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  • City to regulate real estate market
    Local government will take five measures to intensify its regulation on the real estate market in order to curb illegalities such as virtual trading online, buying-up and outrageous price hikes, the government spokesperson Jiao Yang said yesterday.
    The five measures are as follows:
    -Regulate investments and limit inspeculations by fiscal, financial, law and administrative means.
    -Improve the construction of online database for the newly built commercial homes, so as to supervise the performances of the realties and agents, raise their the credit level and curb virtual tradings.
    -Improve data exchange system for the commercial homes in store to raise trading efficiency and efficacy.
    -Improve the market information release system so that people can easily find homes in certain destinations and at certain price levels, and especially those for the mid- and low- income families and for the relocated families.
    -Intensify management on pre-sold home tradings by tracking the performances of the realties selling new homes before completion.
    The government will also launch investigations into the surging online home trading withdrawls recently.
    "We'll step up supervision on the traders who rescind online home trading contracts and make stricter rules on our permits for pre-sold home traders," Jiao said.--(3/31)

  • Campaign improved city's traffic
    The city government announced yesterday that a two-month traffic renovation campaign targeting school surroundings, which started last November, improved traffic conditions around 243 schools. New traffic lights and zebra crossings have been added around 159 schools.--(3/30)

  • Banks tout mortgage restrictions
    Shanghai's commercial banks said yesterday they've agreed to raise interest rates and down payments on speculative home loans and enact other policies designed to support government efforts to rein in escalating property prices.
    With average residential housing prices soaring 25 percent to 8,756 yuan (US$1,058) a square meter in 2004, Shanghai recently initiated a series of measures to prevent a speculative property bubble and ensure affordable housing for its citizens.
    In a statement released yesterday by the Shanghai Banking Association, the city's 16 commercial lenders, including China Construction Bank and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, said they are raising interest rates and down payment requirements for applicants who already hold two or more mortgage loans. The figures were not specified.
    The banks have also agreed to stop providing mortgage transfers to people selling their property within the first year of purchase.
    "The new rules are aimed at fostering the development of a healthy real estate market and housing loan sector in Shanghai," said the banking association statement.
    Most commercial banks have already started to charge 6.12 percent interest on five-year-plus mortgage loans for the purchase of a second home, compared with 5.51 percent for a first mortgage.
    China lifted the benchmark rate for mortgage loans with maturities of more than five years from 5.31 percent to 6.12 percent earlier this month, following an increase from 5.04 percent to 5.31 percent last October.--(3/29)

  • Flower feast at Forest Park
    Despite the gloomy weekend, spring kicked off in spirit at a flower exhibition in Yangpu District's Gongqing Forest Park.
    The colorful display, which includes a European flower show, a wide range of domestic blossoms and an elite China rose show, will run through June 6.
    Some 120,000 flowers from the Netherlands - including more than 60 different species such as tulips, hyacinths and anemones, are now on view.
    Accompanying them there are Icelandic poppies and cherry blossoms from Japan.
    Purple orchids and golden cole blossoms cover the lawns, the riversides and the forest floor.
    "Visitors will experience both European grace and natural beauty," said Shen Yuanyuan, a park official.
    Following these European blooms which begin to fade in mid-April will be foxglove, violets, snapdragons, coreopsis, genista, azaleas and gaillardia.
    The best China roses originating from about 100 countries, including China, Germany, Holland, Japan and New Zealand, will join the flower feast in May, Shen said.
    The entrance fee for the exhibition is 12 yuan (US$1.4), the same as at other times.--(3/28)

  • Museum gets ready to turn on power fans
    Workers study a layout of the city's power supply system at the country's first electricity museum in Pudong yesterday. The museum will open in June.
    Shanghai's electricity buffs will soon have a place to indulge their passion. The country's first electricity museum has finished construction and is now getting ready for its grand opening in June. Located on Yuanshen Road in Pudong New Area, the museum houses a big collection that traces the development of the power industry in Shanghai, where China's first electric lamps were lit more than 100 years ago. The first 15 arc lamps were illuminated on the Bund in July 1882, an event that marked the birth of China's electricity industry, according to the Shanghai Electric Power Co, the museum's builder. The facility covers 600-plus square meters and is divided into three multimedia exhibition zones showcasing the industry's past, present and future.--(3/27)

