Today's Shanghai | News(2010)
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  • Expo boost to traffic at city airports
    The World Expo is expected to strongly boost passenger volume at Shanghai's two airports, said Wu Nianzu, deputy to the Shanghai People's Congress.
    "We expect to see a strong growth in passenger volume this year," Wu, chairman of the Shanghai Airport Authority, told Shanghai Daily on the sidelines of the SPC meeting. "The Expo is a strong driver besides the economy."
    The airport authority targets an annual passenger volume of 70 million this year, an increase of 22.6 percent from last year.
    "The (original) targeted passenger volume this year was about 60 million if not for the Expo," Wu said.
    "We are now focusing on improving our services and management capability, as the hardware, runways and construction of terminals are almost done," he said.--(1/30)

  • Water safety
    The Shanghai Maritime Safety Bureau yesterday set up a control and emergency center to safeguard water safety during the Expo.
    The Huangpu River will be busy during the 184-day event. More than 1,000 vessels will travel through a 7.8-square-kilometer controlled area and 800 ferry services will carry 30 percent of the visitors each day.--(1/29)

  • China's 3G user base to increase to 60m
    China's 3G user base will rise fourfold to about 60 million by the end of this year and it will boost the development of integrated circuit and network convergence, the top industry regulator said yesterday.
    China now has nearly 15 million 3G users and a third of them use phones based on the country's own 3G technology, TD-SCDMA (time division-synchronous code division multiple access), officials of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said at a press conference in Beijing yesterday.
    As 3G only started on the Chinese mainland last year, there is scope for more and more people to try the new technology, said Zhang Feng, an official in charge of telecommunications industry under MIIT.
    The country issued 3G licenses to three telecom operators - China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom - last year.
    Based on the new technology, people can have access to high-speed Internet services such as film download and video call on handsets.
    Chen Jinqiao, deputy chief engineer at MIIT's China Academy of Telecommunication Research, forecast the number of 3G users in China will hit 60 million this year.
    Besides 3G, China will also speed up the unification of its Internet, telecom and radio and television networks, according to MIIT.
    The country will carry out a test run for the merger by the end of 2012, with full completion by 2015, according to a task force set up by the State Council, China's Cabinet.--(1/28)

  • Property shares pull index down
    Shanghai's stocks tumbled more than 2 percent to close at a three-month low yesterday as property shares sank on concerns that possible tighter mortgage policies will cool the real estate sector and hurt China's economic recovery.
    The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 2.42 percent, or 75.02 points, to close at 3,019.39. Turnover totaled 109.3 billion yuan (US$16 billion).
    The barometer has lost 7.86 percent since the beginning of this year on investor fears that last year's robust new lending would not continue and may hurt the nation's real economy.
    "Speculation of a tighter monetary policy sent the index down, but companies with good profits in the past year may perform better as some of the shares are still undervalued," said Xu Xiaoyi, an analyst of GF Securities.
    The Shanghai Securities News yesterday cited an unnamed official as saying that the pace of lending growth slowed in the third week of January compared with the first two weeks of the month.
    It said in a separate report that the Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Bank of Communications have suspended second-home mortgages in Nanjing since last weekend in order to ensure a reasonable growth in new loans.
    The Industrial Bank fell 2.25 percent to 33.83 yuan, and China Construction Bank dropped 1.18 percent to 5.84 yuan.
    China Vanke Co, the country's biggest listed real estate developer, fell 3.15 percent to 9.22 yuan, and Poly Real Estate Group tumbled 4.82 percent to close at 18.97 yuan.--(1/27)

  • Lotus marks first premier outlet
    Lotus Supermarket yesterday opened its first premier store on China's mainland in Shanghai as it taps booming consumption and the growing ranks of wealthy individuals.
    The 11,800-square-meter "five-star" supermarket is located in Super Brand Mall in Pudong New Area, and more than 40 percent of its 40,000 products are imported. The supermarket also sells 1,000 varieties of imported wines as well as fresh seafood.
    "Lotus will actively expand the presence of such premier supermarkets in first and second-tier cities to meet the rising consumer demand," said Joe Zhou, chief operating officer and chief merchandize officer of Lotus, whose parent is Charoen Pokphand Group, one of Thailand's biggest conglomerates.
    Officials of Lotus Supermarket said they are eying commercial areas, high-end business zones or luxury communities in major cities to open more premier stores.
    "The retail market is shifting its focus from rampant expansion in stores to seeking better profitability," TX Investment Consulting Co said. "And China's consumer market will brace for a strong expansion momentum this year amid rapid economic growth."
    China's retail sales rose 15.5 percent from a year earlier to 12.5 trillion yuan in 2009.
    Lotus' rivals such as Hutchinson Whampoa, Park N Shop and Hualian Hypermarket entered the premier market segment last year.--(1/26)

