20 July 2012


Ningbo (Chinese: 宁波; pinyin: About this sound Níngbō; Ningbo dialect: About this sound Nyin-poh/Nyin-pou) is a seaport city in the northeast of Zhejiang province, People's Republic of China. Holding sub-provincial administrative status and separate state-planning status, as of the 2010 census, the municipality has a population of 7,605,700 inhabitants, 3,491,000 of whom reside in the urban area which comprises 6 districts. It lies south of the Hangzhou Bay, facing the East China Sea to the east. Ningbo borders Shaoxing to the west and Taizhou to the south, and is separated from Zhoushan by a narrow body of water.
—  Sub-provincial city  —
Clockwise from top: Ningbo's Skyline, Tianyi Square, Tianyi Chamber, Port of Ningbo, Hangzhou Bay Bridge, and Tianfeng Pagoda
Ningbo City in Zhejiang
Ningbo is located in China
Location in China
Coordinates: 29°52′N 121°33′E
Country People's Republic of China
Province Zhejiang
County-level divisions 11
Township divisions 148
 • Type Type Sub-provincial city
 • CPC Ningbo Committee Secretary Wang Huizhong (王辉忠)
 • Mayor Liu Qi[disambiguation needed] (刘奇)
 • Sub-provincial city 9,816 km2 (3,790 sq mi)
Elevation 150 m (488 ft)
Population (2010 census)[1]
 • Sub-provincial city 7,605,700
 • Density 770/km2 (2,000/sq mi)
 • Urban 3,491,000
 • Metro 3,491,000
Time zone China Standard Time (UTC+8)
Postal code 315000
Area code(s) 574
GDP 2009[1]
 - Total CNY 421.46 billion (USD 61.72 billion)
 - per capita CNY 73,998 (USD 10,836)
 - Growth increase 8.6%
Website www.ningbo.gov.cn (Chinese)


The first character in the city's name (宁 or 寧) means "serene", while its second character (波) translates to "waves". Together, the name literally means "Serene Waves". The city is abbreviated Yǒng (甬), after the Yong Hill (甬山), a prominent coastal hill near the city, like the Yong River (甬江) that flows through Ningbo. The abbreviation Ning is used more commonly for Nanjing.
It was once named "明州" (Míngzhōu). The character Ming (明) was composed by two parts, representing two lakes inside the city wall, i.e., the Sun Lake (日湖) and the Moon Lake (月湖), but only Moon Lake remains.


Ningbo is one of China's oldest cities, with a history dating back to the Hemudu culture in 4800 BC . Once known as Mingzhou (明州), Ningbo was known as a trade city on the silk road at least two thousand years ago, and then as a major port, along with Yangzhou and Guangzhou in the Tang Dynasty; thereafter, the major ports for foreign trade in the Song Dynasty.

Tang and Song dynasty

Since the Tang dynasty Ningbo was an important commercial port. Arab merchants lived in Ningbo during the Song dynasty when it was known as Mingzhou, because the ocean-going trade passsages took precedence over land trade during this time.[2][3] Another name for Mingzhou/Ningbo was Siming. It was a well known center of ocean-going commerce with the foreign world.[4] These merchants did not intermingle with native Chinese, practicing their own customs and religion and they inhabited ghettos. They did not try to proselytize Islam to Chinese.[5]

Ming Dynasty

The city of Ningbo was known in Europe for a long time under the name of Liampó. This is the usual spelling used e.g. in the standard Portuguese history, João de Barros's Décadas da Ásia, although Barros explained that Liampó was a Portuguese "corruption" of the more correct Nimpó.[6][7] The spelling Liampó is also attested in the Peregrination (Peregrinação) by Fernão Mendes Pinto, a (so-called) autobiography written in Portuguese during 16th century. For the mid-16th century Portuguese, the nearby promontory, which they called the cape of Liampó, after the nearby "illustrious city" was the easternmost known point of the mainland Asia.[6] The Portuguese began trading in Ningbo around 1522. By 1542, the Portuguese had a sizable community in Ningbo (or, more likely, on nearby small islands). Portuguese activities from their Ningbo base included pillaging and attacking multiple Chinese port cities around Ningbo for plunder and spoil. They also enslaved people during their raids.[8][9] In 1542 the Portuguese settled here by permission and flourished, but their rapacity led to their expulsion in 1545. After the Portuguese obtaining a trade mission in Ningbo using coercion and bribe,[10] in retaliation, the Ming forces in 1545 exterminated the entire Portuguese community of Ningbo in the Ningbo Massacre (1542).[11] A force of 60,000 Chinese troops descended on the community, 800 of the 1,200 Portuguese residents were massacred, and 25 Portuguese vessels and 42 junks were destroyed.[12]

