Shanghai took the top spot as the city with the highest gross domestic product (GDP) for the first half of this year, beating out both Beijing and Shenzhen. The city's output for the first six months of 2020 reached more than 1.74 trillion yuan or roughly $271.62 billion.

Coming in second is the capital city of Beijing with a first-half GDP of 1.62 trillion yuan, followed by Shenzhen with 1.26 trillion. The other Chinese cities on the top 10 list this year include Chongqing, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Nanjing, and Tianjin.

The spread of the coronavirus pandemic in China during the first few months of the year somewhat altered the typically unchanging list. Some cities, which typically report strong economic output, have dropped in rank due to the health crisis. This year, the city of Chongqing dropped to the fourth spot, while Nanjing entered the top 10 list for the first time.

The four cities along the Yangtze River Delta region, namely Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, and Suzhou, all reported strong numbers this year. The cities' strong economic output for the first half of the year underscored the country's successful drive to strengthen integrated development in the Yangtze River Delta region. Supporting measures and policy changes had proven to be successful in releasing the region's economic potential.

Nanjing's entry into the top 10 list this year also underscores the success of the city's efforts to transform itself into an "innovative city" in East China. The capital of China's Jiangsu province has managed to close a total of 78 cooperative contracts with research and development institutions this year, while also incubating more than 1,204 new enterprises, all contributing to its high economic output.

Beijing still managed to record strong numbers for the first half of this year, mostly bolstered by the continued development of its digital economy and digital investment industries. It is notable to mention that the city managed to increase its high-tech manufacturing investments by more than 120 percent this year, contributing to a 24 percent year-on-year growth in its high-tech services sector.

Shanghai managed to offset its weak output during the first quarter of the year with the launch of its massive consumption campaign in May and June. The city's May 5 Shopping Festival resulted in a dramatic spike in online and offline spending, boosting its overall economic output.

As the country's slowly emerged from its months of lockdowns and pandemic restrictions, tourist destinations in Hangzhou, Chongqing, and Chengdu also slowly recovered, generating much needed economic activity.