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Showing posts from July, 2011

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45% of couples 'don't want 2nd child'

EVEN if the one-child policy was relaxed, almost half of Shanghai couples would be reluctant to have a second child, according to research. Some 45 percent of families are put off by the high cost of raising children, a study released yesterday by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences found. The report said local families spent 31,760 yuan (US$4,934) on their offspring on average last year. That accounts for more than 50 percent of disposable income for 10 percent of the 1,200 families with children under the age of 12 polled. Child-related expenses - including education, food and clothes - have put parents under great economic pressure. Some 35 percent of those surveyed felt it's a heavy burden to raise children. The report also found that white-collar workers busy with work have little time and experience to look after their children. About 30 percent of respondents said that they suffer great stress taking care of their children. The researchers also discovered that locals wi…

Culture going underground

The Shanghai Culture Square is waiting for its opening performance today when The Music in the Summer Air music festival kicks off proceedings at the newly built theater. Audiences will be able to enjoy orchestra concerts and choir performances in a theater 20 meters below ground.

Error puts Metro on wrong track

AN error on a signaling system under test on Shanghai's Metro Line 10 caused a train to take a wrong turn, carrying passengers on the wrong branch after the line split at Longxi Road, operators said yesterday. The train, which should have been heading for Hangzhong Road after Longxi Road, instead took the other line on the Y-shaped intersection and ended up at Hongqiao Railway Station at around 7:20pm on Thursday. Passengers were told by Metro staff to take trains back to Longxi Road. An announcement over the train's loudspeakers said a signal problem had caused it to take a wrong turn. Some passengers said the train had even begun to run backward for a short distance after it stopped at Shanghai Zoo, the first station on the wrong route. "I was reading a newspaper on the train when it stopped for one minute with none of its doors opening," said a 25-year-old passenger surnamed Gu. "Then all of a sudden it started to run backward for a few seconds, which scared …

Quality watchdog tough on illegal food producers

FOUR Shanghai companies have been banned from food production following the "recycled buns" scandal in April, local authorities said yesterday. The city has revoked 360 business licenses in a crackdown triggered by the discovery in April that a company recycled its expired buns and added dyes to make new ones, said Shen Weimin, deputy director of Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision. Shen also said China is revising the safety standards for escalators. The revised standards are expected to take effect later this year. The current standards were set in 1997 and are already outdated. The revision came after an escalator in a Beijing subway station went out of control killing one passenger and injuring 20 others. City authorities have ordered an examination and repair of all the Otis escalators of the same type as the faulty one in Beijing before the end of this month.

Quality river time coming for yachts

THE city plans to set aside certain times for yachts to ply the Huangpu River, a move to boost the luxury private boat business as Shanghai aspires to become a center of the industry. Development of yacht harbors is also part of the plan, city maritime authorities said yesterday. Maritime officials worry that the busy water traffic on the river may threaten the yachts' operations. "Crashes are very likely to happen when the ships are squashing the limited waterways," said Chen Xiao-guang, deputy director of the Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration. More than 1,000 vessels - from tour boats to freighters to ferries - use the Huangpu River daily in the section near the Lujiazui area of Pudong, the most popular tour route. To reduce the danger of collisions, some large cargo vessels are expected to be turned away or transferred to other water channels during the yacht time, said Chen. The city has only about 30 yachts, much fewer than cities like Shenzhen which has more …

Professor keen to give motorist a lesson on littering

A local scholar is looking for a car driver who threw litter at him and ignored his advice. Wang Pinxian, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a Tongji University professor, was leaving campus for home last Sunday when a man tossed some trash out of his car window in front of Wang. Wang picked up the waste and asked the driver to take it back, but the driver turned a deaf ear to him. "He took a look at me and turned his head away," Wang said. "I tried to argue with him, but he didn't open the window." Wang then moved to the front of his car to get his attention, but the driver backed his car and drove away. Wang posted a letter on the campus website seeking clues to the driver. He said he would visit the driver and discuss with him about his behavior whether he is a Tongji member or not. The university issued a "wanted notice" on the campus website to help Wang find the driver. The website editor said the letter is a good reminder to …

For Norway

On Monday at 12pm, all Nordic countries held a minute's silence for the victims of the bombing and shooting in Norway. On this blog, I'm taking a silent week.

Bikinis on the Bund

Young women cool off in their bikinis as they enjoy Shanghai's summer heat in a newly completed pool at the sandy beach on the city's south Bund area yesterday. The 64-square-meter pool is part of the latest expansion for the beach, which has been doubled in size to cater for more people during their leisure time.

Drunk driving puts Shanghai expat behind bars

A foreigner was sentenced to one month in prison and fined 2,000 yuan (US$307) in Shanghai for dangerous driving, the first such case in the city, local prosecutors said yesterday. The offender who is not identified was accused of drunk driving and clashing with another vehicle on May 7. The foreigner said he had several bottles of beer with friends at dinner. After that he drove home alone. But he was not able to stop his car before a red light and bumped into a car in the front. Police found he was unable to talk clearly and alcohol tests showed his blood alcohol concentration was 1.9mg/ml, far beyond the limit of 0.8mg/ml, said the prosecutors. The court said that considering he pleaded guilty and his drunk driving behavior did not result in a serious consequence, it gave him the one-month jail sentence.

