Milder, rainy but chill to return
Shanghai is expected to warm up a little today and tomorrow with the high rising to 11 degrees Celsius on the two days before another dip starting Sunday.
The city should also experience some drizzles from today into Saturday as warm and wet air currents prevail, said the Shanghai Observatory.
The low is forecast to be 4 degrees Celsius today, rising to a low of 8 degrees tomorrow.
The next round of temperature plunges is expected over Saturday night, with the low on Sunday morning at around zero degrees Celsius again while the high during the day should be below five degrees, the observatory said.
The temperature is likely to drop to as low as minus 1 degree Celsius early next week.
Shanghai's temperature dipped below the freezing point yesterday, with the low touching minus 0.3 degrees Celsius in downtown Xujiahui area while suburban Qingpu District reported the city's lowest, minus 3.4 degrees, the observatory said. --(12/20)
Shanghai stocks slump on FDI, liquidity concerns
Shanghai stocks retreated today after climbing for three days in a row as market sentiment waned over dwindling inbound investment and a liquidity crunch.
The Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.1 percent to 2,162.24 points today, trimming early gains. The turnover stood at 75.8 billion yuan (US$12 billion), down a quarter from Tuesday's.
Foreign direct investment in China fell 5.4 percent year-on-year in November, extending October's drop of 0.24 percent. Inbound investment during the first 11 months slid 3.6 percent to US$100 billion, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
"China's foreign direct investment has been declining since last November, except for May. Foreign investors remained cautious against the backdrop of recovering economic conditions"Soochow Securities Co said in a report today.
"On the other hand, domestic enterprises have difficulty getting bank loans and equity financing almost stopped amid sluggish stock market. The companies have no choice but seek debt financing and shadow banking. So the real economy has poor liquidity compared with the banking sector,"said the brokerage firmed based in Suzhou.
Most financials declined. ICBC, the nation's biggest bank, lost 0.5 percent to 4.1 yuan. Agricultural Bank of China dropped 0.7 percent to 2.75 yuan. Citic Securities Co retreated 0.3 percent to 11.8 yuan. China Life Insurance Co, the nation's biggest life insurer, shed 1 percent to 19.36 yuan. --(12/19)
Free Wi-Fi opens at 46 more public locations
The city has opened free public Wi-Fi service at 46 more public venues, including the Huaihai Road shopping street, Lujiazui greenery area and the Qibao ancient town in the suburbs.
That puts the number of venues covered by Wi-Fi at 230, the city government announced yesterday. Newly added coverage areas also include major hospitals and business areas such as the Chengqiao shopping circle in Chongming Island.
Users can get access to the free Wi-Fi system dubbed "i-Shanghai"for two hours each day. The number of locations is set to expand to 450 in 2013 as part of an effort to build a "wireless city."
Residents can apply via their telecom operator. Wi-Fi networks allow people to access the Internet through devices like smartphones, tablet computers and laptops.
A list of the "i-Shanghai"locations is available on the city's official Weibo microblog. --(12/18)
Shanghai moves on delisting steps
The Shanghai Stock Exchange unveiled new delisting procedure policies, which will take effect in 2013, the local bourse said yesterday.
The new policies aimed to simplify and standardize delisting procedures and protect the interests of investors, the exchange said in a statement on its website yesterday.
Under the new policies, the shares of companies being delisted will be limited to a 5-percent daily fluctuation, unlike the limit of 1-2 percent in previous drafts.
Shares of firms being relisted under the new policies will be allowed to jump or fall by a maximum 10 percent on the first trading day, unlike the no-limit rule currently.
"The revised and detailed delisting procedure will protect investors and make the market healthy,"the exchange said.
Under the listing rules, listed firms which are unprofitable for two straight years will be marked "under special treatment,"or "ST shares,"and those operating at losses for three straight years will be marked "*ST shares.¡± --(12/17)
Park work begins
A major renovation project has started to bring a renewed look to the 149-year-old Zhongshan Park in downtown Changning District, the city's greenery bureau said. It would be the biggest renovation to the park since 1949. Some of the park's once-famous facilities including a platform for musical shows will be restored, officials said. The renovation will be phased in and will be completed by end of next year. --(12/15)
Index falls ahead of policy meet
Shanghai shares fell the most in over a week yesterday amid cautious sentiment ahead of an important policy meeting that is set to be held at the weekend.
The Shanghai Composite fell 1.02 percent, the biggest slide since December 3, to close at 2,061.48 points.
"Investors adopted a wait-and-see stance before the central economic work meeting that may yield clues about future policies,"said Yang Liu, an analyst with Qilu Securities.
China is likely to hold the annual meeting tomorrow and Sunday for the country's top policymakers to assess the state of the economy and set the tone for next year's economic policies, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed government think tank.
Meanwhile, Shenyin and Wanguo Securities said the market also fell on profit taking.
