[[caption-width-right:336:This is not a [[ContemptibleCover Baen cover]] for a science-fiction novel. This is the [[FreakierThanFiction actual view from Pudong]].]]

->''"Nothing more intensely living can be imagined."''
-->-- '''Aldous Huxley''' on Shanghai

Shanghai (上海, lit. "[[LostInTranslation Over/Above/On]] [the] Sea") is a young city by Chinese standards. Until the 1840s it was a quiet fishing town, but when British forces seized it in the course of the First Opium War in 1840, they realized its potential as a trade emporium, given its location near the mouth of the Yangzi River. At the conclusion of both wars, Foreign powers were conceded 'settlements' in and around the country's more marginal coastal and river areas. Shanghai was one of these places. The 'International Settlement' was formed in 1863 with the merger of the British and American territories, while the ''Concession Française'' remained independent. UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan gained its own concession in 1895, with the conclusion of the Sino-Japanese war in their favour. The old town, meanwhile, remained under Shanghai-nese jurisdiction.

This complicated political situation was a boon to the criminal underworld, Late-Imperial/[[UsefulNotes/NoMoreEmperors Early-Republican]] Shanghai was notorious as the playground of powerful [[TheTriadsAndTheTongs triads]]. All manner of illegal activity thrived, most famously prostitution and opium smuggling. Shanghai was referred to as "the greatest brothel in the world" and "the Whore of the Orient", and a common joke among visiting missionaries was that "If God allows Shanghai to endure, He'll owe Sodom and Gomorrah an apology." When UsefulNotes/ChiangKaiShek [[UsefulNotes/NoMoreEmperors marched into the city in 1927]], the most powerful man in the city was crime Lord Du "Big Ears" Yuesheng, leader of the "Green Gang".

The freewheeling atmosphere, in which everyone was on the take and everything went, was a magnet to artists and intellectuals, and throughout the inter-war years Shanghai was one of the most culturally dynamic cities in the world, earning the city the moniker "Paris of the East". It was also a hotbed of political activism, witnessing the birth and death of the Urban-Proletarian Communist movement; it was both the founding place of the (first) Chinese Communist Party in 1921, and Chiang's primary target [[UsefulNotes/NoMoreEmperors in 1927's April 12 massacre of all the city's Socialists]] ([[EnemyMine as identified and disposed of by Mister Du Yuesheng and his Green Gang]]).

When the economic warfare between China and Japan came to a head in 1932, Shanghai briefly became embroiled in a scuffle that became known as the Battle of Shanghai; Chiang's government had just attempted to put extremely high tariffs on Japanese goods, a move which came at the high point of a widespread boycott of Japanese goods and strikes among those working in Japanese-owned businesses. At the end of it Chiang and Tokyo managed to reach a peaceful agreement whereby the Guomindang would reduce its tariffs again - thereby exhausting Chiang's political capital and making it basically impossible for him to negotiate that kind of peace with Japan again (for fear of losing all credibility). The National Revolutionary Army/NRA's performance in the scuffle (in which almost no fire-support, i.e. artillery and air-strikes, was used) illustrated very clearly to Chiang the complete inadequacy of the Guomindang's forces compared to Japan's and spurred him to initiate a ten-year programme of military reform. While it was relatively easy to match Japanese levels of armament and equipment - artillery and aeroplanes aside - by buying weapons factories (many of which were set up in the Nanjing-Shanghai area) from [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazi Germany]], creating an effective General Staff and installing competent and obedient commanders was still very much a work in progress five years later.

