Costing approximately 2.6 billion yuan ($450 million), the circuit was financed by a government-funded joint-venture company, consisting of the Shanghai Juss Corporation, Shanghai National Property Management Co Ltd, and Shanghai Jia'an Investment and Development Co Ltd. Architectural and design experts began planning and visiting the site between April and May 2003, and the area was transformed from swampland to international racetrack within 18 months with a team of 3000 engineers working around the clock.
Other events held at the circuit include a round of the MotoGP world championship, the Australian-based V8 Supercar championship in 2005, attracting crowds of over 250,000 spectators, and also the final round of the A1 Grand Prix in 2006/2007.
The 2008 MotoGP race was the last one on this circuit, as the FIM didn't select the racetrack for the provisional calendar of 2009. This is due to overcrowding problems in the circuit.
In September 2007, former manager of the circuit Yu Zhifei was convicted of embezzlement as part of a corruption scandal in Shanghai which resulted in the dismissal of several senior Chinese Communist Party officials.
Partly due to location of the circuit, areas around turns 1, 8 and 14 have been sinking, and therefore the circuit had to be inspected before the 2011 event took place.