Line 10 problems getting look
Local Metro management is working to reduce the problem of excessive emergency braking on Line 10 amid growing complaints from riders.
Many Metro passengers have complained that trips on Line 10 are uncomfortable because the trains often engage their emergency brakes. The problem is triggered by Line 10's route peculiarities and a current signaling system deficiency, said Shao Weizhong, vice president of Shentong Group, the local Metro operator.
Shao said Line 10 is special as drivers face an excessive number of curves along its downtown route. 'Drivers have to be very skillful in controlling the speed so as to avoid causing uncomfortable feelings to the passengers,' Shao said.
Additionally, the signaling system on Line 10 triggers frequent emergency brakes without a clear cause, Shao said. He said the system supplier is looking for solutions.
Line 10's operation has come under greater public scrutiny following the September 27 crash in which two trains collided when the line's operation was controlled manually after a signaling system blackout. Nearly 300 riders were injured and sent to hospitals
Metro management later concluded that one of train dispatchers was so stressed by the pressure to handle the emergency that he practically forgot the existence of one of the two trains parked on the track. Twelve Metro officials were punished for the crash, including three fired from their jobs.
On another matter, Shao, the Shentong official, said eating breakfast on Metro trains won't be banned. Many riders have complained about the smell and risks of clothes contamination caused by their fellow riders who chew on their breakfast in over-packed carriages during the morning rush hour. But Shao said there's no plan to impose a breakfast ban because it would be very difficult to enforce.--(11/30)
Runway to test flights for jumbo
One of the two runways being built at the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai will be used to conduct test flights for the C919, China's own jumbo aircraft, when it is completed in 2014, according to the local construction commission yesterday.
Shen Xiaosu, vice director of the Shanghai Urban Construction and Communications Commission, said construction of the fourth and fifth runways is proceeding on schedule. The fifth runway, located by the sea, would be used to conduct test flights for the domestically-made jumbo jet.
To date, Commercial Aircraft Corp of China, also known as Comac, has attracted orders for 195 aircraft of the 150-seat C919, the Shanghai-based plane maker said, as it seeks to challenge United States-based Boeing and Europe's Airbus.
Comac won an order last week for 30 C919 aircraft from the Bank of Communications' leasing arm, its third deal in about a month for the nation's first passenger jumbo jet.
Comac also won orders for 65 C919s from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Leasing and Sichuan Airlines last month. It has also received firm orders for 100 C919s from China's four biggest carriers ！ China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Air China and Hainan Airlines ！ as well as China Development Bank Leasing and GE Capital Aviation Services.
The commission said construction of local support facilities, including research and development, customer service and manufacturing centers, is being carried out in Shanghai. It added that the laboratory to facilitate jet research has already launched trial operation.
The C919 is due to make its first flight in 2014 and enter service within two years, according to Comac. Officials estimated production to be 150 jets annually by 2020.
The construction authority also said the city spent 74.2 billion yuan (US$11.62 billion) on major infrastructure projects in the first 10 months of this year, which is slightly down from the 82.4 billion yuan during the same period a year earlier.
Shanghai Tower, the city's future landscape project, is planned to be completed by 2014, the commission said. The 632-meter skyscraper in Lujiazui area will become the tallest building in China. --(11/29)
Warmest autumn in 10 years
Shanghai is experiencing its warmest autumn in a decade, according to the city's weather authority, but that should end this week with the arrival of rains brought by the latest cold front.
Temperatures hit 22.5 degrees Celsius yesterday, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said.
Today should be cloudy with readings between 15 to 22 degrees and, from tomorrow, a cold front should start to influence the city, bringing with it frequent showers.
Temperatures on Wednesday should range from a low of 12 degrees to a high of 14 and should fall further on Thursday and Friday to 8 to 11 degrees.
By yesterday, the average temperature this month had reached 16.8 degrees Celsius, two degrees higher than in the same period over the past 10 years, the weather bureau said.
The warmth has caused unusual phenomena such as the blossoming of osmanthus flowers and the appearance of whiteflies, which are usually only seen in the summer months.
Kong Chunyan, a chief service officer of the bureau, said this month was warmer than usual because of the warm ocean current and a strong subtropical area of high pressure.
Many other cities around the country also reported warmer conditions this month, the National Climate Center of China said. The center said the country's average temperature was 0.9 degrees Celsius higher since autumn began while average rainfall was 7 percent lower than in previous years.
