Mei-ling home to open
A house given to Soong Mei-ling on her wedding to Chiang Kai-shek will open to the public once a year, starting on June 10.
The three-story "Ai Lu," or "Love Cottage," on Dongping Road, Xuhui District, was a gift from Soong's brother T.V. Soong to mark her marriage to the then-leader of the Kuomintang in 1927.
The building now houses piano classrooms for the affiliated middle school of Shanghai Conservatory of Music but renovations to restore it to its original style began last year.
A teacher surnamed Liu said the house would only admit visitors on June 10 every year.
"Otherwise too many visitors may disturb our students," Liu said.
The main attraction of the 1,000-square-meter house, which was listed as a historical architecture in 1994, is a giant rock inscribed by Soong Mei-ling with the characters "Ai Lu."
Soong Mei-ling, also known as Madame Chiang Kai-shek, was one of the three Soong sisters.
In addition to Ai Lu, 30 other historical architectures in Xuhui District will open to the public this year. --(4/27)
Uplifting news for airport users
Pudong International Airport passengers can now see the flight.
Sixty flight-data LED screens with bigger fonts made their debut yesterday, just one of a number of measures the airport has taken to improve services.
Two net cafes will be open by June. Passengers can either surf online with computers in the cafes or use their own laptop through the wireless network.
The airport has 276 LED screens, but most of them are old. It will invest eight million yuan (US$1.04 million) to renovate all screens within the year.
Considering some passengers' complaints that fonts are too small to be recognized from a distance, the first batch of 60 renovated screens have a much bigger type size and are all facing the entrance, the airport said.
Meanwhile, many passenger queries can be easily answered via electric boards, which can tell you how many places are left in the parking lot and which roads jammed.
The electric inquiry machines can also help check with boarding information, while a phone is linked to major airlines with only one button.
All airport restaurants now offer a free mobile phone-charging service, while 360 power sockets are available for any electricity needs.
And leaving no stone unturned: A sum of 1.7 million yuan will be invested every year in toilet tissues to ensure the supply in 82 lavatories in the airport. --(4/26)
Shanghai cracks more IPR cases last year
Shanghai took out effective measures to protect patent, trademark and copyright last year.
The city's market watchdog detected a record 2,217 illegal trademark-related cases, involving 160 million yuan, in the period.
Shanghai Customs last year detected 284 cases of infringing intellectual property right, involving 35 million goods with a total value of 40 million yuan.
Local courts accepted 972 IPR civil cases last year, up seven percent from the previous year. Ninety-three percent have been completed. Of the total, more than 17 percent involved overseas companies or individuals.
The applications of patent grew 10 percent last year to a record 36,000, including 3,000 applications from colleges.
The Shanghai Intellectual Property Administration plans to set up a service center to offer free legal consultations for foreign investors and institutes who require clarification on the country's law system. --(4/25)
KTVs pay for songs but videos on hold
A group of karaoke venues has stumped up part of its first copyright payment to song writers but said it still doesn't know how it will compensate makers of music videos that play in KTVs.
The Shanghai Culture and Entertainment Association, which represents 500 karaoke companies in the city, remitted the first 300,000 yuan (US$38,462) for last year's copyright fee and is calculating subsequent payments.
The association represents most of the city's karaoke companies including Cashbox, Holiday and Melody.
Karaoke firms not in the association must make their own arrangements to pay the fee.
"The payment shows local karaoke companies are willing to pay copyright fees following legal procedures. We have never said we refused to pay copyright fees," said Zhu Nan, deputy secretary-general of the association.
Last year, karaoke venues were ordered to pay about one yuan a day for each of their karaoke rooms if they have more than 80 rooms.
The payment goes to the Music Copyright Society of China, an organization representing the rights and interests of song writers in China.
In a series of law suits last year, music-video firms also demanded copyright fees from karaoke venues.
