Eye on Asia

Nanjing: A city profile

This article provides an overview of Nanjing for those keen on exploring the possibility of living and working there. The information presented is gathered from open sources and is not exhaustive or meant to supplement or substitute legal and professional advice.

Summer in Nanjing. Picture source: Unsplash.com

Key Facts

Province: Jiangsu¹

Land area: 6,587 sq km²

Population (2017): 8.34 million³

Mayor: Lan Shaomin⁴

GDP (2017): RMB 1.1715 billion

GDP Per Capita: RMB 141,103⁵

 

Introduction

Nanjing is the capital city of Jiangsu Province in East China. Founded 2,500 years ago, the city has long been “a major centre of culture, education, research, politics, economy, transport networks and tourism.”⁶ It has also been dubbed the “Capital of 10 Ancient Dynasties”, given that it served as the capital city for many Chinese dynasties, and twice as the capital of a united China until the Japanese conquered it in 1937.⁷

 

Geography

Nanjing sits on the southern bank of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. It borders the Yangtze River Delta to the east and the hilly areas of South Anhui to the west. It is also adjacent to the water network of Lake Taihu in the south and Jianghuai Plain to the north. Shanghai, China’s largest city, lies about 300 km to the east.⁸

Nanjing is now a major communications and industrial centre in China.⁹ It is connected by high-speed rail to other major cities in China, such as Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningpo, Wuhan, Beijing and Tianjin. It is also the site of the world’s largest inland port.¹⁰

 

Education

The city is the educational centre of southern China.¹¹ Each year, 250,000 students graduate from more than 60 universities in Nanjing.¹² Nanjing is also home to one of China’s top five universities, Nanjing University, which was ranked the 134th best university in the world by Times Higher Education World University Rankings in 2019.¹³ Nanjing also has educational amenities for the international business community in the form of K-12 schools.¹⁴

 

Economy and Industry

Nanjing is a key regional business centre with fast-growing domestic and international enterprises. In 2017, its GDP grew by 8.1 percent.¹⁵ Nanjing ranks highest among China’s major cities in research and development. It also ranks highly for the “proportion of spending on science and technology.”¹⁶ Its key industries include electronics, steel manufacturing, petrochemicals, automobile manufacturing, IT, photovoltaic, rail transit, finance and tourism.¹⁷

While Nanjing is promoting the transformation of traditional industries, it is also developing seven strategic industries in 14 major fields, particularly those which see an average annual growth of more than 20 percent. These industries include next generation information technology (NGIT), high-end equipment manufacturing, biomedicine, medical devices, new energy automobiles, smart grid, new materials, energy conservation, and environmental protection.¹⁸

 

Foreign Investments

A number of multinational corporations have set up operations in Nanjing. They include CSUN, and NARI Group. Additionally, well-known foreign retail companies, such as Carrefour and Walmart, have set up supermarkets there.¹⁹ Singapore is currently the fourth largest foreign investor in Nanjing, with 390 projects in the city worth S$4.02 billion in cumulative actual investments in sectors such as education, real estate and medical services.²⁰

 

Singapore and Nanjing

Singapore cooperates with Nanjing via the Singapore-Nanjing Special Projects Cooperation Panel (SNCP). The SNCP is a city-level platform under the Singapore-Jiangsu Cooperation Council (SJCC) set up to bolster bilateral cooperation in special projects in Nanjing. One example is the agreement for two Singapore logistics companies, Mapletree and SSinolog, to develop logistics parks in the city. In addition, Singapore-based Luye Medical Group Pte Ltd signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Singapore Nanjing Eco Hi-Tech Island Development Co Ltd and the Singapore Nanjing Eco Hi-Tech Island Administrative Committee to develop a high-end integrated hospital on the Singapore Nanjing Eco Hi-Tech Island to provide private healthcare for the island’s residents.²¹

In 2018, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) brought 54 company representatives to attend the Singapore-Nanjing Special Projects Cooperation Panel (SNCP) meeting in Nanjing. These companies hail from sectors such as logistics, real estate, medical services, technology, financial services and education. Given that Nanjing strives to be an innovation-driven city and the fourth most technologically-ready Chinese city, it is the place for Singapore companies to find opportunities in artificial intelligence (AI). In conjunction with the SNCP meeting, Singapore’s Senior Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Koh Poh Koon also attended the launch of the inaugural Sino-Singapore Artificial Intelligence Forum with Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on 1 June 2018. As such, Singapore companies could “look forward to forg[ing] partnerships with leading Chinese players and co-create solutions not just for China, but also beyond”. During the meeting, partnerships in sustainable urban solutions were also concluded.²²

 

Singapore Nanjing Eco Hi-tech Island

The Singapore Nanjing Eco Hi-tech Island (SNEHTI) is a township development jointly developed by Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, CPC Jiangsu Committee and the provincial government of Jiangsu. Among the Singapore companies involved include Sembcorp Development Ltd and Yanlord Land Group Limited. Covering a total of 15.21 sq km, the island is envisioned as a “new model of Sino-Singapore cooperation, and a sample of sustainable cities of innovation, entrepreneurship and city-industry integration” that will be developed into “an incomparable Eco Hi-tech city, Low Carbon Smart Island”.²³

 

Tourism

Temple of Confucius, Nanjing. Picture source: Pixabay

Nanjing has always been viewed as a city of culture and one of the more pleasant cities to live in. Its attractions include  Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum, The Confucius Temple (also known as Fuzi Miao), Ming Emperor Tombs, the Memorial Hall of Victims of Nanjing Massacre, Ming City Walls, Purple Mountain, Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge, and the Xuanwu Lake Park.²⁴

 

References

¹Nanjing (Jiangsu) city information. (2019, March 18). HKTDC Research. Retrieved April 1, 2019, from http://china-trade-research.hktdc.com/business-news/article/Fast-Facts/Nanjing-Jiangsu-City-Information/ff/en/1/1X39VTST/1X0A11T4.htm

²China CN: Land area of administrative zone: Jiangsu: Nanjing. (n.d.). CEIC Data. Retrieved April 1, 2019, from https://www.ceicdata.com/en/china/land-area-of-administrative-zone-prefecture-level-city/cn-land-area-of-administrative-zone-jiangsu-nanjing

³Nanjing (Jiangsu) city information. (2019, March 18). HKTDC Research. Retrieved April 1, 2019, from http://china-trade-research.hktdc.com/business-news/article/Fast-Facts/Nanjing-Jiangsu-City-Information/ff/en/1/1X39VTST/1X0A11T4.htm

⁴Nanjing Jianbei new area and Southeast University signed an agreement on cooperation in constructing Zhongda Hospital Jiangbei New Branch. (2019, February 16). Southeast University. Retrieved April 1, 2019, from http://www.seu.edu.cn/english/2019/0216/c237a262928/page.htm

⁵Nanjing (Jiangsu) city information. (2019, March 18). HKTDC Research. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from http://china-trade-research.hktdc.com/business-news/article/Facts-and-Figures/Nanjing-Jiangsu-City-Information/ff/en/1/1X000000/1X0A11T4.htm

⁶Nanjing. (n.d.). Hioffer. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://www.hioffer.com/area/detail?id=136

⁷Nanjing, China. (2015, July 6). Charming Nanjing, the magnificent city. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from Nanjing.gov.cn website: http://english.nanjing.gov.cn/gynj/overview/201507/t20150706_3441548.html; Zeng, Z., & Kuo, P-C. (2019). Nanjing. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://www.britannica.com/place/Nanjing-China

⁸General introduction of Nanjing. (2014, March 25). Nanjing, China. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from http://english.nanjing.gov.cn/gynj/overview/201403/t20140325_2546267.html

⁹Zeng, Z., & Kuo, P-C. (2019). Nanjing. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://www.britannica.com/place/Nanjing-China

¹⁰Nanjing office. (2019). Bay Area Council. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://www.bayareacouncil.org/issues-initiatives/china-policy-overview/nanjing-office/

¹¹Nanjing office. (2019). Bay Area Council. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://www.bayareacouncil.org/issues-initiatives/china-policy-overview/nanjing-office/

¹²Nanjing office. (2019). Bay Area Council. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://www.bayareacouncil.org/issues-initiatives/china-policy-overview/nanjing-office/

¹³World University Ranking 2019. (2019). Times Higher Education. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2019/world-ranking#survey-answer

¹⁴Nanjing office. (2019). Bay Area Council. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://www.bayareacouncil.org/issues-initiatives/china-policy-overview/nanjing-office/

¹⁵Nanjing, city of innovation cum Singapore Nanjing Eco Hi-tech Island Investment Seminar. (2019). sgsme.sg. Retrieved April 2, 2019 from https://www.sgsme.sg/events/nanjing-city-innovation-cum-singapore-nanjing-eco-hi-tech-island-investment-seminar

¹⁶Chinese cities of opportunity 2018. (2018, March 17). PwC China. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://www.pwccn.com/en/research-and-insights/publications/chinese-cities-of-opportunities-2018/chinese-cities-of-opportunities-2018.pdf

¹⁷City profiling study of China: Nanjing City. (2016, November). Euromonitor International, & United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service.. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://gain.fas.usda.gov/Recent%20GAIN%20Publications/Emerging%20City%20Market%20Report%20-%20Nanjing_Shanghai%20ATO_China%20-%20Peoples%20Republic%20of_3-1-2018.pdf

¹⁸Nanjing, city of innovation cum Singapore Nanjing Eco Hi-tech Island Investment Seminar. (2019). sgsme.sg. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://www.sgsme.sg/events/nanjing-city-innovation-cum-singapore-nanjing-eco-hi-tech-island-investment-seminar

¹⁹City profiling study of China: Nanjing City. (2016, November). Euromonitor International, & United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://gain.fas.usda.gov/Recent%20GAIN%20Publications/Emerging%20City%20Market%20Report%20-%20Nanjing_Shanghai%20ATO_China%20-%20Peoples%20Republic%20of_3-1-2018.pdf

²⁰Lung, N. (2018, June 5). Singapore and Nanjing deepen collaboration on AI and sustainable urban solutions. OpenGov. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://www.opengovasia.com/singapore-and-nanjing-deepen-collaboration-on-ai-and-sustainable-urban-solutions/

²¹Luo, S. (2017, June 30). Singapore and Nanjing ink logistics partnerships. The Business Times. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/singapore-and-nanjing-ink-logistics-partnerships; Lung, N. (2018, June 5). Singapore and Nanjing deepen collaboration on AI and sustainable urban solutions. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from OpenGov website: https://www.opengovasia.com/singapore-and-nanjing-deepen-collaboration-on-ai-and-sustainable-urban-solutions/

²²Lung, N. (2018, June 5). Singapore and Nanjing deepen collaboration on AI and sustainable urban solutions. OpenGov. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://www.opengovasia.com/singapore-and-nanjing-deepen-collaboration-on-ai-and-sustainable-urban-solutions/

²³Project overview: Heightened attention from top leaders. (n.d.). Sino-Singapore Nanjing Eco Hi-tech Island Development Co. Ltd. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from http://nj.vthinks.net/en/index/about.html#tab=0_\

²⁴5 tourist sites that define Nanjing. (n.d.). Nanjing Municipal Tourism Commission. Retrieved April 3, 2019, from https://cityofnanjing.com/article/5-tourist-sites-that-define-nanjing/; Nanjing City. (2017). Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from http://ciee.nuaa.edu.cn/nanjing-city/