Shantou (zh-stp|s=汕头|t=汕頭|p=Shàntóu; POJ: Sòaⁿ-thâu; also historically known as Swátōw or Suátao) is a city of 4,971,000 permanent inhabitants (as at end 2006) in coastal eastern Guangdong Province, China, occupying an area of 2,064 sq. km. With its immediately surrounding cities of Jieyang and Chaozhou, the metropolitan region - known as Chaoshan - covers an area of 10,404 and had a permanent population of 13,139,800 at the end of 2006.

Shantou, a city significant in 19th-century Chinese history as one of the treaty ports established for Western trade and contact, was one of the original Special Economic Zones of the People's Republic of China established in the 1980s, but failed to blossom like other cities such as Shenzhen, Xiamen and Zhuhai. However, it remains as East Guangdong's economic centre, and is home to one of Guangdong's most prestigious uinversities, Shantou University.


Shantou was a fishing village part of Tuojiang City (鮀江都), Jieyang District (揭陽縣) during the Song Dynasty. It came to be Xialing (廈嶺) during the Yuan Dynasty. In 1563, Shantou was a part of Chenghai District (澄海縣) in Chao Prefecture (Chaozhou). As early as 1574, Shantou had been called Shashan Ping (沙汕坪). In the seventeenth century, a cannon platform called Shashan Toupaotai (沙汕頭炮臺 sha shan tou pao tai) was made here, and the placename later was shortened to "Shantou".

Connecting to Shantou across the Queshi Bridge is Queshi (礐石) which had been known by the local people through the 19th century as Kakchio. It was the main site for the American and British Consulates. Today the area is a scenic park but some of the structures are somewhat preserved from its earlier history.

It became a city in 1919, and was separated from Chenghai in 1921. 1922 saw the devastating Swatow Typhoon, which killed 50,000 out of the 65,000 people then inhabiting the city.cite web | url= | author=Willis E. Hurd | work=Monthly Weather Review | title=North Pacific Ocean | pages=433-35 | month=August | year=1922 | accessdate=2007-07-05]

In the 1930s, Shantou Port was a transport hub and merchandise distribution centre for Southeast China; its cargo throughput ranked third in the nation.

As a high-level city, Shantou administered Chaozhou City and Jieyang City from 1983 to 1989.


Shantou is a prefecture-level city. It has direct jurisdiction over six districts and one county.

* Chenghai District (Traditional: 澄海區 & Simplified: 澄海区)
* Longhu District (Traditional: 龍湖區 & Simplified: 龙湖区)
* Jinping District (Traditional: 金平區 & Simplified: 金平区)
* Haojiang District (Traditional: 濠江區 & Simplified: 濠江区)
* Chaoyang District (Traditional: 潮陽區 & Simplified: 潮阳区)
* Chaonan District (Traditional: 潮南區 & Simplified: 潮南区)
* Nan'ao County (Traditional: 南澳縣 & Simplified: 南澳县): island-county

As of 2003, the district of Haojiang was established out of Hepu and Dahao which had been merged together, and the district of Jinping Shengping and Jinyuan; Waisha and Xinxi Town, part of former Chenghai City, was merged into Longhu District; Chenghai City became Chenghai District; Chaoyang City was divided and became Chaoyang and Chaonan District respectively.


Shantou is one of the most densely-populated regions in China. Former Chaoyang City was China's most populous county-level administrative region, with 2.4 million inhabitants.

Most residents are ethnically Teochew. There are also Hakka, popularly known as Half-Hakka (半山客), majorly living in Chaoyang District (潮陽區) and Chaonan District (潮南區). Though they speak Teochew on a daily basis and practise Teochew culture. Thanks to the Mandarin-medium education system, most people, especially the younger generations, can fluently speak the national dialect.

Governmental statistics show that 2.16 million overseas Chinese have roots in Shantou, with significant populations of Teochew people residing in Thailand and Cambodia. This is demonstrated by the unusually high number of international direct flights between Bangkok and Shantou.

Culture and lifestyle

Shantou people, like other Teochew, cannot live without tea. According to China Daily, [China Daily (2006). " [ For all the tea in China, head to Shantou] ". Retrieved 26 July, 2006] Shantou people "drink more tea than anyone else in China, in total 700 million yuan (US$87.5 million) each year".


Industrial zones

*Shantou Free Trade Zone


The public hospitals in the Shantou metropolitan area are operated by the Government of Shantou. Management of these hospitals and other specialist health facilities are coordinated by Shantou Board of Health.


The dominate electricity to Shantou is China Southern Power Grid. The city's postal service is operated by China Post. China Telecom provides terrestrial and mobile telecommunications services to Shantou.


Most Shantou residents travel by autobikes. However, car use has grown rapidly over the past couple of years. Public transportation is provided by bus, ferry and taxi.

The Shantou Waishan Airport (外砂机场) is 13 kilometres away from the city centre and was constructed in 1956. Nearly 2 million people utilise the airport each year. Taxi is the usual way to travel between the airport and the city centre. The taxi fare is around 20-30 RMB. The new Jieyang Chaoshan airport, located in Jiedong Country (揭东县) which borders Shantou to the southeast, has been compeleted. It has replaced Waishan Airport in the future and to provide better services to Chaoshan residents.


* The Former Residence of Chen Ci Hong (陈慈黉故居 Chencihong Guju)
* Nan'ao Island (南澳島 Nanao Dao): rated as Guangdong's most beautiful island by China's National Geographic magazine
* Palace-Temple of Old Mother (老媽宮 Laoma Gong): dedicated to the goddess Matsu
* Temple of Emperor Guan (關帝廟 Guandi Miao): dedicated to Guan Yu
* Tropic of Cancer Symbol Tower (北回归线标志塔 Beihuiguixian Biaozhita): The Tropic of Cancer slips through Centipede Mountain, which is 20 kilometers away from the City.

