Overview of Wuhan City (Overview of Urban History, Humanities and Nature)
Release time：2017-08-22 09:07
According to archaeological data, primitive ancestors were living and working in Wuhan as early as the Neolithic Age five or six thousand years ago. If the history is calculated from the Panlong City with the "early urban form", it can be said that Wuhan City has been developed for over three thousand years. However, the "cities" existing now in urban and suburb areas of Wuhan until the period of Three Kingdoms, Jin and the Southern and Northern Dynasties, whether they are recorded in the records or can be traced by the relics, are nothing but the castles with military functions, small population and single residents and of small size. Most of them have not yet been shaped. Compound and diversified cities were not really formed until the Sui and Tang dynasties when the opposite and divide-and-conquer pattern was established in Wuchang and Hanyang. The formation of the Wuhan City is dominated by feudal politics, like most cities in China. That is, level 1 local administrative bodies are set up because the feudal rulers want to control a piece of land, gather wealth, and amass wealth by heavy taxation from the population, thus resulting in the formation of cities. However, due to its special geographical environment factors, Wuhan City is different from most of other cities. Wuhan was formed into a port of commercial trade from the beginning. Wuhan's economic function is far superior to its political and military functions. Wuhan's political and military status is often demonstrated due to the chaos caused by war. When the world was unified, it was diminished with the peace of the world. In modern times, what Zhang Zhidong and Sun Yat-sen value most of Wuhan is its Wuhan's geographical advantages. Sun Yat-sen said in his Plans for National Reconstruction and The International Development of China that Wuhan is "China's most important business center", "China's railway system center", and "real top water point for our plan to link up the oceans".
The rise and development of Wuhan City are affected by many factors. In addition to the aforementioned political factors, the more important factors are its location advantages and geographical environment. The population composition, economic structure, and even folk customs, urban culture formed thereafter are closely related with it.
I. Waterfront city created by nature
Firstly, the unique location advantages of thoroughfare of nine provinces and the advantageous geographical environment provides a congenital condition for the formation of Wuhan City. There was lack of both literature records and material data about Wuhan before Qin and Han Dynasties, except for Panlong City. After the late Eastern Han Dynasty, Wuhan, a place located in the intersection of the Yangtze-Han River, became a place contested by all strategists. At the time of disputes among the Three Kingdoms, Wei, Shu and Wu set up a separatist regime by force of arms. In order to fight for this portal, they have fought, went on a punitive expedition, set up states and counties here. Those who want to acquire Jingzhou must first acquire Jiangxia and those who want to procure Jiankang must first procure Jiangxia. Until the Tang Dynasty, Wuhan, a place located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, had well-developed land and sea transportation. The three major water systems, Han River, Xiang River and Gan River, divided Hubei, Hunan and Jiangxi into three individual units while Yangtze River integrated these three provinces, making them become a whole while maintaining relatively independent traffic structure. This region is located in the traffic hub of China, with the Yangtze River running from the East to East to connect the two major economic zones of Bashu and Jianghuai, confirming the old saying: "Fibre of Shu and salt of Wu are transported smoothly from ancient times and the boats are sailing like wind". During the An-Shi Disturbances in the middle period of the Tang Dynasty, the canals were blocked, and the tributes from the regions south of the Yangtze River on which the Tang Dynasty relied had to be shipped through the Yangtze River: first shipped to Ezhou City (now Wuchang), then ascended the Han River, and then transferred to Chang'an via Xiangyang. At that time, vids from Jianghuai area were mostly shipped from Ezhou City to Chang'an. It is the importance of the canal line status of the Yangtze River and the Han River that has made the post of Ezhou governor "especially difficult to select". According to the literature, it was once implemented that "Xiakou must be governed by men of both literary and military capacity", and that Ezhou governor governed the "total tributes from the southeast China". In addition, the Ezhou city must be served as the transfer pier for the ships from Hunan and Sichuan to Yangzhou. It is exactly what described in "Tens of thousands barges are from here and heading for Yangzhou" in Li Bai's A Gift to Jiangxia Prefecture Chief Wei. At the end of the war, although Wuhan lost the past posture in military, the agriculture, handicrafts and business still develop to somewhat degree. Until the Middle Tang Dynasty, its traffic advantage as "the communications hub of Jing, Wu, and the Yangtze-Han River" has rapidly become a commercial advantage. On the one hand, the active commodity economy after the Middle Tang Dynasty promoted the shipping industry along the Yangtze River and the Han River; on the other hand, the development of the canal line of the Yangtze-Han River improved its status. The northward ships gathering converged at Han River even enabled the Wuhan wharfs to show exceptional prosperous. At that time, Ezhou City was called as "a city that common people are original inhabitants and that has piled up wealth". Li Bai put it in the Jiangxia Tour that "the great river embraces Wuchang and there are tens of thousands of households living beside the Parrot Island". Another poem also shows that "The residents, merchants and apprentices are rich and there are many romantic poets gathering here". We can see that Wuhan after the Middle Tang Dynasty has become a bustling and emerging business metropolis. The gradual prosperity of Wuhan City in the Song-Yuan-Ming-Qing Dynasty, taking up Hankou as the trading port in modern China by the western powers, and even initiating modern industry and promotion of Westernization Movement by Zhang Zhidong all based on the location advantages of Wuhan and the role of Wuhan as land and water traffic hub.
