Cooler, breezy, overcast days replace warm spell
Cooler weather returns today with a high of 13 degrees Celsius, a marked change from yesterday's sunny, warm high of nearly 20 degrees, forecasters said.
Arrival of a cold front will usher in a breezy, cloudy day today and a low of 8 degrees. Mild and windy conditions with skies that will be overcast to partly cloudy will continue into early next week, with lows staying at 8-10 degrees Celsius and highs rising to as high as 16 degrees.
After days with excellent and good air quality, it was lightly polluted yesterday due to an accumulation of local pollutants with little wind.
The average density of top pollutant PM2.5 within the most recent 24 hours rose from a low of 40 micrograms per cubic meter at 5pm Wednesday to an average of 76.7 at 5pm yesterday, surpassing the nation's limit of 75 micrograms per cubic meter.
"With the arrival of a cold front ... the air quality is expected to get better under the effects of a northeaster," said Man Liping, an officer of the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.--(3/29)
Shanghai to sell 24 land plots in April
Twenty-four land plots with a combined site area of more than 1.3 million square meters will be released in Shanghai next month.
Parcels totaling 1.35 million square meters with a combined starting price exceeding 11.36 billion yuan (US$1.8) will go on sale in April, according to Soufun.com, operator of the country's largest real estate website.
That compared to nine plots covering 306,700 square meters in April 2012. Those plots fetched around 1.12 billion yuan.
Three of the 24 plots are designated for commercial housing projects, nine for commercial real estate development and 12 to build homes for relocated residents, Soufun said.
Seven of the plots will be released the Pudong New Area and six in Jiading District.--(3/28)
New system put on trial for defective products
The city's quality watchdog said yesterday that they were trying out a system for defective products at local residential communities.
The plan is to set up quality monitoring sites at complexes that allow residents to send in products that don't work well or may have quality problems. Information collected from residents will be forwarded to companies and their products analyzed.
The mechanism is expected to shorten the process of communication among authorities, residents and companies, while helping the authorities to collect information on defective products in the most direct manner.
They can then analyze them and warn their producers on quality problems, said Shen Weimin, deputy director of the Shanghai Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau.
Defective products such as home appliances and toys that are potential safety hazards come under the preview as well. It may be a good way to enhance product quality as it is usually a hot topic of discussion among local residents, Shen said.
These monitoring spots will also help residents return products that are substandard and release recall information issued by the bureau.
The system is being trialed at the Rongle Residential Community in Songjiang District.
If it proves to be a success, authorities will consider expanding it citywide. --(3/27)
City growth still 'most sustainable'
Shanghai remains China's most sustainable region of development, according to the 2013 China Sustainable Development Report issued yesterday.
Published by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the report also cites Beijing and Tianjin, as well as the provinces of Jiangsu, Jilin, Zhejiang, Liaoning, Hainan, Guangdong and Fujian, as being highly sustainable. A similar report issued last year listed Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin, as well as Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces, as the most sustainable regions.--(3/26)
Shanghai new home sales sag 23.8%
New home purchases fell in Shanghai last week but remained above the key threshold of 300,000 square meters.
Excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, sales dived 23.8 percent from the previous week to 300,900 square meters, Shanghai Uwin Real Estate Information Services Co said today.
"Despite the notable drop, weekly sales of new homes remained above 300,000 square meters for the third straight week, indicating rather strong momentum among home seekers," said Huang Zhijian, chief analyst at Uwin. "However, with the upcoming implementation of a 20 percent capital gains tax, sentiment is expected to fall as 'panic buying' comes to an end."
As of Sunday, new home sales totaled 1.1 million square meters in Shanghai this month, according to Uwin data. If that pace continues this week, transaction volume will hit 1.43 million square meters in March, which would be the most since 2010, Huang said.
The average cost of a new home, meanwhile, climbed 3.9 percent from the previous seven-day period to 23,421 yuan (US$ 3,730) per square meter.
Half of the city's 10 most sought-after projects cost more than 25,000 yuan per square meter. That compared to a week earlier when eight of the 10 best-selling developments asked for less than 20,000 yuan a square meter.
