8 Shanghai scientists named in top academic institutes(12/20)
Eight Shanghai scientists are among the newly elected academicians to the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the country's two top academic institutions announced yesterday.
Three Fudan University professors were named in the CAS list. Professor Sun Xin, 74, is a researcher in the field of condensed matter physics; Professor Chen Shuxing, 72, is a mathematician and Professor Jin Li, 50, works on evolutionary genetics.
Two others -- Han Bing, 50, from Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences and Ding Kuiling, 47, from Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, were also named in CAS list.
The three new academicians at CAE are Professor Ding Wenjiang, 60, from the School of Material Science and Engineering of Shanghai Jiao Tong University; Xia Zhaofan, 59, director of the burn surgery department at Changhai Hospital affiliated to the Second Military Medical University and Yu Jianyong, 49, vice president of Donghua University.
The CAS elected a total of 62 new academicians, including nine foreigners, while the CAE elected 57 academicians with six foreigners among them. CAE said it now has 807 academicians. The average age of its newly elected academicians is 56.9.
The oldest is 77-year-old Xu Qinan, chief designer of Jiaolong, China's first manned deep-sea submersible, which reached a record depth of 7,062 meters in the Pacific's Mariana Trench during a dive in June 2012.
10km race in Pudong to welcome New Year(12/19)
The route for the first-ever 2014 Shanghai New Year 10km race was released by the organizers yesterday.
About 7,000 participants will be compete in the Pudong New Area on January 1 to mark the first day of the new year.
The race will be flagged off at 8am from Shanghai Oriental Sports Center. It will go past Yaolong Road, Shibo Avenue, Houtan Park, Shanghai Art Museum, Mercedes Arena before ending at Bocheng Road.
It is another New Year celebration event organized by the Shanghai Sports Bureau besides the annual Oriental Pearl TV Tower climbing activity.
Citizens over the age of 16 can log on to Shanghai International Marathon's official site (www.shmarathon.com) to fill in the application before Monday. There is a 30 yuan entry fee and can be paid online.
Participants can log on to the site after three working days to check if the applications are accepted, who will then be given a series number for the race. They will then have to go to Shanghai Yuanshen Stadium to finish the rest of the formalities.
City subsidy for Spring Festival(12/18)
The city government yesterday announced a one-time financial subsidy of 50 yuan (US$8.24) to 390 yuan for some 5.4 million people for the Spring Festival which falls on January 31.
People covered under the subsidy include those living on the poverty line, local retirees, and people suffering from serious burden due to diseases.
The unemployed and poor college students are also included in the festival subsidy scheme.
Retired soldiers and families of dead soldiers, who are already receiving regular subsidies, will earn the maximum 390 yuan.
Unemployed people with serious disability and the elderly, minor and disabled people in rural areas without income will be given 300 yuan.
Each poor family will receive 150 yuan-worth coupon to buy edible oil and food in designated stores.
Local retirees will be handed out 50 yuan to 150 yuan depending on their age and pension level. Poor college students will get 200 yuan.
Stocks fall 1.6% after China's PMI slows to 3-month low(12/17)
Shanghai stocks yesterday shed the most in over a month after data showed China's manufacturing activity may have slowed to a three-month low.
The Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.6 percent, the biggest daily loss since November 13, to 2,160.86 points.
HSBC's Flash China Purchasing Managers' Index, the earliest indicator of Chinese manufacturing activity, fell in December to 50.5, the lowest reading in three months and compared with 50.8 in November, HSBC Holdings PLC said yesterday.
A reading of 50 or higher indicates that expansion.
"The decline in the flash PMI suggests the growth momentum has begun to weaken," Zhang Zhiwei, chief economist for China at Nomura Holdings Inc, said in a note yesterday.
"We believe this trend will continue in the first half of 2014 as interest rates keep rising and pushing up companies' financial costs," he said.
State-owned enterprises in Shanghai fell on growing uncertainty ahead of the release of a reform plan today.
SGSB Group Co lost 6.5 percent to 11.03 yuan. Shanghai Maling Aquarius Co fell by the daily limit of 10 percent to 9.56 yuan. Shanghai Lansheng Corp shed 7.1 percent to 16.43 yuan.
Weather forecasters call for a damp and cold week(12/16)
It will be damp and cold this week and it will likely rain today, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said.
The temperature was forecast to be between 6 and 8 degrees Celsius today. The high this week will top out at 10 degrees while the low will dip to 3 degrees on Thursday as a cold front arrives, the bureau said.
