Today's Shanghai | News(2013)
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  February



  • New Metro projects to benefit suburbs
    The city this year will begin construction on two Metro lines, the planned Line 17 and the southern extension of Line 5, picking up the pace of subway expansion to serve suburban areas.
    Five new lines or sections are now under construction, officials said.
    Metro Line 17, running west part of the city, will connect the Hongqiao Transport Hub and suburban Qingpu District. Its stops will include the water town of Zhujiajiao, a popular tourism site, and the Oriental Land campsite, according to plans. It will have about 14 stations over 35 kilometers.
    The extension of Line 5 will stretch south from the current stations to Fengxian District, including nine new stations. It is expected to reach the bay area later.
    The traffic authorities also said yesterday that 12 stations of the second phase of Metro Line 11 are expected to be put into use this year.
    The city has 12 lines in service, with more than 425 kilometers of subway track. The length will increase to more than 600 kilometers by 2015.
    More than 36 percent of local commuters used the Metro routinely last year.--(2/20)

  • Snow halts flights, snarls traffic
    The roofs of buildings in downtown Shanghai have turned white with overnight snowfall, which delayed flights and snarled road traffic. The city issued a yellow snow alert this morning.
    Snow and sleet caused two Shanghai airports to postpone or cancel more than 50 flights this morning while airport workers were busy clearing snow from the runways, officials said.
    Shanghai issued a yellow snow alert this morning and the weather bureau is cautioning motorists to drive slowly on icy roads. The city's temperature dropped to zero degrees Celsius early this morning.
    Meanwhile, many commuters reported hazardous road conditions via Weibomicroblogs, warning that roads in suburban Songjiang and Qingpu districts were very slippery with snow.
    The snow also slowed downtown traffic. A woman surnamed Li said it took her 40 minutes to drive from home to office today, more than triple the time the trip usually takes.
    Heavy snow has forced airports in Nanjing, Yangzhou and other cities in neighboring Jiangsu Province to suspend operation--(2/19)

  • Shanghai index down 0.45% after 7-day break
    Shanghai stocks fell on the first trading day after a weeklong holiday, led by developers and consumer goods producers due to weak holiday sales.
    The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.45 percent, or 10.84 points, to 2,421.56 points.
    Developers declined as data showed China's property sales in the first two weeks of February slumped 62 percent from a month earlier. Shanghai's new home sales dived 79 percent last week from the week earlier, Shanghai UWin Real Estate Information Services said today.
    Poly Real Estate Development Co lost 1.2 percent to 12.87 yuan. Gemdale Corp fell 5.2 percent to 7.52 yuan.
    Distillers led the decliners among consumer goods producers after the Ministry of Commerce said retail sales grew 14.7 percent during the holiday, compared with 16.2 percent a year earlier.
    Kweichow Moutai fell 4.3 percent to 179.69 yuan. Sichuan Swellfun Co shed 3.3 percent to 16.96 yuan.--(2/18)

  • School uniforms found unsafe in tests
    School uniforms have raised grave concerns in Shanghai after local quality authorities found cancer-causing dyes in tests just before the new semester is to start on Tuesday.
    Six of the 22 batches of school uniforms examined by the Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision failed the quality test either because they lack cotton fibers or contain toxic dyes.
    School uniforms produced by Shanghai Ouxia Clothing Company, a small factory in Chuansha Town, Pudong District were found to contain the banned aromatic amine dye which can lead to cancer.
    Quality supervisors are now probing the case. They said the factory had failed their quality tests three years in a row.
    The Shanghai Education Commission said today that they will notify schools of the tests and urge them to choose qualified products when purchasing uniforms for students.--(2/17)