Secondly, the abundant natural resources around Wuhan avoid the risk of lack of supplies for the city. Jianghan Plain where has adequate grain and cotton is located to the west of Wuhan. It is surrounded by rivers and lakes which are abound in fish, clams, shrimps and crabs. The people here have regarded rice and fish as the staple food for thousands of years. There was no danger of famine even in the era of low productivity. Daye and Jiangxi area in the southeast abounded with copper, iron, coal and other minerals since ancient times. In the early 1980s, hundreds of ceramic kiln groups from the Song and Yuan Dynasties were found along the Liangzi Lake and the Futouhu Lake in Jiangxia District, Wuhan, showing that the ceramic manufacturing industry was developed at that time and the urban population was relatively concentrated. Although the ancient urban population was not large, a lot of materials were needed. Products in areas surrounding Wuhan and the support of the commercial and shipping industries enable Wuhan to continue to grow and flourish.
Thirdly, Wuhan has a unique urban layout, and Wuchang, Hanyang and Hankou stand like a tripod. There are two reasons for this pattern. One of the reasons is that Wuchang and Hanyang were regarded in ancient times respectively as the governing city of state, government, prefecture and county in the dynasties of past ages. They were not belonging to each other, so they have not been formed into a whole. Hankou was dried up into land rather late and it has not been set up as the county or city until modern times. Hankou was first under the jurisdiction of the Hanyang government, and later Hankou City had the jurisdiction over Hanyang County. It is not more than 5 decades after the three towns were really unified. The more important reason is barrier caused by Yangtze River and Han River which divided Wuhan into three parts. Wuchang and Hanyang formed city earlier, while Hankou was gradually expanded to be a port town for the convenience of anchoring after the diversion of the Han River resulting in a piece of silted land in the Ming Dynasty Chenghua years. Then Hankou surpassed the other two cities due to the benefits of water and became one of the four famous towns in the country in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties. Hankou was especially valued by foreigners in 1858 when the Treaty of Tianjin was signed, and it was forced to be a trading port. When Zhang Zhidong acted as the Hubei governor, he built the Lugouqiao-Hankou Railway which enhanced the status of Hankou as the transport hub and made it second only to Shanghai's second largest commercial center.
