Built on the banks of the Huangpu river, Shanghai is China's largest city and its most important economic, commercial, financial and communications centre. Shanghai was a sleepy fishing town until the start of the 20th century, when it experienced a period of unprecedented development which transformed it into China's most important city. After WW II Shanghai languished under the communist rule until 1992, when the Chinese government started implementing free market policies. Currently Shanghai is growing at a very rapid pace, with new buildings and skyscrapers continuosly being built. It's skyline on the Huangpu river now rivals that of Hong Kong.