Gold stocks dimmed as the gold price fell 1 percent to below US$1,700 an ounce after the US Federal Reserve unveiled a new bond-buying program.
Zijin Mining Group Co, the nation's largest gold producer, lost 1.9 percent to end at 3.65 yuan (58 US cents). Shandong Gold Mining Co dropped 3.7 percent to close at 35.93 yuan. --(12/14)
Green space will grow
Shanghai plans to create another 5,000 hectares of green space, which would achieve 13.5 square meters of green land for each person on average by the end of 2015, said Lu Yuexing, deputy director of the Shanghai Greenery Bureau, at a news conference yesterday.
Upcoming projects include the second phase of the Gucun Park, the second phase of the Binjiang Forest Park and the core public area of the future Disneyland Theme Park.
Also, tougher punishments will be enforced against those who damage public greenery facilities, Lu said. --(12/13)
2013's holiday dates cause upset for some
The newly released calendar for public holidays in 2013 has upset a number of people who had planned to take a break at the beginning of the year.
But it also offers the prospect of a six-day break if employers can be persuaded to give employees an extra day off.
People will have 29 days off in seven public holidays, according to the calendar released by the central government yesterday.
But the actual holiday days add up to 11 when weekend days are subtracted and extra working days factored in.
The New Year's Day holiday will run from January 1 to 3, but people need to work on the weekend of January 5 and 6.
The dates have upset a number of people who complained online that they had assumed the holiday would run from Sunday, December 30 to January 1, as was widely believed based on common arrangements for holidays in previous years, and they would have to abruptly change their travel plans.
Kong Shuo, a Shanghai resident, said yesterday that she'll have to sell tickets she bought for three concerts in Beijing and return her air tickets as well. "I can't go, feeling bad,"she said in an online post.
Another netizen said she had booked tourism packages between December 30 and January 1 on the assumption that the holiday would run from December 30. "The announcement comes too late,"she complained.
Airline companies also seemed to have assumed the wrong start to the holiday.
Air tickets on December 30 had been priced much higher than those for January 1.
A ticket from Shanghai to Sanya in Hainan Province, for example, costs 1,890 yuan (US$304) for December 30, compared to the 1,320 yuan asked for January 1, according to China Eastern Airlines' website.
The southeastern city of Xiamen is hosting a marathon race on January 5, a Saturday but now a working day. However, organizers say there are no plans to change the date.
But not everyone is unhappy. Some are planning to ask for a leave on December 31 so they can enjoy a six-day break, and Shanghai travel agencies are working out new plans to accommodate this group of people.
The Shanghai Spring International Travel Service (Group) Co Ltd is replanning and promoting tour packages to Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand and Malaysia.
Domestic tours are usually promoted during the New Year's Day holiday break as it is short, but the schedule makes it possible for some travelers to go farther, said Qin Weihao, manager of Shanghai Spring's outbound tour division.
2013 holiday schedule
New Year's Day: January 1-3 with January 5 and 6 working days.
Spring Festival: February 9-15, with February 16 and 17 working days.
Qingming Festival: April 4-6 with April 7 working day.
Labor Day: April 29 to May 1 with April 27 and 28 working days.
Dragon Boat Festival: June 10-12, with June 8 and 9 working days.
Mid-Autumn Festival: September 19-21, with September 22 working day.
National Day: October 1-7, with September 29 and October 12 working days. --(12/11)
Tourists to get feel for qipao culture
Shanghai's tourism authorities are inviting expats to experience the city's qipao culture by launching its first cheongsam-themed tourism routes and opening a vintage photo exhibit of the traditional dress at the Bund yesterday.
The cheongsam, or qipao, is a body-hugging one-piece Chinese dress for women.
The routes string together 40-plus spots including historical buildings, museums, cheongsam-making stores, water towns, hotels and streets that are tranquil, elegant and rich in history.
To learn the origin and evolution of Shanghai qipao, visit the Shanghai Municipal Archives and the Shikumen (stonegate) Open House Museum.
To purchase a hand-made qipao, come to the Changle Road section between Shaanxi and Maoming roads and the Dongjiadu area, where qipaos in exquisite flower patterns are created by tailors.
To pick up a nostalgic memory, wear your favorite qipao dresses and wander around Xintiandi, Wukang Road, the Bund and Duolun Road where shikumen (stone-gate) houses are hidden away. They are good locations for shooting photos for a chic, vintage feel.
Wearing a qipao was once a fashion craze in Shanghai and the dress is deemed a gem of the haipai (Shanghai style) culture.
"That piece of memory is deeply rooted in the minds of Shanghainese," said Zhou Zhuguang, deputy director of the Shanghai Apparel Institute.
The history of qipao can be dated back to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), when Manchu women typically wore a one-piece dress.
In the 1920s, the qipao was made fashionable by socialites and gained popularity quickly in the city.