  • Spring Festival, Valentine's lovely mix for city retailers
    The traditional Chinese Spring Festival, coupled with the Western-originated Valentine's Day, has proved a good combination for Shanghai retailers.
    With people busy tying the knot and buying jewelry to demonstrate love, the average daily sales of city retailers reached 793 million yuan (US$125.8 million) during the past seven days, according to the Shanghai Commission of Commerce yesterday.
    The combined sales of the city's 4,000-plus stores belonging to 466 large and medium-sized retailers reached 5.55 billion yuan from February 9 to February 15, up 10.2 percent from a year earlier.
    Wedding ceremonies were a strong force driving up growth. According to the commission, 25 hotels and restaurants under Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels (Group) Co Ltd hosted 2,290 wedding banquets in the past seven days. Among them, sales at Hua Ting Hotel surged 12.2 times thanks to more wedding banquets, while others all boasted double-digit growth.
    The price for holding wedding banquets also jumped. Jin Jiang Tower said its average charge was 6,500 yuan per table, up 9.8 percent from a year earlier.
    Sales of jewelry expanded 27 percent on an annual basis during the holiday, surpassing the growth of food and electrical appliances, which rose 24.2 percent and 24 percent respectively.
    Fewer people dined out to celebrate the arrival of the Chinese lunar New Year. The 110 restaurants tracked by the commission said they sold 9,542 tables on the eve of the lunar New Year, down 4.9 percent from a year earlier.
    The growth of online sales of holiday products surged compared with big brick-and-mortar stores. E-commerce climbed 33.5 percent during the seven-day holiday, while hypermarkets had sales growth of 2.8 percent.
    But online shopping also triggered the most complaints during the holiday, with 65 people dialing the 12315 city hotline to file a complaint, compared with those complaining about food (39) and electronic products (35).
    More than 3.35 million tourists visited Shanghai during the holiday, up 6.7 percent from the same period of last year, the Shanghai Tourism Administration said yesterday. More than 52,420 Shanghai residents chose to go overseas to celebrate the festival, a big jump from previous years, the administration said.--(2/16)

  • Fireworks for fortune
    People set off fireworks last night to welcome the God of Fortune in a small street in downtown Shanghai. Chinese in many parts of the nation traditionally mark the fifth day of the lunar New Year as the birthday of the God of Fortune. At 11pm the city's air quality index rose to 117, considered as slightly polluted, compared to 82, or good, at about 8am. Due to the heavy smog that plagued Shanghai and many cities in China's eastern and northern regions, local citizens have cut down on fireworks during this year's Spring Festival about half of the usual amount.--(2/14)

  • Crowds flock to city tourist spots
    Bustling crowds of visitors are seen on Shanghai's Nanjing Road yesterday. The number of visitors surged in many tourist attractions in the city due to the seven-day Spring Festival holiday. More than 3.2 million people visited the famous pedestrian street during the first four days of the Chinese lunar new year holiday. A total of 2.2 million tourists have come to Shanghai from other provinces so far, 7.3 percent more than the number who visited the city during the holiday last year.--(2/13)

  • Snow, rain test festival travelers
    Shanghai's streets are expected to be frozen this morning after snow yesterday covered the city, authorities said.
    Railway authorities expect many bus passengers whose way home is blocked by bad weather on the expressways will turn to trains instead.
    Meanwhile, the bureau said the skies are to be clear for just one day during the Spring Festival holiday.
    The bureau issued its Spring Festival weather forecast yesterday, saying the city will have to contend with rain or snow for most of the week-long holiday period (see the chart above).
    A yellow road icing alert, lowest of the three-scale system, was issued by the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau at 4:50pm yesterday when the snow started to accumulate on the ground.
    The snow caused congestion on city roads, expressways and bridges yesterday.
    The weather will continue to affect the traffic today, making things harder for those trying to return home for the Spring Festival.
    Accidents on the icy roads led to severe congestion on city's Inner Ring Road, downtown's major thoroughfare, and other roads, said traffic authorities.
    The Fengpu and Minpu bridges crossing the Huangpu River were closed late yesterday, and several ramps on other bridges like the Lupu Bridge were also off-limits to vehicles for safety reasons as workers were removing the snow. Fengpu Bridge traffic had resumed by 10pm yesterday as the work finished.
    Slower speed limits also were posted on some expressways and highways yesterday. The outbound inter-province transport was the most affected.
    More than 40 long-distance bus services leaving the city were canceled, with about 1,000 passengers were affected.
    Departing flights were also affected. More than 300 flights were delayed yesterday at the city's two airports. Most of the delays were short and for no more than an hour, said the airport operators, and snow cleaning machines were ready.
    No large scale passenger strandings were reported.
    Train services saw relatively smooth operations.
    The railway operator said extra train services will be added to the track in the region, including Shanghai and Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Anhui provinces, that were hit by snow.--(2/8)

