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Prefecture-level city
Clockwise from top right: Zumiao of Foshan, Qingyun Tower in Shunfengshan Park, Statue of Guanyin on top of Xiqiaoshan, & Downtown Foshan in Chancheng District
Clockwise from top right: Zumiao of Foshan, Qingyun Tower in Shunfengshan Park, Statue of Guanyin on top of Xiqiaoshan, & Downtown Foshan in Chancheng District
Nickname(s): (Chan)
Guangdong subdivisions - Foshan.svg
Coordinates: 23°01′0″N 113°07′0″E / 23.01667°N 113.11667°E / 23.01667; 113.11667Coordinates: 23°01′0″N 113°07′0″E / 23.01667°N 113.11667°E / 23.01667; 113.11667
Country People's Republic of China
Province Guangdong
Municipal seat Chancheng District
 • CPC Committee Secretary Li Yiwei (李贻伟)
 • Mayor Liu Yuelun (刘悦伦)
 • Prefecture-level city 3,797.72 km2 (1,466.31 sq mi)
 • Water 690 km2 (270 sq mi)
 • Urban 153.69 km2 (59.34 sq mi)
Elevation 16 m (52 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Prefecture-level city 7,261,800
 • Density 1,900/km2 (5,000/sq mi)
 • Urban 7,261,800
 • Metro 7,261,800
Time zone China Standard Time (UTC+8)
Postal code 528000
Area code(s) 0757
License plate prefixes 粤E(for motor vehicles registered in Chancheng, Sanshui and Gaoming District),
粤Y(for motor vehicles registered in Nanhai District),
粤X(for motor vehicles registered in Shunde District)
GDP ¥ 658.0 billion (2011)
GDP per capita ¥ 71,599 (2011)
FS name.svg
"Foshan", as written in Chinese
Chinese 佛山
Cantonese Jyutping fat6 saan1
Cantonese Yale Fahtsāan
Hanyu Pinyin Fóshān
Postal Map Fatshan
Literal meaning Buddha Mountain

Foshan (Chinese: 佛山), is a prefecture-level city in central Guangdong province, People's Republic of China. The area under the city's jurisdiction is about 3,840 km2 (1,480 sq mi) and currently has a population of 7.1 million of which 3.6 million reside in the city proper.

The native dialect is the Foshan variant of Cantonese, but many areas of Foshan are now occupied by Mandarin-speaking migrants.


In ancient times, Foshan was known as Lihua Township. In 398, during the Jin Dynasty, a monk from present-day India founded a Buddhist temple on Tapo Hill. The temple fell into disrepair, but in 628, during the Tang Dynasty, county residents saw light radiating from the hill, where they excavated three bronze statues of the Buddha. They built a temple to house the three statues. From that time, the place was known as Foshan (Buddha Hill). Foshan became a religious center for the Pearl River Delta and was also known as Chancheng (Meditation City). This name survives today as the name of Foshan's central administrative district.[citation needed]

In 1925, Foshan became a city, but this status was revoked in 1927. Foshan regained the status of a city in 1951, and gained the status of a prefecture-level city in 1974. During the 1980s and 1990s, the present-day territory of Foshan underwent a number of administrative reorganizations. The city attained its present boundaries and administrative divisions in 2003.[citation needed]


The prefecture-level city of Foshan administers five county-level divisions, all of which are districts.

Map # Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Population (2010 census.) Area (km²) Density (/km²)
Foshan mcp.png
City Proper
1 Chancheng District 禅城区 Chánchéng Qū 1,101,077 154 7,150
2 Nanhai District 南海区 Nánhǎi Qū 2,588,844 1,074 2,410
Inner Suburbs
3 Shunde District 顺德区 Shùndé Qū 2,461,701 806 3,054
Outer Suburbs
4 Sanshui District 三水区 Sānshuǐ Qū 622,645 874 712
5 Gaoming District 高明区 Gāomíng Qū 420,044 960 438

These are further divided into 64 township-level divisions, including 37 towns and 27 subdistricts.

Foshan is close to Guangzhou and considers its link with Guangzhou very important. A Guangzhou-Foshan metropolitan region is being formed.

Geography and climate[edit]

Foshan lies in the Pearl River Delta. Guangzhou lies to the east, Zhongshan to the southeast, Jiangmen to the southeast, Yunfu to the west, and Zhaoqing to the northwest.

Foshan experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa).



Main article: FMetro

The first line of FMetro opened in 2010, and another two lines are under construction and due to be completed in 2015 and 2020.

The existing line of FMetro network:


Foshan Shadi Airport was once a regional airport. In 1987 it became a base of China United Airlines (CUA) in Guangdong Province. When CUA ceased domestic flights on November 1, 2002, Foshan Airport remained military service only. The airport resumed its regional airport status in 2005.[citation needed]


Foshan railway station

Foshan is a main interchange for railway routes linking Guangzhou, Hong Kong and the western Guangdong Province. It is connected with Hong Kong via the KCRC Guangdong Through Train service from Foshan Railway Station. The inter-city train service was extended from Guangzhou to Foshan since the 1990s.[citation needed]


Bus service is the major public transit in Foshan.

Motor Vehicle[edit]

The Foshan motor vehicle plate begin with the abbreviation of Guangdong, "":


Statue of Guan Yin on Mount Xiqiao, in Nanhai

Manufacture and Industry[edit]

Following Shenzhen and Guangzhou, Foshan is the third largest manufacturing base in the Pearl River Delta. Once home to a strong State-Owned Enterprises sector, its current economic strength lies in privates firms and Township and Village Enterprises in Shunde and Nanhai. In 2002, private firms contributed 56.12% of the industrial output and firms from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan contributed 63.44% in exports.

Key industries in Foshan include:

Some well-known brands to come out of these pillar industries include Midea, Kelon, and Jianlibao. Foshan's furniture and lighting industry is known as the world's largest furniture wholesale market and the world's largest lighting wholesale market.

Industrial Zone[edit]

  • Foshan Hi-Tech Development Zone

Foshan Hi-Tech Development Zone was founded in 1992. Its total planned area is 7.55 km2 (2.92 sq mi). The zone is very close to the national highway G325 as well as Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport. The major industries in the zone including automobile assembly, biotechnology and chemicals processing.[3]

Development strategy[edit]

Foshan aims to become a manufacturing giant and the third largest city in Guangdong. To do this, it has pledged to make large-scale investment in the construction of the infrastructure such as transportation and energy. Urban development will focus on the central urban group and Shunde urban group, each with more than one million inhabitants.[citation needed]


Foshan University's front gate

Foshan is home to Foshan University,[4] a designated full-time comprehensive university.


In October 2014 the city hosted The Foshan Open golf event on the European Challenge Tour.[5]


Foshan has many tourist spots, including Chinese temples and other examples of Chinese architecture. The old Ancestral Temple in Foshan houses the city's guardian, where it has stood for hundreds of years. The temple still stands after enduring many wars and the Cultural Revolution. Much of its original architecture is still intact. The temple is now used to stage the traditional Cantonese opera in addition to veneration.

The countryside surrounding Foshan city retains much of its traditional south Chinese rural characteristics.

Foshan Ancestral Temple

Sister cities[edit]

Notable people[edit]


External links[edit]