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  • City VAT pilot hailed a success by authorities
    A value added tax (VAT) reform pilot launched in Shanghai in January is working well and will be extended to other parts of the country, China's central finance and tax authorities said yesterday following a city inspection.
    "The pilot is running smoothly with early signs of its effects evident," the authorities said.
    "On average, the program has cut the tax burden for industries taking part in the trial and spurred development in the services sector."
    Senior finance and tax officials, including Finance Minister Xie Xuren and Deputy Finance Minister Wang Jun, visited Shanghai yesterday to see how the pilot is running.
    Since January 1, Shanghai businesses in the transport, construction and certain modern services industries-such as research and development, information technology, cultural products, leasing and consulting-have been producing accounts based on VAT instead of business tax.
    VAT rates are 17 percent for leasing current tangible assets, 11 percent for transport and construction, and 6 percent for modern services.
    Unlike business tax, which takes between 3 to 20 percent of a company's total revenue regardless of operating costs, VAT allows companies to claim "input tax credit," such as expenses for machinery, fuel, other goods and services subject to VAT.
    By the end of March, 129,000 companies had joined the trial. br>The pilot has helped strengthened competitiveness, participants said. Authorities have seen Shanghai, which has a strong services sector, as a test ground for the reform, part of wider initiatives to cut the tax burden on individuals and companies. In Shanghai, fiscal revenue rose 6.7 percent to 110.4 billion yuan (US$17.5 billion) in the first quarter.--(4/29)

  • Shanghai posts slowest quarterly expansion in GDP in 18 months
    Shanghai has posted the slowest quarterly economic growth in 18 months while continuing its economic transformation.
    Shanghai's gross domestic product grew 7 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2012, also the slowest in China, to 459.4 billion yuan (US$73 billion). The growth was 1.5 percentage points lower than the same period of 2011 and the slowest pace since the fourth quarter of 2010, the Shanghai Statistics Bureau said.
    The service sector accounted for 58.7 percent of Shanghai's total economic output. In the first three months, services rose 8.9 percent on an annual basis to 269.5 billion yuan. The pace was 1.9 percentage points higher than a year earlier. Manufacturing expanded 4.4 percent to 188 billion yuan.
    Wholesale and retail was the fastest growing sector in Shanghai, soaring 12.7 percent to 81.6 billion yuan. The growth was up 1.3 percentage points from the previous year. The finance industry and the transport and warehousing sector gained at a slightly slower pace of 6.5 percent to notch output of 49.2 billion yuan and 21.1 billion yuan respectively.
    Shanghai's property sector shrank 5.5 percent in the first quarter to 18.4 billion yuan as the housing market continued to cool on continued curbs on the market.
    Li Maoyu, an analyst at Changjiang Securities Co, said that although Shanghai's growth rate is the slowest in China, what the city "needs to do is to beef up efforts on economic restructuring, and focus on its mission to become a global financial, shipping and trading center."
    Shanghai's exports gained just 3.1 percent to US$47.2 billion in the first quarter from a year earlier, a sharp contrast with the 19.9 percent jump in the quarter a year ago.
    Yan Jun, the bureau's chief economist, said the growth rate is tolerable due to the difficult external business environment.
    "Shanghai's economy may bottom out in the following quarters because of better business conditions in overseas and domestic markets," Yan said.--(4/27)

  • Apple China income up 4-fold
    Apple Inc's fourfold growth in revenue in China in the January-March quarter contributed about 20 percent of the total income for the world's No. 1 technology company. --(4/26)

  • Soldiers on patrol at 5 Metro stations
    Do not be surprised to see unarmed soldiers patrolling local Metro stations.
    City police and traffic authorities said the soldiers are helping the Metro operator coordinate and smooth the crowds at busy stations to ensure operational safety, especially during the holiday season such as the coming May Day holiday.
    The soldiers are based at five Metro stations-People's Square, Xujiahui, Shanghai Railway Station, Shanghai South Railway Station and Century Avenue.
    "The method will be seen as a long-term one," said the police department.
    Authorities said they do not intend to expand the policy to more stations. The city's expanding Metro network is seeing an increasing passenger load, with this year's record reaching up to more than 7.2 million last Friday.
    The operator predicted the new record won't last long and that the subway will soon record 7.5 million journeys in a day. That figure would rival the Metro's all-time record, set during the 2010 World Expo.
    Unlike the Expo time when soldiers stood by for safety concerns, this time the Metro seems to need more hands to keep the flows in order. On average, more than 6.5 million Metro journeys are made each weekday, while on weekends the figure is around 5 million.
    Metro authorities also said yesterday that the passenger limitations will continue at busy stations due to safety worries about crowded platforms and concerns that large crowds would otherwise prevent trains from keeping to their schedules.
    Passenger numbers have grown steadily since last month, with commuter growth in suburban areas, said the operator. It said it will add new trains but that policies restricting passenger numbers at some busy stations during rush hour will continue.
    The city's 11 lines have 425 kilometers of track, the longest system in the world. Four new lines and extension sections are being built.--(4/25)

