Shanghai fair set for C919 display
The Commercial Aircraft Corp of China will exhibit a miniature model of the country's biggest home-developed aircraft, the C919, at the China International Industry Fair, which will start next Tuesday in Shanghai.
This is the first time China's main aircraft manufacturer will show off the model in Shanghai, and the fair strives to highlight the importance of China in the global industrial arena.
A total of 1,869 companies, with more than a quarter from overseas, will take part in this year's fair, the city government announced yesterday.
"Although the financial crisis has dealt a heavy blow to the global exhibition business, China is still attractive to the world's industrial companies given its strong economic growth and its huge development potential," said Sha Hailin, director of the Shanghai Commerce Commission.
This year's fair also boast a 5.7-percent increase in the number of exhibition booths to 5,302, compared with last year's event.
Fifty-five domestic and overseas universities will also take part in the fair this year, and an agency, set up by Shanghai Education Commission, will try and match the universities' lab research programs with hi-technology enterprises participating in the fair.
The agency can help the firms by reporting their needs and requirements to the universities, said Zhang Yonghua, deputy director of Shanghai Education Commission's Science and Technology Development Center.
The commission plans have a permanent pavilion in Yangpu District in December, which could be a platform for technology trading between schools and enterprises. --(10/30)
Colder weekend forecast for city
Weather experts said yesterday that Shanghai's temperature was expected to drop by about 10 degrees Celsius this weekend due to an approaching strong cold front.
The chill is expected to start tomorrow and last for about four days with maximum temperatures at about 15 degrees and minimums below 10 degrees, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau. The bureau said there would also be some short-lived drizzle in parts of the city this weekend. --(10/29)
Swiss give free peek for Expo
Switzerland yesterday began to present free highlights of exhibits to be shown in its Shanghai Expo pavilion in a tour of universities in Yangtze Delta cities.
People in Shanghai can sit in a chair lift, have a close look at interactive pavilion features, and watch a 3D viewer that brings to life sustainable success stories from the country in Songjiang University Town.
The town has seven universities and the exhibition will remain there until Friday.
The exhibition will then visit Nanjing, Suzhou and Zhejiang universities for two days each.
It will return to Shanghai, in Zhongshan Park, on November 21 and 22.
"As we head into these final 187 days to the Expo, we are excited that the public can sample the delights of the Swiss Pavilion before the Expo opens," said William Frei, consul general of Switzerland in Shanghai.
The Swiss Expo group hoped the preview would capture people's imaginations and encourage more visitors to the Swiss Pavilion next year, said Manuel Salchli, deputy commissioner general and director of the pavilion. --(10/28)
Display of advanced warplanes
The People's Liberation Army airforce will put its most advanced warplanes on display in the suburbs of Beijing next month to mark the 60th founding anniversary of the PLA airforce, an airforce officer said in the capital yesterday.
All the aircraft, including Kongjing-2000 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEWC) aircraft, J-11 fighters, H-6 bomber jets, and HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles, were made by China, said He Weirong, deputy commander of the PLA airforce.
Most of them were included in the flyby during the National Day military parade on October 1 in Beijing, according to He.
Four J-10 fighters and six J-7 fighters from the airforce's performance team are scheduled to have a flyby during the PLA airforce's founding anniversary next month. --(10/27)
Interpreters to help taxi drivers
Shanghai taxis are being upgraded with a new dispatch system that allows English-speaking interpreters to talk to passengers at the touch of a button, local transport authorities said at the weekend.
This will make communication easier for foreign visitors to the 2010 World Expo, said officials from Shanghai Traffic Law Enforcement Team.
The city's leading taxi companies, Qiangsheng, Dazhong, Jinjiang and Bashi, said they would gradually apply a more customer-friendly and efficient call-center platform.
This will automatically call back a customer who books a taxi with an estimated time of arrival, they said.
By February, 4,000 new white Volkswagen and General Motors taxis will roll off production lines ready to transport tourists to the Expo, the transport authority said. They will add to the city's fleet of 47,000 taxis, and will be more spacious.
The new cabs will be connected to a dedicated Expo dispatch system and only transport visitors to and from Expo zones during peak hours, although they will cruise the streets at other times.
Shanghai's nearly 100,000 taxi drivers have been told to dress in blue suits, white shirts and blue ties during the six-month Expo next year. --(10/26)
New Metro trains to beef up service
It's full steam ahead as 89 new Metro trains are due to arrive in the city ahead of the May start of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, officials said yesterday.
Metro Line 6 and Line 8, which report the most frequent delays and breakdown, have 22 and 32 trains now.
By the Expo time Line 6 will have an extra 10 and Line 8 will boast an added 14.
All new trains will have to go through strict tests before going into operation.
Shanghai's subway system now has eight lines with 311 trains running.
During next year's Expo, the subway system will have 11 lines and handle up to 40 percent of public transport volume, with up to 6 million passengers expected daily. --(10/24)
City students happiest
Although only 39 percent of Shanghai's university freshmen feel satisfied with their chosen majors, they scored the highest satisfaction level among peers across the nation.
The latest survey by independent survey firm MyCOS HR Digital Information Co Ltd covered 2,579 students nationwide who began university studies in September, yesterday's Chengdu Business Daily reported.
Just 4 percent of Chinese students described their majors as satisfactory, with those studying bioengineering, traditional Chinese medicine and math the least happy.
Students majoring in architecture, economics and foreign languages expressed the highest satisfaction with their majors, citing good prospects for careers.
Overall, 35 percent of students expressed disappointment about their courses.
Beijing and Chongqing followed Shanghai, while southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region marked the lowest satisfaction level with a rate of 3 percent, the report said.
Difficulties in studying and problems of making friends were the main barriers to satisfy students, the survey found. --(10/23)
Minsheng seeks 40% jump in net profit
China Minsheng Banking Corp, the country's first listed private lender, yesterday said it aims for net profit to jump 39.5 percent to at least 11 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) this year.
The Beijing-based bank posted net earnings totaling 7.89 billion yuan last year.
The lender, which is seeking an initial public offering in Hong Kong, also reported net income for the third quarter this year rose 8.9 percent to 2.83 billion yuan from a year earlier, according to a separate statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The third-quarter results beat market expectations, said Qiu Chengzhi, a Guosen Securities Co analyst, citing the decline in the non-performing loan ratio and a rise in net interest income.
The NPL ratio dipped to 0.82 percent at the end of last month, compared with 0.86 percent at the end of June. Its outstanding loans rose 42 percent to 893.5 billion yuan for the first nine months from a year earlier.
"The net interest income will start to improve from the fourth quarter," said Qiu, without elaborating.
Minsheng's net profit in the first nine months of this year rose 18.1 percent to 10.2 billion yuan, the bank said.
Analysts said the results will boost investor appetite for the lender's Hong Kong IPO in which Minsheng aims to raise US$4.02 billion.
"The H-share sale is progressing steadily. The capital adequacy ratio will turn much better after the firm receives funding in the Hong Kong IPO," said Qiu. --(10/22)
Glad tidings on river tunnel
City builders yesterday moved a step closer to another fast-traffic vehicle tunnel running beneath the Huangpu River with the completion of digging on one of its twin tubes.
The Longyao Road Tunnel will directly connect downtown Xuhui District and Pudong New Area by fast-vehicle lanes.
It will broaden the city's cross-river traffic channels between the southwest area and Pudong and is expected to ease downtown congestion.
The project operator, Shanghai Foundation Engineering Co, said yesterday that digging on the northern vehicle tube had finished.
Digging of the other tube is confidently forecast to be completed before the end of next month.
City construction authorities plan to have the tunnel open for traffic ahead of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo that begins next May.
The 4-kilometer tunnel complex starts at the intersection of Longyao and Longwu roads in Xuhui and extends to Changqing Road in Pudong, according to the project's management.
The city is planning to have six new cross-river tunnels opened for service before the Expo.
Construction authorities believe the new tunnels will significantly improve traffic flow in the downtown area.
"For example, some motorists may use two nearby tunnels to make a cross-river detour to avoid driving by congested downtown roads to reach their destinations," said Huang Rong, director of the Shanghai Construction Commission. --(10/21)
Sales lift prices of new homes
The prices of new homes in Shanghai surged nearly one-fifth last week amid robust sales of luxury villa developments in Pudong New Area.
The average price of new homes, excluding those meant for relocated residents under urban redevelopment plans, rose 19 percent to 18,355 yuan (US$2,687) per square meter between October 12 and 18, the highest in seven weeks.
The transaction volume, meanwhile, rose 18 percent to 335,200 square meters, according to research released yesterday by the Shanghai Uwin Real Estate Information Services Co.
"Due to the increase in supply by real estate developers and a pretty strong buying sentiment following the property fair held during the National Day holiday, the transaction volume rose notably over the past week," said Lu Qilin, a researcher at Shanghai Uwin. "The hot sales of Seasons Villas in Pudong helped push up the average price significantly."
A total of 28 units at Seasons Villas, a luxury project developed by Hutchison Whampoa and previously only available for lease, were sold last week at an average price of 77,907 yuan per square meter, according to Uwin.
The supply of new homes soared 81 percent in the city to 407,400 square meters during the eight-day holiday period, Uwin data showed. --(10/20)
Chongming steps up green focus
Chongming County Chief Zhao Qi said that the county will step up efforts to build an ecological environment during last Wednesday¡¯s press conference of Shanghai Municipal Government.
Chongming County has three islands: Chongming, Changxing and Hengsha. The county has more than 90 percent of days with first-class air quality and the nation's second-largest area of level A-quality soil.
The county has stepped up integration of crab farming, goat farming, vegetables, rice, flowers and fruit in the islands¡¯ agriculture sector.
Chongming Island has three resort zones such as Dongtan Wetland, Dongping National Forest Park, and Mingzhu Lake Resort. The protection of the Dongtan Wetland continues with more forcused measures. The forest park has 360 hectares of trees, the largest manmade forest in East China.
About 267 hectares of the forest park are open to visitors. Mingzhu Lake Resort now has several eco-villages to receive tourists.
The county continues to plant forest and by the end of 2008, the county had 26,266 hectares of forest, covering 20.78 percent of the county, Zhao said. Up to 4,000 kilometers of rivers have also been dredged. Up to 60 percent of the county's waste water and 98 of the county's litter have been disposed safely.
Changjiang Tunnel and Bridge connecting the islands to downtown Shanghai will open by the end of October this year and Chongming will use this opportunity to develop farm products, ocean equipment and eco resorts, Zhao added. --(10/19)
Study in English
An English version of the six-volume cultural study "Symbols of China" was launched at Frankfurt Book Fair on Friday. Edited by a team headed by Chinese writer Feng Jicai and published by Yilin Press, it contains thousands of pictures of so-called "cultural signs," including ancient symbols, historical heritages, customs, legends, literature and arts. --(10/18)
Big 5 banks face stricter rules
China's banking regulator has asked the country's big five state-owned banks to increase provision against bad loans and to maintain their capital base after they extended a record amount of new yuan loans in the first nine months of this year.
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Bank of China, China Construction Bank, the Agricultural Bank of China and the Bank of Communications must raise their bad loan coverage ratio to above 150 percent by the end of this year, the China Banking Regulatory Commission said in a statement on its Website yesterday, quoting Vice Chairman Jiang Dingzhi.
In January, the CBRC imposed a 130-percent requirement on banks.
Chinese banks extended a record 8.67 trillion yuan (US$1.27 trillion) of new yuan loans between January and September, a 150-percent surge from a year ago. The amount of loans granted has already surpassed the 5-trillion-yuan target for this year.
"China's expansionary fiscal policies are causing growing concerns that banks are over-lending to risky projects, industries with overcapacity, and for investments in shares and real estate," said Yvonne Zhang, Moody's Investors Service's senior analyst.
The outstanding loans at the big five banks contributed to 47.4 percent of the country's total at the end of last month. The increase in credit has, however, stabilized since July with an average growth of 200 billion yuan in the combined monthly new yuan loans.
The latest requirement from the CBRC followed other moves. For example, it said early last month that it has curbed some joint stock banks from granting new loans as their capital adequacy ratio fell close to the regulatory minimum of 8 percent. Last year, China raised the minimum ratio for public banks to 10 percent from 8 percent. The ratio will go up to 12 percent at the end of this year.
The outstanding non-performing loans fell to 520.8 billion at the end of June, down 42.7 billion yuan from the end of last year. --(10/17)
Andersen theme park on the way
The city will have the world's first Andersen Park in New Jiangwan City.
It is expected to be open in May, 2010, marking the start of the Shanghai World Expo and the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationships between China and Denmark. The park for children will feature themes based on the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen. --(10/16)
Airports set for Expo upgrades
City airport authorities are all systems go ahead of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
Officials said yesterday that they would step up check-in procedures and improve information flow on flight delays.
Both the city's airports - Pudong International and Hongqiao International - are confident of handling the flood of passengers during the event.
"We will try our best to ensure passengers have a more efficient and pleasant service," said Wang Guangdi, vice president of the Shanghai Airport Authority.
During the six-month Expo, the city's two airports are expected to receive between 11.55 million and 16.80 million more passengers. Average daily turnover will increase to nearly 250,000 from the present 158,000.
Wang said the expected Expo turnover was comparable to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, the second busiest in the world.
About 90 percent of passengers with nothing to declare during the Expo will pass custom checks within five minutes and 95 percent will wait no more than 25 minutes for exit and entry, according to the officials.
However, security checks will be beefed up, which may add a little extra time for passengers at both airports.
China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines said they would provide hotel rooms for passengers if flights were delayed for more than four hoursdue to airline errors.
Shuttle buses will take people between the two terminals at Pudong airport from 6am to midnight. The city's bus company will provide services after 11pm for passengers at the two airports.
By next March, the city is expected to have four terminals and five runways for a combined annual capacity of 90 million passenger trips. --(10/15)
Shanghai adopts Euro IV petrol
Motorists in Shanghai will be able to fill up their cars with Euro IV standard petrol this month, since the fuel began to be mass-produced.
The Gaoqiao Petrochemical Plant has adopted S-Zorb sulfur removal technology to produce Euro IV standard petrol, a fuel that produces fewer emissions. The plant began making Euro IV standard diesel a year ago.
The city will enforce National IV emission standards, equivalent to Euro IV, from this month, ahead of a nationwide deadline. Mass production of the Euro IV fuel will help the process. --(10/14)
Hospitals ready for any emergency
The five hospitals to run the medical stations at the Expo next year have been named.
They are Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai No. 9 People's Hospital, Shanghai East Hospital, Shanghai Shuguang Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital and Huashan Hospital.
The first four will run stations inside the exhibition area, dispatch medical staff and arrange patient transfers in the case of severe injuries or disease, the Shanghai Health Bureau said. Huashan Hospital's station will be in the Expo village, where officials from the participating countries will be living.
"Heart attack and trauma could be the major problems needing emergency treatment for the Expo event," said Yuan Kejian, vice president of Ruijin Hospital, which offered cardiopulmonary resuscitation training yesterday to 200 police school students who will be in charge of security in key areas.
The hospital plans to train all police and security staff on duty at the Expo in basic CPR.
"Early intervention when people suffer cardiac arrest is crucial," said Dr Lu Yiming, director of Ruijin's emergency department. "Teaching CPR skills to Expo staff can be of great help to patients before doctors arrive." --(10/13)
Drizzle set to dampen city
Drizzle will fall at times today and tomorrow, weathermen said yesterday. From Wednesday, the sky is expected to clear until Friday.
The maximum temperature will range between 23 to 24 degrees Celsius until Wednesday, with overnight lows between 18 and 19 degrees, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau. --(10/12)
Shanghai run raises 750,000 yuan
About 15,000 people yesterday took part in the annual Shanghai Charity Run which raised at least 750,000 yuan (US$32,142) for cancer research.
Organized by Shanghai Charity Foundation and Amway Nutrilite China, the 12th annual run promoted a "healthy lifestyle and caring for cancer patients." Participants started from Century Park, passing Jinxiu Road, Fangdian Road and Huamu Road, and finish in the park, a total distance of about 4 kilometers. "It felt great to perspire," said Shen Yuanye, a white-collar worker taking part. "I even couldn't remember when I did sports last time."
Also yesterday, the Nutrilite celebrated its 75th birthday in Shanghai. --(10/11)
Food to go
A trial project to cut down on food waste will be extended to 50 restaurants across the city after a successful pilot run in Jing'an District. Restaurants taking part will offer discounts or gifts to diners who take their uneaten food home with them. --(10/10)
Tourist sites, retailers strike gold in Nat'l Day holiday rush
The longest-ever National Day holiday wrapped up yesterday with Shanghai's tourism and retail markets reporting a major boom.
The city welcomed about 5.8 million tourists during the eight-day holiday, up 17 percent from last year, and they spent about 4.6 billion yuan (US$657 million), up 21 percent, tourism authorities said yesterday.
More than 44,500 Shanghai people traveled abroad during the "Golden Week," a 107 percent rise from last year.
The city's major retailers reported sales revenue of 5.18 billion yuan during the period, which began on October 1, up 26 percent from a year earlier, according to the city's Commerce Commission.
The growth rate was 6 percentage points higher than the same period of last year and nearly double the rate for the first half of this year.
Sales of televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners and computers totaled 62,878 units, an increase of 91 percent from a year earlier.
A wedding boom during the holiday created heated demand for jewelry and catering. A survey of 144 restaurants and hotels in Shanghai showed revenue from wedding parties rose 40 percent to 81.9 million yuan during the holiday. --(10/9)
Jackson movie to be shown in China
The Michael Jackson documentary "This Is It" has snapped up one of the last of China's 20 annual foreign movie import slots, a Sony Pictures executive said yesterday.
Chinese authorities approved the film before the National Day holiday that started on October 1, clearing it in time for its global release date of October 28, said Li Chow, Sony Pictures Releasing International's general manager for China.
Li said Sony Pictures would be giving the movie as wide a release as possible because of Jackson's big fan base in China, depending on how many prints they can issue before October 28.
China had nearly 4,100 screens on the mainland at the end of 2008.
"We'll do as many prints as possible. It depends on the labs," Li said.
China only allows 20 major foreign films to be released on the mainland every year on a revenue-sharing basis. But those Hollywood releases are often immensely popular.
China's two most recent all-time box office records were both set by American films. "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" broke the 11-year-old record set by "Titanic" in July by earning 400 million yuan (US$59 million) at the box office on the mainland.
Directed by longtime Jackson collaborator Kenny Ortega, "Michael Jackson: This Is It" draws on hundreds of hours of footage as Jackson prepared for a series of London concerts for which he was rehearsing before his death. --(10/7)
Wen Visits Martyrs' Cemetery
Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday visited a cemetery for the Chinese soldiers who died in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea more than 50 years ago.
Accompanied by senior DPRK officials, Wen laid a wreath before the bronze statue of a Chinese soldier and visited the tombs of the martyrs. He said the people of the motherland had never forgotten them and would always cherish their memory.
The cemetery in Hoechang County is the last resting place of 134 Chinese soldiers, including Mao Anying, son of the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong. --(10/6)
China retail sales boom in National Day Holiday
China's retail sales hit 14 billion yuan (about 2 billion U.S. dollars) during the first three days of the National Day Holiday, up 15 percent from the same period of last year, the Ministry of Commerce said yesterday.
The country's National Day Holiday this year, eight days long, starts on Oct. 1.
From Oct. 1 through Oct. 3, China's 1,000 key retailers reported a total of 14 billion yuan in sales revenues, with household electrical appliances, jewelry, autumn and winter clothing, and cars leading the consumption.
Suning Appliance, a leading chain retailer of home appliances, reported a 91.7 percent increase in sales revenues on Oct. 2 year on year, and up 25.8 percent for the first three days of the Holiday.
This was partly due to a policy approved by the State Council, the Cabinet, in June this year, aiming to spur domestic consumption by subsidizing buyers of cars and household appliances, according to the ministry.
For example, consumers can first sell their old household appliances to recycling companies and obtain a certification card from the recyclers. Card holders then can purchase new appliances with a 10 percent cut in prices when showing retailers the card.
Meanwhile, sales of unpacked moon cakes of more flavors, such as coffee, chocolate, and even icecream are selling well, and at lower prices, when Chinese enjoy their Mid-Autumn Festival on Oct.3, which overlapped with the holiday, according to the ministry. --(10/5)
Holiday carnival along Huaihai Road
A clown festival, international animation festival, performances, displays, balloon art and more can be seen at this year¡¯s Shanghai Vogue Life Carnival from September 30 to October 8 along Huaihai Road, Fuxing Park and Yanzhong Green Space.
The carnival has drawn nearly 100 artists from 30 countries such as the United States, Mexico, Argentina, France, Germany and Singapore, who will take their performances to the street, parks and communities. --(10/1)