The rain today will likely be heaviest in southern areas of the city.
Weather forecasters also said there will likely be strong winds this afternoon and that the rain could continue until tomorrow.
The air quality is predicted to be good early this week with the AQI between 60 and 100 due to the rain and wind brought from the southwest.
Yesterday, the AQI was 108, or lightly polluted.
The PM2.5 density at 3pm yesterday was 87 milligrams per cubic meter, above the national standard of 75.
Nationwide, the National Meteorological Center yesterday issued a blue alert as heavy rainfall in southwestern and southern China moved eastward.
Rainstorms were also forecast to batter the southern parts of Yunnan Province, regions south of the Yangtze River and southern China, the center said.
The observatory forecast downpours of up to 120 millimeters in some areas of Jiangxi, Fujian and Hainan provinces.
Under a strong cold snap, Yunnan and Guizhou will see temperatures drop 4 to 8 degrees in the next three days, it added.
The national meteorological center also warned of moderate to heavy snow in northwestern and northeastern parts of Yunnan and western areas of Guizhou today.
Shanghai's railway expected to handle 9.3m passengers for upcoming Spring Festival(12/14)
About 9.3 million passengers -- a million more than last year -- are expected to take the train out of Shanghai from the three railway stations for the Spring Festival next month.
The peak travel time for the festival, which falls on January 31 next year, will be between January 16 to February 24. And the time around January 18 is expected to see most passengers as college students will join migrant workers to go back home for the holiday.
For this year's Spring Festival in February, the two stations along with the Shanghai South Railway Station carried a total of 8.39 million commuters.
In the week before the Lunar New Year's Eve, the three stations will handle over 300,000 travelers every day. Railway stations in big metropolis like Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou usually see a massive surge in passenger traffic ahead of the festival as migrant workers head home for family reunion.
Provinces like the southwest Sichuan Province, which has a high rate of exporting labor, usually deals with transportation pressure at the end of the festival period.
US woos tourists from China(12/13)
A non-profit organization was established in Shanghai yesterday to woo more Chinese tourists to visit the United States.
The Visit USA Committee China will promote US tourism on behalf of member travel agencies, and provide prospective Chinese customers with information about visas and travel within the United States. More than 40 such organizations have now been established around the world.
Eric Wolff of the US consulate in Shanghai said the number of Chinese visitors to the US had been on the rise, and the trend was likely to continue. Statistics from the US Department of Commerce show that 1.47 million Chinese tourists visited the United States in 2012. The number is expected to reach 1.7 million this year. Each Chinese tourist spends an average of more than US$6,000 dollars during the trip.
The NGO will provide services like destinations, airlines, theme parks, tourist attractions, hotels, cruises, car hire and insurance.
Flying into e-commerce(12/12)
China Eastern Airlines now sells fruits and fresh products on its e-commerce site after officially launching it yesterday.
The Shanghai-based carrier operated a charter flight to transport its first batch of 108 tons of cherries and blue-berries from Chile to the city, and buyers were able to buy them via its website yesterday.
The airline aims to enter the e-commerce and local courier market.
"The flight marks China Eastern Airlines becoming a modern logistic service provider and not just a traditional carrier," said Fu Damo, deputy director of its e-commerce department.
Shares end at highest in 3 months(12/5)
Shanghai stocks ended at the highest in nearly three months yesterday on gains made by shares related to Shanghai's pilot free trade zone after local officials set a timetable to carry out financial reforms in the zone.
The Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.3 percent to 2,251.76 points, the highest since September 12.
"The market gains were boosted by local shares on optimism over the free trade zone," said Shenyin and Wanguo Securities.
Zhang Xin, chief of the Shanghai headquarters of the People's Bank of China, said in a statement that the government intends "to carry out most of financial measures for the zone in three months and build a financial management system that can be duplicated in other areas within about one year."
On Monday, the central bank unveiled a set of financial policies to facilitate cross-border investment and transactions in the FTZ.
Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone Development Co rose by the daily limit of 10 percent to 38.15 yuan (US$6.26), as did Shanghai International Port (Group) Co to 5.04 yuan as well as Shanghai Pudong Road and Bridge Construction Co which closed at 11.31 yuan.
Index gets lift from small-caps, FTZ stocks(12/4)
Shanghai stocks rose yesterday as they got a boost from small-cap companies and free trade zone-related shares which closed higher.
The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.69 percent, or 15.30 points, to 2,222.67.