On the supply side, about 452,000 square meters of new houses, all apartments, were released to the market, a week-on-week surge of 274 percent.
"Most of the projects released last week are in suburban areas of the city and mainly target owner occupiers," said Huang Hetao, a research manager with Century 21 China Real Estate. "As the traditional high season for home purchase is approaching, we expect good sales at those projects amid continuously robust demand from end-users." --(3/25)
Car plate prices break 90,000 yuan barrier
New policies to cool down car plate prices in Shanghai look increasingly likely, after prices at yesterday's auction exceeded 90,000 yuan (US$14,490) for the first time.
In the ninth consecutive month of hitting a record high, the average successful bid for a Shanghai car plate soared to 91,898 yuan - up 8,327 yuan from February.
This is more than enough to buy three cheap Chinese cars.
The lowest price, on an upward track for five straight months, reached 90,800 yuan, 7,500 yuan more than last month's figure, Shanghai Commodity International Auction Co said.
The percentage of successful bids, however, rose from 36.5 percent to 38.2 percent, as the number of bidders dropped slightly while the supply of car plates remained unchanged at 9,000.
City car plate prices have been on a steep upward trajectory this year, soaring 32.5 percent in just three months - more than for the whole of last year.
Determined to check price rises, the Shanghai government vowed last week to introduce new polices to cool down the market if existing ones failed to make an impact at this month's auction.
On Tuesday, Vice Mayor Jiang Ping outlined measures set for rollout.
These include: reserving new car plates for new cars only; separate auctions for private and corporate bidders; and including second-hand car plate trading in the bidding system for new ones.
The first measure is aimed at tightening enforcement of a minimum holding period before car plate resale, making it harder for scalpers to cash in.
The second is intended to make bidding less intense for private bidders, as corporate competitors are often more willing to submit high bids.
And officials are keen to bring together new and second-hand plate trading as they say the existing second-hand market - which is also booming - provides a reference point influencing trends for new plates.
A week ago, second-hand car plates were already costing more than 90,000 yuan. But yesterday, a new policy took effect prohibiting second-hand car plates being sold for more than the latest average price for a new one.
Jiang stressed that the government doesn't want to "control" prices. Instead, it wants to cool down the market by using the market's own forces.
But the market itself does need to be better regulated, he said. Jiang promised increased management of used car dealers to tackle illegal practices.--(3/24)
Ready for the rush
Subway trains will be added for the rush and shuttle buses prepared for connections to cemeteries as the traditional Qingming Festival, or tomb sweeping day, which falls on April 4, is approaching, said traffic authorities. More than 8.2 million people and 720,000 vehicles are expected to turn out. Traffic officials suggest people plan their routes ahead of time in case of traffic restrictions on the Metro and highways.--(3/23)
PMI data and foreign funds pull index up
Shanghai stocks gained for a third straight day yesterday as China's industrial activity gathered speed, and foreign investment in domestic securities increased.
The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.3 percent to 2,324.24 points.
HSBC's Flash China Purchasing Managers' Index, geared toward private and export-oriented firms, rose to 51.7 in March, up from February's final figure of 50.4, the bank said yesterday.
The reading is the highest in two months and beat hopes of 50.9. A reading of 50 or higher means expansion.
"The rebound of the flash PMI for March is backed by strong growth in new orders and production," said Qu Hongbin, HSBC's chief economist for China. "This implies the Chinese economy is on track for a gradual recovery."
A Guodu Securities report yesterday said the better-than-expected PMI data eased concerns the economic recovery is getting weak. The brokerage added the stock index is likely to stabilize above the 2,300 level.
China's foreign-exchange regulator granted quotas totaling US$3.4 billion to foreign institutions in the first two months of this year, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said. The figure marked an annual surge of 487 percent, indicating an insatiable overseas appetite for Chinese securities.
Environmental protection stocks rose after the Beijing government said it plans to accelerate the construction of facilities for wastewater disposal and sewage recycling.