II. Diversified cultural ancient city
Firstly, the urban population is mainly comprised of the non-native population and the native population is relatively smaller. This is an important feature. This feature is particularly prominent in Hankou. The reasons are: firstly, municipal district of Wuhan was originally an area crisscrossed by waterways and surrounded by water, making the municipal districts be sparsely populated; secondly, the wars were frequent in ancient times, resulting in the frequent migration of refugees; thirdly, industrial and commercial development has attracted a large number of farmers to the city after the rise of the city; fourthly, people from other provinces and districts were constantly pouring into the city for the commercial trade and industrial development. There are many records on such population composition in many literatures. For instance, Fan Kai described Hankou in Hankou Discussions as: "Hankou's streets are wide and flat, paved with massive rocks. There are more tourists in a place where all kinds of people live. There is a saying that: "the town streets are made of stones with soil slopes, a river runs through the city, there are tens of millions of houses made from tile and bamboo, and the native people are less than non-native people." According to the cadastre, the non-native people of Hankou were mainly comprised of the first three group: the first was the refugees from Tianmen, Mianyang, Qianjiang and Hanchuan and farmers, peddlers and small handicraftsmen from Huangpi and Xiaogan; the second group were those who carry out trade activities in Hankou and mainly from Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Anhui, Shanxi, Shaanxi and other provinces. In the early period of Qing Dynasty, those who traded in Hankou almost came from all provinces of the country. As recorded in the Annals of Xiakou County, Hankou had about 38 commercial chambers and city halls before 1840, two of which were built by the locals. If dividing by industry, the founders of 8 of them were not recorded and the rest were built by non-native businessmen. The third group was the foreign businessmen. According to the investigation and statistics in 1905 by Mizuno Yukiyoshi, Japanese Consul General in Hankou, in the late Qing Dynasty, foreign businessmen founded a total of 124 companies, foreign firms and shops with a total of 2,142 people in Hankou. According to statistics, the number of companies founded by foreign businessmen in increased to 125 and the number of foreign businessmen was up to 2,862. This figure did not include the foreigners engaged in political, diplomatic, military and religious activities in Hankou. This feature is also evident from the place names, such as Mayang Street, Mianyang Street, Huangpi Street, Tianmen Pier, Yaobang Lane and so on. In light of the population structure, it was also the businessmen or the people involved in the commercial activities who account for the majority of the population. For instance, there were records of "Many sergeants and businessmen gather here" in literature for Ezhou City (now Wuchang) in the Tang Dynasty. Luo Yin, a poet in the Tang Dynasty, depicts Hanyang's spectacular view as "many boats in Hanyang ferry, many wine hotels in Hanyang city". Fan Chengda in the Song Dynasty also has similar description on Wuchang in Wuchuan Record as "There are tens of thousands of wine hotels, prosperous streets and lanes along the river with. Jewel market is prosperous, and wine jar terraces and wine towers are particularly magnificent. Other prefectures cannot compare with it". As for Hankou in modern times, according to "Hankou Small Blog", businessmen accounted for one-sixth of the total population.
Secondly, cultural diversity and inclusive symbiosis is another feature of Wuhan. As mentioned earlier, due to the diversity of the population and "the native people are less than the non-native people", the customs, practices and life style of various places were be bound to be incorporated into each other. In addition, the place is a traffic hub with developed water and land transportation system. In the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, there were talents gathering here, leaving far-reaching and famous poetry. Since ancient times, Wuhan has been the place where people of Buddhism, Taoism and Islam gathered. Catholicism and Christianism also began to sermon here and widely accepted congregation in late Qing Dynasty. In thousands of years, all kinds of religions were able to spread in Wuhan, live in peace with each other and develop commonly. It is also diversified when being reflected in the architectural form. Ordinary houses were mainly composed of local grey tiles, white walls and wooden structures and the halls and office buildings in different regions were of the style of the original area. After the establishment of the concession by the Western Powers, the buildings of different styles in Western European periods rose straight from the ground. This makes urban architecture in Wuhan, especially those in Hankou, even more colorful.
Migrant cultural characteristics are more typical in Hankou. The community members from different regions made Hankou's single regional culture gradually evolve into a composite urban culture. Initially, the regional cultures remained their original characteristics but were ultimately integrated with each other. The inherent characteristics of urban culture, on the one hand, changed the narrow geographical concept of migrants, forced them to get involved into the urban cultural community, and on the other hand, transformed and absorbed the cultures brought in by migrants, especially foreign immigrants, forming itself into an open, composite and diversified cross-regional cultural structure system.
Thirdly, the external force wedging accelerated the pace of urban modernization, and the western cultural elements changed the appearance of Wuhan City. After the Second Opium War, Britain, France and other countries forced the Qing Government to sign the Treaty of Tianjin, and Hankou was taken up as a trading port. From 1861 to 1898, Britain, Germany, Russia, France and Japan have opened up concession in Hankou in succession. With the development of western modern industry and commerce, culture and education, a large number of foreigners traveled to or settled in Wuhan, which also brought in the western customs and lifestyles and also changed the human ecology of Wuhan. The rise of a large number of western buildings and the formation of modern urban forms provide Wuhan with new characteristics and vitality. Up to this day, these characteristics are still signs of Wuhan which make Wuhan different from many other cities.