[[UsefulNotes/SecondSinoJapaneseWar Within a couple of months of the Guandong Army taking Beijing in the Summer of 1937]], the fighting spread to Shanghai. We used to be sure this was Chiang's idea, as a means of weakening the IJA's southward advance from Beijing, but now we're not so sure. It appears that the NRA Commander assigned to Shanghai was in fact a Soviet agent acting on orders from Moscow to try to take the fighting south (and away from the Chinese-Japanese-Mongolian-Soviet border), much as the Japanese Commander who oversaw the IJA's resounding defeat Nomonhan/Kalkhin Ghol also appears to have been one. However the Second Battle of Shanghai actually started, it constituted one of history's most bizarre spectacles as Japan continued to deny that the million-man four-month battle (with artillery, tanks, 'planes, and warships) did not constitute a war. Both sides had to be careful in their use of fire support due to the presence of the foreign settlements - the sinking of an American river gunboat USS ''Panay'' by IJA aircraft while she was evacuating people from the American embassy in Nanking/Nanjing made things ''very'' awkward at one point - which remained mostly unmolested until they too were occupied when Japan entered the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII wider war]] in 1941.

The city's post-war economic recovery was initially helped by the incompetence and corruption of Chiang's regime, which oversaw high inflation which stimulated businesses. However, while this helped the city's debtors (as the real value of their debts was reduced by the decreasing value of money) it crippled its lenders and this reluctance to lend money (because it was getting harder and harder to make profits from lending) eventually resulted in net economic stagnation during the hyper-inflation spiral of 1947 (which completely wiped out all debt and destroyed the entire Shanghai-based banking sector). While a new currency, the Gold Yuan, was instituted the Guomindang's inflationary policies hadn't changed and it was only when the Communist People's Liberation Army (PLA) fought their way into the city that it ended. The PLA made everyone, at gunpoint, stop creating inflation by forcing everyone to buy and sell everything at fixed places and prices under direct PLA supervision and the threat of death. The PLA also broke up the strikes at Shanghai's factories, dismantled the trade unions, and got production going again. While the policy of 'price controls' (of fixed prices on all goods) wasn't new, the Communists actually had the power to implement it in the countryside (which only they had enough militia, and the willingness to use brutal force, to police) as well as in the cities. A whole host of policies instituted from the city's capture until the first five-year economic plan were exact clones of Guomindang policies, albeit instituted with a degree of ruthlessness and efficiency that Chiang's regime hadn't been able to match since 1937.

->(1):''"Are there foreign banks operating in Shanghai?"''
->(1):''"And whom are they serving?"''
->(2):''"The international bourgeoisie and foreign enterprises which so far we have not touched."''
-->-- '''16th December 1949 conversation between [[UsefulNotes/JosephStalin I.V. Stalin (1)]] and [[UsefulNotes/MaoZedong Z.D. Mao (2)]]''' [[note]] conversation translated in real-time by N.T. Fedorenko and Shi Zhe (Karskii). Archival record of conversation translated from Russian to English by Danny Rozas, printed on p.319 of ed. by Odd Arne Westad, ''Brothers in Arms: The Rise and Fall of the Sino-Soviet Alliance, 1945-1963'' (Stanford, 1998) [[/note]]

Though they came to power on the basis of rather progressive and tolerant policies - having learned from [[UsefulNotes/RedOctober The Russian Civil War]] to avoid antagonising anyone to the point that they would take up arms against them while their support might still sway the outcome of the war - the Communists' had always viewed Shanghai as a capitalist cesspool of decadence. Post-war, they waited until they had built up a loyal base in the countryside (by organising lynch-mob killings of all landlords and giving their land to the poor) and the country had returned to a 1937-level of economic activity before they packed off Shanghai's entire prostitute, banker, trade-unionist, liberal, and socialist ([[SeriousBusiness beause only Marxist-Leninist Communist was ideologically acceptable]]) populations and sent them to re-education camps. Shanghai's past as a hotbed of free thought and inter-national contact was forgotten and even actively destroyed during the UsefulNotes/{{Mao|Zedong}}ist era that followed, particularly the UsefulNotes/CulturalRevolution.

However, in 1991, Deng Xiaoping granted the country greater economic freedom, and Shanghai has since then grown into a shining powerhouse of unrestrained business activity. In a few short years, the Pudong financial center has sprung up from the ground on the Eastern shore of the Huangpu river, and is now a glittering collection of postmodern skyscrapers as impressive as UsefulNotes/HongKong's. One of the most well-known is the Oriental Pearl Tower (it's that big pointy thing in the picture at the top of this page). It is quite astonishingly ugly to look at in real life.