Beijing Capital Co, a wastewater treatment firm, surged by the daily limit of 10 percent to 7.82 yuan (US$) as did Tianjin Capital Environmental Protection Group which ended at 10.30 yuan.--(3/22)
Metro uses water to lower cave-in risk
Builders of the city's Metro system are pumping back groundwater at a project site for the first time to avoid dangerous cave-ins of land in the area.
While the back-pumping is often used in building construction, it is being used for the first time at a 33-meter-deep excavation on Metro Line 13's Hanzhong Road construction site, the deepest Metro excavation in Shanghai.
"It would be a great danger if subsidence happened here in downtown," said Zhu Yanfei, the general engineer with Shanghai Tunnel Co. Zhu said many high buildings are located around the site.
The engineer said about 1.6 tons of underground water, or 42 percent of the total water pumped out, has been recharged after 97 days of construction, meeting subsidence prevention standards.
The rest of water will be recycled later or used for clean-up.
For a long time, the city has been beset by problems due to soft soil and a growing number of construction projects, including work on some landmarks like the new Shanghai Tower, which left nearby pipelines in danger.
Jiang Shujie, deputy director of Shanghai's construction and transport commission, said the subsidence problem "is a big one, involving many aspects like geology and construction work as well."
Shanghai is setting up ground subsidence alert standards soon to allow preventative measures.
Also, an Internet post that spread yesterday about a cave-in on a ramp of the Dabaishu section of the Inner Ring Road in Yangpu District was only road renovation work that was finished in the afternoon, according to authorities.--(3/21)
Shanghai arts festival invites young talents
The organizer of 2013 China Shanghai International Arts Festival is soliciting creative works from Chinese musicians, dancers and drama artists around the world, who are under 40.
Their works should revolve around the theme "When yesterday meets future" and show the interaction of cultural heritage and contemporary art.
Their works should have not been staged before, nor won any award in competitions held elsewhere. Each work should last 40 to 50 minutes.--(3/20)
Sales in Shanghai the most in 30 months
Sales of new homes were at their highest in about 30 months in Shanghai last week.
Excluding government-funded affordable housing, sales jumped 26.5 percent from the previous week to 394,700 square meters, the fourth straight week of increases, Shanghai Deovolente Realty Co said yesterday.
The average cost of new homes rose 10.1 percent from the previous week to 22,545 yuan (US$3,590) per square meter.
"Last week's transaction volume beat our expectations though March is a traditionally good season for property sales when sentiment picks up after the Spring Festival," said Lu Qilin, a Deovolente researcher. "Robust market demand, coupled with some ¡®panic' buying triggered by the government's reintroduction of a 20 percent capital gains tax on profits from property sales, jointly led to the notable surge in sales."
Residential projects in outlying areas continued to be the most sought-after last week with eight of the 10 best-selling developments asking less than 20,000 yuan a square meter.
In the luxury home market, 69 units ¡ª at more than 50,000 yuan per square meter ¡ª were sold, 43 more than the previous week.
Among them, Tomson Riviera, which hadn't registered any sales since July 2011, saw two apartments sold last week for around 150,000 yuan per square meter.
About 120,600 square meters of new houses were released to the local market, 38 percent down compared to the week before.--(3/19)
Some rain, cool spell coming this week
Shanghai is expected to have a couple of days of rain toward the beginning and the end of this week, and some cooler temperatures are likely after the middle of the week, forecasters said.
More rain is expected tomorrow afternoon and on Friday.
The temperature will vary little for a few days, with forecast highs of 21 degrees Celsius today and 22 degrees tomorrow. The lows on both days are to be 12 degrees.
On Wednesday, the high is forecast to drop to 17 degrees Celsius and the low to 8 degrees as a cold front moves in. The low early Thursday is expected to be 7 degrees, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau. The high on Thursday should rise to only around 13 degrees Celsius.
Today should be overcast to cloudy. Prior to tomorrow afternoon's showers, the air quality might not be good as a light haze is expected as of tonight, forecasters said.--(3/18)
Top universities drop English exams
China's top universities began their annual independent recruitment exams yesterday, with English no longer included among compulsory subjects.
