Prior to the establishment of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone(SEZ), an original town called Shenzhen (or Shum Chun) Hui (Chinese: 深圳墟; pinyin: Shenzhen market) was located within the current Luohu district. It was of size 350,000 m2 and has a population of little less than 30,000. The town centred at the present-day Dongmen, where a Tin Hau Temple once stood.
The name Shenzhen was first mentioned in 1410 though the town was only first documented in 1688 but was believed to be inhabited long before this. The market town prospered and expanded out of its boundaries in the early 20th century, following the completion of the Kowloon-Canton Railway, which the town was a stopping station. The town was occupied by Japanese forces between 1942 and 1945.It was promoted from market town to an official town status in 1950 .In 1953,the administrative centre of San On County was moved to Shum Chun from Nantou.
After Shenzhen was promoted to city status in October 1979,Luohu district was established as the first district in Shenzhen. Several small mountains were flattened to facilitate its infrastructure during initial construction phases. In November 1997, Yantian area became an independent administrative district.
Some of the tallest and most recognizable buildings in Shenzhen, including Shun Hing Square, KK100 and the Guomao Building has are located within the district.