III. Revolutionary famous city rising in turbulent times
Wuhan experienced many vicissitudes, has been repeatedly affected by revolutionary struggles and witnessed major events affecting China's historical progress. In the peasant uprising at the end of Yuan Dynasty, the Red Turban Rebellion leader Chen Youliang established the capital of Tianwan in Hanyang, and was buried in Wuchang after he died. At the end of the Ming Dynasty, the peasant uprising troops of Li Zicheng and Zhang Xianzhong controlled Wuhan in succession. Zhang Xianzhong established the Great Xi Regime and set up the palace in Wuchang. China's most influential peasant uprising in modern times—the Taiping Revolution, has made such achievements as occupying Hankou and Hanyang for three times and conquering Wuchang for four times. The Revolution of 1911 putting an end to China's thousands of feudal monarchy and establishing the first republican government also began in Wuchang. In 1921, the Communist Party of China was established in Shanghai and Wuhan Communist Group was one of the initiators, making a great contribution for the creation of the Communist Party. Beijing-Hankou Railway Workers’ Strike which shocked the whole world is the highlight of China’s first labor movement. The "27" tragedy did not scare the already awakened Chinese working class, but made them more united and mature. In the great revolution in the 1920s, the Northern Expeditionary Army besieged Wuchang City for 41 days. After conquering Wuhan, the National Government moved from Guangzhou to Wuhan. The Nanyang Building became the office of the National Government. Wuhan became the center of the revolution and was known as "Red Capital". In the arduous Anti-Japanese War, Wuhan became the wartime capital for the national government to lead the nationwide Anti-Japanese War during the year from the end of 1937 to the end of 1938. Meanwhile, Wuhan played a huge role when the national government was moved westwards to Chongqing and personnel and materials were transferred to the mainland. The famous Battle of Wuhan was a major war in eight-year Anti-Japanese War. It was a war that both sides input the most forces and was one of the most tragic war with the largest battlefield and most casualties. The world-famous Zhongshan Warship was sunken in Jinkou water of Wuhan section, Changsha in the battle. Established in Hankou, the New Fourth Army with eminent battle achievements kept on fighting in areas surrounding Wuhan in later times of trials and tribulation, and their battle footprints still remain on both sides of the Changjiang River in Wuhan. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, Wuhan people made a stand against the reactionary rule during the three-year war of liberation, protecting and fully accepting this strategic town in central China and famous historical city with their wisdom and blood.
With numerous hero stories and creation of countless historic excellence, this thousand-year-old city with prosperous culture gets to accumulate a great deal of cultural relics.
Currently, there are nearly 500 officially protected monuments and sites at all levels, including 29 major historical and cultural sites under state protection, 108 under protection of provincial government, 145 under protection of municipal government, and 210 under protection of district-level governments. There are also 180 outstanding historical buildings. In addition, over 600 immovable cultural relics are registered. All of them are physical witnesses of the long history and culture of Wuhan.
I. Geography features
Located in the Middle-lower Yangtze Plain and the east of Jianghan Plain, Wuhan's coordinate is between 29°58′-31°22′ N, 113°41′-115°05 E, with the easternmost part, westernmost part, southernmost part and northernmost part respectively located in Jiangjunshan Village, Xugu Town, Xinzhou District, Guoguang Village, Zhuru Street, Caidian District, Junbao Village, Husi Street, Jiangxia District, and Lichong Village, Caidian Street, Huangpi District. High in the east and south and low in the east and north, Wuhan has its central area divided into three parts (Y-shaped) by the Yangtze River and Han River. Stripped hills with east-west trend are located in the south urban area of Wuhan. The intensive branch-like gullies and nearly one hundred large and small lakes commonly form a complicated landform of Wuhan with developed water system and mingled mountains and waters. The highest elevation is around 150m, while the lowest land elevation is about 18m. By the end of 2014, Wuhan covered an area of 8,594 km2, accounting for 4.6% of that of Hubei Province. The city perimeter reached 977.28km, with 7 central city districts covering 863km2 and developed area as 552.61km2.
II. Water resources
Wuhan has many interwoven rivers, lakes and ports. Converging in the center of the city, the Yangtze River and Han River incorporate tributaries flowing from both the north and south sides. A great deal of large and small lakes are scattered at the both sides of the main river, forming a lake network.
By 2015, Wuhan had 166 lakes in all sizes. Hence it was named the "City of Lakes". The lake surface area was 803.17 km2 at normal water level, ranking first among other cities in China. Tangxun Lake is the largest lake-in-city in China (covering up to 47.6 km2)  , followed by the East Lake which covers 33.9 km2, while Liangzi lake is one of China's two inland lakes that do best in ecological conservation. The water area of Wuhan takes up nearly 1/4 of the city's area. The whole water area reaches 2,217.6 km2, with coverage of 26.10%. The average surface water area of Wuhan citizen is 114,000 m2; there are 165 rivers with length over 5 km inside the city, and the water surface area is 471.31 km2. The total water area in Wuhan City is 2,205.06 km2, taking up 25.79% of the total area of the city, with its water area ratio ranking first among large cities in China.
