Tungkun; Tungkuan
Dongguan CBD
Dongguan Avenue
Humen Mountain
Yinxian Mountain Resort
Location of Dongguan in Guangdong
Location of Dongguan in Guangdong
Dongguan is located in China
Location in China
Coordinates (Dongguan government): 23°01′16″N 113°45′07″E / 23.021°N 113.752°E / 23.021; 113.752
County331 AD
City (County-level)September 1985
City (Prefecture-level)1 January 1988
Municipal seatNancheng Subdistrict
 • TypePrefecture-level city
 • BodyDongguan Municipal People's Congress
 • CCP SecretaryLiang Weidong
 • Congress ChairmanLiang Weidong
 • MayorXiao Yafei
 • CPPCC ChairmanLuo Zhaoqun
 • Prefecture-level city2,465 km2 (952 sq mi)
 • Urban
2,465 km2 (952 sq mi)
 • Metro
19,870.4 km2 (7,672.0 sq mi)
8 m (26 ft)
 (2020 census)[1]
 • Prefecture-level city10,466,625
 • Density4,200/km2 (11,000/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Urban density4,200/km2 (11,000/sq mi)
 • Metro
 • Metro density3,300/km2 (8,600/sq mi)
 • Prefecture-level cityCN¥ 1.086 trillion
US$ 168.3 billion
 • Per capitaCN¥ 103,284
US$ 16,010
Time zoneUTC+8 (China Standard Time)
Postal code
Area code769
ISO 3166 codeCN-GD-19
Licence plate prefixes粤S
City flowerYulan magnolia
Magnolia denudata
"Dongguan" in Simplified (top) and Traditional (bottom) Chinese characters
Simplified Chinese东莞
Traditional Chinese東莞
Hanyu PinyinDōngguǎn
Cantonese YaleDùnggún or Dūnggún
Literal meaning"Eastern Bulrush(es)"

Dongguan[a] is a prefecture-level city in central Guangdong Province, China. An important industrial city in the Pearl River Delta, Dongguan borders the provincial capital of Guangzhou to the north, Huizhou to the northeast, Shenzhen to the south, and the Pearl River to the west. It is part of the Pearl River Delta built-up (or metro) area with more than 65.57 million inhabitants as of the 2020 census spread over nine municipalities across an area of 19,870 square kilometers (7,670 sq mi).[1]

Dongguan's city administration is considered especially progressive in seeking foreign direct investment.[4][who?] Dongguan ranks behind only Shenzhen, Shanghai and Suzhou in exports among Chinese cities, with $65.54 billion in shipments. It is also home to one of the world's largest shopping malls, the New South China Mall,[5] which is seeing increased activity.[6] Although the city is geographically and thus culturally Cantonese in the Weitou form and as well as culturally Hakka in the prefectures of Fenggang and Qingxi, the majority of the modern-day population speaks Mandarin due to the large influx of economic migrants from other parts of China.[7] The city is home to several universities, including Guangdong University of Science and Technology, Guangdong Medical University and Dongguan University of Technology.


In the Pearl River Delta region Dongguan was the first urban area where joint production was implemented between village collectives, local Chinese Communist Party cadre, and foreign investors. In the 1990s this type of enterprise accounted for around 20 percent of all foreign direct investments and approximately 50 percent of exports by the People's Republic of China (PRC).[8]

Today Dongguan is a major manufacturing hub, although it suffered significant loss of economic activity from the impact of the 2007–2008 financial crisis.[9][10] 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.[11]

The Dongguan Science and Technology Museum opened in December 2005 and is the high tech commerce park in the Songshan Lake district, which opened in 2003. The museum is a partnership with the Global IT Academy of the Brea Olinda Unified School District in Southern California, demonstrating the city's emphasis on attracting technology business. The city 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.[citation needed] 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.[12][13]

While the city is the fourth largest export region in China, behind Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Suzhou, Dongguan has yet to gain the kind of name recognition realized by Shenzhen outside of China. This may be because the city has focused on infrastructure investment rather than the direct 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 announced a plan to create and support a 100-billion-yuan photovoltaic manufacturing industry by 2015.[14]

