Heaven of Earth: Hangzhou, Zhejiang

Published on Author zhoun18

*Hangzhou is my hometown but not many people in the U.S. have heard about it so I decided to write a third blog on it.

Hangzhou, the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Easter China, is famous for its West Lake and other surrounding attractions. The permanent population was 8.9 million at the end of 2014. The city proper accounts for 4,876 square kilometers and the municipality is spread over to 16,596 square kilometers. It was also the capital of Song dynasty in 1132. The economy has been booming since 1992 when the main industries were light, agriculture, and textiles. Hangzhou has rich land, subtropical climate, lakes and mountains so it is renowned as the “Land of Fish and Rice”, “Tea Capital” and “Home of Silk.” Now e-commerce plays a vital role in Hangzhou as it is the birthplace of Alibaba, the largest e-commerce company in China. Jack Ma, a native of Hangzhou, became the richest person in the world at one point in 2015.

The West Lake.
The West Lake

There are several economic and technological development zone divided in Hangzhou. My family is from Xiaoshan development zone, where there is a strong export-oriented model based on machinery, textile and garment industries. The village my mom comes from is famous for its textile industries. Some of my mom’s friends have textile companies. However, because of the chemicals released in textile production, Xiaoshan is also severely polluted. When we go back to the village to visit my grandparents, I can tell the air smells different. For a long time, Hangzhou was considered as “second-tier city” in China. However, as my comment to Ruili’s post mentioned, it is now “new first-tier city” because of its strong economic potentials. This year G20 summit, a premier forum for international economic cooperation, is happening in Hangzhou this September.





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Nuoya is currently a freshman at Washington and Lee University. In high school she enjoyed music, and was the only violin player at her school. Nuoya’s performed in spring and winter concerts for three years during high school. Nuoya also enjoys team sports. She was a member of both the varsity and JV high school volleyball teams. Also, as part of fundraising for her senior class gift, Nuoya “smuggled” pearls from China to the United States, raising hundreds of dollars for her senior class! In her spare time, Nuoya loves reading dystopian literature and watching Sci-Fi movies. Nuoya’s personal research interest are in the history of luxury. Her high school was not far from New York City, where she became familiar with luxury brands on Fifth Avenue. She is interested in further exploring the creation of luxury, as well as the history of branding.

3 Responses to Heaven of Earth: Hangzhou, Zhejiang

  1. It’s cool to hear about your hometown and see the photo of the West Lake. It seems oftentimes we learn from sources that have only experienced China through the lens of the west. It is beneficial to learn from a source that has lived and experienced the country from a native perspective.

    The city itself is quite diverse in its industry, which is good during an economic slowdown when some industries may be hit harder than others. Does Alibaba employ many in Hangzhou? Given the size of the company, I would assume so!

  2. There is always a trade off between urban economic development and environmental health. I wonder if given its recent developments, it will be easier to work it in with China’s new environmental reform plans.

  3. Thanks for sharing about your hometown! Sounds like there has been some massive growth in Hangzhou and obviously if it is hosting the G20 summit it has been doing something right. As inglism said, its good that Hangzhou has diverse industries, but how do you feel Hangzhou as a whole will fare in the wake of the current economic slowdown?