Nine Chinese cities were ranked among the world's 20 most dynamic cities in the latest City Momentum Index released by real estate services and investment firm JLL.
The index, in its sixth year, tracks a range of socioeconomic and commercial real estate indicators to identify attributes for success over the short term. It ranked 131 established and emerging business hubs across the world.
Xi'an, often known for its terracotta warriors, led Chinese cities in the rankings, coming in at 9th place. It was followed by Guangzhou (10), Nanjing (11), Beijing (13), Shanghai (14), Chongqing (16), Hangzhou (17), Shenzhen (19) and Chengdu (20).
Bengaluru, also known as Bangalore and capital of India's high-tech industry, took the top spot. A total of six Indian cities were ranked among the top 20, including five of the top 10 spots.
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam were ranked No 3 and No 8 respectively.
Asia Pacific is home to 19 of the top 20 cities in this year's index. Nairobi, capital of the African nation Kenya and ranked sixth in the index, is the only city outside of Asia Pacific in the top 20 ranking.
Jeremy Kelly, research director of JLL, said, "even in Nairobi there is a strong Asian influence, with significant amounts of investment from China, particularly focused on infrastructure projects".
Nairobi is projected to have one of the fastest-growing populations in the world over the next five years. The authorities there are turning to smart technologies to help cope with overcrowding, traffic congestion and inefficiency in transportation around the city, according to Kelly.
"This year's rankings find the fastest urban growth continuing to shift away from the West to the East," Kelly wrote in an article posted over the weekend as part of the upcoming World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, from Jan 22-25.
Global leaders will discuss globalization 4.0 and the Fourth Industrial Revolution and call for more inclusive and sustainable global growth.
Kelly said strong growth brings great opportunities for economic and social development, but equally creates challenges that emerging markets must address to ensure that short-term growth transitions into long-term momentum.
"Cities that are growing rapidly tend to punch above their weight in attracting companies and people; however, this can often lead to social inequality, congestion and environmental degradation," he said.
Kelly pointed out that technological innovation in the form of greener and smarter buildings plays an important role in answering the environmental challenges brought about by rapid growth.
He cited the example of Xi'an which was struggling with severe air pollution as a common plight for developing cities.