Cultural & Business Guide



According to the Annual report “La Cina nel 2015” edited by CeSIF in 2014, China reached 54,77% of urbanization rate. By 2018, urbanization will easily reach 60% according to CAAS (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences). Right now China has 6 mega cities (exceeding 10 million people), and 10 big cities (between 5 and 10 million people) but by 2030 the situation will be 7 and 16 cities respectively.

More or less, 70% of the Chinese population (1 billion) will live in 600 cities by 2035. This situation is extremely alarming from many points of view: the government is not only concerned with the modification of social issues, but also with urban landscapes and sustainability.

How many Chinese?

Chinese population in 2014 was slightly less than 1.37 billion people but only 30% of the entire population possess a regular resident permit in the urban areas, the so called Hukou.

It is always hard to have a precise idea of how many people live in the cities since there is a huge amount of migrants who are not registered and the information does not allow a precise estimate.

By the end of 2014, Beijing's population reached 21.52 million, making it one of the most populated cities in the world. A rough estimate said that around 8.19 Million migrants lived and worked in the Chinese capital in 2014.

Chongqing is the second populated Chinese city, with 29.70 million, while Shanghai is the third , with “only” 14.72 million.

In China you won’t feel alone!

Internal migration

According to the Sixth National Population Census, the internal migration database records 262 Million people. A rapid transfer of human resources from rural to non rural regions and large economic developments increased the number of people living in the cities.

On December 2014, Chinese government announced cancellation of temporary residence permit, and the process is ongoing (May 2015), while a draft bill concerning the possibility for urban migrants to benefit partially from the urban public utilities has been proposed. The opportunity of enjoying public utilities depends on the migrant situation that seems to favour and contribute to the consumption market.

Streets and directions:

Since ancient times, Chinese philosophy has always considered “strategically important” 4 cardinal points of the compass plus the central one (Zhong 中). This conception affects also the name of the country, China, known as “the Middle Kingdom” and also in the name of some cities, such as Beijing (Capital in the North) and Nanjing (Capital in the South).

In cities, especially big ones, main streets can be divided into north/south (北bei / nan) or east/west (东dong / 西xi) and the numbers start over in each direction of the street.

So make sure to include the directions in the complete address.

Moreover, the main cities are well covered with wifi connection, so you may use your mobile app to reach your final destination without spending too much on international roaming fees.

Beijing Ring roads

Beijing extends on a vast territory and is one of the few Chinese cities that has multiple ring roads. Actually, we can mention six so far, but the 7th is going to be constructed soon. The second ring road stretches out to the very heart of the city, and it is directly connected to the Airport Expressway. The prices for real estates are quite high within reach of the second ring road since it is right in the centre of the Chinese Capital.


AA.VV, “Le città proibite”; Mondo Cinese, Brioschi editore – Fondazione Italia Cina, Milan, 2014 – n. 1

John Friedman, “China’s Urban Transition”, London, University of Minnesota Press, 2005.

McElwee, C. R.”Environmental Law in China: Mitigating Risk and Ensuring Compliance”, Oxford Univ. Press, 2011

CeSIF, “La Cina nel 2015”, Milan, Fondazione Italia Cina, 2015

External links

Project 2014-1-PL01-KA200-003591