier history are somewhat preserved. In 1860, Shantou was opened for foreigners and became a trading port according to Treaty of Tientsin. It became a city in 1919, and was separated from Chenghai in 1921. 1922 saw the devastating 1922 Swatow Typhoon, Swatow Typhoon, which killed 5,000 out of the 65,000 people then inhabiting the city. Some nearby villages were totally destroyed. Several ships near the coast were totally wrecked. Other ones were blown as far as two miles inland. The area around the city had around another 50,000 casualties. The total death toll was above 60,000, and may have been higher than 100,000. In the 1930s, as a transport hub and a merchandise distribution centre in Southeast China, Shantou Port's cargo throughput ranked third in the country. A brief account of a visit to the city in English during this period is the English accountant Max Relton's ''A Man in the East: A Journey through French Indo-China'' (Michael Joseph Ltd., London, 1939). On 21 June 1939, Swatow Operation, Japanese troops invaded Shantou. Japanese forces occupied Shantou until 15 August 1945. The Communist People's Liberation Army captured Shantou on 24 October 1949, 23 days after the People's Republic of China was founded. With higher-level administrative authority, Shantou governed Chaozhou City and Jieyang, Jieyang City from 1983 to 1989.


Shantou is located in eastern Guangdong with latitude spanning 23°02′33″ – 23°38′50″ N and longitude 116°14′40″ – 117°19′35″ E; the Tropic of Cancer passes through the northern part of the city, and along it there is a monument, in fact the easternmost in mainland China, at . The highest peak in the city's administration is Mount Dajian () on Nan'ao Island, at ; the highest peak on the geographic mainland is :zh:莲花山, Mount Lianhua (), at in Chenghai District. The city is located at the mouths of the Han River (Guangdong), Han, :zh:榕江 (广东), Rong (), and Lian Rivers. Shantou is northeast of Hong Kong.


Shantou has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification, Köppen ''Cwa''), with short, mild to warm winters, and long, hot, humid summers. Winter begins sunny and dry but becomes progressively wetter and cloudier. Spring is generally overcast, while summer brings the heaviest rains of the year though is much sunnier; there are 8.2 days annually with of rainfall. Autumn is sunny and dry. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from in January to in July, and the annual mean is . The annual rainfall is around , about 60% of which occurs from May to August. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 28% in March to 58% in July and October, the city receives 1,979 hours of bright sunshine annually.


Shantou is a
prefecture-level city Image:Yangxin-renmin-huanyin-ni-0022.jpg, A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply "Huangshi" (). This is a useful distinction, because the sign is located ''already'' within Huangshi prefectural level city (imm ...
. It has direct jurisdiction over six District of China, districts and one County (People's Republic of China), county. As of 2003, the district of Haojiang was established out of Hepu District, Hepu and Dahao which had been merged, and the district of Jinping Shengping and Jinyuan; Waisha and Xinxi Town, part of former Chenghai City, was merged into Longhu District; Chenghai City became Chenghai District; Chaoyang City was divided and became Chaoyang and Chaonan District respectively.


Shantou's economy is medium by Guangdong standards. Manufacturing accounts for a large and increasing share of employment. Canning, garments, lithography, plastic, and toys are some of the principal products. Toy manufacturing is the city's leading export industry, with 400 million U.S. dollars worth of exports each year. Guiyu (town), Guiyu, a populous town in Chaoyang District, Shantou, Chaoyang District, is the biggest electronic waste site on earth. Health-environmental issues incurred have concerned international organizations such as Greenpeace. In 2000, the biggest tax fraud in the history of the People's Republic of China was uncovered, estimated worthy of 32.3 billion yuan. In 2017, the analyzed data of Shantou GDP is approximately 230 billion yuan(US$35.4 billion).

Development zone

With an area of , Shantou Free Trade Zone lies at the south part of Shantou city. It was ratified by the State Council of the People's Republic of China and founded in January 1993, and it formally came into use on December of the same year after its supervision installations were checked and accepted by the General Administration of Customs. It has been comprehensively developing export processing, storage, international trade, finance and information industry. Its goal is to establish a modernized international zone that is open to overseas by drawing experience from international free trade zones.


Shantou is one of the most densely populated regions in China. Former Chaoyang City was China's most populous county-level administrative region, with 2.4 million inhabitants. Shantou has direct jurisdiction over six districts and one county, and the six urban districts of Shantou have a population of 5,330,764.

Metro area

With it and the surrounding cities of Jieyang and Chaozhou, the metropolitan area known as Chaoshan covers an area of , and had a permanent population of 13,937,897 at the end of 2010. Its built up area spread of 12 districts and Raoping county was home to 12,785,241 inhabitants as of 2010 census. The metropolitan area population was estimated by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) to be, , 12 million.Linked from the OEC
/ref> This is de facto the fourth built-up area of China after Pearl River Delta, Shanghai-Suzhou-Wuxi-Changzhou megacity and Beijing.


Most residents are linguistically Teochew people, Teochew. Teochew dialect is a variant of Min Nan (Hokkien-Taiwanese) spoken in the neighbouring Southern Fujian and Taiwan. There are also Hakka people, Hakka, popularly known as Half-Hakka people, Hakka (), living mainly in Chaoyang District and Chaonan District, although they speak Teochew on a daily basis and practise Teochew culture. The Mandarin-medium education system, widely promoted throughout China, has made most people, especially younger generations, speak Mandarin fluently. Cantonese language TV and labor migrations to the Pearl River Delta has also made Cantonese widely spoken as a third language by the younger generations. Governmental statistics show that 2.16 million overseas Chinese have roots in Shantou, with significant populations of Teochew people residing in Thailand and Cambodia, which constitute a majority of Thai Chinese and a majority of Chinese Cambodians. This is demonstrated by the unusually high number of international direct flights between Bangkok and Shantou. In addition, there are at least two Teochew dialect, Teochew-speaking air hostesses on board each China Southern flight between Shantou and Bangkok. The Teochew presence, furthermore, is evident in Singapore and Malaysia; Johor Bahru, a coastal city situated at the latter's southernmost tip, is known as 'Little Swatow', due to the majority local Malaysian Chinese, Chinese populace is dominantly Teochew and as well as the second largest group of the local Chinese Singaporeans, Chinese population in Singapore.

Culture and lifestyle

Shantou people share the same culture with other Teochew people, Teochew. The tea-drinking tradition widely practised in town is a classic instance. According to ''China Daily'', Shantou people "drink more tea than anyone else in China, in total 700 million yuan (US$87.5 million) each year".


Most of the population in Shantou is non-religious or practices Chinese folk religion, traditional folk religions, Chinese Buddhism, Buddhism, Taoist schools, Taoist rites, or worship of gods and Ancestor veneration in China, ancestors. About 2% of the population belongs to an organised religion, with 40,000 Protestantism in China, Protestants, 20,000 Roman Catholicism in China, Catholics and 500 Islam in China, Muslims. St. Joseph's Cathedral of Shantou is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Shantou.



The public hospitals in the Shantou metropolitan area are operated by the Government of Shantou. Management of these hospitals and other specialist health facilities are coordinated by Shantou Shantou Health Board, Board of Health.


Image:ShantouPostOffice01.jpg, The main post office in the old city centre Shantou's electricity is provided entirely by State Grid Corporation, China Southern Power Grid, Mail, postal service operated by China Post.


Shantou is one of the most important international telecommunications ports in China. Four List of international submarine communications cables, international submarine communications cables land at Shantou submarine cable landing station, including APCN 2, China-US Cable Network, SMW3 and South-East Asia Japan Cable System (SJC). China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile provide fixed lines, broadband internet access and mobile telecommunications services there.


Urban transport

Public transportation is provided by bus, ferry, bike sharing system and taxi. Residents also travel by private car and motorbikes. A Urban rail transit in China, metro system is planned with construction of 3 lines (Lines 1, 2, and 3) commencing in 2018 and opening of the system planned in 202


Shantou previously had its own civil airport, Shantou Waisha Airport. It was formerly the main airport serving the Shantou until nearby Jieyang Chaoshan Airport was opened on 15 December 2011. Shantou Waisha Airport became a military airbase since then and all civilian flights were transferred to the newly built airport in Jieyang. Taxi is the usual way to travel between the airport and the city proper. The taxi fare is around 60 Renminbi, RMB. Airport-Downtown Shantou shuttle charter is also suggested. Based in Shantou, Shantou Airlines Co. operated by China Southern Airlines has a 15 aircraft fleet in service.


There are 3 railway stations which serve Shantou: Chaoshan Railway Station and Chaoyang railway station (Guangdong), Chaoyang railway station which lie on the Xiamen-Shenzhen Railway line, and Shantou Railway Station which lies on the Guangzhou–Meizhou–Shantou Railway and is under construction for the Guangzhou-Shanwei-Shantou 350 km/h high speed railway.

Tourism attractions

Shantou Times Square light show
(19:00-21:00 on Friday and weekend)
Shipaotai Park
() * Chen Cihong's Former Residence () * Nan'ao Island, rated as Guangdong's most beautiful island by China's National Geographic magazine
Palace-Temple of Old Mother
(): dedicated to the goddess Matsu (goddess), Matsu
Temple of Emperor Guan
(): dedicated to Guan Yu * Tropic of Cancer Symbol Tower (): The Tropic of Cancer slips through Centipede Mountain, which is 20 kilometers away from the city properly. * Cultural Revolution Museum (): The country's only museum dedicated to the Cultural Revolution. * Shantou Museum (): An art museum.
Shantou Founding Museum
(): This history museum is devoted to the establishment of Swatow (Shantou) as a treaty port in the 19th century, not to be confused with Shantou Museum.
Old town of Swatow and Dr.Sun Yat-sen memorial pavilion
() * East Coast Avenue ()


In 1912 Swatow had four newspapers, all in Chinese. They were ''Han Chao Pao'', ''Ming Chuan'' (People's Rights), ''Ta Fung Pao'' (The Typhoon), and ''Ta Tung Pao'' (Eastern Times).United States Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce
p. 187
In 2018, Shantou Metropolis Daily Post and Shantou Special Economic Zone Evening News both stopped their traditional newspaper business and transform into e-newspaper newspapers. Meanwhile, th

(Municipal) keep providing both newspaper service and e-newspaper service for Shantou citizens and other readers.


Education is overseen provincewide by the Guangdong Education Bureau.

Primary and secondary

Public primary and secondary schools provide education free. A list of known schools: * Shantou Jinshan Middle School * Shantou Number One Middle School * Shantou Experimental School *Shantou Waima Road Number Four Primary School * Shantou Number four Middle School * Shantou Number ten Middle School, Shantou Feixia Middle School * Shantou Number two Middle School * Shantou Number three Middle School *Dahua number one primary school * Yuhuai Middle School

Colleges and universities

* (STU) * Guangdong Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Guangdong Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (GTIIT)
South China University of Technology Shantou College

Shantou Polytechnic

Shantou Radio and TV University


* Haibin Stadium, Haibin Stadium (Jinping District)
Zhengda Stadium (Longhu District)

Shantou Natatorium and Diving Stadium
(Haojiang District)
Youngsters Soccer Court of Shantou Times Square
Fitness square and tennis courts of Xinghu Park
(Longhu District) * Shantou Citic Golf Club(27Holes) (Haojiang District) * Shantou Jinfeng Sports Park(Including golf course, basketball fields and soccer courts)(Longhu District)

Twin towns – sister cities

Shantou is Sister city, twinned with: * Cần Thơ, Vietnam (2005) * Haifa, Israel (2015) * Kishiwada, Osaka, Kishiwada, Japan (1990) * Saint John, New Brunswick, Saint John, Canada (1997)

Friendly cities

Shantou has friendly relations with: * Bangkok, Thailand (2000) * Durrës, Albania (2015) * Fairfield City Council, Fairfield, Australia (2005) * Federal Way, Washington, Federal Way, United States (2013) * Johor Bahru, Malaysia (2011) * Khabarovsk, Russia (2019) * Leiria, Portugal (2018) * Libreville, Gabon (2015) * Puntarenas, Costa Rica (2014) * Pyeongtaek, South Korea (2003)

Notable people

Many notable Chinese come from Shantou or their Ancestral home (China), ancestral home is Shantou.


*Mainland China **Huang Guangyu (1969–), Chairman of Gome Group and once the richest person in Mainland China **Ma Huateng (1971–), Founder of Tencent Computer System Co., Ltd and creator of Tencent QQ, QQ **Ji Haipeng,Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Logan Property Holdings Co, Ltd. **Yao Zhenhua,the chairman of Baoneng Group,China's fourth-richest man as of January 2017 *Thailand **Low Kiok Chiang (1843–1911), founder of Khiam Hoa Heng entreprises (1872-1950s) **Dhanin Chearavanont(1939-),Senior Chairman of CP Group, Thailand's largest private company and Forbes ranked. *Hong Kong **Sir Li Ka-shing Grand Bauhinia Medal, GBM Order of the British Empire, KBE Justice of the Peace, JP (1928–; Chaozhou), tycoon, the Chairman, chairman of the board for CK Hutchison Holdings. **Lim Por-yen (1914–2005), media tycoon, banker and charitarian *Singapore ** Tang Choon Keng (1901–2000), founder of Tangs *Malaysia


*Hong Kong born **Emil Chau (1960–) actor and singer **Kwong Wah (1962–), actor and singer **Canti Lau (1964–) actor and singer **Sammi Cheng (1972–) actress and singer **Kent Cheng(1951-),actor *Mainland China **Cai Chusheng (1906–1968), director, and his film ''Song of the Fisherman'' () received the first international film prize in China's history


*Taksin, King Taksin (Zheng Xin) (1734–1782), Thailand King from 1767 to 1782 * Nuon Chea (1926–), Cambodian politician * :zh:吴南生, Wu Nansheng (1922-), former Secretary of Guangdong Provincial Party Committee * Adele M. Fielde (1839–1916), missionary and author * Qin Mu (1919–1992), writer * Watchman Nee (1903–1972), theologian, and opponent of prosperity theology * Tan Howe Liang (1933–), Singaporean weightlifting Olympian * Xu Shilin (1998–), Chinese tennis player, Junior Olympic gold medallist
Hao Huang
Chinese mathematician, solver of Sensitivity Conjecture and Assistant Professor at Emory University

See also

*Chaoshan * Chaozhou *Teochew people



* ''Miscellaneous series, Issues 7–11''. United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, 1912.

Further reading

*(Harvard University)

External links

Official government website

Website of Shantou Government

Shantou Daily

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