2 of 6
1. Suzhou
1. Suzhou
Population: 6.3 million

Locally dubbed "heaven on earth" for its Unesco-honored classical gardens and parks, Suzhou became a foreign-investment center in the 1980s and now boasts the fifth-largest local GDP in China, at $113.4 billion. It is the second-largest factory town after Shanghai, and its local government has lured the likes of Samsung, Nike, and Epson. Next: expanding further into biotechnology and alternative energy.

NEXT: 2. Qingdao
Last updated October 13 2010: 8:56 PM ET
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