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China's 15 Tallest Buildings — 15 of the World's Tallest 26 Skyscrapers in 2020

The Shanghai Tower and Financial CenterThe Shanghai Tower, Jinmao and Shanghai IFC stand prominently in the Shanghai skyline.

About 20 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. Suddenly, it may seem, in late 2019, China has the majority of all the world’s tallest buildings and many more than any other country. Its tallest 15 buildings are 15 of the worlds 26 tallest skyscrapers. It will have 16 of the world's 30 tallest buildings in 2020.

These buildings are all above 400 meters. Here are details highlighting these modern tourist hotspots. We provide relevant information for your visit: malls, amazing views, hotels, fine restaurants, heights, ranking statistics, completion dates, and things to do during your visit.

1. Shanghai Tower

shanghai towerShanghai Tower is the middle building. It is the tallest building in Shanghai.
  • Height: 632 meters (2,073 feet), 128 floors
  • Built: 2014, opened 2015
  • Cost: 2.2 billion USD
  • Special features: the tallest in China, world's 2nd tallest building (2020)

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 spiralling cylindrical shape to help the building weather typhoons.

2. Ping An IFC in Shenzhen

Ping An IFC in ShenzhenThe Ping An IFC in Shenzhen
  • Height: 599 meters (1,965 feet), 115 floors They may be considering building a tower on top in 2020.
  • Built: 2016
  • Cost: 700 million USD
  • Special features: Second tallest building in China, 4th tallest in the world (2020)

The Ping An Tower is a new 21st century engineering marvel. Though it is very tall, it was built comparatively inexpensively and quickly for 700 million. Most similar sized buildings cost much more. Goldin Finance 117 in Tianjin is two meters shorter, so it just retains the 4th spot. 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 China's second highest luxury hotel, after the Ritz Carlton on the ICC, on top.

3. Goldin Finance 117 in Tianjin

  • Height: 597 meters (1,959 feet), 117 floors
  • Built: 2019
  • Special features: China's 3rd tallest building, 5th tallest building in the world (2020)

The Goldin Finance 117 is called that because it has 117 floors. It was topped out in May 2019 and has a distinctive jewel-shaped crown. It is a mixed use building. It has a hotel, residential sections, offices and retail areas. It is one of a sudden miniboom of such tall towers in Tianjin that is a big port city near Beijing.

4. CTF Finance Center in Guangzhou

  • Height: 530 meters (1,740 feet), 111 floors
  • Built: 2016
  • Special features: China's 4th tallest building, the 8th tallest building in the world (2020)
  • Uses: Office, hotel, and residential space.

The CTF Finance Center Tower building out as one of two tall towers in Tianhe in downtown Guangzhou. It is considered one of the fastest assembled skyscraper of the supertall variety in history. It took about 6 years to build itIt sits near the banks of the Pearl River, and on the other side is the Canton Tower. The company that built it built another building of the same name and height in Tianjin.

5. CTF Binhai Center in Tianjin

  • Height: 530 meters (1,740 feet), 97 floors
  • Built: topped out in September of 2017
  • Special features: China's 5th tallest building, the 9th tallest building in the world (2020)

The Tianjin CTF (Chow Tai Fook) overlooks the sea and is part of the sudden boom of skyscraper construction in Tianjin. Though it has the same height as the Guangzhou CTF, it is physically smaller. The roof height is only 480 meters, and there are only 97 floors. It too has office, hotel and residential sections.

6. China Zun in Beijing

  • Height: 528 meters (1,732 feet), 108 floors
  • Built: 2018
  • Special features: China's 6th tallest building, the 10th tallest building in the world (2020)
  • Observation deck: 524 meters

Beijing has the nation's best ancient architecture such as the Forbidden City, but now it has a modern building that is drawing tourists as well. The building is also called CITIC Plaza. It is the headquarters of CITIC, the China International Trust Investment Corporation. The observation deck and hotel draw tourists. Like the others in China, the building also has retail and office sections.

7. Shanghai World Financial Center

Shanghai World Financial CenterShanghai World Financial Center
  • Height: 492 meters (1,614 feet), 101 floors
  • Built: 2008
  • Cost: 1.2 billion USD
  • Special features: Seventh tallest building in China, the 12th tallest in the world (2020)

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 one of the world’s highest.

The Taipei 101 building in Taiwan would be at spot 7 (for its big spire) if it were included in this list.

8. ICC Tower in Hong Kong

iccThe ICC Tower is not only the tallest in Hong Kong, but it is distinguished by the best lighting effects in the city.
  • Height: 484 meters (1,588 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

The ICC Tower overlooks beautiful Victoria Harbour. It is part of the second financial hub in Hong Kong that is the world's third largest financial center. The land itself cost about 1 billion USD. What makes the building particularly attractive is that three metro stations, the Airport Express train, and a high speed HSR train to China connects to the building and makes regional and international travel unusually quick and convenient.

Sky 100 is a 100th floor observation deck (393 meters), and its Elements Mall is one of the best in the city. It has the best lighting display in the Symphony of Lights.

