Shenzhen is a major city in the south of Southern China's Guangdong Province, situated immediately north of Hong Kong. Owing to China's economic liberalization, the area became China's first-and arguably one of the most successful-special economic zones. it currently also holds sub-provincial administrative status, with powers slightly less than a province. Shenzhen's novel and modern cityscape is the result of the vibrant economy made possible by liberal economic policies and rapid foreign investment since the introduction of the policy of "reform and opening" and the establishment of the Special Economic Zone in the late 1970s. Before this, Shenzhen was a small village. Since the late 1970s, both Chinese and foreign nationals have invested enormous sums in the economy of Shenzhen. More than US$30 billion in foreign investment has gone into both fully foreign owned and joint ventures, initially mainly in manufacturing but recently increasingly in service industries.
Shenzhen is now reputedly one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Being southern mainland China's major financial centre, Shenzhen is home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange as well as the headquarters of numerous high-tech companies. Shenzhen is also the third busiest container port in China, ranking only after Shanghai and Hong Kong.