Shanghainese people

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徐光啟.jpgZhou Xuan2.png
Soong Ching-ling 1937.jpgZhang Ailing 1954.jpg
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Total population
approximately 20,000,000
Regions with significant populations
China Shanghai 18,580,000 people
Hong Kong Hong Kong As part of Mainlander population
Taiwan Republic of China (on Taiwan) As part of Mainlander population
United States United States As part of Chinese American population
Australia Australia As part of Chinese Australian population
Shanghainese dialect, other Wu Chinese dialects, Mandarin Chinese
Predominantly Mahayana Buddhism and Chinese folk religions (including Taoism, Confucianism, ancestral worship and others), with many non religious. Minority: Christianity
Related ethnic groups
Wuyue people, Ningbo people, other Han Chinese

The Shanghainese (Chinese上海人, p Shànghǎirén; ShanghaineseZaanhening, [zɑ̃.hé.ɲɪɲ]) are the people of Shanghai, China.

The Old City of Shanghai was a minor settlement until the later Qing Dynasty and many districts of the present municipality of Shanghai originally had separate identities, including separate dialects of Taihu Wu. In recent decades, millions of Chinese have moved to the city, both as internal immigrants and as migrant workers. The 2010 Chinese census found 9 million of Shanghai's 23 million residents (almost 40%) were migrants without a Shanghai hukou, triple the number from the year 2000 census. These "New Shanghainese" (上海人) are generally distinguished from the Shanghainese proper.

The term "Shanghainese" may thus apply to several different groups of varying exclusivity. Legally, it refers to those holding a hukou for one of the local governments in the municipality of Shanghai. Culturally, it most often means those who consider Shanghai to be their hometown, although this is sometimes restricted to those in the central districts or who speak the Shanghainese dialects of those districts (as opposed, for example, to the unintelligible subdialects in Jinshan).

Shanghainese diaspora[edit]

Main article: Chinese diaspora

Although Shanghai was long a cosmopolitan city as one of China's treaty ports, it was not connected with the large-scale emigration seen in Fujian and Guangdong. Maritime commerce did, however, create a Shanghainese community in Hong Kong.[1][2] These Shanghainese or their forebears fled Mainland China prior to its occupation by the Communists in 1949. Some actors on the TVB network, a television network based in Hong Kong, are originally from Shanghai, such as Liza Wang, Tracy Ip, and Natalie Tong.

More recently, appreciable numbers of Shanghainese have migrated to other countries. There is a significant Shanghainese community in Sydney, Australia, particularly the suburbs of Ashfield and Burwood. Less prominent communities exist in the Chinatowns of other large metropolitan areas such as New York and Los Angeles in the United States.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Burton, Sandra (1999-09-27), "Exodus of the Business Class", Time, retrieved 2011-10-06 
  2. ^ Goodstadt 2010, p. 208