  • China now No. 2 diamond market
    China last year overtook Japan to become the world's second-largest diamond market behind the United States with trade on the Shanghai diamond exchange rising 16.4 percent to more than US$1.5 billion.
    Xinhua news agency yesterday said the year-on-year rise, when much of the rest of the world was mired in deep recession, was because of China's boisterous economic growth in 2009, which reached 8.7 percent.
    "As the economy continued to develop in a stable manner, consumer demand for jewelry continued to grow, especially for diamonds for the wedding market," Xinhua said.
    "In this year, China overtook Japan to become the world's second-largest diamond market for consumers behind the United States," it added.
    China's increasingly affluent middle class and vast pool of customers are seen as key factors for the rise in diamond sales in the world's most populous country.
    Demand for diamonds really started to develop in the 1990s when De Beers brought its global advertising campaign to China, tapping into the Chinese desire for conspicuous consumption and pursuit of Western lifestyle trends.--(1/25)

  • Auto plate prices hit 2-year top
    Car plate prices in Shanghai rose to a 24-month high in the year's first auction yesterday as surging demand pushed buyers up to ensure successful bids.
    The average price of a private car license rose to 38,311 yuan (US$5,617), up from 37,593 yuan a month earlier, according to organizer Shanghai International Commodity Auction Co.
    The lowest price also climbed 900 yuan to 37,800 yuan.
    It is the fourth consecutive month of price rises.
    About 8,000 car plates were put under the hammer, the same amount as last month. But the competition was keener, with the number of bidders increasing 398 to 18,975.
    Dealers said the prices were pushed up because many car buyers were eager to get the plate before the Lunar New Year, which falls on February 14.
    "Some people have been waiting for a long time for their cars because of the tight supply and they are very determined to get the plates for use during the holiday," said auto trader Zhang Yanzhi.
    Industry analysts also said there is market concern about restrictions on cars with plates registered in Shanghai during the World Expo 2010 Shanghai starting in May.
    They said this may have also contributed to the heated demand.
    Zhang said there was also a new round of upbeat sentiment about car plate prices in Shanghai as the government maintains controls on the quota.
    "Vehicle sales have remained robust as the economic stimulus continues this year," he noted.
    "This will create a continuously high demand for car plates at least for the first half of this year."--(1/24)

  • Five ferry runs to service Expo
    The Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration yesterday announced five ferry routes to carry visitors to the Expo site.
    The Expo organizer will build six wharfs in the Expo site - three on either side of the Huangpu River - and four others outside the site, with 35 ferries expected to operate 600 services a day.
    Whether the ferry services will be free is still under discussion, officials said.
    The Expo ferries can each carry a maximum of 500 passengers. The operation will run from 8am to 12am, longer than the Expo opening hours of 9am to 11pm.
    The Expo organizer will start trial operations from April 1.
    The ferries are expected to transport 10 percent of the 400,000 to 600,000 Expo visitors expected each day to the site while another 20 percent are expected to use the ferries to cross the river between sites.
    The administration stressed it will not block the river during the Expo and regular ferry operations will not be "disturbed."
    During the Expo, over 1,000 vessels are expected to pass the controlled 7.8 kilometers stretch of the river, from the Nanpu Bridge to the Chuanyang River.--(1/22)

  • Expo to boost use of cards
    Shanghai has improved its payment mechanism as it gets ready for the 2010 World Expo which will attract hordes of visitors, the People's Bank of China said yesterday.
    The city has more than 10,779 automatic teller machines at the end of 2009, a rise of 16.3 percent from a year earlier, the Shanghai headquarters of the PBOC said in a statement.
    The number of businesses in the city equipped with point of sales machines which accept payments by bank cards grew by 31.2 percent year on year to 73,533 as Shanghai paves the way for a smooth payment system.
    About 70 million domestic and overseas visitors are expected to visit the Expo in Shanghai from May to October and it is expected to trigger demand for better financial services and payment system. All shops in the Expo site can accept yuan-backed or foreign exchange-denominated bank cards.
    The PBOC will ensure an ample cash supply on the Expo site to meet demand for cash withdrawals.--(1/21)

  • Help for poor
    Unemployed people from poverty-stricken families will get subsidies of 300 yuan (US$44) each from the city government before February 10, the Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security Bureau said yesterday. About 5 percent of the unemployed in the city are qualified.--(1/13)

  • Cold may prompt power curbs
    Thousands of plants may be asked to shut down during the peak-demand hours of the power load today - and some factories may even find their power cut off - if the rising consumption exceeds the city's power capacity, authorities said yesterday.
    Shanghai Electric Power Co Ltd, the city's power supplier, said it will face a "severe test" today with electricity consumption climbing to a possible 20.2 million kilowatts.
    The company said it will activate emergency plans if necessary.
    "Asking plants to avoid using electricity in peak hours is one of the plans," said Wang Changxing, official of the company.
    "If the situation turns worse, we will cut the power supply to the factories in a whole area to ensure the household supply and the safety of the grid."
    With snowflakes whirling in the sky, Shanghai's power load hit a new record at 4:10pm yesterday at 19.83 million kilowatts - "the critical point of the city's power supply," the company said.
    The local power generating capacity hit a record 16.26 million kilowatts yesterday. Other provinces were of limited help because of power shortages nationwide.
    Meanwhile, Shanghai yesterday had its first snow this year, but the flakes didn't accumulate.
    Light snow and sleet appeared in the city about 8am in suburbs of Chongming County, the Pudong New Area and Jinshan District and later spread across the city, Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said yesterday afternoon.
    The weather was too warm for the light snow to settle, said Li Jinyu, chief service officer of the bureau.
    The sleet ceased yesterday evening. Li said the weather should turn overcast to cloudy.
    "There could be some ice on the streets at night as the temperature should drop, which might cause some trouble to the traffic," Li reminded.
    Temperatures were forecast to drop to zero Celsius early this morning.
    Today should be cloudy, with the temperatures ranging from zero to 4 degrees.
    Tomorrow is forecast to be the coldest day this week, according to the bureau, with the minimum at minus 2 and the maximum at only 3.--(1/12)

