The city used to be called "Chefoo" because an island close to the city was named "Chefoo". The name of the city means "Smokey Tower" (yan - smoke, tai - tower). The city is named "Yantai" because in 1398 the Hongwu Emperor of the Ming dynasty, built watch towers nearby to tell everyone if Japanese pirates were coming.
In 2008[update] the city of Yantai and the area around it had 6,516,900 people living in it. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 343.4 billionRMB while the GDP divided by the population was 49,012RMB.[source?]