Shanghai is the second most populous city in China and the most populous city proper in the world. It is one of the four direct-controlled municipalities of China, with a population of more than 24 million as of 2014. It is a global financial centre, and a transport hub with the world’s busiest container port. Located in the Yangtze River Delta in East China, Shanghai sits on the south edge of the mouth of the Yangtze in the middle portion of the Chinese coast. The municipality borders the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the north, south and west, and is bounded to the east by the East China Sea.
A major administrative, shipping, and trading town, Shanghai grew in importance in the 19th century due to trade and recognition of its favourable port location and economic potential.