In most of these universities, applicants for science and engineering majors will only be required to take math and physics exams, while art students will be required to take Chinese and math exams.
Yu Han, an enrollment officer at Tsinghua University, said the subject was eliminated in order to reduce students' workload and attract talented students who excel in target subjects.
Independent college entrance exams are held three months before the national exams, a process aimed at allowing universities to recruit more talented students.
This year, 27 Chinese universities are joining three leagues represented by Tsinghua University, Peking University and Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), with all three leagues holding recruitment exams simultaneously.
The Peking University league has 11 universities, including Hong Kong University and Beijing Normal University.
The Tsinghua league is composed of seven universities, including the University of Science and Technology of China, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Renmin University and Zhejiang University.
The BIT league is made up of nine institutions, including the Harbin Institute of Technology and Tongji University.--(3/17)
Second-hand car plate prices restricted
A second-hand Shanghai car plate will not be allowed to trade at a price higher than the latest average price for new car plates, city officials announced yesterday.
It's the latest move by the city government to tame spiraling plate prices and curb speculative trading.
"The prices of second-hand plates and new plates ... push each other higher as bidders tend to refer to the price of second-hand plates as the benchmark for bidding on a new car plate," Shanghai Information Office said in a statement on Weibo.
The new measure takes effect on March 23, when the city will hold the auction for the month. A total of 9,000 car plates will be available at the auction, the same as in February, according to the statement.
But some are skeptical that the measures will be effective.
"The move will further push up the plate price because it doesn't tackle the root issue of high demand," a commenter on Weibo said. Another called the measure "toothless because people can use double contracts to circumvent the price limit."
Shanghai car dealer Eddie Zhang expected the car plate price to hit 100,000 yuan (US$16,129) despite the move.
The average price for a Shanghai car plate shot up to 83,571 yuan in February, for the first time surpassing 80,000 yuan.
In September, the government extended the minimum holding period of car plates before resale from one to three years in a bid to curb speculation. But since then, the average auction price has increased more than 43 percent.
The city's revenue for plate auctions hit 7.12 billion yuan in 2012, an increase of 51.8 percent from 2011, of which 3.99 billion yuan was spent, mostly on public transport.--(3/15)
Huawei picks Shanghai for new center
Huawei Technologies will build a new cloud computing center in Shanghai, joining other global enterprises such as IBM and Oracle which have invested to help the city build up its cloud computing industry.
The center will occupy 6,500 square meters in Yangpu District and it's set to be built by the end of August, Shenzhen-based Huawei, China's biggest telecommunications equipment maker, said yesterday. But the firm refused to reveal the investment for the center.
For Huawei, the center will help it better serve enterprise clients, and market watchers said cloud computing, which allows users to access and edit data and files stored in cloud servers via various devices, offers a new business amid increasing competition in the telecom equipment and smartphone sectors.--(3/14)
Chilly wind, rain final twist of wild weather
Shanghai's temperature roller coaster should take one last plunge today, as today's forecast high of 10 degrees Celsius is half of yesterday's 20-degree high.
Rain and high winds today are expected to take the place of yesterday's mild conditions.
Thanks to a cold front, today is forecast to be overcast with showers and a low of 6 degrees, with strong winds likely to make it feel colder. Winds may gust to 61 kilometers per hour downtown, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said.
"The weather can be changeable in March," said Zhang Ruiyi, a chief service officer of the bureau. "The change should feel stronger as the temperature just rose yesterday."
Tomorrow the rain is expected to stop but the sky should remain cloudy, with a high of 11 degrees Celsius and a low of 4 degrees, according to the bureau.
Early Friday morning should have a low of 5 degrees. Friday's high will rise to 14 degrees and begin a warming trend into the weekend.
Though more stable temperatures will arrive soon, the three-day weather roller coaster has made it difficult for people to know how to dress, and also has contributed to making some older people and children sick, doctors said.
"It's like a naughty kid, sometimes laughs and sometimes cries," a local resident said in an STV news report yesterday.
"I'm struggling every day about what the weather will be tomorrow and what to wear," another resident said.
Weathermen reminded locals to watch forecasts closely.
