Domain name scare for .com users
Thousands of Chinese Websites registered overseas could lose their domain names next year because they cannot extend their services after the Taiwan earthquake that severed undersea communication cables.
Several domain name operators said on their Websites yesterday that ".com" services, which need to connect to the United States servers to work, will be virtually offline until the undersea cables are repaired.
Affected operators include now.cn, china-channel.com and bizcn.com, which are all major ".com" domain name service providers in China. --(12/31)
Expo adds colorful idea
Visitors to the 2010 World Expo will be able to tell what continent an exhibition hall represents by the color of its sun shelter.
The idea was picked up by Expo organizers after it was submitted by a member of the public.
Research on the proposal has started and the design is likely to turn into reality, according to Wu Zhiqiang, the chief designer of the Expo.
"We can imagine how magnificent it will be to have a birds-eye view of the colorful sun shelter," he said.
The Shanghai Expo will have the longest sun shelter - four kilometers -in the history of the event. The Expo begins in May 2010 when the rainy season hits the city, followed by the heat of summer. A college student proposed the sun shelter to help avoid sunstroke.
"Not long after, someone else put forward the concept of a Global Rainbow, which means one color represents one continent and the color of the sun-shade above exhibition halls could show which continent they hail from," Wu said.
The Global Rainbow is only one of the many creative ideas Expo designers have received from the public.
Others are under discussion and are likely to be included into the Expo planning when proved practical and safe.
"I believe the novel ideas from local residents will bring a smile to visitors' faces," Wu said.
In another proposal, some people said Chinese traditional landscape gardens and sculpture artwork should be introduced into the Expo. --(12/31)
Food safety measures unveiled
Shanghai will this week launch new measures to deal with food poisoning outbreaks, watchdogs have said.
The measures would deal with urgent food safety issues, the Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision said on Wednesday.
Outbreaks will be divided into five levels according to seriousness.
The most serious cases are "cases affecting most regions of the country; transnational or trans-boundary (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan)," according to the measures.
At the bottom of the scale are outbreaks involving 10 to 29 people but causing no deaths, outbreaks affecting a county or a district of the city, and outbreaks with hidden dangers to people's health.
The measures range from sealing up contaminated food to ordering manufacturers to recall questioned food in the market.
The city's food safety authorities will also give consumers warnings if necessary, the measures state.
Last month, several supermarkets offered customers refunds on eggs after officials warned they may cause cancer.
Food and drug regulators in other provinces banned some brands of duck and chicken eggs after finding traces of a potentially carcinogenic dye in the produce. --(12/29)
Museum takes science and fun to children
Shanghai yesterday opened its first science exhibition museum for children - a free place where children can experience new science and exhibit their inventions to the public.
The museum, called the Shanghai Youth and Junior Science and Technology Exploration Museum, is at 137 Jianguo Road W. near Shaanxi Road S.
The construction of the museum started in February and cost 10 million yuan (US$1.25 million), city officials said.
"We hope the museum will become a 'science garden' by the children and for the children," Li Yiping, director of the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission, said yesterday in an inauguration ceremony.
The museum has 58 categories of exhibition. One of its highlights is a simulated control center of China's manned spacecraft.
"The museum is very interesting to me because I can see and experience what I expect," said Wu Yupeng, a junior middle school student, who visited the museum yesterday. --(12/28)
Taiwan flights a selling point
Shanghai Airlines began selling tickets yesterday for eight round-trip charter flights to Taiwan during the Chinese Lunar New Year in February.
The Shanghai-based company has scheduled six round-trip, direct charter flights between Shanghai and Taipei between February 14 and 25, and another two round-trip charter flights between Shanghai and Kaohsiung. Boeing 767 and 757 aircraft will fly the routes, sources with Shanghai Airlines said. In the two-week holiday season starting on February 5, Taiwan airlines will make 96 charter flights between Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, and Taiwan's Taipei and Kaohsiung, according to a deal reached between the two sides. --(12/27)
City's foreign trade tops US$207.2 billion
Shanghai is playing a strong role in China's foreign trade, as its export-import volume exceeds US$207.2 billion in the first 11 months of this year, accounting for a quarter of the nation's total.
