Shanghai is the largest city in China in terms of population and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, with over 20 million people in its extended metropolitan area. Located on China's central eastern coast near the mouth of the Yangtze River, the city is administered as a municipality with province-level status.
Originally a fishing and textiles town, Shanghai grew to importance in the 19th century due to its favourable port location and as one of the cities opened to foreign trade by the 1842 Treaty of Nanking. The city flourished as a center of commerce between east and west, and became a multinational hub of finance and business by the 1930s. Shanghai's prosperity was interrupted after the 1949 Communist takeover and the subsequent cessation of foreign investment. Economic reforms in 1990 have resulted in intense development and financing, and in 2005 Shanghai became the world's busiest cargo port.
The city is an emerging tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks such as the Bund and Xintiandi, its modern and ever-expanding Pudong skyline including the Oriental Pearl Tower, and its new reputation as a center of culture and design. Today, Shanghai is mainland China's center for commerce and finance, and has been described as the "showpiece" of the world's fastest-growing economy.