Located in the south central Guangdong Province and to the east of the Pearl River estuary, Dongguan is situated in the middle section of the economic corridor connecting also Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Initially named Bao ' an as a county in AD 331, the territory did not change its name to the current “Dongguan” until AD 757 during the Tang Dynasty. “Dong” which literarily means east in Chinese refers to its location, i.e. east to Guangzhou while “guan” is the name of a kind of grass growing in profusion on this land.
In 1839, Lin Zexu destroyed a considerable quantity of opium in Humen, Donguan, which ushered in the modern time of China. In September 1985 Dongguan Country was renamed and called “city”. However, it was in January 1988 when it obtained the city-level position. To date, 4 sub-districts and 28 towns are under its direct governance. Covering a total land area of 2,460 square kilometers, Dongguan has a permanent population of 8.26 million by the end of 2016, among which 2 million are registered residents. Besides, over 200,000 Chinese living in a foreign land and more than 700,000 compatriots in Hong Kong and Macao are from Dongguan, which makes it a well-Known hometown to overseas Chinese. In 2016 the total output of Dongguan city achieved RMB 682.7 billion yuan ，with growth of 8.1% and its import and export international trade registered RMB 1141.6 billion yuan, while the growth is 9.8%.
Dongguan is an international city renowned for manufacturing that keeps pace with the times. Year 1978 witnessed the opening of the county’s first enterprise that operates in a model of outward processing and compensation trade (referring to processing with supplied materials, processing with supplied patterns and samples, assembly with supplied components, and compensation trade), namely, Taiping Handbag Factory, in Dongguan. Since the reform and opening up, the philosophy of export-oriented, manufacturing-based and urban-rural integrated development has brought the traditional agricultural country into an emerging city that is reputed for manufacturing worldwide. With less than 0.03% of the country’s land, Dongguan contributes over 1% of China’s total industrial output, earning it the honor as an extraordinary microcosm of how the reform and opening up can benefit the province of Guangdong and even the country at large, and also enlisting the city as one of the 18 model regions in China with regard to the reform and opening up. To this day, foreign investors from more than 40 countries and regions have been attracted to Dongguan. 11,000 foreign-funded enterprises have quartered here and the utilized foreign capital has accumulated to nearly US$ 85 billion. With 88 projects invested by 49 of the world’s Top 500 enterprises, pillar industries including electronics and information, electrical machinery and equipment, textile and garments, food and beverage, paper making and paper products, etc. are shaped and emerging industry clusters for photoelectric LED, novel tablet display, solar PV and so on have come into being.
Manufacturing plays an essential role in the growth, development and prosperity of Dongguan. As the tag of “Manufactured in Dongguan” has won fame both at home and abroad, Dongguan has become a world-renowned manufacturing base and a major export base of China. It is jokingly said within the industry that a traffic jam in Dongguan entails a shortage of supply worldwide. The PC matching rate reaches 95% in Dongguan, over 10 types of IT products account for 10% to 30% of the international market and the annual shipment of smart phones equals 20% of the world supply. One out of every ten pairs of sneakers around the globe is made in Dongguan, one in every five persons on average has a sweater which is made in Dongguan and 30% of toys in the world are also made in Dongguan. Various industrial clusters that are recognized by the country and the world have been developed in the towns of Dongguan. For example, Humen is Known for women’s wear, Dalang for woolen sweaters, Houjie for shoes and Dalingshan for exported furniture. In addition, there are distinguishing parks in Dongguan including Songshan Lake (Eco-park) that functions as a national high-tech industrial development zone as well as a demonstration area for circular economy and ecological industry, the economic zone with a distinctive aquapolis culture integrating both traditional and modern elements, and the Humen Port which is a national class one port.
