In the early 20th century, Shanghai was called "Paris of the Orient". It is still the most cosmopolitan city in China.
Shanghai is the economic engine that has led and powered the country's modernization. It is home to China's first stock market, and continues to grow as its financial capital.
Pudong, the eastern half of the city, is where China built its first hi-tech industrial park. Puxi, the western half, is China's business and banking center where many multi-national companies are headquartered. Shanghai offers many business and tech jobs for expats.
Although Shanghai is progressive in its economic development, it is more conservative than Beijing in its religious policy. There are many English speaking congregations in the city, but they are under tight surveillance. House churches are small too, and hidden.