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What you need to know about Zhengzhou

Zhengzhou is a Chinese city and the provincial capital of Henan Province in east-central China. As a prefecture-level city, it also serves as the political, economic, technological, and educational centre of the province, as well as a major transportation hub for Central China. The city lies on the southern bank of the Yellow River, and is one of the Eight Great Ancient Capitals of China. Zhengzhou has a population of 9,378,000 inhabitants with an urban population of 6,406,000, the city is one of the main built up areas of Henan region. Zhengzhou is now a rapidly growing city. Greater Zhengzhou was named as one of the 13 emerging mega cities or megalopolises in China in a July 2012 report by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

 

Area: 7,507 km²

Population: Estimate 6,406,000

Currency

  • Shenyang Currency Exchange. Chinese Yuan (also known as Renminbi, rmb for short) is the official and legal currency in circulation. Use of foreign currencies is generally not allowed.

Air pollution

As air pollution in China is at an all-time high, several northern cities are among one of the most polluted cities and has one of the worst air quality in China. Reporting on China’s Airpocalypse has been accompanied by what seems like a monochromatic slideshow of the country’s several cities smothered in thick smog. According to a survey made by “Global voices China” in February 2013, Zhengzhou is among China’s 10 most polluted cities. Other cities on the blacklist includes major Chinese cities like Beijing, Jinan, Shijiazhuang, and 6 other prefectural cities all in Hebei Province.  According to a report by Greenpeace in 2015, Henan (the province that Zhengzhou is in) has the most severe air pollution in among all the provinces in China with an average PM2.5 concentration of 103.3μg/m3. Ranking second and third respectively are provinces of Hubei and Hebei, with PM2.5 concentrations of 99.2μg/m3 and 98.4μg/m3. Zhengzhou is the fourth most polluted city air-wise in China, with PM2.5 concentration of 134.7μg/m3 (over 13 times the safe limit established by the WHO) during the first quarter of 2015. Other cities in Henan that ranked within the top 30 most polluted cities in China during the first quarter of 2015 include Xinxiang, Jiaozuo, Anyang, Pingdingshan, Zhoukou, Xuchang, Puyang, and Luoyang; all with PM2.5 concentrations above 100μg/m3.

 

Economy

Zhengzhou, along with Xi’an, Chengdu, Chongqing and Wuhan, is one of the most important cities in inland China. It is the second largest city in central China, after Wuhan. It is the economic center of the province and the surrounding areas such as southeastern Shanxi and southwestern Shandong. Due to its strategic location in one of the most populous areas in the world (nearly 100 million people in Henan alone) and in China’s railway, road and aviation transport networks, Zhengzhou is increasingly attracting domestic and international investment as well as migrants from other areas, transforming the city into one of the largest economic centers in China. In 2015, total GDP of Zhengzhou was ¥ 745 billion, ranked as 18th city in China; while the GDP per capita of Zhengzhou was ¥ 78003.73 (about US$12,500), ranked as 47th city in China.

 

Economic development Zones

The Zhengdong New Area, also known as Zhengzhou Eastern New District(郑东新区), similar to Hangzhou Bay New Area in Ningbo and Hengqin New Area in Zhuhai, is just one of dozens of major economic zones that are currently developing in various regions of China. The provincial and municipal governments established and developed Zhengdong New Area, Mr. Kisho Kurokawa, a Japanese world-renowned planner and architect, was appointed to design the overall planning scheme for Zhengdong New Area. He brought in advanced ideas including ecological city, co-existing city, metabolic city and ring city ideas. The scheme won the “Prominent Award for City Planning Design” at the first session of Annual Meeting of the World Architects Alliance in 2002. The highest architecture in Zhengzhou is the 388-meter height Zhongyuan Tower. The highest building in Zhengzhou was the Quanxi Tower (known as the “Big Corn” for local people)in the middle of Zhengdong CBD, with the height of 280m. Currently the tallest buildings are the Greedland Group Central (Two Towers) in front of Zhengzhou East Railway station with the height of 300m.