Ruijin Hospital treated more patients than usual with such conditions as heart disease and hypertension in the past few days. "
Such patients, especially the old, are vulnerable to the temperature ups and downs," a doctor at the hospital said.
The Shanghai Children's Medical Center has seen an average of 3,700 patients these days, 20 percent more than usual.--(3/13)
Rider limits likely for part of Metro
Shanghai's Metro operator warns that passenger restriction measures may be used at the most crowded Metro stations and on two lines where repairs are scheduled as passenger volumes continue to grow.
Measures could include setting up barriers outside some stations during rush hours to reduce passenger flows, officials said.
Trains on heavily used Metro lines 3 and 4 will begin to undergo repair and maintenance this month, reducing the number of trains in service and worsening congestion, said Metro officials.
The exact impact on the frequency of trains is in play since planners are still working on a new timetable for the trains when repair and maintenance work begins. Several trains will drop out of service at a time, officials said.
An area where officials expect to see some passenger restrictions is the northern section of Metro Line 3, from Jiangwan Town to Jiangyang Road N.
All maintenance work on the trains for the two lines is expected to be done by the end of 2015, and conditions should improve when the trains are repaired.
Restrictions will be applied at some large transit stations only when necessary, officials said.
The subway's operator, Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, said "there's still a gap between train supply and the increasing number of passengers during the morning rush hour."
Trains on lines 6 and 8, as well as 3 and 4, have been running "at their full capacity," said officials. Reserve trains are already used to help alleviate the pressure.
The city's rapidly growing Metro network, with its 12 lines, is handling 6 to 7 million passengers a day on average.
It just witnessed a record 8.48-million passenger volume last Friday, the International Women's Day. Turnout of 7 million a day has become common, Metro officials said.--(3/12)
Shanghai new home sales rise 20.7%
New home sales in Shanghai jumped to the highest in 36 weeks amid recovering sentiment in the low to mid-end segment.
Sales of new residential properties, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, rose 20.7 percent from a week earlier to 312,000 square meters last week, Shanghai Deovolente Realty Co said today.
The average cost of new homes dived 20.2 percent from the previous seven-day period to 20,477 yuan (US$3,260) per square meter as more buyers rushed to settle for a home in the city's more affordable outlying areas.
"The latest announcement by the central government to implement a 20 percent capital gains tax on existing home transactions has had an immediate impact on the local market," said Lu Qilin, a Deovolente researcher. "On one hand, more people rushed to conclude deals for used properties while on the other hand, a growing number of home seekers seemed eager to buy a new one as they feel developers will raise prices amid increasing demand for new homes."
Half of the city's 10 best-selling projects, including the top three best-sellers, last week cost less then 15,000 yuan per square meter. That was a sharp contrast to the previous week when half of the 10 most popular developments were sold for more than 30,000 yuan a square meter, according to Deovolente data.
Supply of new houses, meanwhile, continued to rebound for the third straight week. A total of 194,300 square meters of new residential properties were released to the market last week, a rise of 14.9 percent from the previous week.--(3/11)
Beidou sat-nav system to get wider civilian use
China is looking to promote more civilian uses of its Beidou sat-nav system, scientists and industry figures told a seminar in Shanghai yesterday.
Applications could include a role in driving tests, typhoon and landslide monitoring, traffic management, agriculture, manufacturing, surveying and mapping, the Beidou seminar in Jiading District heard.
Beidou has already proven itself in defense, communications, state grids and national safety plans, leading the national government to expand its uses.
Experts at the seminar said promoting Beidou's civil uses can help bring its price down and break the market domination of overseas companies.
Combining the US global position system (GPS) and China's Beidou - also known as Compass - yields better results than only one system, as their respective satellite network coverages have strengths and weaknesses, said experts.
"A new driver exam system based on Beidou and GPS can be accurate to the millimeter and is used in 17 provinces," said Wang Chang, manager of Shanghai Compass Navigation Co, one of the developers.
Previously judging parking and other manoeuvres depended on sensors, which can be influenced by weather and electromagnetic interference.