  • Snow, penetrating cold to usher in Year of the Snake
    Shanghai is forecast to have some unseasonably snowy weather in the days leading up to the Chinese new year.
    "The snow should be caused by the cross of cold and warm air," said Zhu Jiehua, a chief service officer of the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau. "The snowfall should mostly concentrate over Thursday night to Friday, and the snow should accumulate with some ice on the road."
    A cold front should keep lows around 0 degrees Celsius between today and Saturday, with highs ranging from 2 to 4 degrees Celsius. Strong winds will make it feel colder.
    Rain today may begin turning into sleet and snow late in the day. Snow also is forecast for other areas of eastern China including Anhui, Jiangxi, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.
    Temperatures may rise a few degrees on Sunday, China's Lunar New Year, but the holiday is expected to be cloudy. Rain is possible early next week.
    The bureau set up its emergency weather system yesterday to send alerts through radio, TV, print media, Internet, mobile networks and billboards.--(2/7)

  • Data and push for QFIIs lift key index
    Shanghai stocks gained for a seventh straight day yesterday after China's non-manufacturing activity grew at the fastest pace in four months in January, and the foreign exchange regulator sped up approvals for overseas investors to enter the market.
    The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.2 percent to 2,433.13 points.
    The HSBC China Service Purchasing Managers's Index, a gauge of non-manufacturing activity at private and export-oriented firms, rose to a four-month high of 54 in January, up from 51.7 in December, HSBC Holdings Plc said in a report yesterday.
    A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
    "China's economic recovery is on a firmer footing," said Qu Hongbin, chief economist for China at HSBC. "Solid job gains and higher business expectations bode well for further improvement in the service sector."
    An investment quota of US$25.4 billion was granted to Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors in January, above US$14 billion in December, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said on its website late Monday.
    The recent gains were mainly driven by institutional investors, China International Capital Corporation Ltd said in a report, adding it expects the QFIIs to invest more in the market.
    China Vanke, the nation's biggest developer, added 3.6 percent to 12.33 yuan. Poly Real Estate, the second largest, rose 2.2 percent to 13.42 yuan and Gemdale Corporation jumped 7.6 percent to close at 8.19 yuan.--(2/6)

  • Index climbs after investors cheer gain in service PMI
    Shanghai stocks edged up yesterday as investors cheered the rise in China's non-manufacturing activity for a fourth straight month in January, adding to signs the world's second largest economy is recovering.
    The Shanghai Composite Index gained for a sixth day in a row, rising 0.38 percent to 2,428.15 points, the highest close since May 8.
    The China Service Purchasing Managers Index, a gauge of business activity in non-manufacturing sectors, rose last month to 56.2 from 56.1 in December, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said over the weekend. A reading above 50 signals expansion.
    "The rising figure reflected the potential of domestic consumption," said Cai Jin, vice chairman of CFLP. "The sub-index of new orders received by the building sector rose to a record high, indicating investment in infrastructure will continue to grow."
    Shen Minggao, chief economist for China at Citi Bank, expects the stock index to rise in the first half of this year to around 2,780 points as companies may post better-than-expected earnings.
    Coal producers led gainers as CITIC Securities said in a report yesterday that demand for coking coal may improve due to increasing infrastructure construction.
    Shanxi Lanhua Sci-Tech Venture Co gained 4.3 percent to 22.99 yuan (US$3.69). Shanxi Lu'an Environmental Energy Development Co surged 7.7 percent to 24.73 yuan and Yang Quan Coal Industry (Group) Co rose 3.9 percent to 16.57 yuan. --(2/5)

  • Chilly days, rain, snow in forecast for this week
    A gradual cool-down is coming this week, with snow forecast for late in the week, despite the beginning today of Lichun, the start of spring in the Chinese lunar calendar.
    Today's temperatures will range between 8 and 12 degrees Celsius with light haze in the morning and a chance of rain tonight, forecasters said.
    There is still a chance for rain tomorrow, but as a cold front moves in, it will begin to taper off. The high is expected to drop to 10 degrees Celsius and the low to 6 degrees tomorrow, with a high of 7 and a low of 3 on Wednesday, then fall even more before the weekend.
    With the influence of warm moist air and a strong cold front, Shanghai will see some heavy rain and snow on Thursday and Friday.
    There will be a significant temperature drop between Thursday and Saturday, the eve of Chinese New Year. Moderate snow is forecast on Thursday and heavier snow on Friday, with the low hovering at minus 1 or 0 degree, according to Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
    Light snow is forecast for Saturday, but it should stop in the afternoon or evening, officials said.
    Sunday, the first day of the Year of Snake, will be cloudy.
    Pollution has dropped, with air quality rated excellent yesterday with strong winds from the south.--(2/4)

  • Soon city's new cherry garden to blossom
    Cherry blossoms, which drew throngs of visitors to the city's Gucun Park in northern Baoshan District last two spring seasons, can be viewed in a new park in Songjiang in the western suburbs next month.
    The first phase of what is going to be the city's new cherry garden is nearing completion and 6,000 cherry trees have been planted in 92,000 square meters on the side of Chenhua Road. The project was started on New Year's Day and some trees will bloom next month in the first phase of the area of 920 meters long and 1,000 meters wide, said the Shanghai Morning Post yesterday.
    Shanghai Kaisheng Gardening Company said the cherry garden will eventually cover 450,000 square meters of land, about the size of three People's Squares, when the project is finished by the end of 2014.
    Three more gardens will be built along the 3.2-kilometer road leading to the Chenshan Botanic Garden, each with flowering plants to represent each season: cherry for spring, pomegranate for summer, osmanthus for autumn and plum for winter, according to Gao Guoxiang, deputy director of the Songjiang management committee of Shanghai Sheshan National Tourist Resort. Bicycle and walking lanes will also be built in the gardens.--(2/2)

  • China's 1st capital exit in 14 years
    Sales of domestic assets caused capital to exit China in 2012, for the first time in 14 years, the foreign exchange watchdog said yesterday, adding that foreign exchange reserves rose slower amid a global economic slowdown.
    But China's monetary policies will remain and the government will enhance efforts to counter risks from incoming speculative money, or hot money, this year, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said in a separate statement.
    Last year, China had a deficit of US$117.3 billion in its capital and financial account, which studies changes in asset ownership and contributes to the change in foreign exchange reserves.
    It was the first deficit since the Asian financial crisis in 1998 and the second time after China started to release the data in 1994, the SAFE said.
    "The deficit reflected the pressure of capital outflows as the global economy slowed, global financial markets became more volatile and domestic economic growth moderated," the SAFE said.
    Last year, China's current account surplus, another major source of foreign exchange reserves and the broadest measure of cross-border trade balance, rose 6 percent to US$213.8 billion. That compared with a 15 percent decline in 2011.
    China's foreign exchange reserves added US$98.7 billion to US$3.31 trillion in 2012 after adjusting for prices and exchange rates, according to the SAFE. The newly-added reserves were about a quarter of that in 2011 and the least in six years.
    "The slower growth of the forex reserves won't affect the effectiveness of the central bank policy," the SAFE said. "The People's Bank of China is able to use a mix of monetary policies, based on changes in the economic scenario, to maintain a reasonable level of liquidity to fund economic growth."--(2/2)

  • Metro Line 5 to be extended to southern suburbs
    The city is planning a southbound extension of Line 5 to suburban Fengxian District to address the needs of residents living in areas close to the sea, officials said yesterday.
    Among them are students and staff of Fengxian's university town who now must make time-consuming commutes via regular bus services.
    Sun Jianping, director with Shanghai Transport and Port Administration, said they are "still doing further research" on the plan.
    "Each district and county in Shanghai will be covered by subways in the future," said Sun. Suburban districts like Fengxian and Jinshan as well as Chongming County are not served by the Metro.
    To improve transit options for Fengxian District before the subway can be extended, the city will implement a rapid transit bus service with exclusive bus lanes. Shanghai will start to build its rapid bus system this year. The bus system is expected to start in Fengxian District and link to the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in the Pudong New Area along its route of more than 40 kilometers. It's also expected to take pressure off Metro Line 8.
    As the Metro expands, maintenance work on older lines is also picking up.
    Shanghai's Metro operator will launch an overhaul this year among lines in service more than five years to ensure safety, said Guo Haipeng, an official with the transport administration.
    Each day the Metro network handles about 6 million riders on its 12 lines. The number tops 7 million on peak days.
    Three new subway lines and extensions will be put into service this year, said traffic officials, with the expectation that rider volume will continue to rise.
    The operator also will continue to restrict passenger flows at some stations on busy lines including lines 6 and 8 during rush hours this year.
    "The limits are mainly to ensure operational safety, though it may cause inconvenience to passengers," said Guo.--(2/1)

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