Colleges and universities

* [ South China University of Technology Shantou College]
* [ Shantou Polytechnic]
* [ Shantou Radio and TV University]
* Shantou University


Shantou has city partnerships with these cities around the world.

Sister cities (友好城市)
*flagicon|JPN Since 1990: Kishiwada, Osaka, Japan
*flagicon|Canada Since 1997: Saint John, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
*flagicon|Vietnam Since 2005: Can Tho, Vietnam

Cities of friendly exchanges (友好交流关系城市)
*flagicon|South Korea Since 2003: Pyongtaek, Gyeonggi, South Korea
*flagicon|Australia Since 2005: Fairfield, New South Wales, Australia


The Malaysian city of Johor Bahru, which has a significant Teochew population, is known as little Swatow.

Most taxi drivers in Shantou are of Henan origin.

Shantou, along with Shanghai, are the two SMW3 beach-landing points in China.

Guiyu, a small town in Chaoyang District (潮陽區), despite being even unknown to most Shantou locals, is the biggest electronic waste site on earth [The Seattle Times (2006). " [ E-waste dump of the world] ". Retrieved 9 March, 2007] . The health-environmental issues there have concerned international organisations such as Greenpeace.

In 2000, the biggest tax fraud in China's history was uncovered, estimated worthy of 32.3 billion yuan.

There are at least two Teochew-speaking air hostesses on board each China Southern flight between Shantou and Bangkok. [民航资源网(2002). " [ 汕头——曼谷航班有了潮籍空姐] ". Retrieved 5 March, 2007]

Prominent people

Many famous Chinese come from Shantou or their ancestral home is Shantou.


*Hong Kong
**Adam Cheng ("1947-; Chaoyang, Guangdong; born in Hong Kong"), actor and singer
**Canti Lau ("1964-; Chaoyang, Guangdong; born in Hong Kong"), actor and singer
**Emil Chau ("1960-; Chaoyang, Guangdong; born in Hong Kong"), actor and singer
**Rocky Cheng ("1968-; Chaoyang, Guangdong; born in Hong Kong"), fitness trainer
**Kwong Wah ("1962-; Shantou, Guangdong; born in Hong Kong"), actor and singer
**Sammi Cheng ("1972-; Chenghai, Guangdong; born in Hong Kong"), actress and singer


*Mainland China
**Huang Guang Yu ("1969-; Chaoyang, Guangdong"), chairman of Gome Group and the richest person in Mainland
**Ma Hua Teng ("1971-; Chaoyang, Guangdong"), General Manager of Tencent Computer System Co., Ltd and creator of QQ
*Hong Kong
**Lim Por Yen ("1914-2005; Chaoyang, Guangdong"), media tycoon, banker and charitarian
**Chia Ek Chor ("1896—1983; Chenghai, Guangdong"), founder of Charoen Pokphand Group and charitarian
** Tang Choon Keng ("1901-2000; Shantou, Guangdong"), founder of Tangs

Film director

* Mainland China
**Cai Chu Sheng ("1906-1968; Chaoyang, Guangdong"), famous director, and the film "Yu Guang Qu" (渔光曲) directed by him received the first international film prize in China's history

Literary figure

* Mainland China
** Qin Mu ("1919-1992; Chenghai, Guangdong; born in Hong Kong"), famous Chinese literary figure


**Taksin ("1734-1782; Chenghai, Guangdong; born in Thailand"), king of Siam from 1768-1782


ee also

*Teochew people

External links

* [ Chaoshan culture site]
* [ Gaginang]
* [ Official government website]
* [ Shantou Daily]
* [ Guangdong Statistical Yearbook]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Shantou — Shàntóu · 汕頭 Pays Chine Statut administratif …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Shantou — (chino tradicional: 汕頭, chino simplificado: 汕头, pinyin: Shàntóu, transcripción antigua: Swatow), ciudad y puerto de China, en el extremo oriental de la provincia de Guangdong al sur del país. Barrio antiguo de Shantou. La ciudad… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Shantou — (chino simplificado: 汕头, chino tradicional: 汕頭, pinyin: Shàntóu, forma tradicional: Swatow), ciudad y puerto de China, en el extremo oriental de la provincia de Guangdong al sur del país. La ciudad ocupa un área de 234 Km² y tiene una población… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Shantou —   [ʃantɔu̯], Schantou, Swatow, Stadt und Verwaltungsbezirk (8 931 km2, 3,96 Mio. Einwohner) in der Provinz Guangdong, China, am Südchinesischen Meer am Südrand des Deltas des Han Jiang, 1 Mio. Einwohner; Bekleidungs , Textil , Nahrungsmittel ,… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Shantou — [shän′tō′] seaport in Guangdong province, SE China, on the South China Sea: pop. 723,000 …   English World dictionary

  • Shantou — /shahn toh /, n. Pinyin. a seaport in E Guangdong province, in SE China. 400,000. Also, Swatow. * * * ▪ China Wade Giles romanization   Shan t ou , conventional  Swatow        city in eastern Guangdong sheng (province), southern China. It lies on …   Universalium

  • Shantou — Original name in latin Shantou Name in other language SWA, San GJau, San tchou, San theu su, Santou, Santouo, Shan tou, Shan t ou shih, Shan t’ou shih, Shantou, Shantow, Sjantou, Swatow, Sn u, Sn thu s santeou si, saw thea, shan tou, shan tou shi …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Shantou — or Swatow geographical name city & port SE China in E Guangdong on South China Sea population 578,630 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Shantou — noun A city in Guangdong province, China …   Wiktionary

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