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  • Shanghai users to get 4G phones next year
    The first 4G mobile phone based on homegrown technology is expected to debut in Shanghai in the first half of next year, when commercial use of 4G services will have begun, China Mobile said yesterday.
    China Mobile, the world's biggest mobile operator with around 700 million subscribers, has established a TD-LTE (time division-long term evolution) network covering areas within the Inner Ring Road in Shanghai, to provide much faster network speeds. "We will provide TD-LTE handsets and related services next year," Mao Weiliang, Shanghai Mobile's vice general manager of data services division, said during the annual Shanghai Telecommunications Conference.
    China Mobile is pushing the development of its own 4G technology, which is five to 10 times faster than the current 3G network, to improve the mobile broadband experience and fuel the nation's economy by attracting investment.
    China Mobile has begun commercial 4G services in Hangzhou but is only providing data cards at present. There are no TD-LTE phones ready for the market.
    It plans to build TD-LTE networks in 13 cities nationwide by the end of this year, including Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou and Shenzhen.
    The 3G and coming 4G networks will improve mobile Internet quality and relieve pressure on mobile carriers, which face surging data traffic demand, industry insiders said.
    More than 80 percent of Shanghai Mobile's 20 million users use their handsets to access the Internet, and use 50 megabytes data traffic every month on average.
    China Unicom's Shanghai branch has 1.18 million 3G users in the city, using 207 megabytes every month.
    China Mobile's total user data consumption jumped more than 50 percent annually in the past years, Xi said.
    China has set TD-LTE as a strategic industry to develop because the homegrown 3G network will evolve into the 4G network, according to Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice director of the National Development and Reform Commission. But the industry still needs more investment in chips, software and global expansion, Zhang said.
    Laurence Ding, NEC China's carrier network operation's general manager, said: "Besides the latest trials in China, TD-LTE has become an international standard for 4G with overseas adoption,"
    NEC has also developed equipment supporting both TD-LTE and Western LTE technologies, Ding said.
    By June 1, operators had launched a total of nine commercial networks in overseas markets including Japan, Sweden and India, according to the Global TD-LTE Initiative, a telecom industry alliance. --(6/29)

  • Growth forecast cut hits stocks
    Shanghai stocks yesterday fell for the sixth straight day as global financial institutions cut their forecasts of China's economic growth while a liquidity crunch near the end of the quarter clouded the market.
    The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.23 percent to 2,216.93 points. The six-day losing streak was the longest in six months.
    HSBC Bank became the latest bank to cut its estimate of China's economic growth this year in a latest report, joining JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Barclays.
    The report noted China will further relax policies to prevent an economic hard landing. China's central bank will trim interest rates in the third quarter and cut reserve requirement ratio before the end of this year.
    "There's plenty of room for policy adjustment to stabilize growth," Qu Hongbin, chief economist for China at HSBC, said yesterday in Shanghai. "The economy will continue to slow if sufficient fine-tuning policy is absent."
    Nonferrous metal producers and coal miners sank on weakening economic prospects.
    Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-earth (Group) Hi-tech Co plunged 3.4 percent to 40.15 yuan (US$6.31), and Aluminum Corp of China slumped 1.9 percent to 6.27 yuan. China Shenhua Energy Co, the nation's biggest coal producer, shed 0.8 percent to 22.27 yuan, and Yanzhou Coal Mining Co lost 1.2 percent to 19.38 yuan. --(6/28)

  • Release of all PM2.5 readings starts today
    PM2.5 readings of all of the city's 10 monitoring spots and average density of local PM2.5 will be released starting today at the website of Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center.
    The city's latest hourly PM2.5 reading, the latest 24-hour reading and a chart illustrating PM2.5 change within 24 hours will all be available at the website and at Weibo sites of the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau and local government. The PM2.5 information on, and Weibo are in Chinese. Officials said they may offer a bilingual version later.
    By the end of this year, Shanghai will officially announce the hourly and daily readings of all six types of pollution ! PM10, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, PM2.5, ozone and carbon monoxide ! under a national new air quality monitoring standard. The six pollutants will be included in the new air quality evaluation system to better indicate overall air pollution conditions in the nation. Currently, the system includes only PM10, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide.
    Officials from the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau said the days with excellent and good air quality in a year are expected to drop by 10 to 15 percentage points from the current 90-odd percent under the new evaluation system.
    "Among the three new pollutants, PM2.5 ! "fine" particles measuring 2.5 microns or less in diameter ! is the one with the biggest public concern, as it can affect air quality and visibility and explains why what people feel is different from the current air quality evaluation," said Liu Dailin from the bureau.
    Since March, Shanghai has released real time PM2.5 figures at two national control spots in Putuo and Zhangjiang.
    Shanghai has established 30 PM2.5 monitoring spots, including the 10 national control spots set up under governmental requirements for the city's size and scale of its industry.
    Almost all of the 10 national control spots are in downtown areas with dense population, while a spot at Dianshanhu Lake in rural Qingpu is used only as a benchmark for good air quality and not included in the local air quality evaluation.
    The Ministry of Environmental Protection issued the new air quality monitoring standard by adding PM2.5, ozone and carbon monoxide to the evaluation system and named Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin and those in the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta regions and provincial capitals to be the first in China to adopt PM2.5 and ozone monitoring before year's end. --(6/27)

