Shenzhen China was set up as a city under the jurisdiction of Guangdong Province of the People's Republic of China in March, 1979, and an area of the city then was designated as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in August, 1980.
Shenzhen city is divided into six districts: Luohu District, Futian District, Nanshan District, Baoan District, Longgang District and Yantian District.
Shenzhen is in the south of Guangdong Province. It borders the New Territories of Hong Kong in the south, overlooking the Dapeng Bay in the east, the Pearl River Estuary in the west and adjoins Huizhou City and Dongguan City in the north.
Shenzhen has a total area of 2,020 square kilometers, of which the Special Economic Zone covers an area of 327.5 square kilometers. Shenzhen has a coastline that stretches over 229.9 kilometers.
By the end of 1997, the population of the city totaled 3.79 million including 1.09 million permanent dwellers and 2.7 million nonpermanent ones.
The city boasts two higher learning institutions, 7 polytechnics, 70 vocational and technical schools and middle schools (including 1 foreign language school and 2 special education schools), 274 primary schools and 349 kindergartens. Besides, two regular tertiary colleges, 11 secondary schools for adults and training schools have been created. Along with the completion of the educational system, teaching quality has risen significantly. Now, it is in the marked forefront of Guangdong Province. Special measures have been taken by the local education authority to facilitate the schooling of children of foreign investors and businessmen. So far, Asia-Pacific (Shenzhen) International School and some Hong Kong-funded kindergartens are already in operation.
Unfortunately, as often comes with prosperity, the promise of better jobs, better education, and of course, more money, has created a major influx of migrant workers, and young adults looking to better their lives. Unemployment is on a rampage. For those of you who are familiar with the plight of migrant workers in California, you can see a vast similiarity in the migrant workers of China. The young adults have come better prepared. Many pay for housing and other big ticket expenses a year in advance, providing them with time to finance the next year.
In many cases, there are two questions these workers ask themselves; Do I get an education, or do I start a business? I have no way of putting those questions into perspective. Life in China is so vastly different than anything I've ever experienced that I have no yardstick to compare it to. Many of these people come to these special economic zones with just enough money to pay for college or university for 3 years. This is often just enough money to start a small business, one that can provide enough money for the basics in life for one person. The education might get them a job that can provide for 2, maybe 3, people if they qualify for a high tech job. The problem is, to complete the schooling in 3 years, all their time is dedicated to school. But unless they work, they can't pay for their rent, food, utilities, etc. I can feel some sympathy for them, as I had to work my way through university (except my first year, it was all my parents could do for me. Thanks Mom and Dad!). It took me 5 years to complete my degree and I lived on the basics. If I had had to do it in 3 years... I would have simply dropped out of university and tried to get a full time job. At least I also had ample opportunity for employement. These people have little chance of employment. I truely hope Shenzhen's future growth, which looks good, will be fast enough to provide opportunities for this incredible resouce of smart, eager people.
Another aspect of this lifestyle is that cellphones are about 90 yuan ($10) per month and an actual phone line into your dwelling is roughly 270 yuan ($30) per month. Hence, everyone has a cellphone and no one has line service.
While in Shenzhen I was able to visit the following:
Links of interest: