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    Economy

    Dongguan is a major manufacturing hub, although it suffered significant loss of economic activity from the impact of the 2008 financial crisis. The largest industrial sector is manufacturing of electronics and communications equipment; international companies with facilities in Dongguan include DuPont, Samsung Electronics, Nokia, Coca-Cola, Nestlé and Maersk.The Dongguan Science and Technology Museum (opened in December 2005), the high tech commerce park in the Songshan Lake district (opened in 2003) and a partnership with the Global IT Academy of the Brea Olinda Unified School District in Southern California have demonstrated the city's emphasis on attracting technology business. The city also announced in 2005 a planned investment of US$500 million over five years for technology infrastructure improvements. The city administration is considered especially progressive in seeking foreign direct investment. Among the investors were Brazilian shoe manufacturers. Brazil excelled in manufacturing cheap footwear in the 1970s and 80s. The Brazilian community in Dongguan numbered 4,000 people in 2013.While the city is the third largest export region in China, behind Shanghai and Shenzhen (and a major centre for Taiwanese investment), outside of China, Dongguan has yet to gain the kind of name recognition realized by Shenzhen. This may be because the city has focused on infrastructure investment rather than the directly targeting of major corporations with financial incentives for economic development. Nevertheless, Dongguan has been identified by high level representatives of the National Development and Reform Commission of the central government as one of the most significant growth regions for technology in the coming years. As part of this plan the Dongguan local government has announced a plan to create and support a 100-billion-yuan photovoltaic manufacturing industry by 2015.To cope with the impact of the financial crisis, Dongguan city is looking to industrial restructuring, focusing on four pillar platforms - governmental services, supporting measures, technology upgrade and market expansion. The city government claims that this process has already enhanced the city’s capability for independent innovation and the quantity of patent applications in 2008.In Dongguan, manufacturing is prosperous and with a strong tertiary industry and had a total GDP of 501 billion RMB with the scale proportion of the three major industrial sectors standing at 0.4:46.9:52.7 in 2012.On 9 February 2014, China Central Television aired a special on the sex industry in Dongguan. The same day Guangdong Provincial Police raided and closed all Saunas, Bars, Foot Massages, Karaoke's, and other businesses associated with the sex industry. The economic impact of this crackdown is believed to be 50 Billion Yuan, or just over $8 Billion US Dollars. The residual effects of the crackdown affected the livelihood of taxi drivers and restaurants who, while not directly involved in the sex industry, benefited from the increased clientele that resulted.

    Transport

    Humen Pearl River BridgeDongguan Rail Transit Line 2Many foreign travellers to Dongguan fly into Hong Kong, which gives visa on arrival to citizens of over 170 countries. After landing, visitors must apply for a visa to enter mainland China.One can travel from Hong Kong to Dongguan by bus, ferry, or train. Passengers travelling overland must disembark from their transport at the Hong Kong/China border to go through customs and immigration, except for those traveling on the Mass Transit Railway intercity services (former Kowloon-Canton Railway) from Hung Hom Station to Dongguan, Guangzhou and beyond.Dongguan serves as one of the regional railway hubs in Guangdong, where the Guangzhou-Kowloon Railway, Guangzhou-Meizhou-Shantou Railway and the Beijing-Kowloon Railway converge.Rail services in and out of the city call at Dongguan railway station where there are direct train services to Guangzhou East railway station in Guangzhou; and Hung Hom Railway station in Hong Kong.The Humen Pearl River Bridge is a suspension bridge over the Pearl River. Completed in 1997, it has a main span of 888 metres (2,913 ft). Construction work on the Second Humen Pearl River Bridge will start in early 2014.Among the four metro lines (R1-R4) planned for the Dongguan Rail Transit, R2 Line is presently under construction and was scheduled to open for operations in early 2015. This was delayed and opened in May 2016. The R2 Line will link towns in Western Dongguan, thereby promoting the connection of the entire downtown area with Houjie, Humen and Chang’an. It will also support Dongguan's regional transportation with other cities such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong by joining with the rail transit junctions of the Pearl River Delta.[11]

    Geography

    Geographically, the city is mostly hilly to the east and flat in the west, with 115.98 kilometres (72.07 mi) of shoreline. The urban centre of Dongguan is 50 kilometres (31 mi) from that of Guangzhou to its north, 90 kilometres (56 mi) from Shenzhen to its south, 47 nautical miles (87 km) from Hong Kong and 48 nautical miles (89 km) from Macau by waterway. It is positioned in the middle of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen economic corridor, a hub for both land and sea transport.Of Dongguan's total area, 27% is water, 25% forest land, and 13% arable land, while 35% of its land area has been fully developed.[citation needed]Guan Yin Shan (Kuan Yin Mountain) in Dongguan, China

    Demographics

    Dongguan had an estimated 6,949,800 inhabitants at the end of 2008, among whom 1,748,700 were local residents and 5,201,100 permanent migrants from other parts of the country. At the 2010 Census the population had expanded to 8,220,237. The number reached 8.29 million by the end of 2012, with average population age of 30.82.Dongguan is the hometown for many overseas Chinese, the family origin of over 700,000 people in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau and over 200,000 nationals living abroad.

    History

    Although the earliest traces of human habitation in the area stretch back 5,000 years, Dongguan's emergence as a true city is a recent phenomenon.In 1839, at the outset of the First Opium War, large quantities of seized opium were destroyed in Humen, a town that now belongs to Dongguan. Several of the major battles of the war were fought in this area.During the Second World War, the city served as the base for guerrilla resistance against the Japanese occupation.Dongguan earned city status in 1985, and was upgraded to prefecture city status three years later. During this period the city changed its focus from an agricultural town into a manufacturing hub, with an average annual growth of up to 18%.The city ranked 13th in Forbes China's listing of the most innovative mainland cities, as well as 18th in Foreign Policy's listing of the most dynamic cities in the world.

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