  • As number of twins grows, so do troubles
    A survey has found that 7.25 percent of local people are willing to take measures such as using fertility drugs to try to have twins, but very few people ! as few as 3.3 percent ! are fully aware of the risks, experts said.
    The survey, conducted by Chinese Medical Association's perinatal medicine branch and Shanghai No. 1 Maternity and Child Health Hospital, is the first in the nation to gauge people's understanding of the risks of having a multiple birth. About 4,000 people in Shanghai participated.
    Medical experts who launched the nation's first multiple birth awareness week yesterday said twins have a much higher chance of congenital deformities than single pregnancies.
    Due to the abuse of fertility drugs and wider use of in vitro fertilization, the city's likelihood of having twins has risen from the national rate of one in every 90 pregnancies to one in 50 to 60 pregnancies, according to Dr Duan Tao, president of the Shanghai No. 1 Maternity and Child Health Hospital.
    "Twins doesn't only mean double happiness, it could also mean double, triple or even much more trouble," he said. "Every month, my hospital admits a dozen of new patients pregnant with twins, who are found to be at high risk or have complication syndromes."
    "The chance of abortion, premature delivery and congenital deformity in a multiple pregnancy is far higher than in a single pregnancy ... " Duan said.
    Medical experts said caring for twins also can have far different challenges than raising just one child. --(6/26)

  • Sales bonanza for city shops
    Total sales at major retailers in Shanghai during the three-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday ending yesterday jumped more than 13 percent from a year earlier despite unfavorable weather, according to the Shanghai Commission of Commerce.
    The commission attributed the surge in sales to heavy holiday discounts by retailers while the on-going Euro 2012 soccer tournament and the just-closed Shanghai Film Festival also helped increase the sales of audiovisual equipment.
    The New World Department Store on Nanjing Road W. boosted sales by nearly five times to 75 million yuan (US$11.9 million) during the three-day holiday after offering discounts of up to 60 percent.
    Total sales at selected department stores and shopping malls also climbed 18.8 percent year-on-year. Major shopping malls in the city's prime retail areas, including Nanjing Road E., Huaihai Road M. and Xujiahui, registered annual growth of more than 15 percent while outlying areas such as Qingpu and Fengxian saw sales soar by an average of 50 percent from the same period a year earlier.
    Sales of zongzi, or rice dumplings, a traditional festival food, rose to around 3 million yuan at Shanghai First Food Store in the 10 days to yesterday, a 7.3 percent increase on 2011.
    Spending at major restaurants across the city climbed 16 percent, while sales at Yongle, one of the largest home appliances chains in the city, gained 11.7 percent year-on-year to 120 million yuan during the holiday. --(6/25)

  • China and US enterprises sign US$3.4b deals
    Investment contracts worth US$3.4 billion were signed by enterprises from both China and the United States during a forum held in eastern China's Jiangsu Province.
    Eighty-five enterprises from 21 Chinese cities and 20 US cities gathered for the second US-China Cities Forum on Economic Cooperation and Investment on Friday and yesterday.
    A total of 42 investment projects were involved, covering 21 sectors - including manufacturing, energy conservation and environmental protection, electronic information, chemical and pharmaceutical.
    China's Finance Minister Xie Xuren said at the opening ceremony that China and the US share different resource advantages, and strongly complement each other in economic development.
    The two economies should expand cooperation in more sectors, especially in energy and environmental protection, biomedicine and infrastructure, so as to turn opportunities into tangible results, Xie said.
    The forum, jointly sponsored by Chinese and US finance ministries, this year seeks to form contracts on the basis of spoken agreements reached between China and US top officials over the past year, including President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States in January 2011.The forum was first held in Seattle last year.
    China and the United States are each's second-largest trading partner, with bilateral trade currently totalling US$446.6 billion. --(6/24)