To cope with the impact of the financial crisis, Dongguan city is looking to industrial restructuring, focusing on four pillar platforms, these are governmental services, supporting measures, technology upgrade, and market expansion. The city government claims that this process has already enhanced its capability for independent innovation and the quantity of patent applications in 2008.[15][16]

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, karaokes, 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.[17][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.[19]


The earliest traces of human habitation in the area stretch back 5,000 years. 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.[citation needed]

During the Second World War, the city served as the base for guerrilla resistance against the occupation that came with the Second Sino-Japanese War.[20]

Being a district of the Huiyang prefecture before, as its economy overshadowed the prefectural capital of Huizhou itself, Dongguan earned city status in 1985, and was upgraded to prefecture city status three years later.[21] 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 percent.[22]


Geographically, the city is mostly hilly to the east and flat in the west, with 115.98 kilometers (72.07 mi) of shoreline. The urban center of Dongguan is 50 kilometers (31 mi) from that of Guangzhou to its north, 90 kilometers (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 percent is water, 25 percent forest land, and 13 percent arable land, while 35 percent of its land area has been fully developed.[citation needed]

Guan Yin Shan (Kuan Yin Mountain) in Dongguan
Skyscrapers in Dongguan


Dongguan has a dry-winter humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification: Cwa), with abundant sunshine and rainfall over the year. It lies just south of the Tropic of Cancer. The average temperature is 22.9 °C (73.2 °F) throughout the year with average rainfall of 1,893 millimeters (74.5 in).[23] With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 23 percent in March to 57 percent in October, the city receives 1892 hours of bright sunshine annually.

Climate data for Dongguan (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 28.0
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 19.1
Daily mean °C (°F) 14.8
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 11.9
Record low °C (°F) 3.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 46.6
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 6.9 9.7 12.7 14.4 16.0 18.7 17.4 17.6 12.8 5.7 5.1 5.7 142.7
Average relative humidity (%) 69 74 78 80 80 82 79 80 75 68 67 65 75
Mean monthly sunshine hours 134.5 99.9 87.1 106.6 149.3 169.7 218.0 192.4 188.5 203.1 178.8 164.0 1,891.9
Percent possible sunshine 40 31 23 28 36 42 53 48 52 57 54 49 43
Source: China Meteorological Administration[24][25]


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.[26] At the 2010 Census the population had expanded to 8,220,237.[27] The number reached 10.5 million by 2020.[1]

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 Chinese nationals living abroad.


Dongguan is a prefecture-level city of the Guangdong province. An uncommon administrative feature is that it has no county-level division, but the municipal government does group the 32 township-level divisions into six district areas. The city government directly administers four Subdistricts and 28 towns:

Name Simplified Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Population
(2010 census)
Division code[28] Residential communities Administrative villages
Chengqu Area 城区片区 Chéngqū Piànqū 1,653,407 299.0 5529.78 4 subdistricts, 2 towns
Dongcheng Subdistrict 东城街道 Dōngchéng Jiēdào 492,875 110.0 4,480.68 441900003 23
Nancheng Subdistrict 南城街道 Nánchéng Jiēdào 289,255 59.0 4,902.62 441900004 18
Wanjiang Subdistrict 万江街道 Wànjiāng Jiēdào 244,765 50.5 4,846.83 441900005 28
Guancheng Subdistrict 莞城街道 Guǎnchéng Jiēdào 162,116 13.5 12,008.59 441900006 8
Shijie town 石碣镇 Shíjié Zhèn 246,960 36.0 6,860.00 441900101 1 14
Gaobu town 高埗镇 Gāobù Zhèn 217,436 30.0 7,247.86 441900129 1 18
Songshanhu Area 松山湖片区 Sōngshānhú Piànqū 1,467,455 433.8 3382.79 6 towns
Shilong town 石龙镇 Shílóng Zhèn 141,850 11.3 12,553.09 441900102 3 7
Chashan town 茶山镇 Cháshān Zhèn 156,522 51.0 3,069.05 441900103 2 16
Shipai town 石排镇 Shípái Zhèn 160,202 56.0 2,860.75 441900104 1 18
Liaobu town 寮步镇 Liáobù Zhèn 418,578 87.5 4783.74 441900111 10 20
Dalang town 大朗镇 Dàlǎng Zhèn 310,889 118.0 2,634.65 441900113 12 16
Dalingshan town 大岭山镇 Dàlǐngshān Zhèn 279,414 110.0 2,540.12 441900118 3 21
Dongbu Area 东部片区 Dōngbù Piànqū 1,349,280 493.5 2734.10 7 towns
Qishi town 企石镇 Qǐshí Zhèn 121,693 51.0 2,386.13 441900105 1 19
Hengli town 横沥镇 Hénglì Zhèn 204,830 50.0 4,096.60 441900106 1 16
Qiaotou town 桥头镇 Qiáotóu Zhèn 166,774 56.0 2,978.10 441900107 6 11
Xiegang town 谢岗镇 Xiègǎng Zhèn 99,387 103.0 964.92 441900108 1 11
Dongkeng town 东坑镇 Dōngkēng Zhèn 138,819 27.5 5,047.96 441900109 2 14
Changping town 常平镇 Chángpíng Zhèn 386,378 108.0 3,577.57 441900110 2 31
Huangjiang town 黄江镇 Huángjiāng Zhèn 231,399 98.0 2,361.21 441900114 7
Dongnan Area 东南片区 Dōngnán Piànqū 1,246,493 472.3 2639.19 4 towns
Zhangmutou town 樟木头镇 Zhāngmùtou Zhèn 132,816 118.8 1,117.97 441900112 10
Qingxi town 清溪镇 Qīngxī Zhèn 312,639 143.0 2,186.28 441900115 1 20
Tangxia town 塘厦镇 Tángxià Zhèn 482,067 128.0 3,766.14 441900116 23
Fenggang town 凤岗镇 Fènggǎng Zhèn 318,971 82.5 3,866.31 441900117 1 11
Binhai Area 滨海片区 Bīnhǎi Piànqū 1,918,652 509.3 3767.23 4 towns
Chang'an town 长安镇 Cháng'ān Zhèn 664,230 97.8 6,791.71 441900119 13
Humen town 虎门镇 Hǔmén Zhèn 638,657 178.5 3,577.91 441900121 31
Houjie town 厚街镇 Hòujiē Zhèn 438,283 126.0 3,478.43 441900122 24
Shatian town 沙田镇 Shātián Zhèn 177,482 107.0 1,658.71 441900123 2 16
Shuixiang Area 水乡片区 Shuǐxiāng Piànqū 543,632 261.5 2078.89 5 towns
Daojiao town 道滘镇 Dàojiào Zhèn 143,107 63.0 2,271.53 441900124 1 13
Hongmei town 洪梅镇 Hóngméi Zhèn 58,114 33.0 1,761.03 441900125 1 9
Machong town 麻涌镇 Máchǒng Zhèn 118,062 74.0 1,595.43 441900126 2 13
Wangniudun town 望牛墩镇 Wàngniúdūn Zhèn 84,786 31.5 2,685.65 441900127 1 21
Zhongtang town 中堂镇 Zhōngtáng Zhèn 139,563 60.0 2,326.05 441900128 5 15
Special Jurisdictions 441900400 3
Administrative divisions of Dongguan
Division code[28] English name Chinese Pinyin Area in km2 Population 2010[29] Seat Postal code Divisions[30]
Subdistricts Towns Residential communities Administrative villages
441900 Dongguan City 东莞市 Dōngguǎn Shì 2,465.00 8,220,207 City-administered District 523000 4 28 248 350
441900 City-administered District 市辖区 Shìxiáqū 2,465.00 8,220,207 Nancheng Subdistrict 523000 4 28 248 350


Humen Pearl River Bridge
Dongguan Rail Transit Line 2


Dongguan is served by Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, but primarily[citation needed] by Hong Kong International Airport; ticketed passengers to HKIA can take ferries from the Humen Ferry Terminal in Humen to the HKIA Skypier.[31] There are also coach bus services connecting Dongguan with HKIA.[32]


Many 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.[citation needed] 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.