 

Health systems

The healthcare system reform in China refers to the healthcare system transition in modern China. China’s government, specifically the Ministry of Health of the State Council oversees the health services system, which includes a substantial rural collective sector but little private sector.

Industrial zones

  • Zhengzhou New & Hi-Tech Industries Development Zone

Zhengzhou High & New Technology Industries Development Zone was established in 1988, and approved by the state Council of PRC to be a state development zone on Mar.6,1991. It was appraised to be advanced high tech zone of China respectively in 1993, 1998 and 2002. The Zone currently covers a total area of 18.6 square kilometres (7.2 square miles). An extension plan was approved by Zhengzhou Municipal Government, the various construction work started in 2004. Under the development strategy of “multiple parks in one zone”, the Zone has been making great efforts to promote the development of software,information technologies, new materials, bio-pharmaceutical and photo-machinery-electronic industries.

  • Zhengzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone

Zhengzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone was approved as state-level development zone on February 13, 2000. The zone has a developed area of 7 square kilometres (3 square miles) Industries encouraged include Electronics Assembly & Manufacturing, Telecommunications Equipment, Trading and Distribution, Biotechnology/Pharmaceuticals, Instruments & Industrial Equipment Production, Medical Equipment and Supplies, Shipping/Warehousing/Logistics and Heavy Industry.

  • Zhengzhou Export Processing Area

Zhengzhou (Henan) Export Processing Zone was established on June 21, 2002 with approval by the state council. Its planned area is 2.7 square kilometres (1.0 square mile). Zone A is located in Zhengzhou National Economic & technological Development Area and began to operate on June 1, 2004. The area of land developed is 0.893 square kilometres (0.345 square miles) at present. Zone B is located in Zhengzhou Airport Area and is adjacent to Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport on the north and it covers a planned area of 5 square km with bonded logistics zone, bonded processing zone and supporting industry zone, etc.

 

Language

Standard Chinese (Putonghua/Guoyu/Huayu) is a standardized form of spoken Chinese based on the Beijing dialect of Mandarin. It is the official language of China and Taiwan, as well as one of four official languages of Singapore.

Main sights

Zhengzhou was the national capital of China during the Shang dynasty. Parts of the Shang-era capital city wall that were built 3,600 years ago still remain in Downtown Zhengzhou (Shangcheng Road 商城路). Zhengzhou maintains abundant its cultural heritage that reflects its glorious history as well as the culture of Henan Province. Zhengzhou Confucius Temple, initially built during the Eastern Han dynasty 1900 years ago, is one of the oldest Confucian Temples in China; other important architectural heritage sites in the city include Town God Temple and Erqi Memorial Tower. The internationally known tourist attraction is the Shaolin Temple, which is more than 50 miles (80 kilometres) southwest of downtown Zhengzhou (1.5 hours by coach). The Shaolin Temple is not only known as one of China’s important Buddhist shrines, but also as the ancient center of Chinese Kung-fu. Shaolin Monastery and its famed Pagoda Forest were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. The Henan Museum is one of China’s most important museums which includes exhibits from prehistoric times, including dinosaur fossils, prehistoric human remains, up through the Modern Eras. Zhengzhou Zoo (郑州动物园) is located on Huayuan Road (花园路). The newly built Zhengzhou Botanic Garden is at the western edge of Zhengzhou city.

 

Mining and manufacturing

Zhengzhou and the surrounding area have large reserves of coal and other minerals. Coal mining and electricity generation are traditionally important in the local economy. Zhengzhou has been one of the major industrial cities in The People’s Republic of China since 1949. The city’s staple industry is textiles. Others manufactured items include tractors, locomotives, cigarettes, fertilizer, processed meats, agricultural machinery, and electrical equipment. Some high-tech companies in new material, electronics and biotechnology are also growing rapidly during the recently years, especially in the high-tech industrial park in the northwest of the city.