  • Warm, sunny weather set to continue
    Twins get out and about in the sunshine at Zhongshan Park yesterday.
    Shanghai's mercury hit almost 27 degrees Celsius yesterday, and sunshine and warm weather are set to continue today and tomorrow, weather forecasters said.
    Yesterday's high also gave a reminder that summer is not far away, with overnight temperatures on Saturday remaining as high as 17.3 degrees.
    The warm weather saw city residents don their summer gear, with T-shirts and shorts to the fore yesterday afternoon.
    Today is forecast sunny, though with some cloud, with the high reaching 26 degrees Celsius. The warmth should continue tomorrow, with the high remaining above 25 degrees and the low around 17, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
    But showers are expected tomorrow evening and Wednesday, with the high dropping to around 22 degrees as a cold front arrives, said Man Liping, a chief service officer with the bureau.
    However, the rain should clear up by Thursday. "It should be sunny with some cloud from Thursday," Man said.
    Yesterday's temperature rose sharply in the morning after cloud cleared, Man said. "The energy from sunshine at this time of the year is different and gives off more heat," Man told Shanghai Daily yesterday.
    "As long as conditions are good, sunshine will see temperatures rise sharply."
    The temperature in Shanghai reached 24 degrees at 11am yesterday, and peaked at 26.6 degrees in the afternoon.
    The contrast between yesterday's warm weather and cooler conditions on Saturday's caused some concern among locals, but Man said such fluctuations are not unusual at this time of year.
    "People might have felt colder on Saturday because there was little sunshine and the wind was stronger," Man said. "But this is quite normal for this time of year."
    In the past decade, Shanghai's summer has usually officially arrived in the second half of May, said the forecaster.--(4/23)

  • ChiNext to allow delisting of firms
    ChiNEXT, China's Nasdaq-style board in Shenzhen, will allow delisting of companies from May 1, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said yesterday.
    The Shenzhen Stock Exchange also said in a statement that companies on the ChiNext will be delisted if they receive three criticisms from the exchange in the recent three years, or if their share prices fall below their par value for 20 consecutive trading days, or if net assets become negative in the past two years after balance sheet adjustments due to false auditing.
    The exchange said companies will be suspended from trading on ChiNext if they report negative net assets in the latest fiscal year. It also said it will tighten listing rules and backdoor listing will not be tolerated.
    The action is a clear sign that the authorities intend to regulate the poorly-performing board more strictly for better management and control.
    The ChiNext-listed firms saw their combined annual profit growth halve from that in 2010 to 17 percent last year. So far this year, ChiNext's performance has been worse than that of the main boards on the Chinese mainland.
    ChiNext was launched in October 2009 to help innovative companies get access to funds but investors have been disappointed as their growth outlook was not as high as they had hoped.--(4/21)

  • Shanghai to add a railway station
    Shanghai plans to build a new railway station in Pudong's Chuansha area, adding a transport hub in addition to the Shanghai Railway Station and Hongqiao Railway Station, according to the new five-year plan.
    The new station, to be called Shanghai East Railway Station, will be used mainly for intercity rail lines, linking the Pudong International Airport to neighboring provinces.
    Insiders said the station is expected to be built near the under-construction Disneyland project, which is also in the Chuansha area.--(4/20)

  • 3 days of rain to be followed by sunshine
    Shanghai will see rain and drizzle for the next three days starting today, forecasters said yesterday.
    Overcast skies are expected to be the norm until Sunday, said forecasters at the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau. Starting Sunday, sunshine will be back for several days, they said.
    Over the next three days, high temperatures will range between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius, after lows of about 14 degrees. From Sunday, the mercury will rise with the return of sunshine. The highs on Sunday and Monday will climb to 23 to 25 degrees. Lows will not change much, hanging between 14 and 15 degrees.
    Light rain started falling yesterday afternoon.
    The weather bureau reported falling temperatures and increasing wind as rain hit most of the downtown area as it was getting dark.--(4/19)

