Applora Screen

This special series features the city's most important annual political conferences, Lianghui, or Two Sessions, which runs from January 26 to 31.

Throughout the week, Andy Boreham from Shanghai Daily will give you a multimedia roundup of what Lianghui is all about and what's going on during the event.

Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong delivered the government work report on Sunday, summing up the government's achievements in 2018 and mapping out the plan for 2019. Let's take a look.


GDP growth

Shanghai's economy grew steadily in 2018 to 3.27 trillion yuan (US$480.2 billion), expanding 6.6 percent from a year earlier. GDP is expected to rise between 6% and 6.5% this year.

New jobs

582,000 new jobs were created in 2018 and the registered urban unemployment ratio was 4.3%. In 2019, the government aims to create about 500,000 new jobs and keep the unemployment ratio at the same level.

Investment in R&D

Investment in research and development accounted for 4% of GDP in 2018, and the same amount is earmarked to be spent this year.


Consumer inflation was 1.6% in 2018, and is expected to be kept in accordance with the national index this year.

Growth of annual average disposable income

The annual average disposable income of Shanghai residents grew 8.8% to 64,183 yuan in 2018, growth of 7.1% after the deduction of consumer inflation. In 2019, it is expected to keep pace with economic growth.

Public services

  • Metro network

    Shanghai's metro network reached 705 kilometers in 2018, and another 128 kilometers of new metro lines will be built in 2019.

  • Daily care centers for the elderly

    The government built 81 new daily care centers for the elderly, and another 80 will be built this year. An extra 7,103 beds were added at senior care homes across the city, and another 7,000 are planned for 2019.

  • Love relay stations

    To make the city "warm," the government built 1,003 "love relay stations" offering rest places for outdoor workers including sanitation workers, deliverymen and taxi drivers in 2018. 200 more will open in 2019.

  • Day-care centers for toddlers

    To relieve the burden on young working parents, authorities in 2018 opened 122 childcare facilities, accepting kids aged between 2 and 3. In 2019, an additional 50 such facilities will be added. 53 new kindergartens were built last year, and 30 more will go up in 2019.

  • Renovation of old apartments

    In 2018, more than 10 million square meters of old housing was renovated, with an additional 3 million square meters set to be upgraded this year. More than 180,000 households had their sewage systems renovated in 2018, and the renovation for another 80,000 is planned for this year.

  • Jogging and walking paths

    In 2018, 89 jogging and walking paths were built in parks, green lands and residential complexes. Another 100 paths will be constructed this year. 72 sports fields were laid in 2018, and the 2019 target is 60.

  • Love summer care camps

    In 2018, authorities opened 509 "love summer care" camps for primary school students, where they can take classes, do homework and attend activities. 550 new camps will open this summer.

  • Cables

    116 kilometers of overhead electric wires were replaced with underground cables in 2018. Another 100 kilometers of wires will be removed this year.

Environmental protection

Vertical greenery

Vertical greenery totaling 404,000 square meters was added last year, and the same amount will go up in 2019.

Investment in environmental protection

Shanghai invested 3% of the total GDP in environmental protection in 2018, about the same as what will be spent this year.

Annual density of PM2.5

The annual average density of PM2.5 dropped by 7.7% to 36 mg/m3 in 2018. More than 80% of the year saw "excellent" and "good" air quality days, 5.8% more than 2017.

New forest

The city planted 76,000 mu (50 square kilometers) of new forest in 2018, and the target for 2019 is 75,000 mu.

New greenery area

Shanghai's government made way for 1,307 hectares of new greenery area in 2018. 1,200 hectares are planned for this year.


The city constructed 223.9 kilometers of greenway in 2018, and the target for 2019 is about 200 kilometers.

Reform of the free trade zone


The number of special administrative measures for admittance of foreign investment has been slashed to 45.


A total of 71,000 free trade accounts have been opened so far.


The scheme of separating business licenses from administrative permits has been piloted on 198 items


Companies in the zone have invested in over 200 Belt and Road Initiative projects.


The China International Import Expo

The first China International Import Expo, held in Shanghai last year, attracted participants from 172 countries, regions and international organizations, 3617 companies, as well as over 400,000 domestic and overseas buyers, generating US$57.83 billion worth of intended deals in annualized terms. This year, Shanghai will go all out to host the second CIIE, with the aim of shaping new systems for a more open economy.

Five Centers

Shanghai strives to build itself into an international center for economy, finance, trade, shipping and science and innovation. What achievements have been made in these areas over the past year? Let’s take a look.