The trade volume is 3.8 times that of 2001, when China entered the World Trade Organization, according to Shanghai Foreign Trade and Cooperation Committee.
Export has increased 25 percent to US$104.4 billion and import grew 19 percent to US$102.8 billion.
High-tech products have accounted for 39 percent of the export, nearly doubling the rate of five years ago.
Foreign-invested firms have attributed to two-thirds of the city's total export.
Privately run exporters have numbered 23,000 in Shanghai, over half of which are founded after the country's entry into the WTO. --(12/26)
9 foreign banks get incorporation OK
HSBC Holdings Plc, Citigroup Inc and seven other foreign banks have won approval to prepare for local incorporation in China.
The lenders control 34 percent of the branches set up by foreign banks in the country, the China Banking Regulatory Commission said in a statement on its Website. The others are Standard Chartered Bank, Bank of East Asia Ltd, Hang Seng Bank Ltd, Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd, DBS Bank Ltd and ABN Amro Bank NV. Standard Chartered issued a statement saying that it will now proceed with preparatory work, working closely with the regulator. --(12/25)
Many bright ideas
The first "Top Idea" English performance competition unfolded at Shanghai Normal University on Friday. The two-month-long competition attracted more than 300 students, who presented design and marketing plans for existing products. --(12/24)
Temple bell will toll for the New Year
Longhua Temple will hold its 19th New Year bell ringing celebration on New Year's Eve, with hundreds of foreign travelers expected to take part.
More than 500 Japanese tourists will arrive in the city on two chartered flights and another 100 Japanese visitors will fly to Shanghai from Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu Province, to take part in the event, according to Ingrid Wing-sai Tang, deputy director of the Xuhui District Tourism Bureau.
Five thousand tourists will be allowed to enter the temple and watch the annual event for 200 yuan (US$25). So far more than 2,500 tickets have been sold, she said.
The bell will ring 108 times with the last chime timed to sound at midnight. It will be struck once by each of 108 special guests, all of whom are businessmen who have made large contributions to the temple. Striking the bell on New Year's Eve is believed to bring fortune and happiness.
They will walk into the bell tower and strike the 3,000-kilogram bronze bell carved with dragon patterns one by one. Ordinary visitors who want to ring the bell after midnight must pay another 318 yuan.
In addition to the usual celebrations such as jostling to tie written messages to a "wishing tree," which is made of yellow and red brass, listening to monks sing Buddhist chants and watching a fireworks display, a special pedestrian mall featuring traditional Chinese New Year decorations and food will be set up adjacent to the temple that night.
"A noodle eating competition will be held this year, adding more fun to the New Year's celebration programs," said Wu Yanxin of the tourism bureau. --(12/22)
Work starts on emergency control center
Consruction of the control center for the city's public health emergency service began yesterday.
As one of the leading projects of the city's public health system, the multi-role center will be responsible for information collection, offering first aid, technical suport and defence against disease. It begins operation next year. --(12/21)
City to improve public security
Shanghai plans to enhance the city's public security administration next year by setting up an early warning system based on 52 quantified indexes, the Shanghai Political and Legal Affairs Commission and Committee for Comprehensive Management said today.
The relevant department will build a database platform for public security and establish an information collecting and management system to predict security trends on the basis of the 52 items.
In addition, the city is preparing for mass prevention and defence. A 6,000-person security team is now under training and will assist each community in basic security work to achieve full security coverage. --(12/20)
Shanghai Stock Exchange's record leap
The Shanghai Composite Index soared to a record high of 2332.43 yesterday and the Shanghai Stock Exchange had recorded a transaction volume of 5.3 trillion yuan (US$677 billion) for the year by the end of the day.
This was 173 percent up from a year earlier and it rank the exchange 15th among global stock exchanges.