20 attack man

A MAN was assaulted by around 20 strangers after he made a comment about computer games being played in a cyber cafe on Meichuan Road in Putuo District at 5:30am yesterday morning. The 28-year-old, surnamed Ni, was accused of distracting game players and in the attack that followed suffered multiple injuries to his head and chest. Police are investigating.

Winged termites invade Deke Erh Art Center

WORKERS yesterday began repairing the termite-damaged Deke Erh Art Center on Taikang Road, which was forced to close for nearly two months. An official surnamed Lu with the management committee of the Tianzifang area, where the center is located, said they will wipe out termites and repair the damaged house as soon as possible. The center with a display area of 300 square meters was shut down after workers found its main beam had been eroded by a colony of termites and would collapse any time.

Services Resumed

TRAIN services from Shanghai to Wenzhou in Zhejiang Province and to Fuzhou and Xiamen in Fujian Province had resumed by noon yesterday. Up to 23 trains heading for the three cities had been canceled following Saturday's crash. On the Hangzhou-Shenzhen route, seven services remained suspended yesterday afternoon, including four from Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province.

Forum seeks closer Shanghai-Taipei cooperation

SHANGHAI and Taipei officials today signed a set of memorandums, aiming to boost cooperation in the fields of education, sanitation, healthcare and tourism. Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin is on a two-day visit to attend the annual Shanghai-Taipei City Forum with Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng. Speaking at the forum today, Han welcomed more Taiwanese companies to invest in Shanghai, promising to offer more convenience for Taiwanese citizens who live and work in the city. His Taipei counterpart Hau Lung-bin said the two cities both have upgraded their urban management level after successfully hosting Shanghai World Expo and Taipei Flora Expo last year. And he's looking forward to closer business ties between the two cities in the near future. Hau said Shanghai tourists are most welcome to visit Taipei and Taipei residents will treat Shanghai visitors with the best hospitality. Since the Taiwan authorities started a program in June to allow individual tourists from the mainland cities of Beijin…

Plates at 43-month high

CAR plate prices surged to a 43-month high in July, despite a high number still being made available. The average price for a private car license in Shanghai rose for the seventh consecutive month to 51,174 yuan (US$7,937) this month, up 2,319 yuan from a month earlier, according to Shanghai International Commodity Auction Co yesterday. The lowest price also climbed 2,400 yuan to 50,900 yuan. Both prices were the highest since January 2008 when the current auction system was adopted. The number of bidders was 21,853, about 622 less than in June, said the monthly auction organizer. The municipal government offered 9,000 plates for auction this month, the same as last month. It was the third consecutive month with this high number available. Market observers had predicted that demand for car plates could cool down after vehicles sales slowed. However, on the secondhand car market, plate prices continued to increase, topping 52,000 yuan before the auction. Dealer Huang Dan said local car…

Officials cite danger in lack of data on pipelines

A LACK of documentation about the city's underground gas, power and other utility pipelines is posing a risk to public safety and making it difficult to ensure safe operations of future urban construction projects, local experts warned yesterday. Officials with the Shanghai Surveying and Mapping Administrative Office said their recent investigation showed the city's underground pipelines extend to at least 100,000 kilometers but only 45 percent of them are recorded in a government database. The database is supposed to provide information to rescuers responding to emergencies such as underground gas blasts. The information is also necessary for urban planners to make decisions on new construction projects. Local legislators said they are now preparing a new law to improve documentation and management efforts of the city's underground pipelines. Officials with the mapping office said that in recent years many accidents, including gas explosions, flooding and power blackouts,…

2 ransom kidnappers jailed for their failed attempt

TWO men were given jail terms of up to six years and fined 10,000 yuan each for their failed abduction, a Shanghai court said yesterday. The duo, surnamed Gu and Li, met each other online and decided to abduct a rich woman in the upscale shopping center of Plaza 66 on Nanjing Road W. to get rich overnight. On March 26, their victim, whose name was not revealed, was about to get into her car in the underground parking of Plaza 66 when the two men suddenly showed up and threatened the woman with knife, the Jing'an District People's Court heard. As they were trying to lead the woman out of the parking area, she escaped successfully. Gu was immediately caught by security guards. Li was arrested two days later in an Internet cafe in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province. In the court yesterday, the duo defended themselves that they did not try to hold the woman for ransom; they just wanted to rob her. But the court said that they had hatched an abduction plan and was planning to extort a 2-m…

Casino gamble fails to pay off

MORE than 70 gamblers were seized by police in Shanghai after a group of out-of-towners was found setting up casinos in city hotels. Seven people were arrested for organizing gambling which involved more than 100 million yuan (US$15.5 million), police said yesterday. "They acted like a normal tourist group visiting the city," said police. "Others would never know that millions of yuan would be changing hands in just one night." Police began their investigation in June after officers heard rumors of a group of rich businessmen organizing gambling in hotels in the city's Baoshan District. Officers noticed a large number of luxury vehicles showing up at a four-star hotel in the district and found that a middle-aged man from neighboring Zhejiang Province had booked 70 rooms on two floors of the hotel. Police checks showed some of the vehicle owners had criminal records for gambling in Zhejiang. The hotel's "guests" had asked that no one enter the room…

Consumers complain about P&G recall process

CONSUMERS have complained that Procter & Gamble's recall process is complicated and unfair. The company has announced a worldwide recall of a popular mouthwash after some bottles of the product were found containing excessive levels of microorganisms. In China, customers wanting a refund need to return the empty bottle and receipt to the company's office in Guangzhou, plus sign an application form. The Shanghai Commission of Consumers' Rights and Interests Protection said the company set up strict conditions for the recall, which shows a lack of respect for consumers. The commission urged P&G to provide refunds through retailers.