  • Mild weather indicates coming of spring
    Students at Liying Primary School in Kongkou District enjoy mild weather while having a class outside yesterday. The mercury is expected to be between 7 and 13 degrees Celsius today.--(3/26)

  • Imported train for No. 4 Metro line is tested
    Siemens engineer Leitner Gerhard and Chinese technicians yesterday test the power system of an imported train set to run on the No. 4 Metro line. The new US$1.56 billion route is scheduled to go into trial operation by the end of this year.--(3/25)

  • Translation exam popular
    A record 33,000 students from all over the country showed up this month for a written exam for an interpretation certificate issued by the Shanghai Personnel Bureau, the Shanghai International Studies University, the exam¡¯s sponsor, announced yesterday.
    More than 25,000 examinees were local university students who expect the interpretation certificate to add value to their job-hunting efforts. The exam office said it plans to establish new exam sites in Beijing, Hefei, capital of Anhui Province, and Yunnan Province this fall.--(3/24)

  • Water quality improving
    A panorama of the Huangpu River and Lujiazui finanical zone is pictured. Water quality in city rivers has risen greatly due to the government's efforts.--(3/23)

  • Ancient snack bar reappears at food show
    Since Saturday, Zhang Shuchao from Suzhou in Jiangsu Province, has been walking into Yuyuan Garden every morning at 9:30, a ¡°camel carrying pole¡± on his shoulder and a pair of wooden clappers in his hands.
    Loudly singing nostalgic songs, he peddles sweet porridge. Camel carrying pole, the ¡°moving snack bar¡± which was omnipresent in olden days, is making a reappearance in the city more than half a century after it disappeared.
    It is named for its camel-like shape, with one side hosting the stove and pan, and the other side containing seasonings with bowls and chopsticks in the middle.
    Various traditional snacks, such as wonton, taro, sweet porridge and dumpling, were made in turn as the seasons changed.
    ¡°My shoulder pole is an exact copy of an antique exhibit in the Suzhou Museum,¡± Zhang said. Zhang is in town for the ongoing Yuyuan Garden Watertown Food Cultural Festival.
    Nineteen kinds of traditional snacks, which were once very popular but can seldom be found now, are being served at the show, which kicked off over the weekend
    and will run throughout the month.
    Besides porridge, visitors can also taste the small wonton and the jellied bean curd from Xitang (Zhejiang), the thousand-layered cake from Xikou (Zhejiang), the fried dumpling seasoned with sweet-scented osmanthus from Yangzhou (Zhejiang), and cakes with crab apple, plum blossom and orange flavors from Jinxi (Jiangsu).--(3/22)

  • Pudong to have new souvenir designs
    The Pudong New Area government is calling for souvenir designs for its tourism program. Officials say the souvenirs must reflect Pudong¡¯s character, and the designs must be unique. Details can be found on two Websites: and

  • Locals enjoy blossoms
    People walk by a row of oriental cherry trees near the Jing'an Temple yesterday. Many locals like to appreciate cherry blossoms during the spring.--(3/20)