"The new system is fairer. It is being created in Shanghai to be introduced soon," said Wang.
For disaster prevention and control, the combination of Beidou and GPS has been tested in bridge and landslide monitoring.
China started to build up its own sat-nav system in 2000. Beidou currently has 14 satellites in its network.--(3/10)
Metro at busiest
Shanghai's Metro daily turnover hit a record of 8.246 million people by 10pm yesterday, breaking the 7.548 million previous daily traffic record during the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, Metro officials said. Metro Line 2 topped the single-line passenger volume, followed by lines 1 and 8. City subway turnover has been rising steadily and is usually the heaviest on Fridays. Yesterday's record may be linked to International Women's Day, Metro officials said.--(3/9)
Disneyland on target for opening in late 2015(3/8)
The world got a glimpse of what the much-anticipated Shanghai Disney Resort will look like yesterday, with the release of an image showing the iconic Enchanted Storybook Castle lit up after dark.
The image shows a 4.45-hectare area of trees, lakes and greenery with the castle at its center.
On opening day, scheduled for late 2015, the Shanghai Disney Resort will comprise Shanghai Disneyland, two hotels, a 46,000-square-meter retail, dining and entertainment venue, recreational facilities, a lake and associated parking and transport hubs.
Innovative new design and technology techniques are being used in order to maximize efficiencies in the design and construction phase, and ensure development of remains on target, officials said yesterday.
When work is complete, the castle will be the largest, and tallest, Disney castle built so far.
"We are excited to see the resort development move into an intensive phase of construction," said Mike Crawford, Shanghai Disney Resort's general manager. "We look forward to providing more updates in the future, as we reach key milestones."
Visitors will be able to take a 10-minute ferry boat trip from the castle around other scenic spots in the resort.
In the Enchanted Storybook Castle a winding staircase will lead guests on a "once upon a time adventure" featuring Disney princesses, officials said.
"Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has been helping families create shared memories for nearly 60 years," said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.
He said the Shanghai Disney Resort will bring a classic Disney experience to the Chinese mainland.
Fan Xiping, chairman of Shanghai Shendi Group, Disney's Chinese partner, said: "The Shanghai Disney project will be the perfect combination of Disney global standards with local best practices and will truly be authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese."
Fan added: "We are excited to see the Disney Imagineering team bring new design and construction techniques to China, working collaboratively with local design institutes, thereby supporting localization efforts for the Shanghai Disney project while also creating longer term benefits for the Chinese construction industry."--(3/8)
City targets used oil at breakfast stalls(3/7)
Shanghai's environmental protection industry association will team up with district governments to promote the collection of used oil at breakfast stalls and in residential communities to prevent pollution and control the source of swill oil, it said yesterday.
Yangpu District started a trial three months ago that offered 2.8 yuan (44 US cents) for each kilogram of used oil to breakfast stall owners. One kilogram of soybean oil costs about 10 yuan in stores.
"The trial was launched on Antu Road, which has many breakfast stalls," said Jiang Yong, director of Yangpu's Changbai subdistrict. "We have collected 112.1 kilograms of used oil from the stalls since late November and the stall owners have been very cooperative. It also ensures used cooking oil is treated safely."
Under a new city regulation enacted on March 1, eateries and food processing companies are required to install a used oil separation system and sell used oil to licensed collectors.
However, the Shanghai Environmental Protection Industry Association's Li Wei said the regulation isn't perfect.
"The regulation doesn't include small food stalls and some of them pour used oil into sewers or sell it to illegal dealers for swill oil production," Li said.
Li added used oil collection will be promoted in more communities this year.
He said the association will offer used oil collection facilities to subdistricts and communities, which will give trash bags and points used in supermarket reward plans to residents who hand in used kitchen oil.--(3/7)
20% drop in students using overseas study agencies(3/6)
A total of 10,442 students went abroad via 15 local overseas study agencies last year, a 20-percent decrease from 2011, the education authorities said today.
The growth of international courses at local public schools and an increasing proportion of students going abroad on their own resulted in the drop, experts said.