Meanwhile, Shanghai's city health department said scarlet fever, which usually affects children from two to 10 years old, had been increasing since October due to the weather.
Scarlet fever breaks out every five to seven years, experts said, but so far the situation is under control.--(11/28)
Warmer weekend after chill
Thursday was the coldest day since autumn began, but the city should feel warmer this weekend.
However, cold weather is set to return next Wednesday, forecasters said yesterday.
Over the weekend, the maximum temperature may touch 21 degrees Celsius, with the low ranging from between 13 to 16 degrees.
Although warmer, the weather is set to be cloudy, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
The high will be around 19 degrees next Monday and Tuesday with rain expected.
From Wednesday, the high will drop to 16 degrees and the low to 10 degrees.
In the second half of the week, forecasters say the low will be down to 8 or 9 degrees - lower in the suburbs.
But this is higher than Thursday's low of 6.2 degrees. --(11/26)
Banking shares fall on remark
Shanghai's key stock index ended generally flat yesterday but banking shares collapsed after Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan warned against risks in the global and Chinese financial systems.
The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.1 percent to end at 2,415.13 points. Property developers, however, gained on speculation that real estate policies may ease.
Wang said the global economic situation was 'extremely severe,' and warned against risks in China's financial system.
'The global economic recession triggered by the financial crisis will be long term,' Wang said. 'China should make its prudent monetary policy more forward looking, targeted and flexible.'
He also said financial institutions should avoid expanding blindly and need to prioritize risk management.
Shenyin and Wanguo Securities said in a report: 'The economic situation in both Europe and the United States is worrisome, and sentiment in the domestic market is easily affected by fluctuation of the overseas markets.'
It warned that investors 'have over-estimated the extend of easing as the slight moderation in monetary policies is having only limited impact on the market.'
The Bank of China lost 0.7 percent to 2.91 yuan while the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China fell 1.2 percent to 4.25 yuan.
Property developers rose after a report by Renmin University released over the weekend suggested that China might loosen restrictions on the real estate market in the third quarter of next year.
Poly Real Estate rose 0.7 percent to end at 9.14 yuan.--(11/22)
New luxury authenticity woes
Overseas proxy purchasing businesses selling luxury goods are facing authenticity doubts after their invoices, a crucial way to prove the items are genuine, have been found in mass production and on sale at online stores.
The country's popular e-commerce platform Taobao.com told Shanghai Daily yesterday that it has banned all selling of such invoices on the stores across its platform to prevent anyone using the invoices to cheat customers.
The invoices were being sold at 9 yuan (US$1.41) to 20 yuan each. They covered a total of 20-plus luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada and Chanel.
Some sellers indicated that the cheap invoices could be used as 'certifications' to show that luxury items were authentic and to prove that they had been purchased from stores in Hong Kong, the United States, or other overseas markets.
Among the invoice sellers, one nicknamed 'Xuan Xuan' with a Guangdong Province-based online store told Shanghai Daily that they can print such invoices with any brand, purchasing date, price and store address as the customer requires.
She said that although the fake invoices might be slightly different from those provided by luxury brands' official stores, the customers likely won't recognize the differences because even genuine invoices are not equipped with anti-counterfeiting marks.
In her online store, packaging materials such as bags, strings, dust-proof clothing, which are accessories to some luxury items, were also being sold with a price ranging from 5 yuan to 450 yuan. By paying about 500 yuan, a vendor may get a full set of 'certifications' to prove that their goods are genuine, even if the items are cheap fake ones.
Some other sellers said they purchased the invoices from customers at big stores of luxury brands, while some even claimed that they are working in the official shops under the luxury brands to prove that their invoices are 'genuine.'
But Ben Huang, an official with Gucci, said it's impossible for staff workers in official shops to secretly do the invoice business.
'An invoice can be issued from the shop only when an item has accordingly been sold and removed from the storage,' said Huang.--(11/22)
Shenzhou-8 floats back to Earth
Equipment is retrieved from the Shenzhou-8 unmanned spacecraft last night after it made a parachute landing in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Launched on November 1, the Shenzhou-8 craft docked twice with the Tiangong-1 space lab module, which remains in orbit, during a mission proving China capable of successfully docking by remote control. China will conduct two more space docking missions next year, one of them manned, and plans to complete a manned space station by around 2020. China has made steady progress toward a space station since a 2003 launch that made it only the third nation to put a man in space. Two more manned missions have followed, and China seeks to launch a lunar rover next year. --(11/18)
Banking and media shares lift key index
Shanghai stocks yesterday rose for the first time in three days partly due to gains made by media plays while banks also rose after China said its inflation cooled to the slowest pace in five months.
The Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.8 percent higher at 2,524.92 points.
Bank shares gained after China's Consumer Price Index, a main gauge of inflation, rose 5.5 percent year on year in October, marking the third consecutive month of moderating inflation, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country's biggest lender, gained 0.7 percent to 4.36 yuan, and the Agriculture Bank of China added 0.8 percent to 2.66 yuan.
Gui Haoming, chief strategist at Shenyin and Wanguo Securities said in a note that there will be expectations that the Chinese government 'may ease its tightening' because of the drop in inflation.
But investors may still adopt a wait-and-see attitude until they see the what measures the government will ease, given that the Shanghai index has already risen nearly 10 percent in the past few weeks precisely on hopes that the measures will be eased, Gui added.
Media counters were the biggest gainers. The sector got a boost after China chose it as an area to develop in the next five years.
Chinese Universe Publishing and Media Co rose by the daily 10 percent cap to 23.27 yuan. China South Publishing and Media Group Co gained 6.04 percent to 11.59 yuan.--(11/10)
Goodbye to the rain ... and hello to the cold
Rainy spells are set to clear over the next couple of days, but it's going to get colder too, the city weather authority said yesterday.
The weather should be mostly cloudy in the coming days, and while the high should stay around 17 degrees Celsius, the low may drop to 12 degrees, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau yesterday.
Spells of drizzle are forecast for today and tomorrow, but these should be gone by Friday, the bureau said.
Today should be overcast with a low of 15 degrees Celsius and a high of 17. Tomorrow, the low and high are set to drop 1 degree.
The weather this weekend should be mostly cloudy with readings ranging from a low of 12 degrees to a high of 18.
Yesterday was lidong, the beginning of winter, according to the Chinese lunar calendar and a portent of the cold weather to come.
But officials said the solar term is more applicable to the Yellow River region than the Yangtze River and that winter is not expected in Shanghai this early.
'Shanghai's winter usually starts at the end of November ！ around the 28th according to our statistics,' said Zhu Jiehua, a chief service officer of the bureau. 'Sometimes, it's as late as December.'
Following Chinese tradition, Chinese tend to eat more calorie-rich meat and take tonics in winter, especially after lidong.
There's an old Chinese saying that if a person takes tonics in winter, they will stay strong until spring.--(11/9)
City school spending need do better
Shanghai is spending less on schooling than many other cities and areas in the Asia-Pacific region, according to new research.
The competitiveness report issued by Shanghai Jiao Tong University yesterday, placed Western Australia top for investment in the elementary and secondary education.
Singapore came second, with Hong Kong sixth in the table of 33 leading cities and areas.
Shanghai was placed 22nd in the survey.
Hong Kong and Singapore spend 20 percent of their budgets on education, but Shanghai is still working to commit 15 percent of spending in this area.
Shanghai was ranked 18th for its overall performance in the study that also considered factors such as research and development, and communications.
For investment into R&D, the city was also placed 18th.
Overseas firms are still generous on R&D investment, despite economic concerns, said Luo Shougui, a major researcher.
The city was ranked 20th for its information and communications technology infrastructure. --(11/8)
Bug scare dumplings removed
Although Shanghai industrial and commercial authorities confirmed that frozen dumplings sold in Shanghai stores are safe, some local supermarkets nevertheless removed two brands of dumplings yesterday, as they are feared to contain harmful bacteria.
Over the weekend, their counterparts in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, said three types of Sanquan frozen dumplings and a type of Hai Pa Wang dumplings were found to contain golden staph ！ bacteria that can cause pneumonia and blood poisoning.
Carrefour Shanghai removed the possibly tainted dumplings from shelves yesterday.
The company said it will ensure the products are safe before restarting sales.
Henan Province-based Sanquan Food Co Ltd said Guangzhou authorities' inspection was carried out in August, and officials revealed the results three months later, which is considered a 'normal procedure' in the country. As soon as it learned the inspection results in August, the company recalled and stopped selling the questioned products.
Guangdong-based Hai Pa Wang Food Co Ltd did not comment yesterday.
The Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau said it inspected the dumplings sold in Shanghai last month and both Sanquan and Hai Pa Wang's products passed the bureau's test. But the products tested may not be the same types that Guangzhou authorities inspected, Shanghai officials said.
Officials said they haven't ordered markets to stop sales of the dumplings but they will strengthen the inspection of the products.
Late last month, Beijing's business administrators said they discovered a batch of Synear dumplings containing golden staph during a July inspection. The news led to many markets pulling Synear dumplings off the shelves.
Henan-based Synear said it was fined 50,000 yuan (US$7,830) by Beijing authorities. Synear said it would compensate consumers who encountered health problems after eating its dumplings.--(11/7)
Hotel guests to receive taxi fare guides
Hotel guests are to be given cards outlining what they should be charged for taxi rides, in a bid to stop fare scams.
By the end of this month, seven high-end hotels ！ including the Shanghai Yangtze Hotel and the Hilton ！ will distribute cards in Chinese and English, the city taxi watchdog yesterday.
The number will increase to 48 hotels next year under the joint initiative by taxi and tourism authorities and hotels, officials said.
Traffic law enforcement officials said the cards give estimates of charges of trips to transport hubs and tourist attractions.
According to cards handed out yesterday in the Shanghai Yangtze Hotel on Yan'an Road, a taxi ride from the hotel to the Pudong International Airport should cost about 196 yuan (US$31) during the day, and 260 yuan after 11pm.
A daytime trip to the Bund should be about 32 yuan, and 41 yuan at night. This is based on a journey without severe congestion, said the traffic authorities.
Cases have been reported where foreigners and out-of-towners have been charged several times the correct amount by unscrupulous cabbies.
Last month, officials caught a cabbie with a tampered meter charging a foreign passenger more than 1,000 yuan for a ride from Changning District to Pudong airport ！ more than five times the correct fee.
Officials advised passengers to take invoices and write down the car plate numbers if suspicious.--(11/4)
10,000 people a day dodge subway fares
Nearly 10,000 passengers each day evade fares on Shanghai's 11 Metro lines, according to the subway operator.
The ratio of fare dodgers averages 0.18 percent of more than 5.5 million daily Metro passengers, Shanghai Shentong Metro Group said.
The percentages are higher at certain stations, such as People's Square.
Some dodgers jump over or duck under turnstiles. Others use elderly-only transport cards or fake certificates.
'It seems we have many (champion hurdler) Liu Xiangs at Metro stations,' said Lan Tian, a Metro official. 'Some are not ashamed of what they do, but rather seem proud and become frequent violators.'
A staff member at People's Square Station yesterday said she spots more than 30 evaders every day, most of them from out of town.
'Some simply leave as though nothing has happened,' she said. Those caught by Metro workers are usually asked to buy a ticket. 'That's it,' she said.
The subway operator loses more than 11 million yuan (US$1.73 million) a year because of fare dodgers.
One evader, who declined to be named, said: 'The fares are too high.'
The cheapest Metro ticket is 3 yuan.
Fare evaders face a maximum fine of 50 yuan, five times the highest Metro fare, according to regulations.
However, Metro officials said in most cases violators are asked to pay the due fare or receive only a verbal warning.
Metro officials said they were considering technical prevention, such as raising the height of turnstiles and lowering gate levels.--(11/3)
Fair to focus on transformation
Innovation, transformation and strategic new industries will be key words at the China International Industry Fair 2011, which opens in Shanghai next Tuesday.
The fair has attracted 1,869 exhibitors from 25 countries, who will showcase their latest technology and products. More than 100,000 visitors are expected during the five-day show at the Shanghai New International Expo Center.
This year, two new sections - a new-energy auto show and a China aerospace and aviation technology show - will join the previous six sessions, including industry automation show and energy show, at the fair, spread over an area of 150,000 square meters, the largest in exhibition's 13-year history.
"The fair will focus on state economic restructuring and the development of strategic new industries," Sha Hailin, chairman of the Shanghai Commerce Commission, said at a press briefing yesterday.
Since its launch, the fair has been aiming to show China's transformation from a big manufacturer into a powerful one. At this year's fair, the AVIC Commercial Aircraft Engine Co will make public its self-developed engine of China's jumbo jet for the first time. Japan's Omron, a global leader in factory automation, will also exhibit its high-performance SYSMAC system.--(11/1)