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Shenzhen's modern cityscape is the result of its vibrant economy made possible by rapid foreign investment since the institution of the policy of "reform and opening" in late 1979 when the SEZ was established.
Shenzhen is a major financial center in southern China.
The earliest archaeological remains so far unearthed are shards from a site at Xiantouling on Dapeng Bay, dating back to 5000 BC.
From the Han dynasty (third century BC) onwards, the area around Shenzhen was a center of the salt monopoly, thus meriting special imperial protection.
Shenzhen was promoted to a Sub-provincial City in March 1983 and was given the right of provincial-level economic administration in November 1988.
On 1 July 2010, the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone was expanded to include all districts, a five-fold increase over its pre-expansion size.
The municipality covers an area of 1,991.64 square kilometres (769 sq mi) including urban and rural areas, with a total population of 10,358,381 at the 2010 census.As early as the eighth century, chronicles recorded the Nantou area as being a major commercial center, and reported that all foreign ships in the Guangzhou trade would stop there.