SHANGHAI - The eastern metropolis of Shanghai, the economic hub of Hong Kong and the sprawling city of Chongqing have been named the top three "sexy cities" in China because of their prosperity, charming buildings and beautiful girls, a new survey shows.
More than 17 percent of 6,577 residents randomly sampled from 30 cities in China named Shanghai as the sexiest city in the survey conducted by the Horizon Research Consultancy Group, according to a latest report.
Hong Kong came second with the support of 8.4 percent, while Chongqing came third with 4.7 percent naming it the sexiest city, slightly higher than Beijing and Guangzhou, which both got the nod from 4.6 percent.
People gave a wide range of reasons for naming Shanghai as the sexiest city, including its strong economy, iconic buildings and landscape, hosting of the World Expo 2010 and cultural diversity.
Hong Kong came second because it has many celebrities and is an international city.
However, sexy local women were the top reason why Chongqing got such a high ranking, the report shows. More than 65 percent of the respondents who mentioned Chongqing listed beautiful women as their reason, while only 5.3 percent of those who supported Shanghai gave the same reason.
"I find the concept of 'sexy city' interesting, because sexy is usually used to describe a person who is sexually attractive," said Lu Yifang, a 26-year-old Shanghai resident. "But I do think Shanghai is a sexy city - I always want to stay in the city and I wish to be here forever."
However, though the survey aimed for a wider definition of "sexiness", controversy over the concept remained.
Gu Xiaoming, a professor with the Shanghai-based Fudan University, said "sexy" is an outdated criterion for urban development in an age when harmony and livability is most valued in urban life.
"In the past, we thought Shanghai's Nanjing Road, the busiest street and a typical place of Western style, was the sexiest, but now it is considered to be too noisy and crowded," Gu said.
The concept of sexy city can be misleading in terms of focusing too much on prosperity and a xenocentric lifestyle, hence undervaluing a peaceful life and ignoring indigenous culture, Gu said.
He also questioned the vagueness of the concept of "sexy city", which he said hampers the results of survey.
About 33.1 percent of respondents said they "cannot tell" which city is sexy, according to the report.
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