Shanghai's cosmopolitan culture and bustling business climate attract people throughout China and the world who seek a better life. Parallel to Shanghai's two internationalization periods are two immigration surges (Item 18). These immigrant groups used to have their own residential areas and public space, such as the International Settlements for early generations and Gubei District (古北区) for current international residents. In the past, different nationalities built their unique social identities (Item 19) and established their own newspapers, theaters, and schools (Item 21c).

Known as the land of opportunity, Shanghai was once a paradise to many fortune hunters and adventurers. Some examples: William Jones Boone (文惠廉; Item 20a), a South Carolina born American, became the founder of the American Settlement at Shanghai. Silas Aaron Hardoon (哈同; Item 20b), born into a poor Jewish family in Baghdad, started as a junior employee in Shanghai for Sassoon Company and eventually became one of the wealthiest people in the city through his shrewd investments on Nanjing Road. Du Yuesheng (杜月笙; Item 20c)-- the "Boss of the Underworld" in Old Shanghai--started his career as a fruit shop worker, and later became an influential figure in Old Shanghai, including the international settlements. Presumably, it was Mr. Du and his underworld that made Shanghai the only city on earth to have its name transformed into a verb--Shanghaied.

The first encounter of Shanghainese with foreigners raised curiosity, culture shock (Items 24 & 25), and even conflict (Item 26). Soon Shanghainese, known for their receptiveness and progressiveness in pursuit of a better-lifestyle, started to embrace western customs in their everyday life (Item 23). Similarly, international immigrants gradually assimilated local residents' lifestyle (Item 27).