Shanghai, is one of China's major ports and for cyberpunks it's the most popular entry point. The sprawl covers 8000 sq km, with over 25 million friendly inhabitants friendly. Very reminiscent of Osaka/Kobe. Shanghai's core has one of the highest population densities in the world, surpassed by Tokyo and Bombay.
Shanghai is China's main manufacturing center and has been so for 150 years. The city has foreign corps, most of them are Asian (Japanese, Singaporean, & Malaysian). Baoshan Steel from Japan is the largest foreign company, employing 100,000 Chinese, and contributes greatly to the lack of air quality. Other megacorps which have their main office or regional office in Shanghai include Tiger Medicines Inc, Princess Group Films, and World News Service.
The city is loud, as most of the vehicles are motorized hybrids built from scavenged parts. Vehicles that use gasoline, unlike most of the world. China hadn't gotten the license to produce CHOOH2, the country uses it's oil reserves to produce gasoline for internal purposes. As early as 4 am, the city is bustling. From 4 am till 2 am the next day, the parks have people doing martial arts (in groups up to 600 people at a time), and there are workers, hookers, street people, and hawkers making a living.
In Shanghai, the action keeps going to late-night unlike in most other Chinese cities (e.g. Singapore) which are usually dead by 10 pm. There is a city net, but Shanghai doesn't have a public uplink. Usually only important people have a corporate line or private link. Many prefer using either phones or fax. It's believed doing so keeps the Triads and FACS an electronic step away.
For the nightlife and to meet foreigners, you need to go downtown to the Bund (Zhongshan Donglu). In the mornings its martial arts. During the day, the info banks and trading houses are open (e.g. CITIC, Shanghai Bank, and Kadar). At night, a medium-class "strip" appears, with prostitution, mild drugs, street performers, contraband dealers, and music bands.
At the Docks, is where commercial and military shipbuilding is done. In the blocks surrounding the docks are miscellaneous import/export companies that also do smuggling. At night, some of then turn into fight arenas (ranging from cockfights to full-contact martial arts), gambling casinos, brothels, and weapons markets. The locations change and every one of them is at the low class end. Fixers come here to check out new talent. Many have made it big in the docks and many more died a violent death (either in a police raid, a martial arts match, or a deal gone bad).
High-class business types have clubs in the basement levels of western-style hotels downtown by the Bund government offices. Which cater to techs, businessmen, and high-price call-girls and solos. Ties are required at the Yangtse Hotel, Sheraton Shanghai, or Murayama Mansions. The rest of Shanghai consists of factories, worker's housing, and markets. Similar to arcologies and suburbia. From here you can take a train or plane to an internal city (e.g. Beijing, Nanjing, or Xi'an) or a boat to Japan, Hong Kong, or Beijing.
PASQUARETTE, C. "Pacific Rim Sourcebook". 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R. Talsorian Games, 1994