Science and Innovation

The city started the construction of the hard X-ray free electron laser device, established scientific research institutes including the National Innovation Center for Integrated Circuit Manufacturing, and developed a new drug candidate for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, and completed the hyperspectral integrated observation satellite


Innovative financial products such as crude oil futures have been launched. Financial institutions such as the China Life Insurance Shanghai Headquarters and 68 new licensed financial institutions were established. Total turnover of financial markets exceeded 1,600 trillion yuan.


The total sales of goods reached 11.9 trillion yuan last year, while the total trade volume through the port of Shanghai exceeded US$1.2 trillion. The total value of foreign trade in goods grew by 5.5 percent.


Air cargo and mail throughput and passenger throughput at Shanghai's airports remained 3rd and 4th in the world. Container throughput at Shanghai Port has ranked 1st in the world for 9 consecutive years. The number of cruise passengers departing from the Shanghai home port ranked 4th globally.


Shanghai welcomed 45 new regional headquarters and 15 new R&D centers of multinational corporations. Outbound direct investment added up to US$16.87 billion. The Contract Value of overseas contracting projects totaled US$11.9 billion. An average of 1,318 companies register every day, up 11.8%.

Four Brands

Last year, Shanghai started a number of action plans to make Shanghai Service, Shanghai Manufacturing, Shanghai Shopping and Shanghai Culture into four well-known brands.

  • The output of emerging industries such as new energy vehicles, high-end medical equipment, integrated circuits and biomedicine registered a 10% increase
  • Five investment projects each valued at more than 10 billion yuan, including Tesla, Volkswagen pure electric vehicle, and JT Semiconductor, plus 15 projects of more than 1 billion yuan, started construction
  • 835 brands chose Shanghai to launch their very first shops in China
  • Shanghai ranked 2nd globally in the concentration of international retailers

One-stop portal

Shanghai last year launched a one-stop portal of government services for citizens and businesses to improve its business environment.

A total of 100 approval items and 40 review items have been canceled. The time required for construction project approval was cut by more than half.
Procedures needed for getting electricity, starting a business, dealing with construction permits, trade across borders, paying taxes and registering property were cut by 60.5 percent, reducing the time spent by 52.8 percent.
The 18 tax and fee reduction measures helped businesses save over 50 billion yuan, while the number of times subjected to government pricing controls dropped from 53 to 35.
The one-stop portal of government services has contributed to the rise of China's ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report from 78th to 46th.

Major tasks for 2019

  • Establishing a new section of the free trade zone
  • Launching a science and technology innovation board at the Shanghai Stock Exchange with a new registration system for listed companies
  • Implementing the national strategy of integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region

Word on the street:
What are people concerned about?

In this section, our reporters interviewed some pedestrians on Shanghai's streets and asked what issues they are concerned most about regarding the city. Let's see what they said.


Tao Yinyan

Tao Yinyan

CPPCC member

Shanghai should make Internet services more accessible for aged and disabled people. Though Shanghai is developing its information structure and services rapidly, aged people often face "embarrassing moments." They don’t know how to use new devices and new services, such as online reservations for hospitals and government bureaus, calling a taxi through an app, and adding credit to transportation cards online.

Li Rong

Li Rong

CPPCC member

More affordable nurseries should be built to meet the increasing demand. There are about 200,000 babies born every year in Shanghai, and 80 percent of families with children under 3 need childcare services. But just 5 percent have their children taken care of at nurseries. The government should build more community-based childcare centers, which are convenient and not so expensive.

Wang Jun

Wang Jun

CPPCC member

Shanghai should set up a new 'street chief' system like the current 'river chief' system, which would enable timely intervention whenever there is a food safety case. Currently the situation is often "time-sensitive" with some food safety cases because officers cannot arrive on scene in time. Some unscrupulous eatery owners often take advantage of this time gap to violate the rules. That can be solved utilizing officers from related departments, food safety supervisors or volunteers.

What's Lianghui in Andy's eyes?

Today was a really interesting look at what Shanghai's government achieved in 2018. The aspects I find most interesting are those that affect ordinary people, and those relating to the protection of the planet. The growth in disposable income is definitely a great thing for everyone, and it's warming — literally — to see so many old homes renovated and made more comfortable for those living in them. Mother Nature will no doubt be giving Shanghai a huge nod, too, for what was achieved last year with the aim of protecting her.