  • Engineers blow up four buildings along Huangpu River
    A blast is seen near the Huangpu River yestereday as engineers blew up four buildings in efforts to renovate the Bund.
    Engineers blew up four buildings belonging to an old factory along the western bank of the Huangpu River yesterday afternoon as part of a scheme to renovate the northern section of the Bund.
    The 21,000-square-meter complex was part of the Shanghai General Factory of Eiderdown, which was located at the intersection of Qinhuangdao and Yangshupu roads.
    Engineers with Fudan Explosive Demolition Co said they used more than 320 kilograms of dynamite to demolish the buildings at around 1pm.
    The former factory will be turned into a 90,000-square-meter park alongside the river, according to the North Bund Development Project Leading Group Office.
    The factory buildings were built in the 1920s and 1930s.
    An official with the North Bund project office surnamed Peng said more old warehouses and factories in this area will be pulled down this year.
    The north Bund development is part of the Waitaiyuan Project which aims to preserve and renovate historically and culturally significant buildings while updating the image of the Bund and neighboring areas.
    Yesterday's demolition went off without protests sparked last year when the old Shanghai Friendship Store was torn down.
    After a month of planning, engineers decided to tear down the building instead of imploding it, after heated debate among authorities about the safety of blowing up the building.--(3/19)

  • City issues regulations for exhibition industry
    The Legal Affairs Office of Shanghai and Shanghai Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation have drawn up regulations governing the local exhibition industry in order to develop the industry in a healthy and orderly way, Shanghai government spokeswoman Jiao Yang said at a regular press conference on March 16.
    Shanghai's exhibition industry, with exceptional economic, cultural and geographic advantages, has grown fast over the last more than ten years, and the exhibition tourism industry has become a key component of the local modern service sector, Jiao said.
    However, the exhibition industry is new in China. As a result, some problems (such as the lack of a universal management standard, or an efficient set of regulations for exhibition hosts) have stood as obstacles that have prevented the industry from developing further, Jiao pointed out.
    The regulation states that government departments at all levels cannot organize commercial exhibitions without a license from the central or municipal government.
    Any organization found publishing misleading information about an exhibition will be required to make timely corrections and could face financial penalties. Market supervision and public security will be enhanced for exhibitions, according to the regulations.--(3/18)

  • Shanghai to build 9 model industrial parks in rural areas
    Shanghai will build nine industrial parks in suburban areas as a model for its rural urbanization progress.
    The nine will be in the Jiading, Minhang, Jinshan, Qingpu, Fengxian and Baoshan districts, as revealed at a March 16 government work meeting held in Nanxiang Town, in the city's northwest Jiading District. Vice Mayor Hu Yanzhao attended the meeting.
    Upon completion, the nine parks will have a planned area of 2.66 million square meters devoted to urbanized industries, which will generate 6.1 billion yuan (US$737 million) each year in revenues, 473 million yuan in taxes and 230 million yuan in rentals, and will probably provide 2,618 jobs for the nearby residents.
    While the township governments will be the main investors in the parks, farmers can also share in the parks by earning dividends and sharing in the profits. As well, the farmers can receive a long-term benefit from the urbanization by finding employment in the parks.--(3/17)

  • City approves more solely-owned foreign investment projects
    Since December 11 last year, Shanghai has approved 16 wholly-owned foreign investment projects, in keeping with China's promise to allow foreign investors to open wholly-owned business projects within three years of the country's entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001.
    Among the 16 projects, many are invested by such famous international companies as Louis Vuitton, GE and Swarovski. Japan and South Korea have played a leading role among the investors.
    From last year to yesterday, the Shanghai Foreign Investment Commission has received nearly 90 applications to launch foreign investment business projects, with 49 of the projects approved. Among the 49 projects, only six are joint venture and the other are wholly-owned. Twenty-seven of them are Chinese mainland/Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) projects.--(3/16)

  • City to endorse stricter food safety
    Government workers in Shanghai's food and drug supervision sector felt the increased responsibility of their workload when they were informed at a March 14 meeting that Shanghai will endorse stricter food safety standards.
    According to the major food accident response emergency plan, which will soon come into effect, illegal underground food makers will be firmly rooted out, while quality control clauses will be required in the purchase contracts of supermarkets and hypermarkets.
    Major food accidents must be reported to the district or county government within two hours, and reported to the municipal government within the next two hours. Government leaders in charge of a case must take the full responsibility.
    To prevent mass food poisoning, schools, kindergartens, construction sites and other companies and institutions that provide meals for employees will be under close food safety supervision. Control of the companies that cook and sell snacks will be tightened as the city's food and drug administration plans to publicize the names of qualified meal providers and crack down upon those without sanitation licenses.
    Medical advertisements are another focus. Ads for bogus tonics and medical facilities will be removed.
    As well, Shanghai will set up a supervision network and an evaluation and alarm system to ensure food safety. This information was presented at yesterday's meeting, which was attended by Hui Lusheng, vice director of the State Food and Drug Administration, and Shanghai's vice Mayor Zhou Taitong.--(3/15)