 

Services

The service industries of Zhengzhou include retail, wholesale, hospitality, finance, exhibition, transport and delivery, tourism, and education. With a number of domestic and international institutions having regional offices in the city, Zhengzhou is becoming the financial center in central China. Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange (ZCE) is one of the only three future exchanges (inc. Shanghai Futures Exchange and Dalian Commodity Exchange) in China and is becoming an important global player specialised in agricultural future exchange. Equipped with newly built facilities such as Zhengzhou International Conference and Exhibition Center. Third party logistics (3PL) in Zhengzhou has also been experiencing industrial boom during the past few years. As a transit and tourist center of Henan Province and central China, Zhengzhou is the center of Henan cuisine.

 

Transport

By plane

The airport is about 30 km outside of town. An airport shuttle bus leaves from Zhengzhou Hotel opposite the train station, centrally located and costs 22 rmb. Be careful of a scam that is currently operating at the bus ticket office. You will be told the bus is full or not leaving and then offered a taxi instead for 150 rmb. Make sure you go into the office and don’t listen to the scammers on the street outside (June 2014). A public bus runs from the airport to the Aviation Hotel (民航酒店 mín háng jiǔ diàn) on Jin Shui Road (金水路 jīn shuǐ lù). It costs 20 rmb. Taxis to the airport will cost around 120-140 Yuan. While the distance implies it should only be 60 yuan, you’re charged for the round trip driving. Unfortunately, bartering seldom helps as locals pay this price as well.

By train

Zhengzhou is China’s biggest train hub; you can get here from nearly every major metropolitian area in China. There are several arrivals each day from Beijing (about 8 hours, or 3.5 hours by high-speed rail), Guangzhou (about 17 hours, or 6 hours by high-speed rail), Xi’an (about 6 hours, or 2 hours by high-speed rail) and Shanghai (many train types ranging from 7 to 15 hours). Trains arrive from other places less often. The Hanoi to Beijing train also stops here.

By bus

Across from the train station, you will find a long-distance bus station. Buses arrive regularly from almost anywhere in Henan province. Buses may be less comfortable than the trains, but are cheaper and you do not have to push and shove your way in and out of the train. You are guaranteed a seat but sometimes buses wait to fill up, rather than leaving at a set time, and be aware that long-distance buses may be sleepers rather than seated if the trip is very long.

Get around

The city’s focal point is Erqi (February 7) Square (二七广场). This large public square comes alive at night, when an entire market fills the space with vendors and locals hanging out. Beneath the square are several levels of shopping extending about a kilometre. Here you can buy a huge variety of items, from budget clothing to arts and crafts to many different kinds of Chinese and foreign cuisines. From the square, several main streets fan out to different areas of the city. Since Zhengzhou was handpicked to serve as a transportation hub – and does not have a very long history as a large city – the urban planning is more noticeable here than in other places of China. This means there is plenty of green space, tree-lined streets and logical arrangement to the city. Zhengzhou is relatively spread out, but most sites are accessible by public bus, which costs generally ¥1 per ride. A recent addition to the public transport network is a modern, clean subway line, travelling across the city from east to west in both directions. More lines are currently under construction. Taxi fares begin at ¥8 in the day, and ¥10 late at night (after 10 pm), with each kilometer after the second costing ¥1.5. All taxis are metered but sometimes the drivers will try to cheat foreigners.

 

Weather

Zhengzhou experiences a monsoon-influenced, four-season humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cwa), with cool, dry winters and hot, humid summers. Spring and autumn are dry and somewhat abbreviated transition periods. The city has an annual mean temperature of 14.35 °C (57.8 °F), with the monthly 24-hour average temperature ranging from 0.1 °C (32.2 °F) in January to 27.0 °C (80.6 °F) in July. The frost-free period lasts on average 220 days. Extremes since 1951 have ranged from −17.9 °C (0 °F) on 2 January 1955, 27 December 1971 and 1 February 1990 to 43.0 °C (109 °F) on 19 July 1966. Rainfall is primarily produced by the monsoonal low during summer; in winter, when the vast Siberian High dominates due to radiative cooling from further north, the area receives little precipitation. During the summer season, the city is also often affected by tropical depressions, which bring additional amounts of rain. The annual precipitation is about 630 millimetres (25 in). With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 45 percent in February and March to 54 percent in May, the city receives 2,182 hours of sunshine per year, which is just under half the possible total.