Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang province which is known for its prosperous private sector. The city's economy is based on manufacturing thanks to its proximity to Shanghai,Hangzhou is the capital, largest city and financial and cultural centre of Zhejiang Province, in Eastern China. It is frequently ranked as one of the best business locations in China, being one of the backbone economies of the Yangtze River Delta and relatively close (180km) to Shanghai. Hangzhou is renowned for its historic relics and natural beauty. One of Hangzhou's most popular sights is West Lake, which covers an area of 6 km2 (600 hectares) and includes some of Hangzhou's most notable historic and scenic places. The city is often known as one of the most beautiful and scenic cities in China, and is one of the four cities (along with Beijing, Suzhou and Guilin) subject to historical preservation.
Hangzhou has a 2009 GDP per head of RMB 94,924 (US $14,972), with a total of RMB 594.5bn (US $90.66bn). It is home to the largest single number of China’s top private enterprises in any Chinese city: Alibaba Group, which owns the world’s largest C2C (Taobao) and B2B (Alibaba) e-business platforms, was founded there, while new industries include medicine, information technology, heavy equipment, automotive components, household electrical appliances, electronics, telecommunication, fine chemicals, chemical fiber and food processing. Tourism remains an important component of the Hangzhou economy.
Hangzhou is currently, like many Chinese cities, improving its transport infrastructure. The Hangzhou Metro is planned to have eight lines upon completion, with the first line having a target opening date of December 28, 2011. The construction of the Shanghai-Hangzhou Maglev Train Line has long mooted, while the Shanghai-Hangzhou High Speed Railway opened in October 2010, cutting journey times to just 45 minutes. With an economic growth rate of 16.7%, Hangzhou is one of the most dynamic of all Chinese cities, which is likely to push it higher up the rankings of total GDP from its current position of eighth.