Transformers fans flock to midnight screenings

Thousands of movie buffs crowded Shanghai cinemas for a chance to enjoy the debut of Hollywood blockbuster "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" at midnight last night. The sci-fi movie is released on the Chinese mainland from today, three weeks later than its screening in North America. At the Peace Cinema, one of the few cinemas with IMAX screens in the city, Transformers fans lined up for tickets from 11pm yesterday. Tickets for the premiere were snapped up within minutes, Shanghai TV news reported. The Shanghai Film Art Center saw movie goers fill up more than 60 percent of seats in its largest auditorium, with a capacity of 1,000 seats, for the midnight premiere. It is the auditorium's highest attendance record since the cinema opened in 1991. As the latest work by Hollywood director Michael Bay, the movie is the third installment in the series after "Transformers" in 2007 and "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" in 2009. In the latest movie, the plo…

DaVinci Faces Fraud Suit

A Beijing consumer is suing DaVinci Furniture Co Ltd's Beijing branch, claiming the furniture is of fraudulently low quality. The consumer surnamed Tang wants 1.5 million yuan (US$232,204) and the return of her deposit, as the company delayed delivery of her products and the quality of the furniture was shoddy, she says. Tang says quality tests found the furniture, which cost her 2.8 million yuan, was made of high-density board, not solid wood.

City tightens quality control of budget housing

CONSTRUCTION watchdogs will intensify quality check of budget housing projects to prevent contractors from lowering quality standards to make illegal gains, Shanghai Vice Mayor Shen Jun said today. The city plans to build another 150 million square meters of affordable housing for low-income families this year. At the end of June, half of the projects, equal to 100,000 apartments, were under way, Shen said. By the end of this year, about 266,000 units of budget housing will be completed and sold at government-fixed prices. Officials said random checks on cement and concrete quality now cover 97 percent of the construction sites, compared with 86 percent last year. In response to the recent scandal in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, where some government-financed apartment buildings had to be demolished due to poor quality, Shen said the Shanghai government will tighten quality control measures to ensure budget housing projects free from substandard materials.

Outcry at high-rises on the Bund plan

PLANS for a modern high-rise complex on the historic Bund have caused outrage among local residents. The complex would feature five tall and narrow gold buildings, according to an artist's rendition released by SOHO China, the Beijing-based real estate developer. Included in the development, due to be built in 2014, are two skyscrapers nearly three times the height of the nearby historic Bund buildings. The buildings will be offices and hotels, SOHO said yesterday. Many local residents say the high-rises are out of keeping with the Western-style historic buildings on the Bund that have long been an icon of the city. Details of the plan posted on Weibo.com last Friday by SOHO have been re-tweeted more than 1,000 times on the Website and received around 400 comments, mostly criticism. "These kind of modern buildings can be built in any other places in Shanghai but not on the Bund because they damage the overall atmosphere of the area in both the height and the architectural sty…

Feud of competing food search websites ends in court

A local company was ordered to apologize to its competitor and pay it 8,000 yuan in compensation for defaming its competitor online, a Shanghai court said today. The Gourmet Navigator (Shanghai) Inc. which runs a food searching engine, www.gudumami.com, found some online ads openly defaming its website in 2009. Ads, such as "Log on 95171 instead of Gournavi" or "Gournavi can't help you. We can," would pop up if Internet users typed "Gournavi" on Google. When people clicked those ads, they were led to www.95171.cn, which provides similar services. Shanghai Bangzhu Information Technology Co which runs the competing website did not stop defaming their competitor though Gournavi sent it two letters, asking to delete the ads. The Pudong New Area People's Court said Shanghai Bangzhu's behavior was an act of improper competition and the ads had done some damage to the plaintiff's reputation and business.

5 on trial over deadly tower block inferno

FIVE people, four of them former government officials, stood trial in Shanghai yesterday on charges arising from the Jiaozhou Road inferno last November which engulfed a residential building and claimed 58 lives. Gao Weizhong, former director of Jing'an District Construction and Transport Commission, ex-deputy director Yao Yaming, and their two subordinates, Zhou Weimin and Zhang Quan, were charged with abuse of power and taking bribes. Feng Wei, manager of the Jinshan Tianyi Construction Material Department, was the fifth defendant at the trial in Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court. He faced charges involving bribery and responsibility for the blaze. Gao admitted abuse of power and accepting about 120,000 yuan (US$18,553) in bribes. He is said to have approved the renovation of the building although it had not been included in energy-saving renovation projects by the Jing'an District government in 2010. He is also said to have proposed that Jing'an Constructio…

Off to northern Finland's deepest forests, see u in one week!