Writing in a note yesterday, Shi Weixiang, analyst at Guotai Junan Securities, said the resumption of initial public offerings, after a 13-month moratorium, won't change market fundamentals in the medium term.
China's securities regulator said on Saturday that about 50 companies will be ready to go list their shares in January.
On Monday, the ChiNext Index, a gauge of China's Nasdaq-style growth board in Shenzhen, plunged a record 8.3 percent.
Meanwhile, FTZ-related shares rose after the People's Bank of China on Monday unveiled a financial reform package for the zone to facilitate cross-border trade and investment.
Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone Development Co, operator of two areas within the pilot FTZ, gained 1.8 percent to 34.68 yuan. Shanghai International Port (Group) Co climbed 1.3 percent to 4.58 yuan and Shanghai Oriental Pearl (Group) Co added 1.4 percent to end at 9.58 yuan.
Air pollution in Shanghai worst since records began(12/3)
Shanghai endured another choking day yesterday with the air quality index surging past 300 into the highest range of severe pollution in a six-level system for the first time since official AQI records began a year ago.
Heavy pollution is forecast to continue this morning but alleviate later in the day.
By 5pm yesterday, the city's air had been in the severely polluted zone for 10 hours, making it the worst day for air pollution since the index was launched last December.
The average AQI peaked at 317 at noon, with the highest recording of 329 in Yangpu District.
PM2.5 density stayed above 280 micrograms per cubic meter overnight until 9am, more than 3.7 times the nation's limit of 75, which made the tiny particles that are hazardous to health the main pollutant.
The density of the larger PM10 particles peaked at 360 micrograms per cubic meter from 8am to 9am, 2.4 times the nation's limit of 150 micrograms.
The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau upgraded its yellow haze alert, issued at 8pm on Sunday, to orange at 7:20am yesterday. It was the city's first orange haze alert, the second-highest in a three-tier system that includes red.
Shan Yadi, a sanitation worker who was wearing a mask, said her company had told workers about the smoggy conditions in advance. "Every day we are exposed to dust and air pollutants so we need to protect ourselves from that," she said.
But most people didn't seem to be wearing masks or taking any protective measures against the pollution.
"You see, most of the pedestrians wear no masks," an elderly woman surnamed Min said. "I heard about the heavily polluted air condition from a TV news report but thought it should be like that of usual days."
An eighth grader in a local middle school said that though she and her family knew yesterday would be a poor air quality day, neither her parents nor teachers asked her to wear a mask.
The Shanghai Education Commission issued a directive to schools before classes began that they should reduce outdoor activities. A second notice in the morning ordered a halt to outdoor activities. Students who were late or absent yesterday and today would not be penalized, the commission said.
There may be some relief from the pollution this afternoon.
"An increase in winds is expected which will blow away the smog and bring a higher visibility later in the day," said Kong Chunyan, a forecaster at the bureau.
Meanwhile, winter began last Thursday, the bureau said yesterday, after average temperatures stayed below 10 degrees Celsius for five straight days.
City registers 10,961 HIV cases, 1,637 added this year(12/2)
Unprotected sex was blamed for nearly 96 percent of the new HIV/AIDS cases in Shanghai so far, while the transmission of the deadly virus among homosexuals accounted for over 60 percent, officials said.
Till November 20, Shanghai had registered 1,637 new HIV carriers, including 668 new AIDS patients this year, taking the number of people infected by the virus to 10,961, including 3,318 AIDS patients.
A total of 157 people have died of HIV/AIDS so far this year, raising the number of deaths due to AIDS to 729.
Shang added that 95 percent of the infected in the group were boys, and 70 percent of these infections were through male-to-male sex.
Speaking on the eve of World AIDS Day, officials from Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission said that working with homosexuals was essential to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS in Shanghai as the city expanded the coverage of screening and treatment of this group.
"Due to effective AIDS prevention and control measures in the city, the number of new HIV/AIDS cases has dropped from 18.2 percent in 2008 to this year's 10.7 percent," said Xu Jianguang, director of Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission. "The disease has a low prevalence in the city."
Young and middle-aged men were the main carriers of the virus. Men accounted for over 90 percent of new HIV/AIDS cases this year, while those between the ages of 25 and 44 made up for 61.7 percent of the new cases.
Officials stressed the transmission of the HIV virus through unprotected sex was 95.7 percent this year, compared to 90.7 around the same time last year.
Currently there are 4,895 HIV carriers and AIDS patients under the care of the health authorities in Shanghai, accounting for 89 percent of the cases.