Qing dynasty

Ningbo was one of the five Chinese treaty ports opened by the Treaty of Nanjing (signed in 1842) at the end of the First Opium War between Britain and China. During the war, British forces took possession of the walled city of Ningbo briefly after storming the fortified town of Zhenhai at the mouth of the Yong River on October 10, 1841. The British repulsed a Chinese attempt to retake the city in the Battle of Ningpo on March 10, 1842. In 1864, the forces of the Taiping Rebellion held the town for six months. In March 1885, during the Sino-French War, Admiral Courbet's naval squadron blockaded several Chinese warships in Zhenhai Bay and exchanged fire with the shore defences. Ningbo was also once famed for traditional Chinese furniture production.
During the Qing dynasty, western encyclopedias described Ningbo as a center of craftsmanship and industry.[13][14]
During the late Qing dynasty, in the 1800s, the Ningbo authorities contracted Cantonese pirates to exterminate and massacre Portuguese pirates who raided Cantonese shipping around Ningbo. The massacre was "successful", with 40 Portuguese dead and only 2 Chinese dead, being dubbed "The Ningpo Massacre" by an English correspondent, who noted that the Portuguese pirates had behaved savagely towards the Chinese, and that the Portuguese authorities at Macau should have reined in the pirates.
During late Qing era, Western missionaries set up a Presbyterian Church in Ningbo. Li Veng-eing was a Reverend of the Ningpo Church.[15] The Ningpo College was mangaged by Rev. Robert F. Fitch. The four trustees were natives of Ningbo, three of them had Taotai rank.[16] Rev. George Evans Moule, B. A. was appointed a missionary to China by the Church of England Missionary Society, and arrived at Ningpo with Mrs. Moule in February, 1858. He then commenced a mission station at Hang-chow, between which and Ningpo his time had been chiefly divided. He wrote Christian publications in the Ningbo dialect.[17]

Republican Era

During World War II in 1940, Japan bombed Ningbo with fleas carrying the bubonic plague.[18] According to Daniel Barenblatt, Prince Tsuneyoshi Takeda received, with Prince Mikasa, a special screening by Shiro Ishii of a film showing imperial planes loading germ bombs for bubonic dissemination over Ningbo in 1940.[19]
"It has been said of the Ningbo fishermen that, 'no people in the world apparently made so great an advance in the art of fishing; and for centuries past no people have made so little further progress.'"[20]

Geography and climate

  • Ningbo covers an area of 9,365 square kilometres (3,616 sq mi) and has a total coastline of 1,562 km (971 mi) including 788 km (490 mi) of mainland coastline and 774 km (481 mi) of island coastline.
  • Climatic Features: monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Koppen Cfa), featuring temperate and humid weather and four distinct seasons; frost-free period of 230–240 days
  • Average daily temperature: annual-16.4 °C (61.5 °F), January-4.7 °C (40.5 °F), July-28.0 °C (82.4 °F)
  • Annual rainfall: 1,420 millimetres (56 in)

Administrative Structure

The mayor of Ningbo is Liu Qi[disambiguation needed]. Wang Huizhong is the secretary of CPC in Ningbo, who is first-in-charge of the city. The Communist Party Secretary is always the highest official in cities in China and overranks all other officials.
Ningbo Local Government Offices
    • Ningbo Foreign Affairs Office[23]
    • Ningbo Foreign Trade & Economic Cooperation Bureau[24]
    • Ningbo Govt.[25]
The sub-provincial city of Ningbo has direct jurisdiction over 6 districts (区 qu) (urban), 3 county-level cities (市 shi) and 2 Counties (县 xian):
Subdivisions of Ningbo-China.png Subdivision

Ningbo City Proper
Haishu-qu 海曙区
Jiangdong-qu 江东区
Jiangbei-qu 江北区
Zhenhai-qu 镇海区
Beilun-qu 北仑区
Yinzhou-qu 鄞州区
Ningbo Suburban and Rural
Yuyao-shi 余姚市
Cixi-shi 慈溪市
Fenghua-shi 奉化市
Ninghai-xian 宁海县
Xiangshan-xian 象山县


Ningbo is an important port city located 220 km south of Shanghai. The city's export industry dates back to the 7th century. Today Ningbo is a major exporter of electrical products, textiles, food, and industrial tools.
Historically Ningbo was geographically isolated from other major cities. In 2007 the Hangzhou Bay Bridge was built, cutting highway transit time between the two port cities to two and a half hours from four.
In 2009, Ningbo's economic activity reached USD 60.8 billion, down 10.4% from 2008. The exports totalled USD 38.65 billion, down 16.6% from the previous year. In addition, Ningbo imported USD 22.16 billion of goods, up 3.1% from the previous year.[26]
Ningbo's economy grew 8.6 percent in 2009 to 421.5 billion yuan (US$61.7 billion). The city's per capita output was US$10,833, about three times the national average.[27]
Ningbo is famous for the Si Lan Nong Xiang flower. Used for dyeing cloth, 2008 exports were responsible for 3% of the Ningbo economic growth.