  • Investors sell shares on news of lower FDI
    Shanghai stocks fell yesterday after news that China's foreign direct investment dropped in March, adding concerns that the country is being hurt by the global financial woes.
    The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.94 percent, the most in more than two weeks, to end at 2,334.99 points.
    The Ministry of Commerce yesterday said China's FDI declined for a fifth straight month in March by an annual 6.1 percent to US$11.76 billion, while for the first quarter it fell 2.8 percent to US$29.48 billion due to the slowing economy.
    The drop in inbound investment has renewed concerns about the deteriorating European debt crisis.
    "The investment outlook in 2012 is grim," said Shen Danyang, a spokesman for the ministry. "There's no proper solution for Europe's debt crisis yet, which has cut European companies' spending in China."
    Investment by the European Union in China plunged 31.2 percent in the first three months from the same period of last year, according to the data published by the ministry.
    Property developers plunged 2.8 percent on average after Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng said in a meeting the city will keep its tough measures on the property market in the second quarter.
    Poly Real Estate, China's second-biggest listed developer, fell 2.9 percent to end at 11.64 yuan (US$1.85).--(4/18)

  • Wider yuan trade band spooks investors
    Shanghai stocks closed lower yesterday as analysts said the yuan's wider trading band posed short-term risks to exporters although the more flexible band for the currency may support China's economic growth in the long term.
    The Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.09 percent to 2,357.03 points.
    The yuan's trading band against the US dollar was doubled from 0.5 percent to 1 percent, effective yesterday, according to a People's Bank of China statement on Saturday.
    "The currency's one-way appreciation has come to an end," said Qu Hongbin, a chief economist of HSBC. He also said the wider band would relieve exporters from the pressure of a stronger yuan.
    But some analysts disagreed with Qu, saying the wider band will accelerate the yuan's internationalization and allow a slow appreciation in the currency in the long term and this will hurt exporters and other firms such as shippers.
    Cargo shippers sank. China COSCO Holdings Co, Asia's biggest shipper, shed 0.8 percent to 5.18 yuan (82 US cents). COSCO Shipping Co, a unit of China COSCO, lost 1.2 percent to 4.82 yuan, and China Shipping Container Lines Co fell 1.3 percent to 3.07 yuan.
    Coal producers also declined on lower demand amid uncertain global prospects. China Shenhua Energy Co, the nation's largest coal producer, dipped 0.3 percent to 26.37 yuan, and Datong Coal Industry Co fell 1.8 percent to end at 13.03 yuan--(4/17)

  • 15% of Chinese made ill by food each year
    Around one in six Chinese are made ill by the food they eat each year, experts told a food safety conference over the weekend.
    This figure includes illness caused by eating food contaminated by bacteria or parasites and food containing tainted ingredients, harmful additives or natural toxins.
    Some 15.3 percent of the population are afflicted by such foodborne illnesses annually, delegates at the Beijing conference heard.
    In 2010, China established a supervision network that undertakes food risk evaluation and food poisoning outbreak prevention and control.
    More than 400 hospitals are required to monitor illness caused by food, according to the Ministry of Health.
    In 1987-88, a hepatitis A outbreak in Shanghai - passed through aquatic produce - resulted in 31 deaths and affected 300,000 people.
    In 2008, melamine-contaminated formula milk killed at least 6 infants and left 300,000 ill in China.
    Chen Junshi, a food safety expert and an academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, told the conference that food safety education guidelines will be published in June.--(4/16)