Watchdogs priced out of tests

QUALITY watchdogs couldn't afford to test products from a controversial luxury furniture retailer, it was reported yesterday. Officials told The Beijing News they would have exhausted their budgets buying the high-end goods. Shanghai-based DaVinci Furniture faces claims its 'Made in Italy' furniture was in fact produced in China. And in Shanghai, the company was last week told to stop selling certain lines due to labeling problems. Officials said items labeled solid wood were made from high-density board. But no inspection reports for DaVinci could be found on the websites of national and city quality supervision authority and market watchdogs. Both bodies are supposed to randomly select goods for quality tests on a regular basis and publicize the results on their websites. Reporters could find no DaVinci products listed on wood furniture test reports for 2009 and 2010 on the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine website. And local market watchdo…

How to find an apartment in Shanghai

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Our first flat in Shanghai -quite nice one. Just located in the completely wrong part of the city -and as a result we had to spend 2 hour commuting every day. Oh, little did we know back then!

I just checked my blog email and saw two new emails from two different people about to move to Shanghai, asking me the same things:

-How do I find an apartment in Shanghai?
-How much should I pay for it?

Now, those are big questions, but since they came at the same time, and Ive promised to answer blog enquiries during my holiday, I thought this could be worth a blog post.

Since I just completed a 2,5 month frustrating flat hunt, I believe that we can all agree that I am far from an expert on how to find accommodation fast. However, during my search for the perfect crib, I came across several different ways of searching for a place:

Finding a flat

There are several Eng and Chi websites offering housing advertisement in Shanghai these days:
Craigslist has a lot of listings, however, often lacks photos.
Th…

Products in film fun, Bay says

HOLLYWOOD film director Michael Bay yesterday addressed a controversy over product placements in his newest hit film, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," by calling them an amusing element to entertain audiences. Bay, on his first trip to Shanghai, showed up before local movie buffs with actor Shia LaBeouf and British model-turned-actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to promote the sci-fi work yesterday. The film will be released in the Chinese mainland on July 21, three weeks later than its debut in North America. A lot of brands are featured in the movie, including several from China, bringing some controversy after its media screening yesterday morning. The 46-year-old director noted that everything could be a product, and the Chinese milk added some comic elements to the movie. "Of course I'm not doing an ad for milk; I'm doing a movie," Bay said. "This movie is not favored among the critics, but millions of people love it. I love entertaining the audie…

New fingerprint system speeds up manhunt in China

CHINA'S law enforcement units have been equipped with the world's leading automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS) to detect and catch criminals faster, a scientific innovation forum learned today in Shanghai. Developed by NEC, the system has been used by Anhui Province police and it has a database that can store more than 10 million fingerprints, the largest in the nation. AFIS is a biometric identification methodology that uses a digital imaging device to scan, store and analyze fingerprint information for comparison with fingerprints collected from crime scenes. Thanks to the system, Anhui police were able to crack, in the past three months, criminal cases equal to the total number they solved last year. Most of the domestic fingerprint databases can only store less than 5 million fingerprint data. The NEC system not only has a bigger storage but also a faster processing speed. It can analyze one fingerprint in 30 seconds on average, notably improving the efficien…

4 online dealers jailed for selling counterfeits

Four dealers engaged in the sale of counterfeit UGG boots received jail sentences ranging from one year to four years in two separate cases yesterday. In the first case, a man surnamed Chen who sold the fake Australian luxury boots to overseas buyers online was sentenced to four years in jail and was fined 1 million yuan (US$154,668), the Putuo District People's Court said. A defendant surnamed Lu, who sold the counterfeits to Chen, received a jail sentence of two years and six months and faced a fine of 200,000 yuan. Chen began to purchase UGG boots from Lu in August 2009 and registered two accounts online to resell the counterfeit products to overseas customers. Sales reached 2.37 million yuan by last December when he was caught by police, the court said. During the raid, police seized 458 pairs of counterfeit UGG boots at two apartments in a downtown neighborhood which Chen rented as his office and storage. Another 911 pairs due to be transported to Guangzhou, Guangdong Provinc…

Summer blog topics -suggestions, anyone?

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Finally, my holiday is here! Today Im off to Finland. Ill be spending 3 weeks there, and then Ill head over to Sweden for my final week. A whole month off feels unbelievable! This wouldnt be possible if it wasnt for all the overtime hours Ive done this spring (and really, Ive worked a lot), so I guess working loads also has its advantages, hehe.

For those that have followed this blog carefully, today is also the day when by no-sugar bet with my significant other ends. Do you think I made it? No candy, cakes or sugar for some 2,5 months in order to win a shopping spree?

Well, of course I did. And not eating sugar has made me feel great, so who knows, maybe its something I will keep up. It wasnt that hard to tell you the truth. Give it 2 weeks to get rid of the sugar craving and then youre fine. Highly recommend it to anyone who is struggling with keeping their hands off chocolate bars.