  • Viral hepatitis to be controllable in future
    Viral hepatitis is likely to be controllable in 20 years with the development of hepatitis vaccines and immunity medicine, medical experts told an international symposium on viral hepatitis and liver disease in Shanghai yesterday.
    Viral hepatitis is the most prevalent of 28 serious infectious diseases in China with an incidence of 0.1 percent.
    Over 1.37 million Chinese were diagnosed with viral hepatitis last year - 42.4 percent of all cases among the 28 serious infectious diseases. Liver cancer, mainly caused by viral hepatitis, has the second-highest mortality among all cancers.
    Thanks to the promotion of hepatitis B vaccination, the incidence of hepatitis B carriers dropped from 9.75 percent in 1992 to the current 7.17 percent, which means 30 million Chinese have avoided catching the virus in the past decade, experts told the symposium, attended by some 2,500 participants from 44 countries and regions.
    Research on viral hepatitis and liver cancer in China has improved greatly in recent years, experts said. More Chinese scientists have had articles published on the topic in scientific journals recently than any other country except the United States.
    Dr Wang Hongyang, a medical researcher and member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said during the symposium that he has discovered a series of liver cancer markers for early cancer identification. He said the current cancer marker diagnosis has an accuracy rate of 40 percent, while his measure can increase the accuracy rate of early diagnosis by 15 percent points.
    It has received a patent in China and is being appraised by the State Food and Drug Administration. --(6/23)

  • Authorities deal with cargo scare
    Shanghai entry-exit inspection authorities say there is no need for public concern after they discovered a type of bacteria which can prove fatal.
    It was the first time the bacteria, found in a fly at a city airport, had been spotted in China, officials said yesterday.
    But there was no need to worry about infection, the officials said. The bacteria had been identified in one fly in 20 that were caught in an imported cargo area at the Pudong International Airport.
    Officials have carried out sanitary measures at the airport to ensure safety.
    The bacteria, wohlfahrtiimonas chitiniclastica, is known to have caused two cases of fulminant sepsis in France and Argentina, officials said.
    The case has been reported to China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. --(6/22)

  • Shanghai posts 9.9% increase in FDI for May
    Foreign direct investment in Shanghai rose 9.9 percent on an annual basis to US$1.34 billion in May, according to the Shanghai Statistics Bureau.
    Although the pace was stronger than March's 2.7 percent gain, it slowed from the 15.9 percent jump in April.
    But contracted FDI in Shanghai surged 27.5 percent to US$2.04 billion, with US$268 million of that, or 2.5 times the value a year ago, going into the city's manufacturing sector. Its weighting rose 6.4 percentage points to 13.1 percent in the total investment pie.
    The service sector in Shanghai absorbed US$1.77 billion worth of contracted FDI, up an annual 19.1 percent.
    Shanghai targets to attract at least US$10 billion in FDI annually by 2015, the Shanghai Commission of Commerce said earlier in a guideline for foreign investment during the 12th Five-Year Plan period that runs from 2011 to 2015.
    China's FDI edged up 0.05 percent from a year earlier last month, ending a six-month declining streak. --(6/21)

  • Line 13's first train
    The first train for Metro Line 13, which is still under construction, arrives at a Metro maintenance center in the city yesterday from its manufacturing plant in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province. The six-car train will be used on the line after testing, officials said. Part of Metro Line 13 will undergo test runs by year's end. This section has seven stops, from Huajiang Road Station in northwest Jiading District to Jinshajiang Road Station in Putuo District. --(6/20)

  • Alternative ways to see movies
    China is to have its first cross-media movie platform later this year, officials said yesterday during the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival.
    It will give movie buffs alternative ways to view films such as through the Internet or by video-on-demand on TV.
    The platform will be created by Xunlei Networking, Airmedia, One Film Fund and KH Media with a total investment of around 500 million yuan (US$78.7 million).
    Liu Feng, vice president of Xunlei Networking, said they were exploring a new direction for Chinese cinema particularly at a time when the quota of US films allowed in had increased.
    Last year, China produced a total of 791 films. However, only 154 were screened in the cinema. Many small films with moderate budgets failed to find an audience because of the lack of a wide screening and distribution platform.
    Yang Buting, president of China Film Distribution and Exhibition Association, said in developed countries, a film's cinema box-office receipts contributed only about 30 percent of total revenue while in China the proportion was as high as 80-90 percent. --(6/19)