Economic and Technological Development Zones

Ningbo Economic & Technological Development Zone

Located in the north-east of Ningbo, behind Beilun Port, NETD is 27 kilometers away from the city center. With more than 20 years of great effort, NETD has already formed the general framework for large scale construction and development, and established perfect investment environment. It is situated close to the Ningbo Port and Ningbo Lishe International Airport. Major Investors include Exxon Mobile, Dupont and Dow Chemical.[28]

Ningbo National Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone

Ningbo National Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone was founded in 1999 and was upgraded to a national level zone in January 2007. It is only 10 km away from Ningbo International Airport and 18 km away from Ningbo Port. The zone serves as the important technical innovation base of Yangtze River Delta. Industries encouraged include Chemicals Production and Processing, Biotechnology/Pharmaceuticals, Raw Material Processing, Research and Development.[29]

Ningbo Free Trade Zone

Ningbo Free Trade Zone is one of the 15 free trade zones authorized by the State Council of China, and is the only free trade zone in Zhejiang Province. It was established by State Council in 1992, covering the area of 2.3 square kilometers. It lies in the middle of the coastline of Mainland China, at the south of Yangtze River Delta. In 2008, its industrial output value was RMB 53.33 billion and grew at 19.8% as compared to 2007.[30]

Nordic Industrial Park

The Nordic Industrial Park Co. Ltd. (NIP) is one of the first wholly foreign-owned industrial parks in China located in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. NIP is managed and operated by a Scandinavian management team.[31]

Ningbo Port

Ningbo is not just an ordinary city – it has the same authority as provincial governments for economic administration – and has a port second only to Shanghai around the world in terms of annual cargo throughput. Unlike Shanghai, the port is deepwater and capable of handling 300,000 tonne vessels. The port is located mainly in Beilun district and Zhenhai district. In 2006, Ningbo Port started its expansion to the neighbouring island City of Zhoushan for the purpose of building a even larger port with higher capacity to compete with neighbouring ports in the region, such as Shanghai's Yangshan Deep-Water Port. The statistics in 2010 showed that total cargo throughput was 627,000,000 tonnes and container throughput 13,144,000 TEUs. With bulk container breakdowns, hugely improved logistics, and massive chemical and foodstuff, processing developments, Ningbo could yet win the race with Shanghai as port of choice for servicing the Chinese east coast.[32]


The Junjing Hall (尊经阁) located within the Tianyi Chamber

Ningbo along rivers
  • Tianyi Pavilion Museum, (Tian Yi Ge Bowuguan) one of Ningbo's most popular tourist attractions, the Tianyi Chamber (daily 8am-4.30pm; ¥20), is tucked away in the vicinity of Moon Lake (Yuehu). Built in 1516 and said to be the oldest surviving library in China, it was founded by Ming official Fan Qin, whose collection went back to the 11th century and included woodblock and handwritten copies of the Confucian classics, rare local histories and lists of the candidates successful in imperial examinations. Nowadays you can visit the library's garden and outhouses, some of which contain small displays of old books and tablets.
  • Baoguo Temple, the oldest intact wooden structure in Southern China, is located in Jiangbei District, 15 km north of Ningbo city.
  • Tianfeng Pagoda
  • Qingan Association

King Ashoka Temple.

Notable people

The monument of victory in the Battle of Zhenhai (Sino-French War)
Many well known Chinese came from Ningbo or their ancestral home was Ningbo.
People in mainland China
  • Zhang Jianhong (張建紅), freelance writer, playwright, poet, and also a democracy activist.
  • Pan Tianshou (潘天寿), artist in Chinese painting.
  • Zhou Xinfang (周信芳), artist in Peking Opera.
  • Sha Menghai (沙孟海), the Master Calligrapher.
People in Hong Kong
People in Taiwan
People overseas


Zhao bao shan Bridge, Zhenhai District, Ningbo


As there are three main rivers running through Ningbo, it is crucial to build bridges to improve the efficiency of transport network in Ningbo. The Ling Bridge which connects Haishu district and Jiangdong District is the earliest modern bridge built in Ningbo, designed by German engineers. Since the late 1980s, 16 bridges have been built on the three rivers. Currently another 27 bridges are under construction. The Hangzhou Bay Bridge, a combination cable-stayed bridge and causeway across Hangzhou Bay, opened to the public on May 1, 2008. This bridge connects the municipalities of Shanghai and Ningbo, and is considered the longest trans-oceanic bridge in the world. It is the world's second-longest bridge, after the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway in Louisiana, USA. The Jintang Bridge, linking Jintang Island of Zhoushan and the Zhenhai district, is a 27-kilometer long, 4 lane sea crossing bridge which opened on December 26, 2009.


