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Shenzhen: home to many “national firsts"

(People's Daily Online)    09:41, August 28, 2020

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. A wonderful microcosm of China's reform and opening up, the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone has set a number of “national firsts", and is home to countless historic events that have had a great impact on the country. These events outline the context of Shenzhen’s development over the past 40 years, and embody the spirit of daring to try and taking the lead.

First commercial housing residential compound

(Photo/CCTV News)

In 1980, the construction of Donghu Liyuan, the first commercial housing residential compound, began after China's reform and opening up was launched. The houses were priced in Hong Kong dollars, and cost about 50,000 yuan ($7,260) each. Shenzhen created a precedent in the market-oriented operation of using land as a means of production in China.

First stock

(Photo/Nanfang Daily)

The Baoan United Investment Company issued China's first stock on July 8, 1983. On June 25, 1991, the shares of China Baoan Group were listed and traded on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. China's joint-stock enterprises have developed rapidly ever since.

First to break fixed employment system

In 1980, Shenzhen took the lead in breaking the traditional system of fixed employment in Chinese mainland, implementing two-way choice and establishing the labor contract system and support system.

In 1982, Shenzhen launched pilot wage reforms, reformed the labor distribution system, and took the lead in implementing a structural wage system in mainland, giving enterprises autonomy in distribution so that workers could get more pay for more work.

First to scrap coupon-based supply of grain and oil

In 1982, Shenzhen became the first in the country to experiment in commodity price system reforms. In 1984, Shenzhen opened up its supply of grain, meat, cotton cloth, edible oil and other commodities, and prices were liberalized, ending the nearly 40-year-old ticket system, 10 years ahead of the rest of the country.

First million-kilowatt-class large commercial nuclear power plant


In 1982, China formally approved the construction project for the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant, the first million-kilowatt-class large commercial nuclear power plant in Chinese mainland.

The Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station has promoted the development of China's nuclear power industry.

First theme park

In 1985, construction began on the Overseas Chinese Town, serving as a prelude to the construction of "theme parks" around Chinese mainland. After 35 years of development, the Overseas Chinese Town Group is ranked among the top three theme park groups worldwide.

First land auction

In December 1987, Shenzhen held China's first public auction of land use rights. This is the first time that land use rights entered the market as an asset in China, and was hailed as "a revolution" after the establishment of the land use system in New China.

First McDonald's in Chinese mainland


In 1990, the first McDonald's restaurant in Chinese mainland opened at the East Gate of Shenzhen. On the first day it opened on Oct. 8, long queues formed inside and outside the restaurant, which demonstrated the improvement of residents' incomes and the change in the way food and beverage consumption was viewed after the reform and opening up.

First stock exchange 


In April 1988, Shenzhen Development Bank launched the earliest securities trading. In November 1989, the Shenzhen municipal government made the decision to establish the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. In December 1990, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange opened on a trial basis.

First pilot project to create a national innovative city

In 2008, Shenzhen was listed as the first pilot city in China to create a national innovative city. Since then, independent innovation has become the leading strategy for Shenzhen's urban development.

Construction of first demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics

In October 2018, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, visited Shenzhen, and stressed that China would continue to be dedicated to reform and opening up. China will build Shenzhen into a pilot demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)

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