Since I will be on a holiday there wont be much action going on in my life. The summer days in Scandinav…

Minhang mines scare sparked by disabled fireworks

THE "unexploded land mines" that Minhang Police claimed to have salvaged from a river near Minbei Road this morning were later confirmed to be disabled round-shaped fireworks. The police announced on its official microblog on Weibo.com at 11:30am that they had found several "land mines" in a river near No. 200 Minbei Road in Minhang District and their preliminary investigation showed that the "mines" were "historical remains." The police said they were working with firefighters to handle the mines and warned local residents not to visit the scene. The microblog posting immediately sparked panic among some residents living or working nearby the river, who feared that the mines might explode. Minhang Police responded to terrified netizens on the microblog that there was no need to panic as most of such "historical remains" had lost their functioning ability a long time ago. But about 20 minutes later, the police announced that the "…

East Asians genetically less prone to alcohol poisoning

WESTERNERS are more vulnerable to alcohol poisoning than East Asians due to their genetic difference, Shanghai researchers said yesterday.A dehydrogenase gene, ADH1B, which dehydrogenates alcohol and turns it into aldehyde in human body, appears more widespread among the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans.About 70 percent of Chinese have the enhanced gene variant, ADH1B-H7, while most Westerners don't have, according to a research finding announced by Shanghai Fudan University.However, this does not mean that Chinese can drink more because another gene which converts aldehyde into an acetic acid has weakened in the bodies of about 70 percent of Chinese.Aldehyde, which makes people flush, is toxic and harmful to human organs if staying in the body for long time, said Professor Li Hui, the lead researcher of Fudan's School of Life Sciences.The acetic acid can be absorbed by human body through metabolism and can make people happy.

The starch girls

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As Im getting ready for a holiday in Europe, I obviously try to get the very most out of China before I leave, including:

Pampering such as massages, manicure, pedicure
Speaking as much Chinese as possible with my Chinese friends
Indulging in a lot of spicy food

However, the whole pampering thing has become a down prio, as Ive realised that I enjoy my other two priorities much more.

Some days ago, my best girlfriend and I went to one of our favourite Sichuan joints.

-Looks full, she said, as we stepped in and were greeted by a noisy, smoky but happy environment.

-Yup, I confirmed, trying to locate a free table.

-(Nimen hao!) Came the manager, who Ive seen many times before, and, who must have recognized us, as he smiled a little bit too wide.

-No tables today? I asked.

-Always a table for you girls!

Yes, he definitely recognized us.

And, magically, he showed us to a free table.

Five seconds later a female waitress appeared with a menu.

While we started flicking through it, she stood by our side …

China Pavilion reopens after weeks of maintenance

MANY visitors waited for three and a half hours to enter the China Pavilion which reopened today after it was closed on May 31 for renovation and maintenance. The pavilion, one of the most popular venues during Expo 2010, will open through October 10. Exhibits are the same, so is its 20-yuan (US$3) ticket price, the Expo organizer said today. The pavilion is open 9am to 5pm daily expect Monday. Its entrance is on Xueye Road in Pudong. Tickets are available from 8:30am to 4pm at the ticket boxes on Shangnan Road near the pavilion. Seniors, disabled people, students, children and military personnel are eligible for a 5 yuan discount. Children under 1.2 meters tall can enter for free if accompanied by an adult. The pavilion received more than 9 million visitors during the 6-month World Expo last year and has received another 5.7 million visitors since it reopened on December 1.

Power failure again delays Beijing-Shanghai bullet trains

TRAINS were delayed again today due to a power glitch on the newly opened Shanghai-Beijing High-speed Railway, two days after widespread delays on the same line. At least eight bullet trains reported delays of up to one and a half hours by noon. The power outage happened around 11am in a section in Suzhou in east China's Shandong Province, said the railway operator. The problem was fixed by 1pm and all the services resumed, railway officials said. During Sunday's service interruption, thousands of passengers were stranded as railway workers raced to fix the grid failure caused by a thunderstorm in Shandong.

Work hard, play hard

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A friend of mine works at a big, international company the dream work place for many, both westerners and Chinese. Some weeks ago he recruited a new staff, a young Chinese girl who was selected to be his PR assistant. Some 70 people applied for the job, and he interviewed 10 for the position, and this girl was the one who impressed him the most, who seemed the most driven and who insisted that working for this company would be like a dream coming through for her.

They agreed on a quite attractive salary package, and she started her job.

On day one, she wanted to know everything about over time compensation.

On day two, she asked if she could get a new computer and a new cell phone.

One week into her job, when she was sent on a business trip, the first thing she did when she came back to the office, was to fill a travel claim form so that she would get her day pay allowance.

My friend saw her doing all of this and did not make any remarks. In fact, he told me about it, but said that he thou…

Niu Niu making progress

Dolls and toys are seen on the bed of two-year-old Zhang Fangyu at an intensive care unit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, yesterday. The girl, better known by her Niu Niu nickname, fell from her 10th floor home on July 2. Her fall was broken by Wu Juping, a woman who rushed to save her when she saw the little girl tumble. Doctors said the toddler is now past the critical stage following the fall, with stable heartbeat, blood pressure and pulse. Her nervous system and brain functions also witnessed "optimistic progress," doctors said. Wu, who suffered multiple fractures to her left arm and has since been dubbed China's "Most Beautiful Mom" for her heroism, is also making progress and expected to have her splint removed in two months.