9. Greenland Center in Wuhan

  • Height: 476 meters (1,560 feet), 97 floors
  • Built: 2020
  • Special features: China’s ninth tallest building, the 14th tallest in the world (2020)

As originally designed, the Greenland Center was to be China’s tallest building. But the height has been reduced from over 600 meters to 474 (1,560 feet). Construction isn’t finished at the time of this writing. But it already ranks as China’s ninth tallest building and the 15th tallest in the world.

It has a beautiful location on the waterfront of the Yangtze River in the central industrial/financial services/research and university city of Wuhan. It too has a hotel and residential and office space.

10. Changsha International Finance Square

  • Height: 452 meters (1,483 feet), 95 floors
  • Built: 2018
  • Special features: China's 10th tallest building, 19th tallest in the world in (2020)

The shape is somewhat reminiscent of the IFC Tower in Hong Kong. Inside, there is a luxury mall, office and residential sections, and a luxury hotel. Like the IFC, it has a second, smaller companion building and has a metro hub station below it. Changsha is an inland city in Hunan Province.

11. Suzhou International Finance Square

  • Height: 450 meters (1,476 feet), 92 floors
  • Built: 2019
  • Special features: China's 11th tallest building, 20th tallest in the world

The skyscraper in Suzhou was built by the same company that built the Changsha IFS. The height is almost the same. The building is designed to match well with the sea and the surrounding bodies of water. Shimmering LED lights not only give it a beautiful appearance but makes the surface look like shimmering water. The building is designed to let much natural light into the interior.

12. Zifeng Tower in Nanjing

Zifeng Tower in NanjingZifeng Tower in Nanjing
  • Height: 450 meters (1,480 feet), 89 floors
  • Built: 2010
  • Cost: 375 million USD
  • Special features: China's 12th tallest building (2020)

Zifeng Tower's silhouette in Nanjing is somewhat like Willis Tower in Chicago, and it is a little taller. It was built inexpensively for its height. There is a restaurant at the top for fine dining.

13. King Key 100 in Shenzhen

King Key 100 in ShenzhenKing Key 100 in Shenzhen
  • Height: 442 meters (1,450 feet), 100 floors
  • Built: 2011
  • Cost: about 800 million USD
  • Special features: China's 13th tallest building (2020). An opulent St. Regis hotel is on top.

KK 100 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.

14. Guangzhou International Finance Center Tower

  • Height: 442 meters (1,439 feet), 103 floors
  • Built: 2010
  • Cost: about 426 million USD
  • Special features: 14th tallest building in China

The Guangzhou International Finance Center stands out for its lighting display spectacle. There is an observation deck on the 100th floor (415 meters). A Four Seasons Hotel on the 69th to 98th floors draw tourists. It is one of the twin towers of Tianhe. It is in one of Guangzhou's favorite tourist areas. The Canton Tower is across the Pearl River.

15. Wuhan Center

  • Height: 438 meters (1,437 feet), 88 floors
  • Built: 2019
  • Special features: second tallest in Wuhan, 26th tallest in the world (2020)

Wuhan Center Tower is part of a twin tower development project that is yet unfinished. A second 438 meter tower is planned to sit next to it. Like almost all the tall buildings in China, the building has shopping, office, residential and hotel sections.

China's Astonishing Building Boom May Slacken

It is notable that in 2015, 5 years ago, all of China's tallest buildings were in two places: in the Yangtze Delta (Shanghai, Nanjing) and the Pearl River Delta (Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou) areas. But now very tall buildings are being built in other major cities such as Beijing. Most notably, they are quickly being built in places that are not known for business and finance and that are not usual tourist destinations such as Shenyang, Tianjin, Wuhan and Changsha. Almost all these buildings were built in the last 10 years.

Quite suddenly, in 2020 China has 6 of the world’s 10 tallest buildings, 11 of the worlds top 20, and 16 of the world's tallest 30 skyscrapers. In other parts of the world, tall towers planned or under construction may be built that are much higher than the Shanghai Tower in the decade of the 2020s. However, in China, a building taller than the Shanghai Tower may not appear for a while.

The Building Boom May Be Leveling

The sudden Chinese building boom in the 2010s may continue in the 2020s if very tall buildings currently on hold such as the Suzhou Zhongnan Center and many planned buildings are built. However, developers are concerned about an office space glut in China's major cities since so many towers have been built quickly, and there is concern about a decrease of exports.

Other Noteworthy Tall Buildings in China

Bank of China Tower, Hong KongThe Bank of China Building was built in 1990 and was the first skyscraper in Asia!

Other important skyscrapers in China include the IFC Towers in Hong Kong, part of a luxury mall, hotel, and business complex and Jin Mao Tower. The Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong made history as Asia's first skyscraper. It was built in 1990. Now, 30 years later, most of the tallest skyscrapers are built in China.

NB: This list only includes "buildings" not "towers". Notably the Canton Tower (600 m), the second tallest in Asia, and the Oriental Pearl Tower (468 m) in Shanghai are not in the list.

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