Nationwide, nearly 400,000 Chinese study abroad at their own expense last year - a 17.65-perent increase over 2011.
More and more younger children and those from middle-income families go abroad to study now.
Students planning to study abroad can attend the China International Education Exhibition Tour 2013, which will be held in the Shanghai East Asia Exhibition Hall this weekend.
Delegates from a total of 178 universities and education institutes from 19 countries and areas will participate in the fair where they can have face-to-face contact with local students.--(3/6)
City's PM2.5 density doubles national standard(3/5)
Shanghai was moderately polluted this morning as the windless weather caused to the density of PM2.5 pollutants to climb from the night before to 159.8 micrograms per cubic meter at 9am.
The Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center issued an alert at 9am, reminding people with respiratory and heart diseases, the elderly and children to stay indoors.
The center said the windless weather may last whole day today and the air pollution is unlikely to ease sooner. People should avoid outdoor activities.
China's national standard requires the PM2.5 density be kept below the daily average of 75 micrograms per cubic meter.--(3/5)
Volunteers remember Lei Fei with free service(3/4)
More than 800 young volunteers from all walks of life went to Nanjing Road E. and Huaihai Road M. over the weekend to provide free service.
March 5 is a day dedicated to Lei Feng (1940-1962), a selfless soldier of the People's Liberation Army who always tried to help others with money or labor.
The volunteers were divided into four groups to teach people garbage separation, stop people from jaywalking, help elderly people and pregnant women get on and off buses, and remind cinema audiences to keep quiet and switch off their mobile phones.
Some volunteers also put their skills to use. Law school students offered legal consulting for free; railway workers helped people to buy train tickets online; and medical students gave advice to office workers on healthy diet and lifestyle.
Similar activities were also held in Minhang and Yangpu districts, involving more than 1,000 volunteers.
Yang Zhenwu, director of publicity of the CPC Shanghai Committee, attended some of the activities over the weekend.--(3/4)
Hutong Railway construction major boon for Yangtze delta(3/2)
Construction has started on a railway project connecting Shanghai and Nantong, authorities announced yesterday.
The Hutong Railway is expected to shorten travel time and improve regional transportation, officials said.
The railway, some 137 kilometers long, includes 18 kilometers in Shanghai and 119 in Jiangsu. It will mark the completion of a railway system running north and south connecting the coastal Jilin, Liaoning, Shandong, Zhejiang and Fujian provinces.
The railway should be finished in five and a half years. The main phase, from west Nantong in Jiangsu Province to Anting in Shanghai's Jiading District, will have nine stops.
With a designed speed of 200 kilometers per hour, it will take only an hour for a one-way trip, half the time of a long-distance bus, according to the Ministry of Railways.
"The Hutong Railway is an important part of China's great coastal railway channel," said Vice Minister Lu Dongfu.
The railway should improve transportation capacity across the Yangtze River and have a significant impact on regional economics, according to Lu.
A new, 1,092-meter cable-stayed bridge for trains and road traffic, which is expected to be the biggest bridge of its type in the world, will span the Yangtze River, said Zhang Min, director of the China Railway Major Bridge Reconnaissance & Design Institute.
A cable-stayed bridge has towers or pylons from which cables support the deck. The bridge will have four railway and six vehicle lanes.
"The Hutong Railway should be the third channel across the Yangtze River after Sutong and Chongqi bridges," said Zhang.--(3/2)
Wellington College to open in 2014 in Pudong(3/1)
The British Wellington College plans to open its second China branch in Pudong Qiantan business area after signing an agreement with the financial zone's authority yesterday.
The Wellington College International Shanghai, targeting children of foreigners working in the city, will be completed and start enrollment in August 2014 in the Pudong New Area. The school will recruit foreign children between 3 and 18. At least at first, Chinese children will need international passports to attend, the school said.
The tuition will be similar to other leading international schools in the city, he said. The fee at the school's Tianjin campus is about 200,000 yuan (US$32,140) a year. The school will have 1,500 students from kindergarten to high school.
Local authorities will negotiate with the school to also open enrollment to Chinese children without international passports in the future, officials said.--(3/1)