  • Take cover, plum rain season has begun
    The annual plum rain season has begun and Shanghai residents can expect frequent showers over the next few days, according to city forecasters.
    The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said there could be occasional thunder today and tomorrow and daily rainfall of between 40 and 60 millimeters.
    The first downpour of the season came last night, the bureau said, and a rainstorm alert had been issued at 5.05pm.
    Zhu Jiehua, a chief service officer at the bureau, said the rain should weaken and gradually disappear by tomorrow evening but return again from Thursday. Maximum temperatures this week should be between 21 to 28 degrees Celsius, Zhu said.
    Elsewhere, baking heat was the order of the day in China's northern regions while southern provinces were experiencing rainstorms.
    The National Meteorological Center said Beijing and the neighboring city of Tianjin as well as Hebei, Shandong and Henan provinces saw temperatures rising to between 37 and 39 degrees Celsius yesterday afternoon. It said the high temperatures in those places would continue over the next few days.
    Heavy rain and storms with occasional thunder are forecast to continue in Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Guangdong and Hainan provinces today.
    Tang Xu, director of the Shanghai bureau, said last month that rainfall in the city during this year's plum rain season would be above average.
    However, that view was challenged by one amateur weather watcher.
    Chen Wenhui, known for his accurate forecasts since 2009, said: "This year's plum rain season should be atypical with relatively less total precipitation but more rainy days. There should be fewer than four days with showers lasting all day long and city-wide torrential rain should happen no more than twice.
    "The total precipitation in the plum rain season should be 30 to 40 percent less than last year."
    Zhu said: "The expectation we released about half a month ago was a long-term prediction, which should only be used as a reference. Right now the season has started and we'll focus more attention on the daily and weekly forecast."
    Meanwhile, this year's fourth tropical storm, Guchol, has been upgraded to a super typhoon and is heading from the west Pacific to Japan, the China Meteorological Administration said. But it is not expected to affect Shanghai. --(6/18)

  • Car license plate prices fall to 3-month low
    Shanghai's car license plate prices dropped the first time in seven months after the government eased quotas and introduced a new rule on car plate resale to curb speculation.
    The average winning bid for a Shanghai car plate fell to a three-month low of 58,227 yuan (US$9,147) in June from its record high last month, down 6,140 yuan, said the Shanghai Commodity International Auction Co after yesterday's auction.
    The lowest successful bid dropped 8,200 yuan to 55,800 yuan - the lowest since February. The city made 9,500 car plates available for sale this month, 200 more than May and the most this year. The number of bidders was 24,744, a 2 percent increase from last month.
    Market observers said the price fall was within market expectations following the announcement of a new rule effective next month, which will extend the required holding period of a new car plate before resale to three years from the current one year.
    "The rule came as a heavy blow to scalpers who would usually cash in on plates," said Xiao Yan, a second-hand car dealer.
    The price of a second-hand car plate dropped to around 66,000 yuan this week before the auction, a decrease of 1,000 yuan from the same period last month.
    "Speculators are no longer hoarding car plates because the risks of price fluctuation under the new rule are more than they can bear," Xiao said.
    Nicknamed the most expensive metal plate in China, Shanghai's car license plate prices had increased 10,000 yuan this year amid buyers' strong demand, before yesterday's drop was announced.
    Sun Jianping, director of Shanghai Transport and Port Bureau, said earlier this month that the focal point of Shanghai's private car ownership management now is to cool down overheated car plate prices and curb speculative bidding.
    The traffic administration is also studying new measures to better regulate the auction, such as including second-hand car plate trading into the event and only allowing people who have bought a car to take part.
    Shanghai now has more than 1.7 million private cars. The number of private cars would surpass 3.3 million if measures, such as plate auction, were not taken, said the city's traffic administration. --(6/17)

  • Pudong platform
    In cooperation with the customs, local quarantine authorities and market watchdog, Shanghai's Pudong New Area yesterday launched a service platform for regional headquarters of global companies to provide convenience for doing business and professionals' entry and exit.
    Regional headquarters in the district can visit to learn about the policies and make online consultation.
    Pudong has also set up a hotline, 5138-6627, which the regional head offices can access. --(6/16)

  • 2 runways at Pudong key for new jumbo jet
    Construction of the fourth and fifth runways at the Pudong International Airport has passed a quality appraisal by experts, the Shanghai Airport Authority said yesterday.
    The appraisal, done for the National Development and Reform Commission, included construction planning, air space utilization, environmental impact, land compensation and project investment.
    It concluded that the runways are key to Shanghai's future as an air traffic hub and home to China's own jumbo plane.
    The two new runways, now under construction, will provide a testing ground for the much-anticipated Chinese-made jumbo jet C919. They will also be used to conduct test flights of the ARJ21 regional jet, also a Chinese aircraft.
    Shanghai will then have seven runways, five at the Pudong airport and two at the Hongqiao International Airport.
    The C919 is due to make its first flight in 2014 and enter service within two years, according to the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China. Officials estimate production will reach 150 jets annually by 2020.
    The research said the new runways will have little effect on noise at the airport.
    The fourth runway, 3,800 meters long, can handle the largest commercial plane, the Airbus 380. The 3,400-meter fifth runway, located by the sea, will be used for C919 test flights.
    The cost of the two new runways at the Pudong airport, operated by Shanghai International Airport Co Ltd, will be 9.4 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion). New runways will enable the world's third-busiest air hub by passenger volume to handle 60 million passengers a year by 2015, said airport officials. --(6/15)

  • Trees under threat from jump in pests
    2012 An invasion of pests and the planting of more greenery in the city has led to a surge in tree-damaging organisms in recent years, the city's forestry authorities said yesterday.
    Shanghai has found about 1,500 types of organisms harmful to trees, up from only about 500 in the 1980s. Of that number, about 20 are extremely harmful.
    "The situation is sort of grim," said Wang Yan of the Shanghai Forestry Bureau.
    The pine wood nematode led to the death of 20,000 pine trees on Sheshan Hill in western Shanghai.
    All pine trees on the hill were destroyed to avoid the organism's spread.
    Trees from other parts of China arrive without being quarantined, Wang said.
    About 1,200 cherry blossom trees in Gucun Park, a popular cherry blossom viewing spot in Shanghai, were destroyed last year and in 2011 because of crown gall, a disease of roots and stems. The trees came from Guizhou and Zhejiang provinces.
    The infection rate of cherry trees in the city is 15 percent on average, the bureau says.
    China bans the import of cherry trees from Japan because of high infection rate.
    "However, a lot of cherry trees enter the city through various means every year, posing great pressure on quarantine work," Wang said.
    The red palm weevil threatens palm trees. Authorities destroyed 29 canary date palms from Foshan, Guangdong Province, at the Expo site, leading to losses of 7 million yuan (US$1.129 million).
    Inspections are also being stepped up currently. --(6/14)

  • Shanghai rises up cost of living list
    Shanghai has overtaken Beijing to become the most expensive place to live on the Chinese mainland for expats and the 16th most costly of 214 cities across the globe, according to rankings released yesterday by US human resource consultants Mercer.
    Many Chinese cities are becoming more expensive due to a stronger yuan, soaring accommodation costs and steadily rising prices last year, Mercer said.
    Shanghai is one place above Beijing on the global ranking list, with the cities climbing five and three places respectively from a year earlier.
    Shenzhen, an economic center in southern China, rose to 30th place from 43rd in 2011.
    Guangzhou City climbed seven places to rank 31st.
    Other Chinese cities where the cost of living has risen sharply were Qingdao, Tianjin, Shenyang, Nanjing and Chengdu. All below the top 100 last year, they have now made it into 2012's top 100.
    Shanghai and Beijing also overtook South Korean capital Seoul (22nd, down three places) among major Asian cities.
    Nathalie Constantin-Metral, a Mercer official, commented on the company's website: "The combination of increased prices for goods and a strengthening of the Chinese yuan have pushed Chinese cities up the ranking. Continued high demand for accommodation has also led to moderate increases in rental costs."
    Tokyo pushed Angolan capital Luanda, where the cost of secure accommodation is extremely high, into second place this year, to become the world's most expensive city for expats while most European cities dropped in the rankings, mainly due to what Mercer called a "considerable weakening" of local currencies against the US dollar.
    The euro has lost 3.9 percent in the past six months, Bloomberg reported.
    Moscow remained the most costly place to live in Europe, retaining its 4th place on the list. New York, 33rd, was still the most costly city in the United States.
    London, in 25th place, is still more expensive than other leading tourist cities, including Paris, which fell 10 places to 37th.
    The survey measures the comparative prices of more than 200 items in each location. Housing costs are included.--(6/13)

  • Fog delays flights, port stays shut
    Heavy fog grounded flights at a city airport and kept a local port closed yesterday, Shanghai transport officials said.
    Meanwhile, more fog and haze would be seen in parts of the city today, forecasters said yesterday.
    Fifteen flights were canceled and more than 120 delayed when fog shrouded Pudong International Airport.
    Seventeen flights had to land at the city's western Hongqiao airport before services returned to normal at Pudong at noon.
    Pudong Waigaoqiao Port, a major harbor for international ships, has been closed since the weekend. Conditions hadn't improved yesterday with officials describing the situation as "the most severe this year."
    Loading operations were hampered by low visibility, which was less than a hundred meters, at the port, they said.
    However, shipping movements at the mouth of the Yangtze River Delta were gradually returning to normal and by yesterday afternoon more than 850 ships had begun to enter the deep-water channel which had been off-limits.
    Meanwhile, three fishermen were rescued off Shanghai early yesterday morning after their boat hit a rock.
    Police were alerted at about 3am that the boat was sinking near Sheshan Island in the East China Sea.
    But fog hampered the rescue operation and a marine patrol boat didn't manage to reach the scene until 6am.
    With the help of another fishing boat nearby, the fishermen were saved before their boat sank, police said.
    The boat owner, surnamed Chen, said they had come from Jiangsu Province and were on their way to Shanghai to have their boat repaired before the end of the current fishing ban in August.
    They were not familiar with the navigation routes around Shanghai and the heavy fog added to their plight, Chen said.
    Today's forecast is for cloudy skies with temperatures ranging from 23 to 31 degrees Celsius.--(6/12)

  • Sunshades get major boost
    The city plans to add and reconstruct window sunshades on 4 million square meters of buildings within the year, and it will offer subsidies to facilitate the renovation process.
    The municipal government will offer a subsidy of 150 yuan (US$24) to 250 yuan per square meter of windows based on the renovation progress for both residential and public housing.
    Energy consumption of buildings accounts for 27.8 percent of the total energy use in China, and government officials said curbing consumption in buildings is imperative.
    Solar shading controls the amount of heat and light admitted to a building. It can reduce the need for heating or air conditioning by maintaining a more even temperature during varying climatic conditions. Solar shading is any window covering that excludes sunshine from a building, such as a curtain, awning or roller shutter.
    Buildings with sunshade devices can save 25 percent of air conditioning, and cut heating by 10 percent, according to a report by the European Solar-Shading Organization based on its investigation of the EU's 25 member states.
    China's "green" architecture is in its infancy, according to Guo Qiming, a professor in urban planning at Shanghai Tongji University. --(6/11)

  • More Great Wall on show
    Beijing authorities said yesterday that the city will open more sections of the Great Wall to accommodate the mounting number of tourists.
    The city will open the sections of Huanghuacheng and Hefangkou and further extend the lengths of Mutianyu and Badaling sections open to tourists, said Kong Fanzhi, chief of the city's cultural relics bureau.
    Kong said the move was to reduce the load on Great Wall sections currently open in Beijing, such as Badaling, Mutianyu, Simatai and Juyongguan.
    "These Great Wall sections are overloaded on weekends and holidays," said Kong, adding that some people have climbed the closed sections of the Great Wall, which has also damaged the national cultural heritage.
    The 21,196 kilometers of the Great Wall in China were built over many dynasties starting 2,200 years ago.
    The city is building a Great Wall database, which will be open to the public, said Wang Yuwei, an official on cultural relics protection with the bureau.--(6/10)

  • Bourse notice
    The Shanghai Stock Exchange yesterday said it will tighten rules regarding listed companies' information disclosure procedures during major asset restructuring as it steps up efforts to fight insider trading.
    Listed firms will be normally allowed at most 30 days of trading suspension between the release of the asset restructuring notice and the actual restructuring plan, according to a draft notice posted yesterday on the website of the bourse.
    The company under restructuring will also have to hand over a list of people that have inside knowledge of the matter within five days after announcing the reorganization. --(6/9)