The Shanghai Stock Exchange celebrates its 16th anniversary today. Thanks to successful shareholding reforms, soaring share prices and transaction volumes, the exchange has made great achievements this year, with stock transaction volumes seeing the fastest growth of any worldwide.
At present, 770 listed companies have made shareholding reforms, with market values accounting for 96.99 percent of all listed companies.
By yesterday, a total of 840 companies have been listed in Shanghai Stock Exchange, with total market values of 6.1662 trillion yuan, up 160 percent from the end of last year and accounting for 33 percent of GDP.
By the end of last month, the exchange's market value ranked it 17th among the main global stock exchanges and had seen fund-raising of 139.2 billion yuan, with 104.4 billion yuan by Initial Public Offering (IPO).
Fund-raising by IPO placed the exchange 9th worldwide and second in Asia. --(12/19)
Flower market blooms
The Jingsheng Flower Market, the largest of its kind in downtown Shanghai, opened on Saturday. The market in Changning District has a floor area of about 20,000 square meters. --(12/18)
City selects best attorneys
Thirty candidates have been selected to participate in the final election of the "Top 10 Oriental Great Lawyers," the first election of its kind in the city, the Shanghai Bar Association said on Friday. Of the 30 candidates, 12 are women. Twenty-three percent of the city's lawyers are women. The candidates range in age from 32 to 61 years old. The association said the candidates were specialized in different aspects, including criminal cases, civil cases and financial law. The final result is expected to be announced in February. --(12/17)
Trademarks will raise incomes
The State Industrial and Commercial Administration is examining trademark registrations for six agricultural products from Chongming Island, which are expected to be approved next year, according to the Conference of Shanghai Agricultural Product Trademark held by the city's Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau yesterday.
This is the first time the city has required trademark registration for agricultural products grown in a specific geographical area. The added value of the products and income of farmers will be raised once the trademarks are registered, officials said. --(12/15)
City makes exhibit of itself at forum
Shanghai will host China's biggest international forum on exhibitions next month, as the city lures expertise and clinches contracts before it hosts the 2010 World Expo.
The third China Expo Forum for International Cooperation, or CEFCO, will run from January 14 to 16 in Shanghai. Special sessions will bring together domestic and overseas delegates to negotiate deals for Shanghai's Expo, said Wang Jinzhen, vice chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. --(12/14)
Fog shuts Jiangsu highway section
Heavy fog yesterday morning closed the Jiangsu Province section of the Shanghai-Nanjing Expressway at 4:30am.
Though none of the local sections of any highways were shut down for the bad weather, the temporary service breakdown in Jiangsu still slowed traffic on Shanghai-Nanjing Expressway especially near the toll station in Anting, Jiading District, the local traffic authority reported. Ferry and air services across town were unaffected. --(12/13)
New transport system for construction waste
Shanghai is mapping out a transport system based on both land and waterway to enhance its capabilities of dealing with construction waste, according to a scientific and technological forum yesterday.
The city has 37,000 tons of construction waste a day, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the total local solid waste. At present, some construction waste is left ignored.
To enhance management and make full use of this waste, the existing district-based transferring stations for domestic waste will also serve construction waste. The Hulin Road Dock will be expanded to transport construction waste in the northern part of Suzhou Creek and Xupu Dock will transport it in the southern part of the creek.
Container trucks and ships have also been brought up as a suggestion, said an expert. According to the 11th Five Year Plan (2006-2010), 60 percent of the city¡¯s construction waste is expected to be recycled. --(12/12)
City opens second-phase of Yangshan Deep-water Port
Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng announced the official kick off of the second phase of the Yangshan Deep-Water Port yesterday morning and also a container turnover of more than 20 million so far this year.
The city retained its status as the world's third-largest container terminal port this year, next only to Hong Kong and Singapore, with its cargo turnover ranking No. 1 worldwide.
At present, the global top 20 shipping companies have opened routes in the city, with 30 international routes added this year and a monthly navigation frequency of 2,173. The routes have covered more than 300 ports in 200-plus countries and areas.
