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China's 10 Tallest Skyscrapers — About Half of the World's Top 20

China's 10 Tallest Skyscrapers — About Half of the World's Top 20

Written by Kelly PangUpdated Feb. 3, 2021
The Shanghai Tower and Financial Center The Shanghai Tower and Financial Center are prominent on the Shanghai skyline.

About fifteen years ago, China was a land of 10-to-30-story buildings filling up the downtown areas of the big cities. Skyscrapers were rarely seen. Almost suddenly, in early 2016, China has nine of the world's twenty supertall buildings, all above 400m, more than any other country. 

These skyscrapers are modern tourist hotspots with malls, amazing views, hotels, and fine restaurants...

Top 10 Ranking by Height

This list only includes "buildings", not "towers", notably the Canton Tower (600 m) and Oriental Pearl Tower (468 m). All are in the Yangtze Delta (Shanghai, Nanjing) and Pearl River Delta (HK, Shenzhen, Guangzhou) areas, mostly built in the last six years.

1. Shanghai Tower

  • Height: 632 meters (2,073 feet), 128 floors
  • Built: 2014, opened 2015
  • Cost: 2.2 billion USD
  • Special features: tallest in China, world's 2nd tallest building (2016)

Shanghai Tower is the second tallest building in the world after the Burj Kalifa. The Shanghai Tower towers 140 meters (459 feet) above the adjacent Shanghai World Financial Center. It is a showcase of 21st century engineering with a spiraling cylindrical shape to help the building weather typhoons.

2. Ping An IFC in Shenzhen

Ping An IFC in ShenzhenPing An IFC in Shenzhen
  • Height: 599 meters (1,965 feet), 115 floors
  • Built: 2016
  • Cost: 700 million USD
  • Special features: Second tallest building in China, 4th tallest in the world (2016)

It won't stay at this spot for long though because Goldin Finance 117 in Tianjin that might open in 2017 or 2018 is 597 meters tall.The new Ping An Tower is a 21st century engineering marvel. Though it is very tall, it was built comparatively inexpensively and quickly. There is a large twin tower luxury mall complex on the bottom, a world-class observation deck at 550 meters (1,804 feet) for sightseeing, and the world's second highest luxury hotel, after the Ritz Carlton on the ICC, on top.

3. CTF Finance Center in Guangzhou

  • Height: 530 meters (1,740 feet), 111 floors
  • Built: 2016
  • Special features: China's 3rd tallest building, 6th tallest building in the world (2016)

The new building stands out as one of two supertall towers in Tianhe in downtown Guangzhou. It is considered the fastest assembled skyscraper of the supertall variety in history.

The Taipei 101 building in Taiwan would be at spot 3 (for its big spire) if it were included in this list.

4. Shanghai World Financial Center

Shanghai Shanghai World Financial Center
  • Height: 492 meters (1,614 feet), 101 floors
  • Built: 2008
  • Cost: 1.2 billion USD
  • Special features: Fourth tallest building in China, eighth tallest in the world (2016)

The Shanghai World Financial Center has an observation deck on the 100th floor at 474 meters (1,555 feet) for sightseeing and a Hyatt Regency luxury hotel. The hotel is the world's third highest.

5. ICC Tower in Hong Kong

  • Height: 475 meters (1,558 feet), 118 floors
  • Built: 2011
  • Cost: 3.8 billion USD
  • Special features: World's tallest hotel (Ritz Carlton), world's highest swimming pool, tallest building in Hong Kong, 9th tallest in the world (2016)

The ICC Tower overlooks beautiful Victoria Harbor. It is part of a new financial hub in Hong Kong that is one of the world's top financial centers. The land itself cost about 1 billion USD.

Sky 100 is a 100th floor observation deck, and its Elements Mall is one of the best in the city. It has the best lighting display in the Symphony of Lights.

6. Zifeng Tower in Nanjing

Zifeng Tower in NanjingZifeng Tower in Nanjing
  • Height: 451 meters (1,480 feet), 89 floors
  • Built: 2010
  • Cost: 375 million USD
  • Special features: China's 6th tallest building (2016)

Its silhouette is somewhat like Willis Tower in Chicago, and it is a little taller. It is remarkable because it stands alone in Nanjing as the only very tall building, and it was built inexpensively for its height.

7. King Key 100 in Shenzhen

King Key 100 in ShenzhenKing Key 100 in Shenzhen
  • Height: 441 meters (1,449 feet), 100 floors
  • Built: 2011
  • Cost: about 800 million USD
  • Special features: An opulent St. Regis hotel, world's 15th tallest (2015)

The building lights up the night sky in Luohu, Shenzhen near Hong Kong, and the 100th floor observation deck gives a grand view of the greenery of Hong Kong and the blue sea. It sits in an emergent financial center in the city. Read more on KK100.

8. Guangzhou International Finance Center Tower

  • Height: 438 meters (1,439 feet), 103 floors
  • Built: 2010
  • Cost: about 426 million USD
  • Special features: central tourist location in Tianhe, 15th tallest in the world

An observation deck on the 100th floor and a Four Seasons Hotel on the 69th to 98th floors are the tourist highlights. It is one of the twin towers of Tianhe.

9. Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai

Jin Mao Tower in ShanghaiJin Mao Tower in Shanghai
  • Height: 420 meters (1,380 feet), 88 floors
  • Built: 1999
  • Cost: about 530 million USD
  • Special features: third tallest in Shanghai, 19th tallest in the world

The Jin Mao Tower now sits in a tight circle with the Shanghai Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center. Its large 88th floor observation deck is a tourist highlight.

10. IFC Tower in Hong Kong

IFC Tower in Hong Kong IFC Tower in Hong Kong
  • Height: 408 meters (1,340 feet), 88 floors
  • Built: 2003
  • Cost: about 2.2 billion USD
  • Special features: 10th tallest in China, 22nd tallest in the world, luxury mall, central tourist location

This complex of three IFC towers concludes this list of 10 tallest skyscrapers, but it is by no means the least interesting for tourists. It include a popular and ritzy luxury mall, beautiful Victoria Harbor views, and the Four Seasons Hotel.

As of 2016, it probably has the best and most convenient transportation links of any of these buildings with four subway lines, a popular tram, and major ferry terminals around it.

China Highlights China Tours

We can take you to the Shanghai Tower and arrange dinners or a stay in the J Hotel at the top if you wish. See Shanghai's modern wonders and classic side on our Shanghai tours. Contact us.

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Shenzhen is becoming a tourist destination and a bargain shopping area. We can take you to the KK100 or the Ping An Tower and arrange for stays in the hotels and dining in the restaurants. See Shenzhen's modern wonders and laid back style.

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