Zibo (pronounced [tsɨ́pu̯ǒ]; Chinese: 淄博; pinyin: zī bó) is a prefecture-level city in central Shandong province, China. It borders the provincial capital of Jinan to the west, Laiwu and Tai'an to the southwest, Linyi to the south, Weifang to the east, Dongying to the northeast, and Binzhou to the north. Located in the centre of Shandong, Zibo is an important transportation hub. Zibo governs 5 districts (Zhangdian, Zichuan, Boshan, Zhoucun and Linzi) and each of these districts has a distinct downtown area of its own. The T-shaped city has a total area of 5,938 km2 (2,293 sq mi), including the counties of Huantai, Gaoqing, and Yiyuan. Zibo's total population is 4.53 million according to the 2010 census, of which 3,633,239 inhabitants live in the metropolitan area comprising the 5 urban districts plus Huantai county (currently still under construction) which will serve to expand the metro-area to Zouping County situated in the municipality of Binzhou.Zibo was the centre of the ancient State of Qi, whose capital Linzi was the most populous city in the east about 3000 years ago. Zibo is the birthplace of ancient football Cuju, which according to FIFA, was the earliest form of the sport. Pu Songling, a well-known writer of the Qing Dynasty, is one of the most famous people from Zibo. As the birthplace of Qi culture along with its abundance in natural resources, Zibo is a notable tourist city in China. Manufacturing holds an important place of the city's economy, in particular ceramics manufacturing. Other key industries include the petrochemical industry, pharmaceuticals, metallurgy, construction materials, machinery and textile. High and new-technology industries, such as new materials, fine chemicals, electronics and information, and biological medicines are also developing rapidly. According to the 2007-08 Global City Competitiveness Report released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Zibo was among the top 20 cities in the world that experienced the fastest economic growth between 2001 and 2005. According to the Oriental Outlook MagazineIssue No.1, 2009, Zibo ranks No. 1 on the list of cities that have reasonable real estate prices in China, also ranking No. 2 on the list of cities with good public security. In 2009, the city received the award of "Best 10 Harmonious Cities that enjoy Sustainable Development in China".Wikipedia
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