  • Energy 'green credit' tie-up
    Shanghai will arrange 10 billion yuan (US$1.57 billion) of "green credit" with 10 banks to back energy conservation.
    The lenders, including Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and Bank of China, will sign an agreement next week with an alliance of local energy service companies for the green credit to be used in energy performance contracting, Shang Yuying, vice director of the Shanghai Commission of Economy and Information Technology, said yesterday.
    In energy performance contracting, an energy service company provides a range of solutions, including design and implementation of energy saving projects, energy infrastructure outsourcing, and power generation for building occupants, who pay a fee that's below the benefit, or savings, gained.
    The loan arrangement will be part of events for the annual energy saving promotion week which starts on Sunday.
    Shang said the city's industrial sector's energy saving potential is "not very big" because it's among the most efficient across China.--(6/8)

  • New university to recruit grad students
    The city's newest university, Shanghai Science and Technology University, will start to recruit postgraduate students next year and recruit undergraduate students in 2014, officials from the Chinese Academy of Sciences said yesterday.
    Established by the Shanghai government and CAS, the university with an annual recruitment quota for 4,000 postgraduate students and 2,000 undergraduate students aims to train the top-level scientists and engineers in China.
    Sharing a set of buildings with the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute (SARI) at the CAS scientific technology park in Pudong New Area, the two units will cooperate very closely, said Feng Songlin from the institute. SARI recently kicked off a cooperative agreement with US Drexel University for new drug development.
    "It is not an ordinary university, as top researchers and experts from the institute can teach students at the university and students can do research at the institute's laboratories," Feng said. "Scientific education, research and transformation and industrialization of scientific and technological achievements will be truly realized at the same park."
    The university has schools of material sciences, life sciences, information technology and innovation and management. --(6/7)

  • Stocks rise on signs of a bottom
    Shanghai stocks rebounded yesterday from Monday's steep fall on speculation the stock market will soon reach the bottom and turn up, as the prices of bank stocks have fallen below net assets per share.
    The Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.15 percent to 2,311.92 points.
    "It is normally regarded as the industry bottom or market bottom if the prices of bank shares fall below their net assets per share," the Securities Times, official newspaper of China securities watchdog, said yesterday on its Weibo.
    The share prices of Huaxia Bank Co and the Bank of Communications, the nation's fifth-biggest lender, both closed below their net assets per share on Monday, according to the lenders' latest earning reports.
    Shares of BoCom edged up 0.2 percent to close at 4.56 yuan (72 US cents) yesterday, while Huaxia Bank rose 0.3 percent to 9.57 yuan.
    Western Securities said in a report: "The rebound of blue chips signals the market is bottoming out. The rebound will extend on looser monetary and credit policy, as external demand continued to weaken."
    Airline shares rallied on possible rises in ticket sales, as a cut in fuel surcharges started yesterday. Air China jumped 3.7 percent to 6.22 yuan and China Eastern soared 4.2 percent to 4.18 yuan. Hainan Airlines surged 6 percent to 5.09 yuan.--(6/6)

  • iShanghai to provide free Wi-Fi
    Users of mobile devices will soon be able to get two hours of free wireless Internet in a number of city locations, paid for by the city government.
    The scheme, called i.Shanghai, is set to cover 450 public venues by the end of next year.
    Transport hubs, parks and public greenery areas, hospitals, shopping streets and government service halls will be among the first batch of sites to be covered by the program.
    The scheme is part of an initiative to upgrade speed and convenience of the Internet service in Shanghai. The program aims to have a total of 2,400 areas covered over the next few years.
    A free Wi-Fi service is already available in the Lujiazui area, which launched a "wireless financial city" program on Friday. The network covers a 1.7 square kilometer core area including the halls of 30 office buildings.
    Urban planners say the expansion of Wi-Fi coverage is part of Shanghai's plan to become a "Smart City," operating on high-speed Internet technologies. --(6/5)

