Left to right, top to bottom: Weihai skyline with the Gate of Happiness in the foreground, city hall of Weihai, swans on Yangyuchi Bay, a beach in Rongcheng County, altar fountain to the Great Sun Goddess and Ancestral Mother at Chengshan Peak
Weihai City in Shandong
Weihai City in Shandong
Weihai is located in China
Location in China
Coordinates (Weihai municipal government): 37°30′48″N 122°07′14″E / 37.5133°N 122.1205°E / 37.5133; 122.1205
CountryPeople's Republic of China
County-level divisions4
Township-level divisions66
Municipal seatHuancui District
 • CPC SecretaryWang Luming (王鲁明)
 • MayorZhang Haibo (张海波)
 • Prefecture-level city5,956 km2 (2,300 sq mi)
 • Water15.98 km2 (6.17 sq mi)  0.2756%
 • Urban
2,605.9 km2 (1,006.1 sq mi)
 • Metro
776.7 km2 (299.9 sq mi)
25 m (82 ft)
Highest elevation
418 m (1,371 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 (2020 census)[2]
 • Prefecture-level city2,906,548
 • Density490/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Urban density660/km2 (1,700/sq mi)
 • Metro
 • Metro density1,500/km2 (3,900/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+08:00 (China Standard)
Area code631
ISO 3166 codeCN-SD-10
GDPRMB346.4 billion (2021)
GDP per capitaRMB119200 (2021)
License Plate Prefix鲁K
Administrative division code371000
City Flower: Sweet Osmanthus, Osmanthus fragrans
City Tree: Silk Tree, Albizia julibrissin

Weihai (Chinese: 威海; pinyin: Wēihǎi), formerly called Weihaiwei (traditional Chinese: 威海; simplified Chinese: 威海; pinyin: Wēihǎiwèi; lit. 'Mighty Sea Fort'), is a prefecture-level city and major seaport in easternmost Shandong province. It borders Yantai to the west and the Yellow Sea to the east, and is the closest Chinese city to South Korea (specifically, Chengshan to Yeonpyeongdo, 174km).

Weihai's population was 2,804,771 as of the 2020 Chinese census, of whom 1,164,730 lived in the current built-up (or metro) area of (Huancui District) even though Wendeng district to the south with 563,529 inhabitants is soon being conurbated. There are two county-level cities within Weihai; Rongcheng has a built up area with 714,211 inhabitants, while Rushan had 464,078 inhabitants in 2020. A subway is planned with 4 lines and 204.6 km (127.1 mi) route length to link all city districts. The first phase, Line 1 and 2 is planned for 2025.


Landing of Chinese prisoners at Wei-Hai on 16 February 1895

Prehistorically, it was inhabited by Dongyi tribes,[3] and it was annexed into China Proper by the state of Qi in 567 B.C.

Before the 14th century, Weihai was a minor fishing settlement. In 1398, during the Ming dynasty, it became a military stronghold (wei) to defend against raids by the wokou. The fortification at Weihai was constructed in 1403, and contained walls almost 2 miles (3.2 km) in circumference.[4]

Weihaiwei was the base for the Beiyang Fleet during the Qing Dynasty. In 1895, the Japanese captured it in the Battle of Weihaiwei, which is regarded as the last major battle of the First Sino-Japanese War. The Japanese then evacuated Weihaiwei on 24 May 1898, after which it was occupied by the British.[5]

The core of Weihai (now Huancui District) was ruled by the British from 1 July 1898 to 1930 under lease agreement with the Chinese empire, with Port Edward (the center of the original Weihai city, now in Huancui District) serving as the capital.[4] A Royal Navy base was built on Liugong Island.

refer to caption
Map of Weihaiwei in 1906

Weihaiwei became an integral part of China after it was returned to the Republic of China on 1 October 1930,[6][7] but Liugong Island and its facilities were leased back to the U.K. until 1940.[5]

Weihaiwei was occupied by the Japanese from 1938 to 1945.[8] There was a withdrawal of most British forces and supplies from Liugong Island, and finally a Japanese military landing and occupation of the island in 1940.[9]

The region was formally incorporated into Shandong province on 10 May 1945.[8] In 1949, Weihaiwei City was established, and its name was shortened to Weihai after the Communist revolution.

Since 2003, a replica of the Chinese battleship Dingyuan has been anchored here as a museum ship and memorial for Chinese veterans of the First Sino-Japanese War.

Administrative divisions

The prefecture-level city of Weihai administers four county-level divisions, including two districts and two county-level cities.

Subdivision Chinese Pinyin
Huancui District 环翠区 Huáncuì Qū
Wendeng District 文登区 Wéndēng Qū
Rongcheng City 荣成市 Róngchéng Shì
Rushan City 乳山市 Rǔshān Shì

These are further divided into 66 township-level divisions, including 52 towns and 14 subdistricts.

Geography and climate

Weihai is located on the northeastern shore of Shandong; its administrative area includes Chengshantou [zh] (成山头), the easternmost tip of the Shandong Peninsula (Shantung Peninsula). The city is surrounded by sea on three sides; its port is protected by Liugong Island.