Cop wounded while arresting 17-year-old robber

A man was detained this morning for using a kitchen knife to rob a convenient store and injuring a Shanghai policeman, police said today. The 17-year-old suspect surnamed Lu triggered the alarm of an Alldays convenience store on Huaihai Road E. when he attempted to rob the store at 3:13am, the Huangpu Police said. Lu chopped the head of one of the two arriving policemen with the knife and ran away, but was caught by the two officers and a backup police on the nearby Yunnan Road S. The injured police Zhu Xuequan suffered an 11-centimeter-long gash in the back of his skull and other wounds in his face and ear. He is now in stable condition in the Changzheng Hospital. Police are investigating the case, which is the second convenience store robbery within one week. Two men who attempted to rob an Alldays convenience store around the corner of Pudong Road N. and Hongshan Road in Pudong New Area last Wednesday were driven off by four saleswomen and fled before police arrived. Officers said …

Connected again

Sorry for the lack of updates but now Im finally back on track! Yesterday we celebrated 1 week (!) in our new flat, and we did that by having China Mobile guys over, installing the Internet. So now I can blog and read my emails again together with my morning coffee. Heaven!

I am so happy about our move of house. For the last week or so Ive slept better than Ive had for the last 6 months. Its amazing. Its like getting my old life back: I feel energetic, I feel happy, I feel healthy and I feel like myself. Its like winning the lottery and the price is my own health.

Another great thing about finally have moved is that we no longer need to spend the wknds looking at apartments. Maybe its us being picky (and yes, I know it is), but since the beginning of May I believe we have spent every single wknd flat hunting. So darn boring, frustrating an uninspiring. Now we ended up in an area that we first would have never accepted, but I feel happy here. I can walk to my office (although its a bit …

Fares up for flag-downs

A cabbie changes the price guide on his taxi in Shanghai yesterday, the first day when the city's taxi flag-down price rose to 13 yuan (US$2.01). The fare rise aims to compensate for rising fuel prices.

Mom throws boy to his death then falls on him

A MOTHER threw her four-year-old son to his death from a fourth-floor apartment in Shanghai yesterday morning, then jumped too, landing on top of the child. The boy died at the scene in Baoshan District while his 35-year-old mother, surnamed Zhou, broke several bones but was not seriously injured, police said. On Monday, a 29-year-old father killed his 10-month-old son by throwing him from the 14th floor of an apartment block in the city's Minhang District. Afterward he tried to kill himself. Both Zhou and the man have been detained by police. In yesterday's incident, a witness, surnamed Jiang, said she saw Zhou naked on her balcony, holding the child by his feet about 5:15am. Then she let him go and the boy, who was also unclothed, fell from the building on Youyi Road, landing on his head. Although neighbors screamed at her to stop, the woman then jumped, falling onto the body of her son. Witnesses said Zhou was briefly knocked out, but when she regained consciousness they we…

Susan Boyle meets her Chinese double

Britain's Got Talent sensation Susan Boyle hugs Cai Hongping, dubbed Auntie Sweetie and Shanghai's Susan Boyle, today in Shanghai. The Scottish singer will attend the second season of China's Got Talent on July 10 at the Shanghai Stadium. Cai is a leading contestant in the Chinese reality show.

`Transformers' director heads to Shanghai

MICHAEL Bay, director of the highly anticipated sci-fi film "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," will come to Shanghai next week, officials said. The film will hit domestic theaters on July 21, about three weeks later than its release in North America. According to Gu Min, marketing director of Shanghai United Cinema Lines, the city's largest cinema chain, Bay, along with the film's actors Shia LaBeouf and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley will attend the film's press conference on Thursday. "They are also likely to show up during the film's media screening on Wednesday, and talk with local college students and media critics afterwards," Gu said. The third installment of the "Transformers" series tells how Transformerism was hushed up in the 1960s. Although Bay promised that the third installment has a "more mature" story and "pretty cool" action, it has been criticized by some Western audiences and critics for its weak and simple…

I was trying to get away, bomb man tells police

A MAN who sparked panic on a Shanghai Metro train by shouting there was a bomb onboard has been detained by police. There was chaos on the Line 2 train from Jing'an Temple as it pulled into the Nanjing Road W. Station just after noon on Wednesday as passengers rushed to the front of the 8-carriage train and banged on the doors and windows to be let out. Police said the man, surnamed Zheng, was detained in neighboring Jiangsu Province early yesterday for "fabricating terrorist information." They said he had been having an argument on the train with a real estate broker over a trivial business matter. Zheng suddenly stood up when the train was pulling into the Nanjing Road W. stop and shouted: "There's a bomb on the train!" police said. He pointed at the broker saying he had a bomb in his suitcase. It was his way, police said, of trying to escape from the broker. Zheng then ran from the rear of the train to the front, alarming other passengers as he ran. More…

Animations and games expo opens in Pudong

THE 2011 CCG Expo, a show of cartoons, comics and games, opened today in the China Pavilion in Pudong. The annual event, in its seventh year, will run through next Monday, organizers said. Major animation producers from around the world will show their latest creations and projects while children can attend animated singing concert or play interactive games in the 27,000-square-meter show area. According to a report from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China produced more than 220,000 minutes of animation last year, replacing Japan as the world's largest animation producer. The total output of the domestic animation industry surged 27.8 percent last year to more than 47 billion yuan. Shanghai ranked the second among provinces and municipalities with an output of about 5 billion yuan. Guangdong Province topped the list with 16.8 billion yuan. Despite its increasing productivity, China still lacks original ideas and artistic creativity, officials said.