  • China to double yuan trading band
    China will double the yuan's trading band against the US dollar next week as the country improves the currency's flexibility and its pricing mechanism, the central bank said yesterday.
    Economists said the long anticipated move signals an end for straight appreciation of the yuan, and is among the government's recent financial reforms to improve the economic structure even at the cost of slower growth.
    Dealers will be able to trade the yuan within 1 percent, up from the current 0.5 percent, on each side of the official central parity rate starting tomorrow, the People's Bank of China said in a statement yesterday.
    It is the first increase since 2007, when the band was widened from 0.3 percent.
    "China's current foreign exchange market is developing more maturely and trading entities are more capable of pricing independently and managing risks," the statement said.
    Qu Hongbin, a chief economist with HSBC, said the "symbolic move" of widening the trading band implies the trend of the yuan's one-way appreciation has come to an end.
    "The yuan will be ushered into an new era of truly two dimensional fluctuations," Qu said.
    He added it may benefit China's economy by reducing the inflow of speculative capital and relieving pressure on exporters from a stronger yuan.
    The central bank's statement said the adjustment was made according to market demand, as it wants to promote yuan exchanges, boost its flexibility and improve floating of the exchange rate set against a basket of foreign currencies.
    The People's Bank of China also said it will maintain the "normal fluctuation" of the yuan's exchange rate, stabilize the rate at "reasonable and balanced levels" and keep the macro economy and financial markets stable.
    The announcement was made after Premier Wen Jiabao and central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan both said they were in favor of a more flexible yuan during an annual legislature session last month.
    Wen said the real exchange rate of the yuan may have reached its equilibrium, or true worth, but China would continue to advance exchange rate reform to have it move in both directions by a larger margin.
    The central parity rate was set by the central bank at 6.2879 on Friday, strengthening 0.2 percent from December 30.
    Economists have made stronger calls for a wider trading band since the fourth quarter last year, when speculation for yuan appreciation dwindled.
    But the yuan's appreciation is not likely to stop, they said.
    Shen Lan, an economist with Standard Chartered Bank in Shanghai, yesterday maintained the bank's estimate of a 1.4 percent yuan rise against the US dollar for 2012.--(4/15)

  • Airport bus from Jing'an closes today
    After more than a decade in service, the airport shuttle between the downtown Jing'an Temple terminus and Hongqiao International Airport will shut down today, the urban transport watchdog said yesterday.
    The shuttle has seen increasingly sluggish passenger demand amid improving Metro services to the airport, said local traffic authorities. The shuttle operates between the terminus on Nanjing Road W. in the Jing'an Temple area and Terminal 1 of the Hongqiao airport.
    The bus line used to be crowded but in recent years Metro lines 2 and 10 were extended to the airport, and the shuttle's use plummeted. Its traffic further shrank after the airport shifted most flights to Terminal 2 in 2010, causing the demand to ride shuttles to wither.
    Officials noted that other shuttles servicing T2 already run from other districts, so they did not consider just shifting the Jing'an service there.
    A previous Shanghai Daily investigation showed dispatchers at the Jing'an Temple terminus were kept idle often because of a slack timetable, and sometimes a shuttle bus would leave for the airport with just a single passenger. --(4/14)

  • Fewer units for release
    Around 160 units at three residential projects in Shanghai are set to be released at the weekend, a plunge of 70 percent from the same two-day period a week earlier, according to research released yesterday by
    The three developments comprising apartments located in the outlying districts of Jiading, Minhang and Songjiang will be sold at between 14,000 yuan (US$2,222) and 21,000 yuan per square meter, or an average 18,000 yuan per square meter, Soufun said.
    "Two of the three projects set to be rolled out over the weekend were among the city's 10 best-selling developments last week,¡± said Tang Zhengwei, a Soufun analyst. ¡°They are expected to post pretty good sales again this time due to rather attractive prices."--(4/13)

  • Index recoups to close at 2-week high
    Shanghai's key stock index still rose to a two-week high yesterday amid uncertainty about whether policy makers will ease monetary stance further to pull China out of an economic downturn.
    The Shanghai Composite Index, which fell as much as 1.06 percent in early trading, closed 0.13 percent up at 2,308.93 points.
    Chen Jianhua, an analyst at Yintai Securities, said recent economic data have caused turbulence in the market because investors are not sure how authorities will juggle the need to stimulate the economy with a desire to curtail inflation at the same time.
    March economic data this week showed China's inflation rate at a slightly higher-than-expected 3.6 percent and export growth weakening to 8.9 percent.
    Investors now turn their attention to first-quarter gross domestic product figures due out tomorrow.
    Li Miaoxian, an analyst at BOCOM International Securities, said in a note that if GDP figures show no sign of a ¡°hard landing,¡± the central bank may ease its reserve requirement for banks, freeing up more money to lend.
    Banking shares were mixed. China Construction Bank shed 0.8 percent to end at 4.70 yuan (75 US cents), and the Bank of China rose 0.3 percent to close at 3.03 yuan.--(4/12)

