China History Photography Shenzhen

Shenzhen: Before and After

The city of Shenzhen in China developed at a rate unseen before in history. Before the 1980’s it was a small fishing village formerly known as Bao’an County (宝安县), today it’s a sprawling city of 12 million+ inhabitants and is still growing. Recently I stumbled across some fascinating pictures showing its development over the past 30 years which I thought I’d share –

Before (circa 1980):

Shenzhen Before Construction Boom
Shenzhen Bay around Shawei, Shatou and Huanggang – mostly farmland.

Shenzhen Before Construction Boom

Shenzhen Before Construction Boom

During (circa 80’s / early 90’s):

Shenzhen During Construction Boom
The plan begins to come together with Deng Xiaoping at the helm – Shenzhen Special Economic Zone is born.

old school shenzhen

old school shenzhen

After (mid-1990’s):

Shenzhen After Construction Boom
Southern China has a new financial centre and the second busiest port in China.

Shenzhen After Construction Boom

Shenzhen After Construction Boom

Shenzhen After Construction Boom

I find it utterly incredible to think that almost within my own lifetime (of 24 years and counting) that a city of this magnitude has sprung up out of the proverbial dust. The perfect storm of investment, labour and location have come together to produce something as scary as it is magnificent in such a short space of time. Tighter integration with Hong Kong will only increase this.

More information –

8 Comments Add New Comment

  1. Exposing Esposo | Get Real Philippines (archive) says:

    […] British-controlled Crown Colony of Hong Kong to set up their manufacturing plans and facilities in Shenzhen in order to take advantage of the lower cost of land-lease as well as the much lower labor costs. […]

  2. Exposing Esposo | correctphilippines.org says:

    […] British-controlled Crown Colony of Hong Kong to set up their manufacturing plans and facilities in Shenzhen in order to take advantage of the lower cost of land-lease as well as the much lower labor costs. […]

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