From top: Tianhe CBD, the Canton Tower and Chigang Pagoda, Haizhu Bridge, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, the Five Goat Statue and Zhenhai Tower in Yuexiu Park, and Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Flag of Guangzhou
City of Rams, City of Flowers, Suicheng, others
Location of Guangzhou City jurisdiction in Guangdong
Location of Guangzhou City jurisdiction in Guangdong
Guangzhou city map plan
Guangzhou city map plan
Guangzhou is located in Guangdong
Location of the city center in Guangdong
Guangzhou is located in China
Guangzhou (China)
Coordinates (Guangdong People's Government): 23°07′55″N 113°15′58″E / 23°07′55″N 113°15′58″E / 23.132; 113.266
"Guangzhou" in Traditional (top) and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters
Simplified Chinese广州
Traditional Chinese廣州
Literal meaningBroad Prefecture
Former names
Literal meaningSouthern Wucheng
Provincial Capital
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese广
Literal meaningBroad Prefecture
Provincial City
Traditional Chinese興王
Simplified Chinese兴王
Literal meaningHappy King
Informal names
City of Rams
City of the Five Rams
Literal meaningGoat/Sheep City
Five Goat/Sheep City
City of the Immortals
City of Flowers
Rice City
Literal meaningRice-ear City

Guangzhou (simplified Chinese: 广州; traditional Chinese: 廣州; Cantonese pronunciation: [kʷɔ̌ːŋ.tsɐ̂u] or [kʷɔ̌ːŋ.tsɐ́u] (About this soundlisten); Mandarin pronunciation: [kwàŋ.ʈʂóu] (About this soundlisten)), also known as Canton,[6] is the capital and most populous city of the province of Guangdong in southern China.[7] On the Pearl River about 120 km (75 mi) north-northwest of Hong Kong and 145 km (90 mi) north of Macau, Guangzhou has a history of over 2,200 years and was a major terminus of the maritime Silk Road,[8] and continues to serve as a major port and transportation hub, as well as one of China's three largest cities.[9]

Guangzhou is at the heart of the most-populous built-up metropolitan area in mainland China that extends into the neighboring cities of Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan and Shenzhen, forming one of the largest urban agglomerations on the planet. Administratively, the city holds sub-provincial status[10] and is one of China's nine National Central Cities.[11] In 2015, the city's administrative area was estimated to have a population of 13,501,100.[12] Guangzhou is ranked as an Alpha global city.[13] There is a rapidly increasing number of foreign temporary residents and immigrants from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa.[14][15] This has led to it being dubbed the "Capital of the Third World".[16]

The domestic migrant population from other provinces of China in Guangzhou was 40% of the city's total population in 2008. Together with Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen, Guangzhou has one of the most expensive real estate markets in China.[17] In the late 1990s and early 2000s, nationals of sub-Saharan Africa who had initially settled in the Middle East and other parts of Southeast Asia moved in unprecedented numbers to Guangzhou, China in response to the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis.[18]

Long the only Chinese port accessible to most foreign traders, Guangzhou fell to the British during the First Opium War. No longer enjoying a monopoly after the war, it lost trade to other ports such as Hong Kong and Shanghai, but continued to serve as a major entrepôt. In modern commerce, Guangzhou is best known for its annual Canton Fair, the oldest and largest trade fair in China. For the three consecutive years 2013–2015, Forbes ranked Guangzhou as the best commercial city on the Chinese mainland.[19]


A Qing-era portrait of the Grotto of the Five Immortals, the Taoist temple around the five stones which gave Guangzhou its nickname "The City of Rams".

Guǎngzhōu is the pinyin romanisation of the Chinese name 廣州, which was simplified in mainland China to 广州 in the 1950s. The name of the city is taken from the ancient Guang Province (Guang Zhou), after it had become the prefecture's seat of government, which is how some other Chinese cities, including Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Fuzhou got their names. The character or 广—which also appears in the names of the provinces Guangdong and Guangxi, together called the Liangguang—means "broad" or "expansive" and refers to the intention to dispense imperial grace broadly in the region with the founding of county of Guangxin in Han Dynasty.

Before acquiring its current name, the town was known as Panyu, a name still borne by one of Guangzhou's districts not far from the main city. The origin of the name is still uncertain, with 11 various explanations being offered,[20] including that it may have referred to two local mountains.[21][22] The city has also sometimes been known as Guangzhou Fu or Guangfu after its status as the capital of a prefecture. From this latter name, Guangzhou was known to medieval Persians such as Al-Masudi and Ibn Khordadbeh[23] as Khanfu (خانفو).[24] Under the Southern Han, the city was renamed Xingwang.[25][26]

The Chinese abbreviation for Guangzhou is "" (although the abbreviation on car license plates, as with the rest of the province, is ), after its nickname "Rice City". The city has long borne the nickname City of Rams or City of the Five Rams from the five stones at the old Temple of the Five Immortals said to have been the sheep or goats ridden by the Taoist culture heroes credited with introducing rice cultivation to the area around the time of the city's foundation.[27] The former name "City of the Immortals" came from the same story. The more recent City of Flowers is usually taken as a simple reference to the area's fine greenery.