III. Other resources
By 2015, Wuhan City had livestock, poultry, aquatic animals, medicinal animals, animals with fur and feather, natural enemies of pests, national protected animals and other animal resources. Livestock and poultry mainly covered over 10 species (including pig, cattle and chicken) and over 70 varieties. Fish included 11 orders, 22 families and 88 species, of which major commercial fish covered over 20 species, including grass carp, black carp and silver carp. Waterfowl included 8 orders, 14 families and 54 species of wild goose, stork, pelican and etc. White stork is a rare waterfowl under national first-class protection. Special economic aquatic animals included white-flag dolphin (national first-class protected animal), finless porpoise (national second-class protected animal), Trionyx sinensis and etc. Wildlife resources mainly were medicinal animals, agricultural and forest insects and etc. While fur bearing animals were very limited. There were over 240 grain crop species, 50 economic crops, fish resources (11 orders, 11 families and 88 species) and aquatic animals (8 orders, 14 families and 45 species). By the end of 2015, 38 mineral resources were found in Wuhan, including 24 minerals with proved reserves (excluding underground water) which accounted for 30.38% of that of the whole province. The accumulated proved reserves reached 961.2565 million tons, and the preserved reserves were 798.2975 million tons. Among nonmetallic mineral resources, the reserves of bentonite, metallurgical dolomite and glass quartz sandstone ranked first in Hubei Province, while that of gypsum ranked third in the province. There are 384 mineral fields with proved reserves in Wuhan, including 4 large fields, 10 medium fields, 43 small fields and 327 mineral occurrences.
By the end of 2015, Wuhan had 10.6077 million permanent residents (an increase of 269,700 people over 2014) and 8.2927 million registered population (an increase of 19,600 people). Among them, there were 2.6768 million agricultural population (a decrease of 3,700 people) and 5.6159 non-agricultural population (an increase of 23,300 people). The natural population growth rate was 7.04‰, of which the birth rate and death rate were 12.87‰ and 5.83‰ respectively. The net migration rate was －1.78‰. Wuhan is a city where many ethnic groups live in many different places. By 2014, Wuhan had 50 ethnic groups, including 49 minorities with a total population of 54,200, accounting for 0.7% of the total population of Wuhan City. Among the minorities, the Hui ethnic group had the largest population (over 20,000 people), followed by the Tujia ethnic group (over 10,000 people). There were 4 other ethnic groups with the population over 2,000. They are the Man, the Zhuang, the Mongol and the Miao ethnic group. There were 12 ethnic groups with the population over 100: the Dong, the Yao, the Korean, the She, the Bai, the Tu, the Bouyei, the Yi, the Li, the Uygur, the Tibetan, and the Xibe ethnic group. Minorities are distributed in all 13 districts of the city, where Hongshan District has the largest population (14,300 people) and Hannan District has the least population of minorities (119 people).
In 2015, the regional gross domestic product (regional GDP) of Wuhan reached 1.09056 Trillion Yuan, ranking eighth among mainland cities, an increase of 8.8% over 2014 if calculated at comparable price. The increased values of the primary, secondary and tertiary industries were respectively 35.981 Billion Yuan, 498.154 Billion Yuan and 556.425 Yuan and the corresponding growth rate were 4.8%, 8.2% and 9.6% respectively. Per capita GDP reached 104,132 Yuan, an increase of 6.8%. During the period of the Twelfth Five-year Plan, the regional GDP of Wuhan amounted to 4.479237 Trillion Yuan, 2.2 times of that during the period of the Eleventh Five-year Plan. The average annual growth rate was 10.4%, 4.3% lower than that during the period of the Eleventh Five-year Plan. Of which, the average annual growth rates of the primary, secondary and tertiary industries were 4.6%, 11.6% and 9.8% respectively. The structure proportion of these three industries was adjusted from 3.5:47.5:49.0 in 2014 to 3.3:45.7:51.0. The ratio of the tertiary industry increased by 2%.