  • US$2b loan sealed for Disneyland
    The developers of Shanghai Disneyland yesterday secured a 12.9 billion yuan (US$2 billion) syndicated loan with a number of Chinese banks for the project's first phase of construction.
    The deal came just one year after construction began on the theme park, which is slated to be open in the Pudong New Area in 2015.
    Shanghai Shendi Group, which represents the city government's stake in the project, and Walt Disney Co have said the initial investment will be about 24.5 billion yuan to build the theme park and an additional 4.5 billion yuan to build the other aspects of the resort, including hotels and retail, dining and entertainment areas.
    The loan deal signed yesterday was under a framework agreed in May between Shendi and a consortium of 12 banks led by China Development Bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and the Bank of Communications.
    The Disneyland theme park will lie in the heart of a 20-square-kilometer Shanghai International Tourism Zone.
    Shao Xiaoyun, vice president of Shendi, said another syndicated loan may be granted under the framework for the development of the broader tourism zone.
    A syndicated loan is provided by a group of lenders and is structured and arranged by one or several banks known as arrangers. This kind of loan has been increasingly used in domestic infrastructure projects.
    The Shanghai Bureau of the China Banking Regulatory Commission has said major projects, other than real estate projects, with a fundraising scale of more than 2 billion yuan should seek syndicated loans.
    The mega loan for the Disneyland theme park was part of Shanghai's bid to boost the progress of key infrastructure projects this year.--(4/11)

  • Metro shields work well in initial tests
    Automatic shield gates being tested at a Metro station has functioned smoothly since it started trial service last Thursday, the local Metro operator said yesterday.
    The shields will be installed on other stations on Line 2 to curb suicide attempts if the three-month test ends successfully.
    Forty such gates started test runs last Thursday at Line 2's Weining Road Station in Changning District. The public has long appealed for effective measures to curb suicide attempts that have taken place, interrupting traffic and sometimes causing casualties.
    The gates are also expected to help curb accidental falls from overpacked platforms during times of high traffic. Line 2 is the busiest in the city, catering to an average daily turnover of more than 1 million people.
    The test runs will gradually increase. Right now, the shield gates function only during slack traffic hours. But after next month, they will also be tested during high traffic, said the Metro management.
    "We need more time to review their coordination with the trains, especially during high traffic,"said Lan Tian, a Metro official.--(4/10)

  • Goodbye sun
    Sunshine will bid farewell to the city for a time this week as a cold snap arrives today, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said yesterday. Drizzle is expected over the next three days, with the temperature fluctuating between 15 and 23 degrees Celsius.--(4/9)

  • Defense company denies its systems were hacked
    Defense company China National Electronics Import and Export Corp (CEIEC) yesterday denied claims that its systems had been hacked and documents posted online.
    The reports are "totally groundless, highly subjective and defamatory," the Beijing-based company said in a statement on its website.
    "CEIEC reserves the right to take legal action against the relevant responsible individuals and institutions," it said.
    This followed foreign media reports that claimed CEIEC's networks had been hacked.
    Hacker "Hardcore Charlie" told foreign media that he had broken into the computer system of CEIEC by cracking key email passwords. The authenticity of documents posted could not be confirmed.
    On its website, CEIEC says its business focuses on business solutions integration, overseas engineering integration and defense electronics system integration.--(4/8)

  • PM2.5 monitoring
    Shanghai's environmental authority said yesterday that it had started to install seven additional PM2.5 air-monitoring stations across the city beyond the current two on trial in the Pudong New Area and Putuo District. Although the exact locations of the seven stations were not disclosed, the authority said they will be in crowded areas across the city without sheltering to ensure the authenticity of the data. Shanghai is expected to launch the official real-time PM2.5 results in June. --(4/7)

  • Skyways offer shortcuts in Hongqiao biz hub
    Skyways will be built to let people walk among office towers, hotels and malls inside the Hongqiao Business Hub which aims to be another upscale commercial center in Shanghai, says the project designer Xiandai Group.
    Xiandai says skyways are being added to connect high-rises in Pudong's Lujiazui area. The same oversight won't repeat in the design of the Hongqiao Business Hub which will have 2/3 of its buildings connected by skyways, allowing office workers, tourists and shoppers to reach a destination via safe shortcuts.
    Some of these overhead walkways will be open to the public around the clock, Xiandai says.
    The first phase of the Hongqiao Business Hub is now under construction. It is 86 square kilometers in size, near the Hongqiao International Airport and a high-speed train station. When completed, the hub is expected to boost Shanghai's economic influence over the Yangtze Delta region.
    Most buildings in the zone will be six to eight floors as it is close to the airport, Xiandai says.
    Rental bikes and electric mopeds will be the primary means of transportation inside the zone to promote green city life.
    The government is luring large corporations in the service sector to the Hongqiao Business Hub.--(4/6)