The English name "Canton" derived from Portuguese Cantão[28] or Cidade de Cantão,[29] a muddling of dialectical pronunciations of "Guangdong"[30][31] (e.g., Hakka Kóng-tûng). Although it originally and chiefly applied to the walled city, it was occasionally conflated with Guangdong by some authors.[32][34] It was adopted as the Postal Map Romanization of Guangzhou and remained in common use until the gradual adoption of pinyin. As an adjective, it is still used in describing the people, language, cuisine and culture of Guangzhou and the surrounding Liangguang region. The 19th-century name "Kwang-chow foo"[35] derived from Nanjing dialect of Mandarin and the town's status as a prefectural capital.

Other Languages
Acèh: Guangzhou
Afrikaans: Guangzhou
አማርኛ: ጓንግዦው
العربية: غوانزو
asturianu: Cantón (China)
azərbaycanca: Quançjou
تۆرکجه: قوانقژو
bamanankan: Guangzhou
বাংলা: কুয়াংচৌ
Bân-lâm-gú: Kńg-chiu-chhī
башҡортса: Гуанчжоу
беларуская: Гуанчжоу
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Гуанчжоў
български: Гуанджоу
bosanski: Guangzhou
brezhoneg: Guangzhou
буряад: Гуанчжоу
català: Canton
čeština: Kanton (Čína)
Chi-Chewa: Guangzhou
Cymraeg: Guangzhou
dansk: Guangzhou
Deutsch: Guangzhou
eesti: Guangzhou
Ελληνικά: Κουανγκτσόου
español: Cantón (China)
Esperanto: Kantono (Ĉinio)
estremeñu: Cantón
euskara: Guangzhou
فارسی: گوانگ‌ژو
føroyskt: Guangzhou
français: Canton (Chine)
Gaeilge: Guangzhou
贛語: 廣州
Gĩkũyũ: Guangzhou
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Kóng-chû-sṳ
한국어: 광저우시
Hausa: Guangzhou
հայերեն: Գուանչժոու
हिन्दी: ग्वांगझोउ
hrvatski: Guangzhou
Bahasa Indonesia: Guangzhou
Interlingue: Guangzhou
íslenska: Guangzhou
italiano: Canton
kalaallisut: Guangzhou
Kapampangan: Guangzhou
къарачай-малкъар: Гуанчжоу
ქართული: გუანჯოუ
қазақша: Гуанчжоу
kernowek: Guangzhou
Kiswahili: Guangzhou
Кыргызча: Гуанчжоу
Latina: Quancheum
latviešu: Guandžou
Lëtzebuergesch: Guangzhou
lietuvių: Guangdžou
lingála: Guangzhou
मैथिली: ग्वांगझोउ
Malagasy: Guangzhou
മലയാളം: ഗ്വാങ്ജോ
Māori: Guangzhou
मराठी: क्वांगचौ
مصرى: جوانزو
Bahasa Melayu: Guangzhou
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Guōng-ciŭ
монгол: Гуанжоу
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ကွမ်ကျိုးမြို့
Na Vosa Vakaviti: Guagzhou
Nederlands: Guangzhou
नेपाली: ग्वांगझोउ
日本語: 広州市
нохчийн: Гуанчжоу
norsk: Guangzhou
norsk nynorsk: Guangzhou
олык марий: Гуанчжоу
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Guanchjou
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਗੁਆਂਗਜ਼ੂ
پنجابی: شینیانگ
português: Cantão (cidade)
Qaraqalpaqsha: Guangjow
română: Canton, China
Runa Simi: Guangzhou
русский: Гуанчжоу
саха тыла: Гуандьоу
Scots: Guangzhou
Setswana: Guangzhou
shqip: Guangzhou
Simple English: Guangzhou
slovenčina: Kanton (mesto)
slovenščina: Guangdžov
српски / srpski: Гуангџоу
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Guangzhou
suomi: Kanton
svenska: Guangzhou
Tagalog: Guangzhou
தமிழ்: குவாங்சௌ
татарча/tatarça: Гуаңҗу
Tsetsêhestâhese: Guangzhou
Türkçe: Guangzhou
українська: Гуанчжоу
اردو: گوانگژو
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: گۇاڭجۇ شەھىرى
Vahcuengh: Gvangjcouh
vepsän kel’: Guančžou
Tiếng Việt: Quảng Châu
文言: 廣州市
Winaray: Guangzhou
Wolof: Guangzhou
吴语: 广州
粵語: 廣州
中文: 广州市