By the end of last month, the Yangshan Deep-Water Port's first phase, which was put into operation on December 10, last year, had welcomed 3,775 container ships and handled a total of three million TEUs (20-foot-equivalent units), exceeding its design capacity of 2.2 million.
The second-phase facility, completed in October this year, passed tests on November 6 and was put into trial operation on November 20.
The joint operation of the two phases will consolidate Shanghai's status as an international shipping hub and serve more of the Yangtze River Delta region. --(12/11)
Shanghai's autumn warmest in 134 years
Shanghai has experienced its warmest autumn in more than 130 years, the local weather bureau said on Friday.
The city reported an average temperature of 20.8 Celsius degrees between September and November, 2.3 degrees warmer than previous years, breaking the previous record high set 134 years ago, according to the Shanghai Municipal Meteorological Bureau.
The bureau attributes the rise in temperature mainly to global warming, noting that Shanghai has seen increasingly higher autumn temperatures over the past decade. --(12/10)
More than 5,600 people donated blood within one week after the city said there was a shortage of type A and O blood, the Shanghai Blood Management Administration said yesterday.
The center's storage increased to the normal volume of 7,500 supplies from the previous 5,000 since December 1. --(12/8)
Uni set fishery research center
Shanghai Fishery University teamed up with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to set up a fishery research center yesterday.
The newly established Sino-US Marine Fishery Studies Institute is a key step in the city¡¯s study on marine resources and will be of help for scientists in both countries to exchange their latest ideas, like on the application of remote sensing technology in marine fisheries and marine resources, the institute said. --(12/7)
GPS to speed up taxi reservations
A shanghai taxi operator has equipped 2,500 of its cabs with global positioning systems to control the dispatch time to within 30 seconds, Shanghai Evening Post reported today.
The system will help increase the call center's efficiency, said an official from Bashi Taxi Company, a major local taxi operator.
A new customer will be able to book a taxi within 30 seconds, at least one minute faster than before. Those customers who once booked taxis via the call center will finish a reservation within 15 seconds, said the official.
GPS will also increase the daily operation capacity of the call center by about 10 times, allowing it to handle 3,000 reservations an hour, the official said.
"Another 500 cabs will have the system by the end of next month, at a cost of at least 1.5 million yuan (US$191,816)," the official said.
Shanghai is short of taxi services especially during the peak hours though local taxi operators have a daily operation capacity of 1.5 million customers. --(12/6)
City establishes food supervision system
Shanghai has framed a dynamic food supervision system with 79 pollutant-monitoring sites to keep a close eye on the city's food quality, according to the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration Bureau yesterday.
The 79 sites, established last year in wholesale markets, trade markets, hypermarkets, supermarkets and mid and small-sized retailers citywide, will monitor the food quality on a regular basis by covering more than 130 pollutants, including residual pesticide, heavy metals, natural toxins and other harmful contents. The inspection will also focus on cancer-causing obstacles such as malachite green and Sudan IV.
The inspection, mainly on products like grain, eggs, meat, aquatic products, tea, fruits and dairy products, will cover the overall food safety situation in the city, said an expert with the Shanghai Food and Drug Administrative Bureau. Since last year, local food has passed more than 98 percent of these checks, so local food is safe to eat, the expert stressed. --(12/5)
Short of blood
Shanghai Blood Administration Office encouraged more blood donations, especially for type A and O.
The office said demand for type A and O blood is rising, while supplies have fallen due to recent rain. --(12/4)
Improper surgeries cause medical incidents
The Shanghai Public Health Bureau said on Friday it has investigated 90 medical incidents in the first half of this year, of which 40 incidents were caused by hospitals and doctors who engaged in improper treatment and surgeries. The bureau revoked the business licenses of 36 rule-violating medical facilities, of which 23 are private. --(12/3)
Shanghai will increase a subsidy paid to local seniors in January. Registered seniors from poor families who are unable to take care of themselves will enjoy a subsidy of 200 yuan (US$25) a month.
The city will set up another special allowance next year for seniors with serious health problems, which will range between 100 yuan and 200 yuan a month, officials said. --(12/1)