Dongguan is an inclusive city with a profound historical and cultural legacy. Friends from different countries and regions invest and mingle in Dongguan. Diverse cultures diffuse here, be it from the west or east, traditional or modern, refined or popular, coastal or inland. The Haogang Relic unearthed in Dongguan, also Known as “the First Village in Pearl River Delta,” indicates that ancient humans have inhabited in the land of Dongguan as early as 5,000 years ago. Dongguan is endowed with the deep-rooted Lingnan culture and the acclaimed Lingnan style painting was originated from the Keyuan Garden in Dongguan. In recent years, the city has been vigorously promoting the urban development towards a culturally renowned city. A wide range of cultural amenities such as the Magnolia Grand Theatre, libraries, museums including the Science and Technology Museum have been built. A series of nationally influential campaigns to promote the library, museum, popular culture, musicals, music for migrant workers, literature for migrant workers and more have been successfully carried out. The cultural square here is the most concentrated in China. A 24-hour book circulation system covers the whole city. Cantonese opera associations are flourishing here and there. Programs such as Our Festivals, Cultural Weekend, Reading Festival, Urban Rainbow and Sing to Shine are thriving. With 14 plays including Butterfly, Steel Piano and Love Me Once More, Mum created within 10 years, musicals made in Dongguan shot to fame and the city is entitled to the most productive for original musicals in China. In 2013, Dongguan became well acKnowledged as a national demonstration region for public cultural service system, which is the only one in Guangdong Province and among the first ones across the country. Furthermore, the city was designated as one of the ten national pilot bases for public cultural service standardization.
Dongguan is brimmed with passion for sports. Chen Jingkai, the first world record breaker of China for sports after the founding of the country was born in Dongguan. Ding Junhui the snooker prodigy had training here and Yi Jianlian achieved as a basketball super star here. Dongguan is home to the “Finest CBA (Chinese Basketball Association) Court” (Dongguan Basketball Centre) with the famous CBA team “Guangdong Southern Tigers”, the “World’s No. 1 Golf Club” (Mission Hills Golf Club), Li Yongbo Badminton School and a national badminton training base. Moreover, the city is honored by the state for its long-held tradition in swimming, weightlifting, dragon boat, dragon and lion dance, snooker and basketball and so on. In 2015, the city of sports will be even more thrilling by hosting its first major international sport event which is the 14th Sudirman Cup, a world mixed team badminton championship. The 16th Asian Marathon Championships will also be held in Dongguan in 2017.
Dongguan is a modern ecological city that is harmonious and comfortable to live in. Dongguan is recognized by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) as an "International Garden City". There are ecological conservation zones that cover thousands of square kilometers. The beautiful environment and the harmonious ecology make the city an ideal place to live and work in. With a forest coverage rate of 37.4%, Dongguan possesses 22 forest parks, six natural reserves, fourteen wetland parks, 1,500 parks and squares and 956 kilometers of greenways. The public green area per capital in the urban areas reaches 22.87 square metres and all of the ten major forest parks are open to the public for free.
As one of China’s Best Tourist Cities, Dongguan has abundant tourism resources encompassing national 4A scenic areas and spots such as the Opium War Museum, Songshan Lake, National Forest Park of Guanyin Mountain, Amazing World of South China Mall and Dongguan Science and Technology Museum, historical relics and attractions including China’s Historical and Cultural Village Nanshe, ancient architectural complex from Ming and Qing dynasties in Tangwei and Ying’enmen City-gate Tower, and the newly developed tourist spots such as Guanhe Museum and China Architecture Ceramic Museum. The Fog & Rain in Songshan Lake, Glory & Hope of Dongguan Avenue, Gem & Delight in Central Square, History & Future of Humen Bridge, Greens & Health in Huying Park, Season & Fragrance in Banling, Lotus & Egret in Lianhua Hill and Ripple & Moonlight in Jinsha are the top eight sights of Dongguan, which are the fabulous name-cards of the tourist city. At present, Dongguan strives to develop ten major tourist projects associated with exhibition, sports, villages, ecology, waterways, heritages, culture, industry, healthcare and leisure respectively, aiming to be an international destination for both business and leisure.
Dongguan has witnessed the exploration and achievements of China in the one hundred years from the Burning of Opium at Humen to the “Manufactured in Dongguan” era. Embracing the inclusive, pragmatic and innovative ethos of the city, Dongguan citizens are striding confidently towards the epoch of “Created in Dongguan.” This is Dongguan in China, a dynamic city where vibrance blossoms every day.
For more information, please refer to:
Information Office of Dongguan Government on Weibo microblog:http://weibo.com/guanxianghuakai
Information Office of Dongguan Government on Wechat:@ Dongguanfabu