  • Shanghai Pudong airport passes test on new runway
    The second runway of the Shanghai Pudong airport has passed the test Friday, and is ready for operation, said an official with the airport.
    The new runway, 2,260 meters east to the present runway, 3,800 meters long and 60 meters wide, is built to accommodate the Airbus A380 superjumbo, the world's largest commercial jet.
    The runway is also equipped with a sophisticated blind landing system that will allow planes to land even in heavy fog.
    Operation of the new runway will relieve congestion because of soaring flight traffic in this commercial hub of China.
    Opened in 1999, Pudong's present runway is operating at capacity, handling nearly 500 flights per day carrying more than 35 million passengers last year.--(3/14)

  • Trade unions expand
    The Shanghai Trade Union set up general trade unions in Changzheng Town, the Changfeng Residential Complex Subdistrict and Shimener Road Subdistrict this week. It was the first time for a town or subdistrict to establish a general trade union, officials said. With the growth of companies in the subdistricts, the general trade union can better protect employee rights and coordinate the relationship between them and their employers, officials said.--(3/13)

  • New metro direction displays
    New direction displays are installed at the Jiangsu Road Station of the No. 2 Metro Line yesterday to make the subway more commuter-friendly.--(3/11)

  • 24-hour bookstore set to close
    Less than two years after the city's first 24-hour bookstore opened amid much fanfare, managers are preparing to either shut the shop down or move to another location.
    "The store has been running at a deficit for a long time," said He Genxiang, general manager of Shanghai Century Scholar Books Co Ltd, which operates two other bookstores in the city.
    The problems are a combination of a poor location, high rent, and the additional cost of staying open all day.
    "The store's annual rent is 4.5 million yuan (US$542,169), which makes it very difficult to keep the business running," said He.
    While the store received some customers overnight on the weekends, few people took advantage of the late night hours during the week, he said.
    Located in Pudong Road S., the bookstore occupies 5,000 square meters including a coffee bar.
    While the store has been a failure, the company still thinks a 24-hour bookstore is a good idea, and they are looking at opening a new outlet, in a smaller, cheaper location.
    "(A 24-hour bookstore is) a symbol of a culturally rich metropolis. Shanghai is entitled to have such a bookstore, just like Chapters in Toronto and Eslite in Taipei," He said when the store fist opened in 2003.
    Dong Jiangwei, a one-time customer of the store said he wasn't surprised it will fold up. "The location is not good. People who enjoy a good nightlife stay in Puxi. So it's pointless and impractical to run an around-the-clock bookstore in Pudong."--(3/10)

  • Largest petrochemical project starts operations
    The largest petrochemical project in Shanghai Chemical Industry Park will start trial production this month. The 900,000t/a ethylene cracker project is a US$2.73 billion joint investment between Sinopec and SPC BP East China Investment Co Ltd. As an environmentally friendly project, it will operate on waste gas and liquid emitted during the production of ethylene, rather than on heavy oil or polluting coal. This approach gives the project a leading position nationwide in environmental protection technologies.
    Notably, the project includes a lab to conduct regular checks on its emissions to control pollution.--(3/9)

  • Shanghai dedicated to raising women's status
    Local women are enjoying higher social status thanks to the enormous effort the government has made in this area.
    As part of the effort, the government has created conditions that enalbe women to learn new skills and find jobs more easily . For example, about 500,000 women have benefited from a government-sponsored program aimed at teaching them how to use the Internet. Local Women's Federation has offered employment opportunites to more than 130,000 women and helped about 80,000 of them get jobs in the past two years. Just recently the federation held a career fair that offered more than 1,000 jobs especially for women.
    Latest statistics show that female workers account for 35 percent and nearly half of the employees in local high-tech and financial service industries respectively. Moreover, 42 percent of all the civil servants employed by the local government in recent years are women.--(3/8)

