Shenzhen (Chinese: 深圳) is a major city in the south of Southern China’s Guangdong Province, situated immediately north of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The area became China’s first—and one of the most successful—Special Economic Zones (SEZs). It currently also holds sub-provincial administrative status, with powers slightly less than a province. According to a report published by Shenzhen Daily in 2012, Shenzhen has a population of approximately 15 million. It's one of the most built-up areas in the world and the so-called Pearl River Delta Mega City had more than 44.7 million inhabitants at the 2010 census spread over 9 municipalities (including Macao) and an area of 17,573 km2.
Shenzhen’s modern cityscape is the result of the vibrant economy made possible by rapid foreign investment since the institution of the policy of “reform and opening” establishment of the SEZ in late 1979, before which it was only a small village. Both Chinese citizens and foreign nationals have invested enormous amounts of money in the Shenzhen SEZ. More than US$30 billion in foreign investment has gone into both foreign-owned and joint ventures, at first mainly in manufacturing but more recently in the service industries as well. Shenzhen is now considered one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.