The port of Ningbo is one of the world's busiest ports, ranked 2nd by cargo tonnage in 2008, and 7th in TEU.


Ningbo Lishe International Airport connects Ningbo by air to the rest of China, with regularly scheduled domestic and international flights. In 2009, new air routes between Ningbo and Taiwan were opened. Jetstar Asia also launched a new air routes between Ningbo and Singapore which commerce in 2011 September.


Two railway lines intersect in Ningbo: the Xiaoshan-Ningbo Railway (Xiaoyong Line), which runs west to Hangzhou and the Ningbo–Taizhou–Wenzhou (Yongtaiwen) Railway, which runs south to Wenzhou. With the booming economy in the region, the Xiaoyong Railway, a conventional railway built in the 1950s, cannot meet the demand for railway travel between Zhejiang's two largest cities, so construction of a new high-speed railway line between Hangzhou and Ningbo started in 2009. The new railway line will be finished by 2011, and will reduce travel time between Ningbo and Hangzhou to 26 minutes. The Ningbo–Taizhou–Wenzhou Railway is a high-speed railway that opened in September 2009. It connects Ningbo with cities along the coast to the south to Fujian Province. High-speed trains on this line operate at speeds of up to 250 km/hour.


Five expressways connect Ningbo with its surrounding cities:
  • The Hangyong expressway, built in the 1990s, connects Hangzhou and Ningbo, now part of Hangzhou Bay ring expressway (G9211).
  • The Yongtaiwen expressway (G15), opened in 2000, connects Ningbo with Taizhou and Wenzhou.
  • The Yongjin expressway (G1512) connects Ningbo and Jinhua.
  • The Huyong expressway (G15) connects Ningbo and Shanghai via the Hangzhou Bay bridge.
  • The Yongzhou expressway (G9211) via Jintang Bridge.[33]
The first phase of Ningbo ring expressway also opened in 2007, connecting western parts of districts around the city of Ningbo. The second phase is expected to open on 2012. Another expressway connecting Ningbo and Taizhou via Xiangshan county is currently under construction.

Subway line

Ningbo has been constructing two subway lines, Line 1 and Line 2. Both lines are scheduled to be finished in the year 2015. Altogether, future plans foresee that there will eventually be 6 subway lines serving Ningbo.


Ningbo is the headquarters of the East Sea Fleet of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy. Its responsibility includes projecting force in the region around the Republic of China (Taiwan), which the People's Republic of China views as a renegade province.


Ningbo is known for Ningbo Tangyuan, small stuffed buns which are boiled. The stuffing is usually ground sesame mixed with sugar. It can also be mixed with pork. The stuffing is wrapped with sticky rice powder.


Universities and colleges
Ningbo has four universities. Towards the north of the city is Ningbo University, while the Ningbo Higher Education Zone (Yinzhou district) is home to Zhejiang Wanli University as well as the University of Nottingham Ningbo, China – a joint venture between the University of Nottingham and the Wanli Education Group. Affiliated to Zhejiang University, Ningbo Institute of Technology, Zhejiang University, which was ranked as the eleventh best of independent colleges in China in 2011 [34], is also located in this beautiful education zone.
Secondary and primary education
Compulsory education (basic education in Chinese terms) is from the age 6 -15. Students are catered for in a variety of state and private schools. Studying for the gaokao (university entrance test) is optional.[35]
International Education
Several schools are permitted to operate educational programmes instead of the Chinese National curriculum and accept international students into their schools.
Access International Academy Ningbo (AIAN) offers a US curriculum with the College Board Advanced Placement examinations, Ningbo Zhicheng School International is an IB World School and offers an international curriculum through the IB Diploma Programme, Ningbo International School offers the South Australian Curriculum Standards and Accountability framework (SACSA) for the Toddler grades up to and including Grade 5 and provides accredited Cambridge International University programmes for Grades 6-12 inclusive. Huamao Multicultural Education Academy, is an IB World School and offers an international curriculum through the IB Primary Years Programme for students aged 3 - 12 and the IB Diploma Programme for students aged 16-19.

International relations

Twin towns and sister cities

Ningbo is twinned with:

Sister cities

Cities of friendly exchanges (Chinese: 友好交流关系城市)


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