  • Summer likely is here amid string of warmer days
    Shanghai may have entered the meteorological summer on Saturday as the weather is expected to stay warm this week.
    Locals enjoyed a mild weekend of mixed sun and clouds, with an average temperature above 22 degrees Celsius.
    If the warm tendency is not disrupted before Thursday, Shanghai will have entered summer, weather officials said.
    Summer will be announced once the average 24-hour temperature hits 22 degrees Celsius for five consecutive days after "Li Xia," a solar term of the Chinese lunar calendar that usually occurs around May 5.
    This week's weather is forecast to be mostly wet. The mercury will climb a little bit each day and will range from a low of 20 degrees Celsius to a high of 31, weather officials said.
    Forecasters suggested locals take an umbrella when going out, as the city is expected to see drizzle or showers from Monday to Thursday.
    Today's weather is forecast to be cloudy to intermittently rainy, and the mercury should range from a low of 20 degrees to a high of 25. Tomorrow should be cloudy to drizzly, and the high is expected to reach 26 degrees. The temperature should gradually climb to 29 degrees on Thursday.
    The rain will be replaced by overcast to cloudy weather on Friday, with the high expected to hit 31 degrees and the low at 22.
    Even if summer arrived on Saturday, it came on the late side compared to the past decade, meteorologists said. Data shows that over the past 10 years, summer has usually arrived between middle and late May. Last year, the city entered summer in early May.
    Moreover, this year's summer is forecast to be slightly cooler than average. Forecasters predict 23 days with a high reaching 35 degrees or more, three days fewer than the past decade's average of 26 days. The city also is forecast to have six days with a high above 37 degrees, two fewer than average.--(6/4)

  • Yuan-yen exchange gets an active start
    The Japanese yen strengthened against the yuan yesterday on the first session of direct trading between the two currencies in Shanghai and Tokyo.
    Economists said the direct yuan-yen trading would reduce Asian countries' exposure to risks of the US dollar and euro, and would help the yuan to go international even as its appreciation slows down.
    China's central bank yesterday morning set the central parity rate at 8.0686 yuan per 100 yen, or 12.3937 yen per yuan, based on prices quoted by several banks, including Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Bank of China and HSBC Bank, which have been approved to handle trading of the currency.
    The yuan, allowed to trade as much as 3 percent on either side of the set parity, closed at 8.1185 per 100 yen in Shanghai, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System.
    In Japan, the yuan fetched 12.33 yen (or 8.11 yuan per 100 yen) in Tokyo's foreign exchange market at 9am, and was traded mostly at around 12.31 yen during the day, a Shanghai-based trader said. That compared to 12.37 yen when the market closed on Thursday.
    Previously, the yuan/yen rate was calculated based on yuan/dollar rate and dollar/yen rate, and any settlement between yuan and yen would use the US dollar as an intermediary.
    "Trading has been active," said Xu Ming, a Shanghai-based trader with the Bank of China. "The direct trading could increase yuan/yen liquidity and reduce costs for trading on the inter-bank foreign exchange market."
    He added that the market-made prices would not dictate the yuan/yen exchange rate, but it would increase the transparency of China's exchange rate system.
    The move has been widely welcomed as part of China's efforts to reduce reliance on the US dollar after accumulating US$3.3 trillion of foreign-exchange reserves. More significantly, it has also been considered a step forward to protect trade and investment among Asian countries from risks of the greenback.
    China is the largest trade partner of both Japan and South Korea. Total trade between Japan and China was 27.5 trillion yen (US$350 billion) in 2011, and has increased 2.5 times since 2001, according to data from the Japanese finance ministry. The number of Japanese companies that have businesses in China grew 1.5 times to 22,307 in 2010 from 2001.
    "The yuan is playing an important role in the economic cooperation among Asian countries," said Sun Lijian, a professor with Fudan University, "China, Japan and South Korea are the center of such cooperation, but the low maturity of the financial market is still a shortcoming."
    He said forming an international currency in the region would greatly help hedge risks in the West, and China needs to improve its foreign exchange system and promote international settlement to become a regional currency.--(6/2)

  • Index declines ahead of official PMI data release
    Shanghai's stocks remained weak yesterday amid a prevailing cautious sentiment toward the release of the official Purchasing Managers' Index for May today.
    The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.5 percent to 2,372.23 points.
    Investors turned their attention to the official PMI release as they expect it to show a contraction in industrial activities, signaling that China's economy continues to slow down.
    The official data may snap a four-month rise, dropping to 51.5 from April's 53.3 after the HSBC flash PMI reading fell to 48.7 in May from 49.3 and earnings at industrial companies nationwide shed 2.2 percent last month, compared with a 4.5 percent gain in March.
    "As the European sovereign debt crisis is deepening, we are likely to see a slump in the export order sub-index," Ding Shuang, economist at Citibank, said.
    Banks lost amid worries about their risk exposure as China's economy slows further.
    The Bank of Communications dropped 1.3 percent to end at 4.61 yuan and China CITIC Bank pared 1.2 percent to finish at 4.24 yuan yesterday.--(6/1)



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