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Qingdao is located on the south facing coast of the Shandong Peninsula. It borders three prefecture-level cities, namely Yantai to the northeast, Weifang to the west, and Rizhao to the southwest. The city's total jurisdiction area occupies 10,654 square kilometres (4,114 sq mi), and stretches in latitude from 35° 35' to 37° 09' N and in longitude from 119° 30' to 121° 00' E. The populated sections of the city are relatively flat while mountains spur up within city limits and nearby. The highest elevation in the city is 1,133 metres (3,717 ft) above sea level. Of the total area of Qingdao, 15.5% is highland, while the foothill, plain and lowland areas constitute 25.1%, 37.8% and 21.7%. The city has a 730.64 kilometres (454.00 mi) coastline. Five significant rivers that flow for more than 50 kilometres (31 mi) can be found in the region.


An important region in Eastern China, Shandong Province has seen substantial change in its economic landscape in recent years. Much of this development has been concentrated in Qingdao. Qingdao has seen rapid development. With an annual growth rate of 18.9 percent in 2006, the city's GDP reached 42.3 billion, ranking first in Shandong Province and tenth out of China's top 20 cities. GDP per capita comprised 52,895 (US$7,616) in 2008. The GDP has grown steadily at an average pace of 16% annually. In 2006, Qingdao was ranked one of six "golden cities" by the World Bank, out of 120 Chinese cities assessed on factors including investment climate and government effectiveness.

Internationally, Qingdao is perhaps best known for its Tsingtao Brewery, founded by a German-British joint venture in 1903 that produces Tsingtao beer, the best-known Chinese export beer. It is also home to Haier, a large white goods manufacturer, and Hisense, a major electronics company. In 2002 guitar manufacturers Epiphoneopened a factory in Qingdao.