And its hosting of the World Expo has revitalized the event itself, pushing more than any in the recent past have into promoting it and getting countries to attend. It's notable for being the first World Expo to host a North Korean pavilion.

Shanghai's vibrancy is now mostly restored, and it's the biggest city in the People's Republic. Shanghai people are often stereotyped for their snobbishness due to their pride in the city's international fame and national significance.
Not to be confused with "[[PressGanged shanghaiing]]," which is a form of maritime kidnapping that was practiced in the 19th century before the advent of steam ships, or with ''VideoGame/{{Shanghai}}'', the first TabletopGame/MahjongSolitaire game for computers.

!!Shanghai in fiction


[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]

* ''Manga/FistOfTheBlueSky'' takes place in the pre-WWII Shanghai where Kasumi Kenshiro the master of Hokuto Shinken helps his friend, who is the leader of Qing Bang (Green Gang), take over the city and build the said utopia called Shangri-La.
* The first few episodes of ''Anime/NightRaid1931'' are set in 1931 Shanghai, and present it as what it really was: on the one hand a flourishing cosmopolitan city and on the other hand a crime-ridden city beset with political intrigues from local government agents, criminal {{Triad}}s and foreign agents.
* Episode 4 ("City of Temptation") of ''Literature/JokerGame'' takes place in 1941 Shanghai and it also shows the sheer contrast of wealth and poverty between its inhabitants.


[[folder: Comics ]]

* Much of Franchise/{{Tintin}}'s adventure "The Blue Lotus" takes place in Shanghai.
* ComicBook/CortoMaltese goes through Shanghai on his way from UsefulNotes/HongKong in "Corto Maltese in Siberia".