  • Fudan scientists breed long-fiber cotton
    Shanghai scientists have developed China's own genetically modified cotton which has longer fibers and is hoped to help reduce the country's imports of high-end cotton, Fudan University announced today. Yang Jinshui, life sciences professor at Fudan University and a member of the genetic research team at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, has applied the gene technology in cotton breeding. The fiber length of the genetically modified cotton averages 33.5mm, at least 3 mm longer than ordinary ones. Most Chinese cotton strains are 27 to 29 millimeters in fiber length. Textile products made of cotton with short fiber length are less competitive in the international market as they are poor in tensile strength, scientists said.--(4/5)

  • String of beautiful days forecast for Shanghai
    Shanghai is expected to warm up, with temperatures climbing above 20 degrees Celsius again for the next few days as the cold front has gone, the weather authority said yesterday.
    The fine weather should continue mostly sunny but with some clouds, and the mercury during the next five days should be stable, with lows of 8 to 12 degrees and highs in the low 20s, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said.
    For today's last day of the Qingming Festival break, the high should climb to 21 degrees from yesterday's 16.3 degrees and the low should be around 12 degrees, the observatory said.
    Tomorrow, the back-to-work day, is also forecast fine with more clouds and readings from 11 to 23 degrees.
    Due to the latest cold front, a brief, heavy thundershower hit most parts of the city late Monday night, causing the observatory to issue a yellow thunder alert ¡ª lowest of the three-level system ¡ª and a blue gale alert ¡ª lowest of the four-level system ¡ª at 8:30pm on Monday. The two alerts were lifted by 9:20am yesterday.
    No rain or thundershowers are expected all the way through next weekend, the bureau said.
    Meanwhile, Shanghai's air quality improved with the departure of the cold front. The Air Pollution Index (API) dropped under 80 yesterday in most part of the city, indicating good air, and the situation should last for the next few days, said the Shanghai Environment Monitoring Center.
    The city's air was "slightly polluted"because of dust from the north and local pollutants on Sunday, and it turned from "slightly polluted"to "good"on Monday and yesterday.--(4/3)

  • Weather set fair for Qingming Festival
    Shanghai is likely to have dry and warm weather for the three-day Qingming Festival from today, perfect conditions for paying respects to ancestors on the tomb-sweeping day on Wednesday at city cemeteries or to enjoy a spring outing to neighboring provinces such as Zhejiang and Jiangsu.
    However, air quality may be slightly polluted due to the dust from the north, forecasters said. Temperatures will reach around 25 degrees Celsius today but it will be cloudy.
    Tonight will see the arrival of a cold front from the north with temperatures dropping and some thunderstorms likely overnight. The maximum temperature tomorrow could be in the 9-17 degrees range but Wednesday will see a return to around 21 degrees and some sun as the clouds disperse.
    Both today and tomorrow are likely to be windy.
    Neighboring cities of Hangzhou, Wuxi, Ningbo and Suzhou, major destinations for local residents during the holiday, should have similar weather conditions, according to Shanghai Meteorological Bureau forecasters.
    Yesterday's air was "slightly polluted"because of a combination of dust from the north and local pollutants, the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center said. It had warned people with heart and respiratory diseases and those with weak immunity to stay inside.
    Data for PM2.5 particles, extremely small particles said to be hazardous to health, showed that they were above the national standard in parts of the city yesterday.
    PM2.5 particles were between 60 micrograms and 90 micrograms per cubic meter at a monitoring site in Putuo District, while at Zhangjiang in the Pudong New Area, they were between 75 and 100 micrograms per cubic meter all day.
    China's acceptable daily limit for PM2.5 is 75 micrograms per cubic meter.
    Measurements at both sites began to rise from 2am to reach a peak at 10am before dropping in the afternoon.
    The center said that air quality was likely to remain slightly polluted this morning but would improve to "good"later in the day. --(4/2)

  • New Hongqiao Int'l Medical Park under construction
    The Shanghai New Hongqiao International Medical Park, a joint venture between the Ministry of Health and Shanghai Municipality, was officially under construction yesterday in the city's Minhang District.
    Vice Mayor Shen Xiaoming and officials from the Ministry of Health attended the ground-breaking ceremony.
    The medical park will be built in two phases. In the first phase, two international hospitals will be built to serve both Chinese and expatriates who demand high-end services.
    The 42-hectare first phase is scheduled for completion in 2015. It will also have a medical technology center to handle all medical scans and tests in the park, special hospitals for plastic surgery, gynecology and pediatrics, as well as shopping and public venues.--(4/1)



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