But in recent days the usually bustling financial centre has been stopped in its tracks after a spike in coronavirus cases.
With little notice, officials imposed two staggered waves of lockdowns on the city's more than 26m residents. The eastern side of Shanghai has just been through four days of tight restrictions. The western part began its four-day isolation on 1 April.
The latest round of quarantining is China's largest since the coronavirus outbreak was first identified in Wuhan at the end of 2019.