  • Subway for Expo visitors tests train
    The subway that will go through the Shanghai World Expo site moved a step closer yesterday when it tested a train for the first time.
    The Expo section of Metro Line 13 will link the two Expo zones in Puxi and Pudong, and have three stations.
    Expo ticket holders can take the trains free after security checks at Line 13's Madang Road station where it connects with Metro Line 9 in Puxi.
    The link to the Expo site is likely to make Line 13 one of the busiest subways during the event. Traffic authorities estimate that about 30 percent of visitors will use the service.
    Two trains will operate on the line, with another two on standby by the time the Expo begins in May.
    The six-carriage trains, which can carry 2,000 passengers, will run at six-minute intervals.
    Meanwhile, five seven-carriage trains were added to Metro Line 8 yesterday to ease complaints about overcrowding.--(1/11)

  • Numbered markers to help locate cop calls
    To help police respond quickly to an emergency, some 4,000 position markers - each with an individual location number - will be installed across Shanghai this year.
    People in trouble can report the position of the marker or give the number to identify their location, and police will be able to arrive in one minute, the Shanghai Public Security Bureau said yesterday.
    The network of police signs will cover the 2010 World Expo site and all Metro stations by the end of the year, police said.
    "Our operator will guide callers to find the nearest sign and the number on it," said police officer Wu Yi, "and we can use our electronic map with the Geographic Information System to identify their position."
    The signs should be especially helpful to foreigners or tourists who may not know their location if they dialed the emergency number 110. --(1/8)

  • Shanghai's 10 special Expo pandas arrive safely
    Ten young pandas - surely the trump-card promotion for the Shanghai 2010 World Expo - arrived safely in the city yesterday.
    They were immediately put into quarantine where they will remain before making their Shanghai debuts at the end of the month.
    The 10 arrived at Hongqiao International Airport at 3:42pm and were transferred to Shanghai Zoo at 4:45pm, each in a cage covered by nine layers of protective material.
    The pandas set off from Ya'an, in southwest China's Sichuan Province, yesterday morning.--(1/6)

  • 'Avatar' thrills city movie fans
    James Cameron's 3D science fiction epic "Avatar" made a robust debut at the local box office on its opening day on China's mainland.
    The film's Chinese release, about two weeks later than in the United States, attracted crowds of movie fans. The Stellar Cinema City in the Pudong New Area took in more than 120,000 yuan (US$17,574) yesterday for this first Hollywood film to be shown on China's mainland this year.
    The IMAX 3D screenings at the Peace Cinema cost from 120 to 180 yuan while tickets for the film's ordinary 3D screenings are 120 to 130 yuan. There's also a non-3D version of the film with tickets at about 100 yuan.
    "Avatar" is expected to dominate the box office for at least three weeks until several highly anticipated Chinese productions are released after January 20, including the biopic "Confucius" and animation "Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf II." --(1/5)

  • Metro by bike
    Baoshan District government has provided 400 bikes for the free use of residents who found it difficult getting from their communities to stations along Metro Line 1 due to a lack of buses. --(1/4)

  • Hongqiao prepares to welcome A380s
    The world's largest passenger plane will soon be able to take off and land at the city's Hongqiao International Airport, officials said yesterday.
    Construction work on a new runway passed quality inspections yesterday, the Shanghai Airport Authority said.
    The 3,300-meter runway, which will be able to handle the Airbus A380, will be put into use on March 16, together with a new terminal.
    The 4.5-square-kilometer flight area, part of the airport's renovation, consists of the new runway, one parking apron for cargo planes and another apron for repairs as well as 89 gate positions.
    A test aircraft from the state aviation authorities has already been used to test the signals, radar system and automatic landing systems.
    The city's oldest airport is undergoing a 15.3 billion yuan (US$2.24 billion) expansion that includes the second runway, a new cargo zone and the new terminal covering 364,000 square meters.
    The project will be subject to a thorough inspection by the civil aviation industry in February.
    Over the past year, more than 57 million passengers used the city's two airports, a 12-percent rise compared with 2008.
    The airports also saw a 6 percent rise in the number of aircraft, with 476,703 taking off and landing.
    Six international flights were added last year and, to date, 74 airlines both foreign and domestic have regular flights to and from the city.--(1/3)



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