A total agricultural output value of 62.028 Billion Yuan was completed in 2015, a 4.8% growth over 2014. Of which the output values (and growth rates) of planting industry, forestry, animal husbandry, fishery and service industry concerning planting, forestry, animal, husbandry and fishery were 35.916 Billion Yuan (5.2%), 995 Million Yuan (11.7%), 13.527 Billion Yuan (1.2%), 9.181 Billion Yuan (5.0%) and 2.409 Billion Yuan (19.3%) correspondingly. The planting areas of crops, cotton, oil plants and vegetables were respectively 214,760 hectares (a decrease of 1,570 hectares over 2014), 12,520 hectares (a decrease of 8,700 hectares over 2014), 86,900 hectares (an decrease of 860 hectares over 2014), and 174,070 hectares (an increase of 4,990 hectares over 2014). The output of crops, cotton, oil plants, vegetables, poultry eggs, milk and aquatic products were respectively 1.27 million tons (a 0.1% decrease over 2014), 16,500 tons (a 19.4% decrease), 183,300 tons (a 1.2% decrease), 7.423 million tons (a 4.2% growth), 229,200 tons (a 4.0% growth), 90,400 tons (a 13.7% growth) and 524,600 tons (a 3.8% growth). And the number of grown pigs and grown poultry in 2015 were 3.0404 million (a 2.2% decrease against 2014) and 52.474 million (a 4.6% decrease). Comprehensive income of rural leisure tourism was 5.82 billion Yuan, a 13.5% growth over 2014. Flower tourism accommodated 25.378 billion guests, growing by 8.5%.
As an important industry base in China, Wuhan has complete industrial systems, including steel, automobile, optoelectronics, chemical industry, metallurgy, textile, shipbuilding, manufacturing and medicine.
The industrial added value in 2015 reached 408.191 Billion Yuan (an 8.4% growth), among which the industrial added value of those above-scale increased by 8.5%. The gross output of the above-scale industries was increased by 6.8%. Of which manufacturing industry grew by 8.3%, while electricity, heat, gas and water production and supply industry grew by 1.7%. By the end of the year, there were 2,411 above-scale industrial enterprises, 17 enterprises with output value of 10 Billion Yuan, and 121 enterprises with output value of one Billion Yuan. In the 11 industrial sectors, 5 had their output value exceeding hundred billion Yuan, namely auto & parts, IT manufacturing, equipment manufacturing, food & tobacco, and energy & environmental protection.
By the end of 2015, there were 1,232 qualified general contractors and professional construction contracting enterprises which have construction value-added output of 90.698 Billion Yuan, a 7.1% growth over 2014. The gross output value of construction industry reached 601.626 Billion Yuan, a 3.0% growth. During the period of the Twelfth Five-year Plan, the average annual value-added of construction industry grew by 9.6%, 2% lower than the average growth rate of that during the period of the Eleventh Five-year Plan.
As of the end of 2015, Wuhan had four purely commercial listed companies, namely Wushang Group, Zhongshang Group, Zhongbai Holding Group (constituting Wuhan Commercial Union with the first two groups), and Hanshang Group. Wushang Group, listed in 1992, was one of the first listed commercial enterprises in China. In 2012, Zhongbai Holding Group, Wushang Group and Zhongshang Group respectively ranked 18th, 20th and 47th among China's retail enterprises. Zhongbai Supermarket, Wushang Supermarket, Zhongshang Supermarket and Zhongbai Supermarket became one of the 50 top fast moving consumer goods chain supermarkets, while Tongjitang Pharmacy and Mayinglong Pharmacy were shortlisted to be one of the 30 top pharmacies in China. With 11 department stores which met relevant standards and 6 upscale department stores, Wuhan was second only to Guangzhou and ranked second in China. Wuhan Plaza once set up a record in China's retailing industry with "ten successive wins" in economic benefits by independent retailers in China. In addition, Wuhan is also the place where the Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) (China region) headquartered in.
As one of the first cities along the Yangtze River that were opened up to the world, Wuhan is a preferred city by foreign investors. Among all foreign investment in Wuhan, Hong Kong accounted for the largest proportion. Also, Wuhan is the city with the largest amount of investment from France, taking up one third of France's gross investment in China. By the end of 2012, 98 out of top 500 overseas enterprises invested in Wuhan, ranking first in central and western China. Among them, two of the top 500 enterprises, i.e. Anheuser-BuschInBev from Belgium and BeiersdorfAG from Germany headquartered in Wuhan, while Verizon Communications from America and Bosch from Germany set their China Head Office in Wuhan as well.