The National Copyright Administration said venues should pay music-video makers 12 yuan per karaoke room a day, far higher than the fee paid to song writers. The Audio Visual Management Association of China is being prepared to collect the fees.
But karaoke venues argue the association has no right to collect the fee.
"When a legal collector is available, we will further discuss the payment with it. The maximum is too high for us to bear," Zhu said.
Shanghai has about 27,000 karaoke rooms. --(4/24)
The First Civil Law Studies Conference was held in the city over the weekend.
Sponsored by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the conference gathered more than 160 top civil law scholars, lawyers and prosecutors to discuss topics such as amendments to the country's civil law, evidence collection for lawsuits and the judicial review procedures. --(4/23)
Shanghai changes posts of district officials
The posts of two district level officials in Shanghai had changed, a spokesman of Shanghai municipal government said yesterday, in response to question about the officials' removal from their posts.
The officials are Jiang Yaxin, director of Huangpu District and deputy secretary of the Huangpu District Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and Li Yuyi, secretary of the CPC Jinshan District Committee.
The downtown Huangpu District neighbors the Pudong New Area. Itcovers12.41 sq km and has a population of 620,000. Jinshan District, a major petrol-chemical industrial base in the southwest, covers 586 sq km and has a population of 580,000. --(4/22)
Super news: Spider-Man coming to city early
Columbia Pictures' "Spider-Man 3" will make its debut in Shanghai and other parts of the country on May 2, two days ahead of its North American release.
City outlets are all prepared to screen the movie, including the United Cinema Lines - Shanghai's biggest theater chain - and Peace Cinema, which will show the movie on an IMAX screen. --(4/20)
New outpatient treatment over May Day holiday
Shanghai¡¯s hospitals will accept outpatients on April 30 and May 4 only during this year¡¯s week-long May Day Holiday.
Emergency treatment will be available as usual. Hospitals will arrange to open outpatient clinics according to patients¡¯demands, under regulations issued by Shanghai Health Bureau yesterday.
Residents will be informed in advance of any adjustments. --(4/19)
Unpacked food sales will stop
Supermarkets and food producers have told watchdogs they will stop selling unpacked frozen goods from June 1 to ensure food quality and consumer safety.
All members of Shanghai Frozen Food Industry Association and Shanghai Chain Sales Association said yesterday they are making preparations for the move.
Some supermarkets empty packets of frozen goods such as dumplings, noodles and pork balls into open containers to allow customers to buy by weight or number.
Shanghai will be the first city in the nation to stop selling unpacked food. --(4/18)
ATP to work with WTA on China tourneys
ATP has said it would try and get the women's governing body into play while scheduling events which are to be played in Shanghai and Beijing from 2009.
Shanghai will host one of the eight-leg ATP Masters Series from 2009 while Beijing has the rights to stage top-tier WTA tournament the same year.
The WTA China Open in Beijing is slated for early October.
In the agreement signed yesterday, Shanghai will hold the event permanently which makes it the first Asian city to host the ATP Masters series tournament.
Both the ATP and the WTA have been active in China for over a decade.
Professional tennis started from scratch in the late Nineties through the US$380,000 ATP Shanghai Heineken Open, followed by the introduction of a US$140,000 WTA tournament at the turn of the century.
Shanghai then hosted the US$4.5 million season-ending ATP Tennis Masters Cup - an exclusive affair for the world's top-eight singles and doubles players - thrice and which will run until 2009. --(4/17)
Johnson & Johnson Co Ltd said it would donate about 800,000 yuan (US$103,500) to the Mother and Infant Care project under the Shanghai Soong Ching Ling Foundation.
The money will be used to build birthing centers in Guizhou Province. The centers will help improve the safety of pregnant women and provide a healthy environment for delivering babies. --(4/16)
Heart disease charity
Medical experts are encouraged to take part in a charity project providing free treatment to children with congenital heart disease, said experts ahead of the Second Cross-Strait Coronary Heart Disease Diagnosis and Treatment Forum opened yesterday in the city.
