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  April



  • Reprieve from rain, warmer days ahead
    The intermittent rain should be gone today and the temperature should rise gradually during the rest of the week to around 27 degrees Celsius during the weekend, forecasters said.
    Under partly cloudy skies, the temperature should rise quickly today from a low of 14 degrees Celsius to a high of 22.
    There may be some light smog due in part to the high humidity, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
    Tomorrow should remain cloudy and the readings should stay between 14 and 26 degrees Celsius.
    Forecasters said that locals can put away their umbrellas for a few days after rain that fell from Monday night to yesterday morning, and again to some extent last night.
    "Shanghai should be mostly cloudy in the latter half of the week and the temperature during the day should remain around the mid-20s Celsius while the low between 12 and 15 degrees," said a chief service officer of the bureau yesterday.
    "The temperature difference between day and night should remain big, but the weather should be comfortable and sufficiently warm."
    Fog and haze lingering this morning could reduce visibility in some areas, bureau officials reminded locals.
    The sky should turn sunnier on Friday.
    The chance for rain is expected to grow again on Monday.--(4/24)

  • Metro lines 3, 4 to split by 2015
    The Metro system soon will start the process of separating Line 3 and Line 4, which by 2015 is expected to increase the capacities of the two busiest lines in the city, a senior subway expert said yesterday.
    The lines, which currently share part of their routes, will go their separate ways in a rerouting project that will involve 2.6 kilometers of track and cost 2.89 billion yuan (US$467.5 million), according to the National Development and Reform Commission.
    "The city should start the project as soon as possible because the sharing on the routes has seriously limited the capacities of the two lines, especially the ring-shape Line 4 that links many other Metro lines of the city," said Sun Zhang, a Metro expert and professor with Tongji University.
    Sun made the remarks after a new shuttle bus route meant to relieve crowding on part of Metro Line 3 during the morning was canceled over the weekend after it got light use due to road congestion.
    Lines 3 and 4 share nine stations between the Baoshan Road and the Yishan Road stations, forcing passengers have to wait for at least five minutes for either of the lines' trains.
    "After the separation, the train intervals of both lines can be shortened to about 2 minutes, doubling the lines' capacities," Zhang said.
    According to the plan, Line 4 will run the ring-shape route alone. Line 3 will be cut into two separate parts -- Jiangyang Road N. to Shanghai Railway Station in the north and Yishan Road to Shanghai Southern Railway Station in the south.
    The Baoshan Road Station where the two lines will still meet after the separation will be renovated, Shanghai Radio Station news reported yesterday. Two new elevated rails will be built at the station for the new Line 3.--(4/23)

  • 2,200 people walk 50km to aid poor kids
    More than 2,200 people walked 50 kilometers in the city over the weekend as part of a charity project that raised 1.66 million yuan (US$268,522), primarily to benefit poverty-stricken students in China.
    The event, the One Egg Project, had participants bet with their friends and relatives that they could complete the hike. The participants were required to complete the task to win the bet and have the pledges go to the charity.
    It is called "one egg" because it aims to provide children an egg a day in charity-supported school across the country. Many poor students are unable to focus on studies because they're undernourished, organizers said. A portion of the money will be spent on helping earthquake victims, officials said.
    The project is one of a number run by the Shanghai United Foundation, also known as "Lianquan," a grant-making organization that supports grassroots nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
    In Saturday's event, 392 teams of people from all across China began their hike at an art center in Nanhui in the Pudong New Area at 7am. Their destination was a subway station near Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, the organizer said.
    While most of the money cames from pledges, participants also sold handmade bags online or rented their bodies for advertisements. Some participants collected money from passers-by at the event.--(4/22)

  • Island hopes to lure Chinese business
    The Isle of Man, a self-governing island located adjacent to the United Kingdom, expects to provide Chinese businesses "an opportunity to retain greater share of margin" of doing business in Europe, its Minister for Economic Development John Shimmin said in Shanghai today.
    Leading a government and business delegation to China, Shimmin visited Beijing and Guangzhou in the past week, with Shanghai a final stop in his visit.
    Little known by Chinese businesses, the Isle of Man is an international offshore financial center which has free trade access for goods sold into the UK and the European Union.
    Due to zero corporate tax and relatively low value-added tax in the island, the Isle of Man can offer Chinese companies, especially exporters, a greater margin of profit for their businesses in Europe, Shimmin said.
    "Our economy expanded 4 percent last year even in the Western recession. The pursue of more cooperation with China is to make two successful economies more successful," said Shimmin.
    For Chinese companies that have listing plans involving the UK or EU, the Isle of Man also provides value-added services because it is already a favored location for obtaining UK listings, Shimmin added.--(4/20)

  • Pudong works on free-trade zone
    Shanghai's Pudong New Area will accelerate preparations to set up China's first free trade zone as one of its priorities this year.
    The area government will work with relevant state and municipal departments to formulate a plan to consolidate the three bonded zones in the Waigaoqiao port, Yangshan Deep-Water Port and Pudong International Airport into China's first free trade zone, district officials said at a conference yesterday. The plan will embrace pilot measures and policies to promote innovation of foreign exchange management, opening up trade in services, and facilitate supervision, the local government said.--(4/19)

  • Cool down today to bring smog in morning
    The city is expected to cool off during the rest of the week, with temperatures edging down starting today.
    Under the influence of a cold front, the city's high today should drop to 22 degrees Celsius, 4 degrees lower than yesterday, with the low around 13 degrees, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau. It is expected to be overcast to cloudy.
    Temperatures should keep dropping tomorrow, with a high of 16 degrees Celsius and a low of 11, the bureau said. It should be cloudy to overcast with a chance of rain.
    On Saturday, the high should drop to 14 degrees Celsius and, on Sunday morning, the low should drop below 10 degrees.
    "The city should feel shady and chilly," said Zhang Ruiyi, a chief service officer of the bureau.
    The cold front also has meant a worsening of the city's air quality.
    Smog is expected again this morning in some areas, as it did yesterday morning, the bureau said. The haze is caused by the "accumulation of airborne particulates and weak winds," Zhang said.
    The air yesterday was lightly polluted with PM2.5 particles, the major pollutant, higher than 80 micrograms per cubic meter all the day.
    The readings reached a peak of about 140 micrograms per cubic meter at noon and dropped to 81.9 at 6pm.
    The nation's limit on PM2.5 in the most recent 24 hours is 75 micrograms per cubic meter.--(4/18)

  • Shanghai-Jiading highway under renovation
    The section between exits to Highway S20 and Jiading's Nanmen is closed to heavy trucks between 6am and 10pm during renovation.
    One lane in the section leading to the outer ring road Highway G1501 is closed for construction and the section between the toll station and the exit ramp to Highway S5 in Malu had lanes redrawn.--(4/17)

  • 6 Shanghai cases take China virus total to 77
    Shanghai reported another six cases of H7N9 bird flu infection yesterday, including one new case and five diagnosed retrospectively.
    Of the five cases, two patients had died while the others, including a child, had recovered.
    So far Shanghai has reported 30 H7N9 cases, 11 deaths and four patients who had recovered.
    Neighboring Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces reported a total of eight new H7N9 infection cases yesterday, bringing the infection number across the country to 77.
    In Shanghai, 15 patients are undergoing treatment in isolation, the Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission said yesterday.
    The five cases confirmed retrospectively included the two sons of an 87-year-old local man who was one of the first three H7N9 cases in China.
    The three members of the Li family had been admitted between February 14 and 24 for symptoms including fever and coughing. All were diagnosed as having pneumonia. A 69-year-old son recovered and was discharged but his 55-year-old brother died from severe pneumonia and respiratory failure in late February. Their father died of multi-organ failure.
    The new case is a 47-year-old Shanghai man surnamed Zhang, who started to feel fatigued and feverish last Wednesday. He went to Shanghai No. 8 People's Hospital the next day and was admitted on Monday when he was diagnosed with pneumonia. He tested positive for H7N9 the same day.
    Another case confirmed retrospectively was that of a child who went to Changsha in Hunan Province from Shanghai with parents on March 16. The child had flu-like symptoms on March 17 and a sample was sent for tests.
    Hunan Province officials told the Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission about the child's infection on Monday.
    The child returned to Shanghai on March 19 but has fully recovered.
    There were no details on the other cases.
    Officials in Jiangsu said a 56-year-old man, a 21-year-old woman and a 72-year-old man were confirmed with the infection yesterday.
    In Zhejiang, three men and two women tested positive for the H7N9 virus. They were men aged 56. 57 and 62 and women aged 58 and 72. --(4/16)

  • Business jet makers eye rising demand
    The world's top business aircraft makers are seeking to tap the soaring demand among Chinese for business jets by taking part in a major aviation event in Shanghai this week.
    The manufacturers, including Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier, will display about 30 planes, each costing more than 200 million yuan (US$32.3 million), at the three-day Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition. The event, which begins tomorrow, will be held at the Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Center at Hongqiao International Airport.
    "More Chinese are buying business jets as the mainland market (for business aviation) has entered a rapid growth period," said George Lu, deputy general manager of the center.
    French business jet producer Dassault Falcon said private Chinese companies have become major buyers of business jets.
    Airbus will exhibit its new 19-seat ACJ318 business jet, said to have the largest cabin, with a separate bedroom, office and bathroom.
    Last year, Shanghai's two airports handled 4,000 private jets. In 2011, the figure was 3,400, 33 percent of the total on the Chinese mainland.
    The city plans to build a second business aviation base at Pudong International Airport to meet the demand, the Shanghai Airport Authority said. --(4/15)

  • Shanghai index sees 3rd straight weekly loss
    Shanghai stocks declined yesterday, with a weak turnover, as investors adopted a wait-and-see attitude amid uncertainty over the resumption of initial public offerings.
    The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.58 percent to 2,206.78 points, with a flagging turnover of 56.2 billion yuan (US$9.1 billion) - the lowest since December 13. The index fell 0.83 percent this week, a third consecutive weekly loss.
    "The market is still in adjustment and a shrinking turnover indicates investors are cautious amid concern that the restart of IPOs may add new downward pressure on share prices and the newly-introduced property controls will cast a shadow on the outlook of developers and financials," said Shan Ying, analyst with Tongxin Securities.
    Gree Electric Appliances Inc lost 2 percent to 26.20 yuan. The company reported 14 percent growth in first-quarter profit, according to a preliminary earnings statement, missing market-consensus expectations of a 20 percent gain.
    Meanwhile, China plans to allow investors to trade gold and silver futures in a night session during 9pm to 2:30am on a trial basis, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said in a media briefing yesterday.
    Now, investors can only trade futures from 9am to 11:30am and from 1:30pm to 3pm.--(4/14)

  • Shanghai index sees 3rd straight weekly loss
    Shanghai stocks declined yesterday, with a weak turnover, as investors adopted a wait-and-see attitude amid uncertainty over the resumption of initial public offerings.
    The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.58 percent to 2,206.78 points, with a flagging turnover of 56.2 billion yuan (US$9.1 billion) - the lowest since December 13. The index fell 0.83 percent this week, a third consecutive weekly loss.
    "The market is still in adjustment and a shrinking turnover indicates investors are cautious amid concern that the restart of IPOs may add new downward pressure on share prices and the newly-introduced property controls will cast a shadow on the outlook of developers and financials," said Shan Ying, analyst with Tongxin Securities.
    Gree Electric Appliances Inc lost 2 percent to 26.20 yuan. The company reported 14 percent growth in first-quarter profit, according to a preliminary earnings statement, missing market-consensus expectations of a 20 percent gain.
    Meanwhile, China plans to allow investors to trade gold and silver futures in a night session during 9pm to 2:30am on a trial basis, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said in a media briefing yesterday.
    Now, investors can only trade futures from 9am to 11:30am and from 1:30pm to 3pm.--(4/13)

  • Metro lines to reach far-flung suburbs
    Shanghai's Metro Lines 8 and 10 are to connect with far-flung suburbs on completion of new extensions, authorities said yesterday.
    The Line 8 extension will not be a regular subway line. Instead, much smaller rubber-tired trains will be used.
    The 6.6-kilometer extension will be an elevated line with six stops in southern Minhang District. It will follow the Singapore transport model? which uses smaller lines to connect to the regular Metro system.
    The project is expected to start this year and finish by 2015.
    "The stations will be located among residential communities for easier access," said planners. Passengers can transfer to Line 8 from the smaller line.
    With the growth of satellite cities in Shanghai, transport systems such as those could be introduced in more communities in suburban areas, officials said.
    Meanwhile, Line 10 will connect the city's northeast across the Huangpu River with an industrial area in Pudong's Gaoqiao.
    Six new stations will be added. Construction work will start this year and is expected to be completed by 2016.
    Shanghai now has 12 lines that stretch more than 425 kilometers and the service handles 6 to 7 million passengers a day on average. Three new lines or extensions will come into operation this year.
    Meanwhile, urban planners also released draft plans for the Disney line section. The theme park is expected to be ready by 2015.
    The section will stretch from Line 11 in Pudong to the park with two stops in between. --(4/12)

  • Shanghai to try carbon trading
    Shanghai will start a carbon-trading trial before the end of June as part of efforts to reduce energy intensity and emissions.
    The Shanghai Development and Reform Commission intends to issue regulations for the trading on the Shanghai Environment and Energy Exchange within this year.
    Shanghai said last year that about 200 local companies, such as steel makers and hotel operators, will participate in the trial. They would receive their respective initial credits, based on historical data, for free.
    In carbon trading, a cap is set on the amount of carbon dioxide that may be emitted and the limit is allocated to participating firms in the form of carbon credits, or the right to discharge a specific volume. Companies with excessive emissions have to buy credits from others.
    Shanghai is one of seven provinces and municipalities chosen by the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planning body, in late 2011 to set up carbon trading markets.
    The city aims to cut energy use per unit of gross domestic product, or energy intensify, by 3-3.5 percent this year and reduce carbon intensity by 3.5 percent, the local commission said. --(4/11)

  • Rush-hour buses to ease waits on Line 30
    Shuttle buses will run on the most crowded part of Metro Line 3 during the peak of the morning rush hour for a one-week test starting Friday morning.
    The buses will run about every 10 minutes nonstop from the Jiangwan Town station to Hongkou Football Stadium station from 7:15am to 8:15am, officials said. The buses take about 20 to 25 minutes to cover the 4.3-kilometer route.
    The bus fare is 2 yuan (32 US cents), riders who use their transit card to reach Jiangwan Town on the Metro and then get on the bus will pay half that in bus fare.
    The trial operation will determine "whether there will be enough passengers," said a manager with the bus operator.
    The bus is expected to be welcome among rush-hour riders who have struggled with long waits to get on trains along portions of Line 3 in the city's northeast. Some turnstiles are closed and barriers set up outside the busiest stations during rush hour to control passenger flows.
    Large buses with a capacity of up to 90 passengers will be used for the shuttle, said Yin Xiaoding, a manager with the subway operator. The buses will be able to transport about 600 people in an hour, said Yin.
    Rider restrictions have been placed on eight stations on Line 3, from Baoshan Road to Changjiang Road S., with more expected to be included, officials said.
    Passenger volume along the line's northern section has risen by up to 20 percent during peak hours compared with volumes before the Spring Festival holiday.
    The Metro operator has apologized and asked for understanding since the trains "have reached full capacity." --(4/10)

  • Biggest patrol vessel tested in city
    The China maritime authority's largest patrol and rescue ship began a round of trials in Shanghai waters yesterday to enhance its rescue and enforcement abilities, officials said.
    The 128-meter-long, 5,400-ton Haixun 01, or Sea Patrol 01, will conduct rescue drills with helicopters at the mouth of Yangtze River today, officials said.
    Tang Yuecai of the Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration said yesterday that the ship will soon serve in the maritime force and "will greatly increase the ability to ensure sea traffic safety."
    The ship has room to accommodate 200 people rescued at sea and is equipped with devices to offer basic treatment and surgery to anyone injured.
    The ship is expected to respond quickly to emergencies such as fuel spills, ship collisions and rescue work.
    It took two years to build the ship, which can travel 10,000 marine miles before refueling.
    Thirteen ships sank in Shanghai-area waters last year in 24 accidents, with both figures lower than those of 2011. Six people were reported dead or missing in accidents. A large-scale fuel leak happened in a two-ship collision on March 19 north of the mouth of Yangtze River. About 674 cubic meters of fuel spilled. In June, a Netherlands-flagged cargo vessel spilled over 100 tons of fuel. The fuel spills were cleaned up. --(4/8)

  • No sign of panic among residents
    There was no sign of panic in Shanghai, yesterday, where four of the eight H7N9 deaths have occurred, with many people saying they were not worried.
    But the widely publicized poultry cull did underline for some residents how close to home the issue is. "Now it's just downstairs," said Liu Leting, a user of Weibo microblog.
    One city restaurant said it may stop serving chicken. --(4/7)

  • Poultry cull ordered at Shanghai market
    Shanghai's agriculture commission yesterday ordered the immediate shutdown of the poultry trading area at the Huhuai wholesale market in Songjiang District and the slaughter of all poultry there.
    Earlier, the H7N9 bird flu virus had been detected in pigeon samples taken from the market, the Ministry of Agriculture said.
    They tested positive at the national avian flu reference laboratory.
    The agriculture commission also ordered thorough disinfection and suspension of poultry sales at two markets in the city's Minhang District Jingchuan and Fengzhuang where a similar H7 flu virus had been detected, and stricter monitoring of poultry trading areas. --(4/5)

  • Shanghai's land sales surge in value
    Shanghai's land sales more than doubled in value in the first quarter from a year earlier amid recovering sentiment in the property market, according to an industry research.
    Between January and March, 1.49 million square meters of land, excluding those for public use, were sold for 18.58 billion yuan (US$2.96 billion) in the city, an annual jump of 55.8 percent and 172 percent, respectively, Soufun.com, China's largest real estate website operator, said in a report.
    But on a quarterly basis, they shed 63 percent in volume and 65.2 percent in value.
    The sales of land for housing, excluding government-funded affordable homes, totaled 566,800 square meters in the three months, or 6.93 billion yuan in value, Soufun said.
    The residential parcels were sold for 30.4 percent higher on average than their asking prices, up from 15.1 percent and 22.3 percent in the third and fourth quarters of 2012.
    "Robust home sales since the second half of last year have boosted real estate developers' prospects for the market and therefore triggered their appetite for land bank expansion," said Zhang Wanyu, an analyst at Soufun. --(4/4)

  • Wet, cold weather to mark Qingming Festival holiday
    If you have already done away with your jumper or sweater, dig them out again.
    After a relatively few days of sunshine the weathermen are forecasting a cold and wet weekend, but which, apparently, is always the case at every Qingming Festival.
    With millions out on the roads for the sacred tomb-sweeping day tomorrow, the wet weather may be a bit of an hindrance, adding to the pressures on the toll stations as well.
    In an effort to ease traffic congestion, authorities have decided against charging toll tax on the expressways during the three-day holiday which starts tomorrow.
    Extra subway trains will also be pressed into service in suburban Shanghai.
    Because of an upper trough, Shanghai's weather is expected to turn cloudy to overcast today with few showers likely in the afternoon.
    The low will drop to around 6 degrees Celsius in the morning while the high is expected to hold steady at 17 degrees Celsius as it was yesterday, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
    More rain is expected tomorrow with the low rising to 12 degrees and the high remains 17 degrees, weathermen said.
    The drizzle should turn moderate on Friday, overcast to cloudy with rain, while the low is expected to touch 13 degrees. The high should remain around 17 degrees, the bureau said.
    The readings should plunge on Saturday because of a cold front with the low dropping to around 7 degrees and the high hovering around 10 degrees.
    "The mercury should drop on Saturday and the winds become stronger in the coastal areas," Fu said.
    On Sunday it will be cloudy with sunny intervals. The high will be 14 degrees and the low will dip to 5 degrees, according to the bureau. --(4/3)

  • 90m Chinese with diabetes by 2030
    China is set to have 90 million people with diabetes by 2030, experts said today.
    There are currently 370 million people in the world with diabetes, experts told a Sanofi China Diabetes innovation summit forum in the city.
    This will rise to 500 million people in 2030, with 90 million of them coming from China - the highest figure for any country.
    The forum discussed the use of innovative drugs to meet patients' changing needs and improve diabetes treatment in China.
    Experts said the rising number of diabetes patients in China is due to changing lifestyles, demographics and medical advances.
    Factors include a less healthy diet, a lack of exercise, increased numbers of elderly people and better medical treatment ensuring diabetes patients live longer. --(4/2)

  • North Bund to be hub for finance, cruise ships
    Shanghai's North Bund will become a shipping service center for cruise liners and an international financial center for headquarters of global corporations as part of a "golden triangle" along with the old Bund and Lujiazui, officials said yesterday.
    The North Bund in Hongkou District witnessed the opening of 185 financial institutions last year, quadruple the number of 2010 and second only to the city's Pudong New Area, said Wu Qing, governor of the district.
    "The North Bund will emerge as the third pillar for the city's development into a financial hub along with the old Bund and the Lujiazui area with the clustering of financial institutions," said Wu, speaking at the annual North Bund Fortune and Culture Forum.
    Meanwhile, a national level shipping service base and cruise liner development zone has been established in the area to attract large cruise liners to dock along the North Bund.
    The area also will provide supporting commercial facilities of up to 300,000 square meters, including restaurants, cafes and shops, officials said.
    A 2.6-kilometer-long waterfront promenade along the Huangpu River has opened for sightseeing. The skyline and illumination of the buildings in the North Bund will be designed for a harmonious effect, officials said.
    The district government plans to put 300 million yuan (US$48.3 million) into an investment fund for incentives to businesses and also will improve its public services to attract more financial and shipping industry firms. --(4/1)

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