'Lesser Heat' opens with sizzle

THE summer's hottest weather still lies ahead as "Lesser Heat," one of the 24 solar terms in China, will hit today with an expected high temperature of 37 or 38 degrees Celsius, forecasters said yesterday. Yesterday's high temperature reached 37.1 degrees, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau reported. The bureau issued an orange heat alert at noon, the middle alert on the three-level system. The heat caused a squeeze on the city's power supply, and some factories in suburban areas had limits placed on their usage in the morning, said the Shanghai Electric Power Co Ltd. Officials said the daily power consumption peaked at about 24,100 megawatts, creating a new high for the year. While some plants in Qingpu and Jiading districts had their power cut in the morning, "the period didn't last for long," said Gu Weicheng, an official with the company. "Their production was assumed right after the power consumption peak passed." Earlier, officials s…

Man arrested for smuggling laborers to Japan

A local resident has been detained for smuggling illegal workers to Japan, the Exit-Entry Administration of Shanghai Public Security Bureau said today. The suspect surnamed Zhang has smuggled more than 50 female sewing workers to Japan since 2009 and made a profit of about 76,000 yuan from the "business." Police said Zhang forged official stamps and papers for visa application and claimed the sewing workers were on a study tour organized by a well-known Shanghai garment manufacturer. After these workers obtained a three-month visa and arrived in Japan, Zhang would send them to clothes factories in Fukuoka and Osaka for low-pay jobs. Zhang charged commission, guarantee money and even management fees from these workers, and has spent almost all the money he made. As a result, the workers won't be able to get their money back.

'Lesser Heat' opens with sizzle

THE summer's hottest weather still lies ahead as "Lesser Heat," one of the 24 solar terms in China, will hit today with an expected high temperature of 37 or 38 degrees Celsius, forecasters said yesterday. Yesterday's high temperature reached 37.1 degrees, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau reported. The bureau issued an orange heat alert at noon, the middle alert on the three-level system. The heat caused a squeeze on the city's power supply, and some factories in suburban areas had limits placed on their usage in the morning, said the Shanghai Electric Power Co Ltd. Officials said the daily power consumption peaked at about 24,100 megawatts, creating a new high for the year. While some plants in Qingpu and Jiading districts had their power cut in the morning, "the period didn't last for long," said Gu Weicheng, an official with the company. "Their production was assumed right after the power consumption peak passed." Earlier, officials s…

Shanghai holds forum on LED technology

LIGHT emitting diode technology will be used to illuminate some busy tunnels and subways after successful testing on small roads and the Changjiang Tunnel-Bridge, Shanghai officials told an international LED forum held in the city today. There are about 380,000 road lamps across Shanghai but LED lights account for only a small percentage, said Li Shuzhi from Shanghai Research Center of Engineering and Technology for Solid-State Lighting. "The Metro operator and the management company of Yan'an Road E. Tunnel, one of the busiest tunnel in Shanghai, have contacted us to do a feasibility research on replacing traditional lights with LED lamps for energy saving and brightness control," Li said. The city's urban construction officials said they also did an LED experiment in Xiangyin Road Tunnel and they will promote the installation of LED lights based on the results of the experiment. Participants at the forum said LED technology has become mature for broader application…

Man arrested for smuggling laborers to Japan

A local resident has been detained for smuggling illegal workers to Japan, the Exit-Entry Administration of Shanghai Public Security Bureau said today. The suspect surnamed Zhang has smuggled more than 50 female sewing workers to Japan since 2009 and made a profit of about 76,000 yuan from the "business." Police said Zhang forged official stamps and papers for visa application and claimed the sewing workers were on a study tour organized by a well-known Shanghai garment manufacturer. After these workers obtained a three-month visa and arrived in Japan, Zhang would send them to clothes factories in Fukuoka and Osaka for low-pay jobs. Zhang charged commission, guarantee money and even management fees from these workers, and has spent almost all the money he made. As a result, the workers won't be able to get their money back.