More than 1,500 leading experts in the nation will take part in the two-day meeting, discussing the latest technology on heart-disease therapy.
Three to four million people suffer from congenital heart disease in China, which has 120,000 to 150,000 children born with the disease every year.
"However, only 0.1 percent of the patients are treated, because of financial difficulties, a family's poor awareness and lagging medical capabilities in some regions," said Dr Hu Dayi, a member of the Chinese Medical Association's cardiovascular disease branch. "We are launching a national project giving free screening and treatment to people under 18 years old with congenital heart disease in poor areas. Experts will also train doctors from 150 to 200 hospitals in China's middle and western part to enhance their standard."
Shanghai No. 10 People's Hospital has joined the project. So far, two needy patients from Jiangsu and Anhui provinces received free surgeries in the city last month. --(4/15)
It's fine, at least for now
The weather is expected to cool slightly from tomorrow until next week after the recent warm spell, forecasters said yesterday.
This weekend the high is expected to drop to about 20 degrees Celsius, with lows that will range between 11 and 12 degrees.
Tomorrow is expected to be cloudy, but rain is likely to hit on Sunday, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said. Today's high is expected to reach 25 degrees with a low of 15 degrees.
It will be sunny with some clouds, the bureau said.
From next week the highs will drop to under 20 degrees and the lows under 10 degrees because of a weak cold front coming from the north.
Cloudy to overcast skies are expected, with occasional showers, the bureau said. --(4/13)
'Green' building nearly done
The city's first renovation project to revamp a historical building into an eco-friendly one will be completed next month.
As part of Tongji University's centenary anniversary activities, the Wenyuan Building project used modern energy saving technologies into the 53-year-old structure. This includes solar energy, a geothermal energy pump and a smart air-conditioning control system.
Wenyuan, at the northern part of Tongji's Siping campus, is the country's only historic structure built in the European Bauhaus style from the 1920s.
The renovations are expected to cut the building's energy consumption to one-third of an ordinary office building of a similar size, Tongji officials said.
"We expect Wenyuan will set an example of how to convert old buildings into modern e-friendly ones," said Wu Zhiqiang, dean of Tongji's school of architecture and urban planning.
Architects buried water-cycling pipes 100 meters under the building to help cool the structure in the summer and heat it during the winter.
Siemens China also donated energy-saving illumination systems and intelligent building control facilities worth two million yuan (US$258,850) to the project yesterday.
Insulation two-centimeter thick was used on the building's interior rather than the exterior to prevent heat loss and preserve the building's original look.
Wu, also chief planner of World Expo 2010 Shanghai, said similar technologies would be used at the expo. --(4/12)
Three international exhibitions now open in Shanghai
Three international exhibitions opened together yesterday in Shanghai¡¯s new International Expo Center.
They are the 2007 China (Shanghai) International Wind Energy Exhibition, Jewelry Shanghai 2007 and the 5th China (Shanghai) International Furniture Expo.
The Wind Energy Exhibition is being jointly held by the World Wind Energy Association, the Wind Power Machinery Subcommittee of China Association of Agricultural Machinery Manufactures and the Shanghai International Merchandising Center. Among the more than 100 participants are ABB group, Shanghai Electric Group Co and Dongfang Steam Turbine Works.
Shanghai will have an installed wind power capacity of 1 million kilowatt by 2010 and China¡¯s installed wind power capacity is expected to hit 5 million kilowatts by 2010 and 30 million kilowatts by 2020.
As the largest jewelry fair in East China, Jewelry Shanghai 2007 has attracted over 400 companies from 22 countries and regions. The exhibition¡¯s crown jewels include a set of jade jewelry worth 12 million yuan (US$1.55 million) and precious blue stones contributed by Taiwanese exhibitors. --(4/11)
Yuan Dynasty dig on top 10 list
The downtown discovery in 2001 of a river control works dating from the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) has been named one of the 10 most important archaeological finds in China of 2006 by a national panel of archaeologists.
The site was found by workers during construction of a residential complex on Zhidan Road, Putuo District. Archaeologists have spent the past five years excavating the site and doing further studies. The city government plans to build a museum on the site to conserve the heritage. --(4/10)
English-Chinese dictionary has 20,000 new words
An updated version of the English-Chinese Dictionary was published today with more than 20,000 new words added.
Many buzzwords, such as blog, maglev, and carcinogenic red dye Sudan, are now in the dictionary, which has the definitions of more than 220,000 words and expressions.
The latest version also has abbreviations used on the Internet and sports items in the summer Olympic Games in Beijing next year.
Professor Lu Gusun, the chief compiler of an English-Chinese Dictionary, began the revision of the dictionary in 2001.
The original version was published 16 years ago. --(4/9)
Ikea leads the way in green power
Power suppliers have kicked off this year's sales campaign for "green electricity" as part of city efforts to promote wind and solar energy to curb pollution and meet growing power demand.
Shanghai Electric Power Co has signed a contract with Ikea, making the Swedish retail giant the first green electricity buyer in the city this year, the power company said on Friday.
Ikea, which bought 120,000 kilowatt-hours of green electricity last year, agreed to buy 63,000 kilowatt-hours of green electricity in the first half of the year. It will order more power in the second half of the year, said Gu Yan, vice general manager of Ikea's Songjiang District branch.
The higher price Ikea pays for power will be used to fund wind and solar generators in Shanghai.
The city began selling green power at a higher price than regular electricity in 2004 in an effort to achieve a balance between the power grid operator, renewable energy generators and users as wind and solar power are more expensive.--(4/8)
May tourists go in deep
Europe and Guilin in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southwest China are the most popular getaway destinations for the May Day holiday, city travel agents said yesterday.
One-week trips to one or a handful of European countries are a big seller this holiday, as tourists have become bored with whirlwind multi-country tours that offer tourists fleeting glances of destinations, said the Shanghai Airline Tours.
"So we have promoted 'depth-travel' tours this holiday, with 10-day trips focusing on two or three countries," said Wang Yan, general manager of the agency. "Most of these tours will head to Eastern Europe, including Austria, Czech Republic and Hungary."
Wang said tourists will be able to sample traditional customs and food because of the less-restricted travel plan. "The price for the product will be 16,000 yuan (US$2,073), and most of them have been booked" said Wang.
Shanghai CYTS said it has released several different one-week trips to Europe that focus on only one country. "The trips cost about 15,000 yuan, and 60 percent have been booked," said Liu Xiaojun, an official with the agency.
The prices of the tours during the holiday are 15 to 20 percent higher than in low season, and are almost equal to last year's for the same period. However, those able to start their trip just before the holiday can pick up a few bargains.
The Spring International Travel Service said its seven-day trip to the Maldives, which departs on April 27, costs about 9,900 yuan each. "Generally for the peak season, prices to the Maldives will be more than 10,000 yuan," said Yu Xinying, an official with the agency.
Agencies said Guilin and Zhangjiajie in Hunan Province were the top destinations in China.
"In April, a four-day trip to Guilin costs 2,000 yuan each, and the price will be twice that during the May Day holiday," said Hu Xin, from the Shanghai Holiday Tour Agency.
According to the Shanghai Odyssey Travel Agency, an eight-day trip to Tibet by train costs about 4,000 yuan, but may cost 400 to 500 yuan more in peak season.
"The weather there is still not stable, thus some scenic spots may be blocked by snowstorms," said Zhou Hui, an official with the agency's marking department.--(4/7)
Budding musicians to bloom at spring concert
Chinese musicians will put on a concert called "City & Symphony" to launch the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival at the Shanghai Grand Theater on April 28.
The organizing committee yesterday announced a program of 30 concerts by musicians from 30 countries.
"We will continue to promote new music and new musicians this year which is the theme of the annual festival," said Chen Jiezhang, chairman of the committee.
The festival will showcase the work of eight French composers, who were invited to create a piece of music using one Chinese instrument and a Chinese melody.
Also coming soon is the Shanghai International Jazz Week through May 2 to 6.
Brazil-born Japanese Bossa Nova singer Lisa Ono will stage the opening concert in a 1,900-seat tent specially built for the event in Fuxing Park.
The festival will close with a concert by South Korean maestro Myung-Whun Chung and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France on May 13 at the Shanghai Grand Theater.
Ono will perform popular songs such as "Take Me Home, Country Road" but also old Shanghai songs.
The jazz week will feature 11 bands from eight countries, including Italian jazz queen Maria Pia De Vito, British jazz diva Carol Kidd, Swiss band Bconnected, Vienna jazz sax performer Tony Perez, Omar Sosa trio from Cuba, Japanese band TKY and several Chinese bands. The final event will feature American band The Bruknahm Project.--(4/6)
Travelers win cruise rebate
Shanghai New Kanghui International Travel Service Co Ltd has been ordered by a court to return 1,373 yuan (US$172) to four travelers who joined a group tour to Japan and South Korea.
The four plaintiffs said they paid 18,592 yuan for a cruise to Nagasaki in Japan and Jeju Island in South Korea. But a typhoon hit Jeju Island, so the liner diverted to Okinawa Island in Japan. Jing'an District People's Court ordered the company to pay the money, representing the price difference between the two stopovers. --(4/5)
Tongji offers credit card to mark uni centenary
To celebrate Tongji University's 100th anniversary this year, it issued a special alumni credit card in cooperation with Bank of China yesterday, the first of its kind in the city.
The double-currency credit card can be used both at home and abroad. Students and staff at Tongji University can also use it as identification to get library access, attend lectures and take part in all alumni activities.
"The purpose of this card is to enhance the sense of belonging and self-pride as Tongji alumni," said Zhou Jialun, secretary of the Party Committee at Tongji University. "Most importantly, the card lets us communicate with alumni who have graduated."
Bank of China will send information about alumni activities and university periodicals to card holders in their monthly bills. People using the card at Tongji University can also enjoy discounts.
"What impresses me most is not just the discounts, but that my student number can be printed in the card, which will be a nice memory forever," said Tongji graduate Liu Changgui.
The credit card was specially designed to mark the centenary. This year only 20,000 such cards will be issued.--(4/4)
People will be able to buy tickets in a two-billion-yuan (US$250 million) Shanghai Welfare Lottery this year, said the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau.
The bureau will also promote an e-lottery on the Internet and through cell phones, said Gao Julan, deputy director of the bureau. Last year 270 million yuan was collected from the lottery, and 133 million was spent on welfare projects. --(4/3)
Shanghai sets up first dairy cooperative
Shanghai has set up the municipality¡¯s first cooperative agency for dairy farmers in Fengxian District.
The agency will help farmers sell their products and ease their concerns about competition in the market, said a member of the co-op, surnamed Jiang.
¡°Now the agency has more than 4,000 milk cows,¡±Jiang said.
The city has set up 510 cooperative agencies since 2004 to show Shanghai¡¯s 100,000 farmers advanced methods of selling their produce.
A farmer in Nanhui District, Wang Honggang, is now selling 470 tons of haricot beans a day after joining one of the co-ops, compared with 200 tons previously.
Farmers made 3 billion yuan in revenue last year through the cooperative agencies. --(4/2)
Cirque du Soleil ticket sales
Tickets for Cirque du Soleil's Shanghai premier will go on sale on April 10.
Tickets for the 70 shows from June 28 to August 26 cost 150 to 2,000 yuan (US$19 to US$258) each. The shows will be performed in a huge tent on a 2,000-square-meter site across from the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum in Pudong that can hold up to 2,500 people for every show. Shanghai will be the only stop for the popular Canadian outfit, which blends music, theater, acrobatics and dance based on traditional circus arts. --(4/1)