The display at the Shanghai Municipal Archives takes visitors through a journey of time with more than 100 precious old photos and qipaos. The display will run through the end of December at 9 Zhongshan Road E2.
A common qipao involves some 3,000 to 5,000 stitches, with some exquisite ones taking 8,000 to 9,000 stitches. --(12/7)
Fake luxury goods sellers get prison
A man was sentenced to 18 months in prison yesterday for selling 335 pieces of counterfeit luxury brand watches and purses, including Gucci and Louis Vuitton, with a total value exceeding 9.56 million yuan (US$1.54 million), Huangpu District People's Court ruled yesterday.
Prosecutors said the suspect, surnamed Tan, is a two-time offender, having been imprisoned for the same crime. He rented an apartment near Yuyuan Garden, a scenic spot in downtown Shanghai, where he had run the illegal business since February.
Tan and his wife, surnamed Liao, were responsible for luring foreign customers into buying the fake luxury products. A third suspect, Liao's brother, negotiated the price.
Prosecutors said Tan's store had no sign and was in a secluded part of a residential area. Police raided the store on March 25 and seized 335 piece fake watches, bags and purses with brands such as LV, Gucci, Chanel and Tag Heuer.
A foreign tourist at the store told police he was lured by Liao to the store when he went to visit Yuyuan Garden.
The court heard that Tan had been sentenced to 15 months in prison with probation for selling counterfeit products in 2010. He resumed his old business shortly after his term was served, prosecutors said. Liao and her brother got six months in prison with probation.--(12/6)
Tripling of cruise ships goal for 2013
Shanghai plans to triple the number of cruise ships it handles next year by beefing up customs service efficiency, offering tax rebates and tailor-making more sightseeing packages for passengers, city officials said yesterday.
More than 200 international passenger liners are expected next year to dock at the Wusong International Cruise Terminal, the city's major cruise terminal, making it one of the busiest home ports in Asia.
The Wusong International Cruise Terminal began operations in October 2011 and has accommodated 60 international liners this year, bringing over 300,000 tourists from China and overseas, said Wang Hong, director of Baoshan District, at a forum on the cruise economy.
In the first, current phase, it can accommodate two international cruise liners with a load capacity of 100,000 tons each.
The port has hosted Costa Cruise's Costa Victoria, followed by Asia's largest luxury cruise ship, the Royal Caribbean International's Voyager of the Seas.
Both have chosen the Wusong terminal as their home port after maiden voyages to the city in May and June.--(12/5)
Out-of-control car hits 120kph
A crash involving a driver who said his car sped out of control when he engaged its cruise control, causing him to exceed 120 kilometers per hour, is being investigated, Shanghai traffic police said yesterday.
The incident happened about 5:30pm on November 19 shortly after the driver entered an expressway in neighboring Zhejiang Province, according to media reports.
The driver, surnamed Ma, said that after engaging the cruise control on his Toyota, it kept speeding up, hitting 120kph and beyond, and could not be controlled. The driver said the manual brake did not work, so he called police.
Zhejiang police confirmed they received his call and notified Shanghai traffic police.
The way was cleared for the car, which rocketed through a toll station in Jinshan about 6:40pm, police said.
The car finally hit a vehicle in front of it and then barreled toward a barrier, where it finally crashed and stopped.
The driver was saved by the car's air bag and not seriously injured, but he said he still has nightmares.
"I am still very scared now and could not even think of driving," Ma said.--(12/4)
Cold nights await city this week
Chilly weather is coming to Shanghai this week, which also should see no rain and partly cloudy to sunny skies, forecasters said yesterday.
The city will start to feel the effects of a cold front around noon today, bringing strong winds, and the temperature is expected to sink to a low of 4 degrees Celsius tomorrow, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau. Today's temperatures should range between a low of 7 degrees Celsius and a high of 12 degrees.
From Tuesday to Friday, the cold front should mean cool days and cold nights, with the mercury dropping to as low as 1 degree Celsius on Wednesday. The high will range between 9 and 11 degrees Celsius.
Meteorologists reminded residents to dress warmly.--(12/3)
City sees solid land sales for 2nd month
Land sales exceeded 10 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) in Shanghai in November for the second straight month as an abundant supply and a recovery in home sales continued to boost sentiment among real estate developers.
The city saw 940,000 square meters of land were sold for 10.6 billion yuan last month, compared with 590,000 square meters sold for 10.9 billion yuan in October, Century 21 China Real Estate said yesterday in a report.
"The strong (buying) momentum will probably extend for another month," said Huang Hetao, a research manager at the city's largest estate chain by outlets. "More prime sites were released locally over the past two months, and the 'fiesta' is set to last till the year-end."
Nineteen land plots, with a combined starting price of 16.5 billion yuan, are to be auctioned this month, according to the website of the Shanghai Bureau of Planning and Land Resources. --(12/1)