Shaoxing (help·info) is a prefecture-level city on the southern shore of Hangzhou Bay in northeastern Zhejiang province, China. It was formerly known as Kuaiji and Shanyin and abbreviated in Chinese as 越 (Yuè) from the area's former inhabitants. Located on the south bank of the Qiantang River estuary, it borders Ningbo to the east, Taizhou to the southeast, Jinhua to the southwest, and Hangzhou to the west. The city itself is lined with numerous canals and waterways, giving it a classic Jiangnan style scenery though more mountainous than is typical for Jiangnan. At the 2010 census, its population was 4,912,339 inhabitants whom 1,914,683 (Keqiao and Yuecheng districts) lived in the built-up area of Hangzhou-Shaoxing, with 8,156,154 inhabitants.
Shaoxing has long been a hotbed of Chinese cultural activity, producing such luminary figures as Wang Xizhi, Zhou Enlai, Lu Xun, and Cai Yuanpei. It is widely known throughout China for Shaoxing wine, meigan cai, and stinky tofu, and was recently featured on A Bite of China. Its local variety of Chinese opera sung in the local dialect and known as Yue or Shaoxing opera is second in popularity only to Peking opera. In 2010, Shaoxing celebrated the 2500th anniversary of the founding of the city.
Economically, the city's driven by manufacturing of textiles, electronics, and energy efficient lighting. Zhejiang has the fifth highest per capita GDP in the nation, with the city itself at 32nd nationally by GDP per capita.