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Not to be confused with Sekou, a Fula-language given name.
Shekou harbour.jpg
Chinese 蛇口
Literal meaning Snake's Mouth

Shekou is an area at the southern tip of Nanshan, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China. It faces Yuen Long, Hong Kong across the Shenzhen Bay.


The area was formerly a customs station in Bao'an County. On 31 January 1979, it became officially known as the Shekou Industrial Zone, developed solely by China Merchants of Hong Kong, earlier than the formation of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. The event is chronicalled in the Chinese ballad "The Story of Spring (春天的故事)".

Since the 1980s, after foreign oil majors such as Agip,[1] Chevron,[2][3] Texaco,[1] Statoil[4] and Shell[5] obtained concessions for oil exploration in the South China Sea, Shekou started serving as a base for a small contingent of foreign oil platform workers, since qualified personnel were not available locally. As a result of this first mover advantage in catering for mainly western tastes in housing, food and drink, entertainment and schooling, at a time when no alternatives were available in the area, Shekou gradually became home to the majority of the expatriate population working in and around Shenzhen and part of its hinterland in the Pearl River Delta. This trend has however abated after 2003, after the country's continued economic reforms. Development of other parts of the city and substantial increase in English levels of university graduates have made life in the city proper more acceptable to many foreigners without school-age children.

In 2003, the local government, seeking to capitalize on the foreign flavor of the area, invested in a complete make-over of Sea World, turning it into a western-style entertainment area centered on the grounded Minghua[6] (明华) ship, a 14,000 ton, 168 m long vessel built in 1962 as a French ferry vessel purchased by China in 1973. It is commonly, though incorrectly, referred to by many locals as French President Charles De Gaulle's private yacht. Minghua is now completely landlocked due to extensive local land reclamation and redevelopment efforts.


Line 2 of the city's metro ends in Chiwan, an area just west of Shekou, therefore the line is also known as the Shekou line. Stations geographically located in Shekou include, among others Sea World and Shekou Port.

Shekou Port Ferry Terminal offers regular ferry services to and from Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai. The customs and immigration process is completed upon disembarking the ferry. The Metro station is just beyond the taxi stand of the terminal. There are also buses travelling directly from the terminal to the Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport.[7]


The area attracts many tourists and has a sizable community of resident foreigners, and many non-Chinese restaurants exists in the area.[8]


International schools in Shekou include:


  1. ^ a b Agip, Chevron And Texaco Sign Agreement To Study New Tract Offshore China – Pr Newswire – Highbeam Research
  2. ^ Multinational Monitor: Chevron, the big oil boys
  3. ^ People's Daily, 14 June 2001: More oil found in the South China Sea
  4. ^ Statoil China office contact details
  5. ^ Geotimes, February 2008: Squabbles over the South China Sea
  6. ^ Sea World
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Shenzhen's first Japanese school opens in Shekou" (Archive). Shenzhen Daily. June 16, 2008. Retrieved on January 14, 2015. Alternate link at (Archive) Xinhua, Alternate link at
  10. ^ "深圳日本人学校 事務職員 募集要項." Shenzhen Japanese School. Retrieved on January 14, 2015. "連絡先 深圳日本人学校 中華人民共和国広東省深圳市南山区工業八路295号"
  11. ^ Home page. Korean International School of Shenzhen (Korean section). Retrieved on June 17, 2015. "우) 441-110 中国 广东省 深圳市 南山区 蛇口 沿山路 51号"

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°29′09″N 113°57′43″E / 22.485913°N 113.961868°E / 22.485913; 113.961868