Weihai experiences a continental climate, and it is climactically influenced by the surrounding Yellow Sea and the Siberian high. Springtime warming and autumn cooling are delayed by one month, winds are generally high, and the average diurnal temperature variation throughout the year is small—at only 6.73 °C (12.1 °F). Winters are cold and dry, but still warmer than inland regions at the same latitude; the average temperature in January is −0.9 °C (30.4 °F). Summers are hot and humid, but much cooler than inland regions at similar latitude like the North China Plain (for about 5~10°C) and August averages 24.7 °C (76.5 °F); the annual mean is 12.48 °C (54.5 °F). More than two-thirds of the annual precipitation occurs from June to September, and there are nearly 2,540 hours of sunshine per year.

Climate data for Weihai (1981−2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.6
Average high °C (°F) 2.1
Average low °C (°F) −3.1
Record low °C (°F) −12.3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 13.3
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 6.5 5.1 4.6 5.8 6.9 7.9 11.5 10.2 6.9 6.4 7.8 8.2 87.8
Source 1: National Meteorological Center of CMA[10]
Source 2: Weather China (precipitation days, extremes 1971–2000)[11]


Panoramic view of Rongcheng

Weihai is a commercial port and major fishing center with some light industries. Due to its close proximity to South Korea, Weihai also has a large Korean business community and receives many Korean tourists. Weihai is also a key production area for peanuts and fruit.

Industrial Zone

Weihai Economic & Technological Development Zone is a state-level development zone approved by the State Council on 21 October 1992. The administrative area has an area of 194 km2 (75 sq mi), including the programmed area of 36 km2 (14 sq mi) and an initial area of 11.88 km2 (4.59 sq mi). Its nearest port is Weihai Port, and the airport closest to the zone is Dashuibo Airport.[12]

Weihai Export Processing Zone (EPZ) was set up by the approval of the State Council on 27 April 2000. Weihai EPZ is located in Weihai Economic & Technological Development Zone with programmed area of 2.6 km2 (1.0 sq mi). Weihai EPZ belongs to comprehensive export & processing zone. The EPZ is located 30 km (19 mi) from Weihai Airport, 3 km (1.9 mi) to Weihai Railway Station and 4 km (2.5 mi) from Weihai Harbor.[13]

Weihai Torch Hi-Tech Science Park is a state-level development zone approved by the State Council in March 1991. Located in Weihai's northwest zone of culture, education and science, the Park has the total area of 111.9 km2 (43.2 sq mi), a coastline of 30.5 km (19.0 mi) and 150,000 residents. It is 3 km (1.9 mi) away from the city center, 4 km (2.5 mi) away from Weihai Port, 10 km (6.2 mi) away from Weihai Railway Station, 30 km (19 mi) away from Weihai Airport and 80 km (50 mi) away from Yantai Airport.[14]


Weihai Railway Station, 2020

Weihai Dashuibo Airport serves the city with regular service to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Harbin domestically and the Korean cities of Seoul and Busan, as the fourth busiest airport in Shandong following Qingdao, Jinan and Yantai.

Qingdao–Rongcheng intercity railway offers the high-speed rail services directly to Shanghai Hongqiao, Beijing South, Jinan, Jimo North (Qingdao North soon) and Yantai, with five rail stations, Weihai, Weihai North, Wendeng, Wendeng East and Rongcheng.

As for conventional rail services, The K8262 train depart every day at and 10:18 PM respectively for Jinan, the provincial capital, the K412 goes directly to Beijing at 8:54 PM, and the No. K1068 train leaves at 9:38 AM for Hankou, one of the three railway stations of Wuhan, Hubei. Internally, the city is served by more than 50 bus routes.


Aerial view of Shandong University at Weihai

Campuses of Shandong University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Beijing Jiaotong University, Harbin University of Science and Technology, as well as Shandong Jiaotong University are located in Weihai.

Secondary Schools


See also



  1. ^ 最新人口信息 www.hongheiku.com (in Chinese). hongheiku. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  2. ^ "China: Shāndōng (Prefectures, Cities, Districts and Counties) - Population Statistics, Charts and Map".
  3. ^ "威海市人民政府 民俗方言". www.weihai.gov.cn. Retrieved 19 February 2023.
  4. ^ a b Weihai, Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. 8 October 2015. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015.
  5. ^ a b http://www.worldstatesmen.org/China_Foreign_colonies.html#Weihaiwei Archived 20 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine WorldStatesMen - China - Foreign colonies - Weihaiwai
  6. ^ Vines, Stephen (30 June 1997). "How Britain lost chance to keep its last major colony". The Independent. Archived from the original on 27 June 2017.
  7. ^ Dillon, Michael, ed. (1998). China: A Cultural and Historical Dictionary. London: Curzon Press. pp. 341. ISBN 0-7007-0439-6.
  8. ^ a b "China Provinces and Administrative Divisions - Weihai". WorldStatesMen.org. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  9. ^ "Weihaiwai Withdrawal". nlb.gov.sg. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  10. ^ 1981年-2010年(威海)月平均气温和降水 (in Simplified Chinese). National Meteorological Center of CMA. Retrieved 29 November 2022.
  11. ^ 威海 - 气象数据 -中国天气网 (in Chinese). Weather China. Retrieved 29 November 2022.
  12. ^ "Weihai Economic & Technological Development Zone". Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  13. ^ "Weihai Export Processing Zone". Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  14. ^ "Weihai Torch Hi-Tech Science Park". Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015.