Faulty bus bursts into life, runs over 1 pedestrian on Xizang Rd

A bus that tried to restart after a mechanical failure went out of control and hit a young man near the downtown People's Square yesterday, crushing his left leg that needs to be amputated, Shanghai Morning Post reported today. The intercity bus heading for Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces suddenly lurched backward onto Xizang Road M. at 7:40pm as the driver tried to get the engine restarted, a witness said. Many people jumped out of the way except the 25-year-old bank employee surnamed Liang, who was knocked down and one bus wheel rolled over his left shank. The bus was finally stopped by curbside flowerbed. A witness in a nearby shop said the bus had parked at the intersection of Guangdong Road and Xizang Road for more than one hour and the bus driver, in his 30s, had called for emergency repair, which didn't appear. So, the driver decided to restart the bus himself. After being run over by the bus, Liang was somber enough to borrow a cell phone from a passer-by to call his fa…

Studies damage young's health

TOO much studying is leaving growing numbers of young Shanghainese short-sighted and obese, according to a new report. The survey, released by the Shanghai Education Commission yesterday, said just over 12 percent of local students aged between 7 and 22 are obese - compared to around 11.5 percent in the previous study five years ago. The education authority examined 15,959 students from 47 local primary and secondary schools and four universities last year in the study. It is part of the third National Physique Monitoring study. Boys are more likely to be overweight, with the incidence of obesity among them more than double that found in girls. The highest percentage was reported among boys aged between 8 and 14. A third of 11-year-old boys are obese, according to the survey. Meanwhile, more than 70 percent of students surveyed have vision disorders, including myopia - 5.3 percent higher than in 2005. "Students have little time for exercise due to heavy academic pressure, and thi…

Hongqiao Airport runway undergoes major renovation

THE oldest runway in Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport will undergo a four-month renovation, the city's construction and transportation authorities said today. The runway on the east of the airport will be closed to traffic between 1am and 8am. Flights during the day will not be affected, airport officials said. The delayed flights after 1am will be directed to the city's Pudong International Airport for landing. Built in 1964, the runway remained the Hongqiao airport's only runway until last year when a second runway was put into service together with a new terminal. The old runway has received three major repairs in 1991, 1998 and 2005.

City raises high-temperature subsidy for workers

UNDER a new city regulation that came into effect on June 1, employers need to pay 200 yuan (US$31) in monthly subsidy for workers if working outdoors above 35 degrees Celsius or indoors above 33 degrees. In addition to giving the subsidy, employers must also supply cold beverage to workers in high-temperature days to protect their health, said the municipal government in explaining the new rule. The new rule applies to all enterprises -- state-owned, jointly-funded or private ones alike. Shanghai introduced the high temperature subsidy in July 2007, requiring enterprises to give 10 yuan a day to workers if outdoor temperature exceeds 35 degrees Celsius and indoor temperature surpasses 33 degrees. Considering rising inflation and that most of those working in hot environment are low-income earners, the city government decided to raise the subsidy this summer. To make it convenient for employers, the subsidy can be provided by month instead of by day.

Phew! City sizzles as mercury rises

SHANGHAI sweltered in the hottest day of the summer so far yesterday as temperatures climbed to 38.3 degrees Celsius. But with thunderstorms forecast for today there will be some relief, with the mercury falling to around 32 to 35 degrees, the city's weather bureau said. Yesterday morning, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau issued an orange heat alert, its second highest. The alert remained in place until temperatures started to drop in the evening. The highest temperature was recorded at the bureau's yardstick Xujiahui station, but temperatures recorded in other areas all exceeded 35 degrees, the bureau said. Though there was no rise in heat stroke cases in the city, doctors said, there was an increase, especially among children, of "heat diseases and air-condition diseases," such as eczema and diarrhea. The Shanghai Children's Medical Center said it took in about 10 to 20 percent more patients over the weekend than was usual. Most were suffering from fever or d…

Raising funds on three wheels

An expatriate woman rides a self-made tricycle and is joined by bicycle riders for a charity competition in Shanghai's Bund area, aiming to raise funds to assist young people in poverty-stricken areas in China. The charity contest also hopes to help promote a healthy lifestyle.

Subsidence investigation begins

SAFETY officials are investigating alleged subsidence at a high-end residential complex in Xuhui District, which residents blame on an underground garage being built nearby. A Shanghai Daily reporter who went to the Park View Court complex on Zhaojiabang Road yesterday found long and deep cracks running down the steps and ramp accesses in front of almost every building. "We are now looking into the case," said an official with the Xuhui District quality and safety supervision office. "We will send technical workers to check and then invite a third party to investigate whether the damage is caused by the ongoing construction project next to the homes." Most residents are convinced digging work to create an underground garage about 10 meters away from the complex is responsible for the cracks. "When they're digging, I can feel the building shake, and that's frightening," said a resident surnamed Wu. Another resident, JiangBiaoqing, told Shanghai Dai…

Subtropical high covers city in smothering heat

YOU may want to stay indoors in the next few days as the city swelters in a subtropical high pressure and the mercury hovers from 35 degrees Celsius Today to 37 degrees on Sunday, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said today. "High humidity coupled with high temperature makes people feel stiflingly hot these two days," the bureau said in a forecast. "Local residents are advised to stay indoors and drink enough water to prevent heatstroke." Today is cloudy with some thunderstorms. The low is 26 degrees Celsius and the high is 35 degrees. Tomorrow should be cloudy with a low of 27 degrees and a high of 37, the bureau forecasted. Showers are expected on Monday and Tuesday in parts of the city, the bureau said. The heat wave will continue until Wednesday when a major rainfall is expected to bring the city a cool relief from the scorching weather, the bureau said.