Wuhan is a city simultaneously featured with three key elements, namely, financial market, financial institution, and financial product. By the end of 2015, 13 financial institutions headquartered in Wuhan, including Hankou Bank, Wuhan Rural Commercial Bank, Hubei Bank, Union Life, Changjiang Property & Causality Insurance, Changjiang Securities, TF Securities, and Bank of Communication International Trust. There were 31 background service centers of financial institutions which signed and settled in Wuhan. Wuhan is the home of 32 banking financial institutions including such 9 foreign banks as Bank of East Asia, Societe Generale, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Standard Chartered Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Industrial Bank of Korea, Land Bank of Taiwan and Medium Business Bank of Taiwan, 102 securities and future units, and 54 insurance companies. Wuhan is also the place where the only cross-provincial branch of People's Bank of China——Wuhan Branch is located (governing Hubei Province, Hunan Province and Jiangxi Province). The bank density of Wuhan ranks No. 5 in China. At the end of 2011, there were 57 listed companies in Wuhan, ranking No. 7 in China in light of total number of companies. Wuhan is the first expansion pilot city in China and the only legitimate over-the-counter market——"NEEQ", in addition to Shanghai Stock Exchange and Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
Wuhan is the city with relatively centralized accounting resources. By the end of 2015, there were three international accounting firms set up office in Wuhan. They are (Ernst & Young, Deloitte, PWC), and ShineWing and Zhongrui Yuehua, and other well-known domestic accounting firm also set up branches in Wuhan. Wuhan is also one of the testing centers of important qualification tests for financial industry, such as ACCA, CMA, CPA, CFA and so on.
In 2015, the balance of domestic and foreign currency deposits of financial institutions in Wuhan was 1.939316 Trillion Yuan, up 16.1% from 2014. Among them, household deposits were 605.903 Billion Yuan, up 5.8%. The balance of domestic and foreign currency loans of financial institutions was 1.713579 Trillion Yuan, up 18.4%. Among the domestic loans, short-term loans 391.826 Billion Yuan, up 2.7%; medium and long-term loans were 1.134695 Trillion Yuan, up 17.1%. Consumption loans were 283.46 Billion Yuan, up 36.1%. Among them, personal housing loans were 242.146 Billion Yuan, up 39.1%; personal auto loans were 17.038 Billion Yuan, up 30.7%. There are 23 financial institutions headquartered in Wuhan. There are 33 financial institutions establishing or constructing the background service center. Listed companies accumulated to be 62, of which 16 were overseas companies and 46 were domestic companies.
In 2015, the total retail sales of social consumer goods in Wuhan City were 510.224 Billion Yuan, up 11.6% from 2014. Among them, the retail sales of enterprises above the quota were 351.932 Billion Yuan, up 9.9%. According to the division by industry, retail sales of the wholesale and retail industry were 462.671 Billion Yuan, up 11.4%; retail sales of the lodging and catering industry were 47.553 Billion Yuan, up 12.7%. During the period of the Twelfth Five-year Plan, the total retail sales of social consumer goods totaled 2.009154 Trillion Yuan, which was 2.1 times that of the Eleventh Five-year Plan. The average annual growth rate was 14.7%, 3.2% lower than the average growth rate during the Eleventh Five-year Plan.
In 2015, the number of domestic tourists to Wuhan was 210,329,800, an increase of 10.0% over 2014; that of the overseas tourists was 2,022,700, up 18.6%. Total tourism income was 218.897 Billion Yuan, up 12.3%. Among them, the domestic tourism income was 211.523 Billion Yuan, up 11.8%; international tourism income was 1.2 Billion Dollars, up 28.5%. At the end of the year, there were 36 tourist attractions, including three AAAAA attractions, 15 AAAA attractions, and 17 AAA attractions. There were 81 hotels above the tourist star level, including 14 AAAAA, 29 AAAA, and 29 AAA. 823 exhibitions and festival activities were held in Wuhan in 2015. Among them, there were 336 exhibitions, 297 conferences, and 190 festival activities. 21 exhibitions of more than 30,000 square meters were held, including nine exhibitions of 30,000-50,000 square meters, five exhibitions of 50,000-100,000 square meters, and 7 super large exhibitions of over 100,000 square meters. The total exhibition area reached about 3.07 million square meters, an increase of 10.4% over 2014; exhibitors and participants were 14.04 million person-times, up 17.5%.
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