[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/TheGoddess'', starring Ruan Lingyu, tells the story of a Shanghai [[{{Streetwalker}} streetwalker]].
* ''Shanghai Express'' by Josef von Sternberg doesn't actually take place in Shanghai but may still qualify.
** The film's most famous line is spoken by Marlene Dietrich: "It took more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lily."
* ''Fist of Fury'' (精武门) -- the film with Creator/BruceLee, and its remake ''Film/FistOfLegend'' (精武英雄) with Jet Li.
* ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom'' begins in the [[ShoutOut fictional]] Obi-Wan Club in Shanghai.
* ''Shanghai Surprise'', a forgettable Madonna vehicle.
* ''Center Stage'' (阮玲玉), a biopic of 1930s movie star Ruan Lingyu starring Maggie Cheung.
* ''Shanghai Triad'' (摇呀摇, 摇到外婆桥) by Creator/ZhangYimou is about a teenager who gets hired as an errand boy by the mistress of a 1930s Triad boss.
* ''Temptress Moon'' (风月) by Chen Kaige.
* ''Suzhou River'' (苏州河) by Lou Ye.
* ''Film/FlowersOfShanghai'' is about [[HighClassCallGirl high-class prostitutes]] in Shanghai in the late 19th century.
* Contrary to what their titles imply, neither ''Film/ShanghaiNoon'' nor ''Film/ShanghaiKnights'' have anything to do with Shanghai (the scenes set in China take place in Beijing). They were chosen for the sake of the pun.
%%* Some of ''Film/LaraCroftTombRaider: The Cradle Of Life''
* The end of ''Film/{{Fearless 2006}}'' takes place in Shanghai.
* ''Film/KungFuHustle'' is set in the freewheeling 1930's days of the city.
* ''Film/LustCaution'' is a depiction of Shanghai under Japanese occupation.
* ''Film/EmpireOfTheSun'' by Creator/StevenSpielberg, another UsefulNotes/WorldWarII period film. Produced in the mid-1980s, it earns the distinction of being the first American film to be shot in Shanghai since the 1940s, making good use of the city's relatively preserved sights prior to heavy development and commercialization since the 1990s.
* The second half of ''Film/MissionImpossibleIII'' takes place in Shanghai, though the film [[ArtisticLicenseGeography got the geography of the city all wrong]] and the final scenes were shot in a nearby town.
* ''Shanghai Red'' is a revenge thriller set in modern Shanghai.
* James Bond goes to Shanghai in ''Film/{{Skyfall}}''.
* The hit man protagonist of ''Film/{{Looper}}'' relocates to Shanghai to live off his ill-acquired gains, and eventually finds love there.
* ''Shanghai'', a 2010 American film set in the titular city just prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Stars Creator/JohnCusack along with Creator/KenWatanabe, Creator/ChowYunFat, Creator/GongLi, and--in smaller roles--Jeffrey Dean Morgan and David Morse.
* ''Film/{{Her}}'' [[CaliforniaDoubling uses the cityscape]] to depict a future Los Angeles.
* ''Film/WildRose'' (1934) is among other things an interesting record of how Shanghai looked during TheThirties.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''The Corps'' series by Creator/WEBGriffin opens in 1940 Shanghai, where Corporal Kenneth [=McCoy=] and several other major characters are stationed with the 4th Marine Regiment, and spends several chapters there. The complexities, corruption, tensions and intrigues of the international city are extensively explored, with [=McCoy=] gaining his nickname [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast "Killer"]] after defending himself with a knife from three drunk Italian soldiers, being cleared of charges by [[HistoricalDomainCharacter Captain Bruce Fairbairn]] of the Shanghai Municipal Police (who lost the knife to [=McCoy=] in a card game), and [=McCoy=] being reassigned to eavesdrop on the Japanese when he informs his superiors that his local girlfriend (or "sleeping dictionary") taught him the language [[{{Omniglot}} (among several others)]].
* ''Man's Fate'' by André Malraux is about the crackdown against Shanghai Communists implemented by Jiang Jieshi in 1927 with the support of the Green Gang.
* ''Fortress Besieged'' by Qian Zhongshu.
* ''Empire Of The Sun'' is an autobiographical novel by J.G. Ballard relating his time in a Japanese internment camp near Shanghai. It was made into a film by Steven Spielberg in 1987.
* ''Shanghai Baby'' is a semi-autobiographical novel by Zhou Weihui, about a young Chinese woman's steamy affair with a Western expatriate.
* The Inspector Chen Cao series of novels by Qiu Xiaolong: ''Death Of A Red Heroine'', ''A Loyal Character Dancer'', ''When Red Is Black'', ''A Case Of Two Cities'', etc.
* ''When We Were Orphans'' by Kazuo Ishiguro.
* ''Literature/ThePainterFromShanghai''
* ''Literature/ShanghaiGirls''
* ''North of Beautiful'' by Justina Chen Headley partially takes place there, with the main character Terra's brother working there and Terra's love interest's orphanage is also there.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* [[Creator/SammoHung Sammo Law]] from ''Series/MartialLaw'' is from Shanghai, and the ColdOpen of the first episode takes place there.
* ''The Bund'' (上海灘) is a Hong Kong classic LiveActionTV series about the lives of Triad members in pre-war Shanghai and starring a young Chow Yun-fat.
** The series was remade as ''Shanghai Bund'' in 2007.
* Episode 15 of Season 4 of ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' ("Sacred") supposedly takes place in Shanghai but [[HollywoodAtlas makes the city look like some North American Chinatown]], which it absolutely doesn't.


[[folder: Video Game ]]

* A mission in ''VideoGame/SplinterCellDoubleAgent'' occurs in the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jin_Mao_Tower Jin Mao Tower]] in Shanghai's Pudong District. This mission only exists in Version 1 of the game (the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, & PC version).
* The second mission of ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield 4}}'' is in downtown Shanghai near the Huangpu River, and ends with your team & several hundred war refugees sailing down the river to get to a U.S. Navy task force off the coast of China.
* ''VideoGame/KaneAndLynch 2: Dog Days'' is set in Shanghai.
* As is ''VideoGame/ArmyOfTwo: The 40th Day''.
* It appears that in the world of ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'', Hengsha Island in the Yangtze River Delta turned into it's own city and turned into what the game developers dubbed "the Silicon Valley of Cybernetics".