  • No Sudan red 1 dye found in local sauces
    Sauces on local shelves are safe as no Sudan red 1 dye has been found so far, Shanghai Municipal Food and Drug Supervision Administration said on March 6. China's Ministry of Health bans use of Sudan Red 1 in any additives because this red coloring may be associated with cancer formation.
    The bureau has conducted stringent checks to 19 condiments and chilli sauces available in Shanghai, but none was found to contain the dye.
    Despite that, as of March 8 the food safety authority will reinforce its supervision and market checks for this possibly carcinogenic food dye, increasing its sampling as required by the national health authority.
    In its document circulated nationwide March 6, the Health Ministry said it has detected the Sudan 1 dye in chilli condiment products produced and sold in China by Heinz Meiweiyuan (Guangzhou) Food Co. Ltd, a wholly owned condiment unit of US-based food manufacturer Heinz.
    As of February 25, Shanghai Administration for Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine began random inspections of import food products at local import companies and hypermarkets. All food samples are sent for lab test, which are usually completed in 10 workdays.
    If the dye is found, the product will immediately be withdrawn from sale.--(3/7)

  • Int'l itinerant show on classical automobiles opens in Shanghai
    The 2005 international itinerant show on brand-name auto classics was inaugurated in the Oriental Pearl Tower, the venue of the show, in Shanghai Saturday.
    A total of 38 automobiles including a dozen of top brands from different periods have been put on display at the show, according to organizers of the show.
    The automobiles on display included a Ford car from the early 20th century, a Porsche from early 1970s and a steam truck.
    The show, after being shown in Shanghai for 23 days, will move on to other Chinese cities including Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, and Beijing.--(3/6)

  • Expo recruitment is on schedule
    The city government expects to recruit enough professionals over the next two years for the World Expo 2010, officials announced yesterday at the International Conference on Human Resources Strategy for World Expo.
    They said the government will push for the creation of Expo-oriented training centers at local universities and related institutes.--(3/5)

  • Thai navy on friendly trip to town
    Three warships from Thailand arrive in Shanghai for a visit marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-Thai diplomatic relations.--(3/4)

  • Flights set for takeoff to Tashkent
    Ilyasov Rafik (left) of Uzbekistan Airways China shakes hands with a local civil aviation official at a news briefing in Shanghai yesterday.--(3/3)

  • Fair sees jump in deals
    A visitor checks out reproduction of Chinese traditional furniture at the opening of the 15th East China Fair yesterday. The six-day trade fair ends on Sunday.--(3/2)

  • City to build offshore energy factory
    Shanghai will help build a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facility, a key offshore oil production facility, for one of China's biggest offshore oil fields.
    Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co Ltd, a local subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation, announced it will sign a US$230 million contract today in Beijing to build a 300,000-ton FPSO facility for US third-largest energy firm ConocoPhilips Company.
    This facility, the largest, most costly and most technology-demanding FPSO project ever produced by Chinese shipyards, has a storage capacity of 2 million barrels of oil. It will be used for the second phase of China's Penglai19-3 oil field in East China's Bohai Bay and will become the field's largest oil and gas processing center. The second-phase field project is being jointly developed by China National Offshore Oil Corp (SNOOC) and ConocoPhilips.
    Officials from the Waigaoqiao shipyard said construction is scheduled to start by the end of this year for the FPSO facility, which will be delivered in the first-half of 2007. It is China's largest-ever electric product export to the US. Currently, there are only four such facilities of 300,000-tons or above in the world.
    The FPSO concept is designed to accelerate the production from new deepwater fields, which responds to global trends, as well as China's strategy, to focus on offshore energy exploitation.--(3/1)



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