People can also choose to drive between Hong Kong and Dongguan. With the permitted business license plate and driver license, people can drive through the customs located at Shenzhen so that to get to Hong Kong. Normally, it takes three hours for driving. In 2018, G4 Expressway (Beijing - Hong Kong and Macau Expressway) was opened, and Dongguan is one of the cities that G4 Expressway approaches. This benefits people from Dongguan to travel to those cities on G4 Expressway.

The Humen Pearl River Bridge is a suspension bridge over the Pearl River. Completed in 1997, it has a main span of 888 meters (2,913 ft). Construction work on the Second Humen Pearl River Bridge will start in early 2014.


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. High-speed rail services are also available at Humen railway station.

Among the four metro lines (Line 1-Line 4) planned for the Dongguan Rail Transit, Line 2 was scheduled to open for operations in early 2015. This was delayed and opened in May 2016. Line 2 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.[33]

Sports and culture

Basketball street art in Dongguan

Dongguan is dubbed as a "National Basketball City" and is the only prefecture-level city with three professional basketball clubs in China. Established in 1993, the Guangdong Southern Tigers are the first professional basketball club in China, and won eleven Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) championships.

The city hosted Weightlifting events during the 2010 Asian Games at the Dongguan Arena.[34]

The 16,000 seat Dongguan Basketball Center was one of the venues for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.[35] The venue has also hosted the 2015 Sudirman Cup badminton tournament.[36]

Dongguan Yulan Theater is one of China's newest multipurpose performing arts venues. With its multi-layered exterior suggestive of an unfolding lotus petal, it has become a landmark in Dongguan city. The new cultural hub houses two theaters presenting a full schedule of performances, including Romeo and Juliet and the Chinese classic Butterfly Lovers. So far Dongguan has produced seven original musicals by its own and made a roadshow of 60 performances in over 30 cities of China.[37][citation needed]

Social issues

The city and province have been the recent focus of press and journalist attention with coverage of the many young Chinese workers, principally females (so-called factory girls), from agricultural areas who work in the area's factories and manufacturing/assembly facilities, where many are housed in large dormitories, usually several to a room.[38]

An article in the High Tech Misery in China series reports research conducted, over 2008 to 2009, on working conditions at one of the city's major keyboard makers (Dongguan Meitai Plastics & Electronics Factory); in it, Meitai factory won some unwanted attention due to the poor conditions for its young, mostly female workers. The article[39] includes details of those conditions, photos, translations of employer's rules and evidence that well-known computer brands use this keyboard supplier's products.

Also, Dongguan has built a notoriety within China for its various types of brothels, massage parlors, nightclubs, sauna centers and karaoke bars. The city had more than 120 top-end luxury hotels and hundreds of other mid-range places that offer illegal sexual services or lease floors to sex operators, and many parts of the broader service sector benefit from the trade brought by visitors.[40] Although much of the business is illegal, police operations to limit these activities were for a long time largely ineffective, in part because corrupt members of the local administration and other officials have business interests in the sector.[41][42] On 9 February 2014, CCTV aired a report about prostitution in Dongguan. In reaction, on the same day, Dongguan police launched a crackdown on brothels, massage parlors, nightclubs, sauna centres and karaoke bars, leading to some commentary that the city's days as China's sex capital were numbered.[43][44]


The city is home to 650 educational institutions: one general college, a TV University as well as technical and vocational schools, 550 primary schools and 480 kindergartens. Also, Dongguan is home to a wide range of international schools due to the large expat community.

The number of professional teachers, including those at kindergartens, totals 20,268. A comparatively integrated educational system has been set up including preschool, basic, vocational, higher and lifelong adult education. Senior high school education has developed since 1995.

The Dongguan University of Technology is located in Dongguan.

Tungwah Wenzel International School [45](TWIS) houses an Olympic-sized swimming pool and one of the first Padel courts in South China. TWIS became the first International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum school in Dongguan in December 2021. It now offers PYP (Primary Year Program), Middle Year Program (MYP) and Diploma Program (authorized on October 25, 2021) education. The school is located at: No. 17 Keyuan Road, Songshan Lake High-Tech Industrial Zone, Dongguan, Guangdong, China.


Dongguan hosts the following annual festivals:[46]

See also


  1. ^ /dʊŋˈɡwæn/;[3] Chinese: 东莞市; pinyin: Dōngguǎn Shì


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