China, Kazakhstan agree to develop permanent comprehensive strategic partnership

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

China, Kazakhstan agree to develop permanent comprehensive strategic partnership

Xinhua
China, Kazakhstan agree to develop permanent comprehensive strategic partnership

Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping holds a welcoming ceremony for visiting Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev before their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, September 11, 2019.

China and Kazakhstan decided Wednesday to develop a permanent comprehensive strategic partnership.

The decision came as Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with his Kazakh counterpart, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

When reviewing the achievements the People’s Republic of China has scored in the past 70 years since it was founded, Xi said such a process of moving forward has never been smooth, and stressed that no matter how the external situation changes, China will unswerving take care of its own business regardless of outside factors.

Xi said China will comprehensively deepen reform, expand opening-up and promote higher-quality development.

“We are fully capable of coping with various risks and challenges, and any difficulty or obstacle cannot stop us from moving forward,” Xi said.

“A stable, open and prosperous China will always be an opportunity for the future development of the world,” he said.

On China-Kazakhstan ties, Xi said China is willing to deepen all-round cooperation with Kazakhstan, seek synergy between the Silk Road Economic Belt and Kazakhstan’s Bright Path new economic policy, and strengthen connectivity.

He also called on the two sides to boost cooperation in industrial capacity and science and technology innovation, increase people-to-people and cultural contacts, and facilitate exchanges at sub-national level.

China and Kazakhstan should take a clear-cut stand in upholding multilateral-ism and an open world economy, so as to contribute to promoting a fairer, more just and equitable global governance system, Xi said.

Xi also encouraged the two countries to strengthen security cooperation, and jointly fight against the “three evil forces” of terrorism, extremism and separatism.

It is necessary to promote the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to play a more active role in regional and international affairs, he added.

Tokayev, who is paying a state visit to China from Tuesday to Thursday, expressed congratulations on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Tokayev said Kazakhstan is willing to take the decision of developing a permanent comprehensive strategic partnership with China as an opportunity to promote closer bilateral ties.

China’s reform and opening-up has brought opportunities to various countries including Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan firmly supports the Chinese government and people in safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, he said.

Tokayev said Kazakhstan is looking forward to cementing high-level exchanges with China, and strengthening pragmatic cooperation in the areas of economy, trade, infrastructure, energy, 5G, science and technology, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges under the framework of the Belt and Road initiative.

Tokayev said the two sides should closely communicate and coordinate within the frameworks of the SCO and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, jointly combat the “three evil forces,” and maintain regional security while opposing external interference.

The two heads of state signed a joint statement between China and Kazakhstan after their talks. They also attended a signing ceremony for a number of bilateral cooperation agreements.

Before their talks, Xi hosted a welcome ceremony for Tokayev outside the Great Hall of the People.

China: Graffiti adds fun to historical road Yang Jian

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

Graffiti adds fun to historical road

Zhang Chao Ti Gong

An optical illusion painted on a Wuyi Road sidewalk captures the imagination of a passer-by.

Graffiti adds fun to historical road

Imagine china

A pedestrian notices Captain America’s shield, one of the paintings on the sidewalk of Wuyi Road in Changning District.

Graffiti on downtown Wuyi Road has become an attraction as part of a project to fill the historical road with culture and innovation.

Cartoon characters and elements such as Sponge Bob, Captain America’s shield, smiling baby faces and sunflowers have been painted on manholes, bicycle parking slots and beside trees and fire hydrants on sidewalks on the road in Changning District.

The 40 paintings are attracting many pedestrians to take photos or learn about the garbage sorting, low carbon travel and urban renewal ideas behind some of the paintings, which are aimed at enhancing the artistic ambiance of the road.

“Urban revamping shall not only focus on building renovations but also culture and humanity,” said Zhang Chao, director with Yingdian culture and innovation center, a social organization in charge of the painting project.

Eight artists, mostly residents in communities on the road, spent a week to create the graffiti. They were initially drawn for a temporary creative market called “We interesting” by the end of August. The event aimed to encourage more residents to take part in the ongoing renewal project on the road with games, art installations and a bazaar.

After the tents and stalls were removed, the paintings on the ground attracted a lot of attention and became an Internet sensation with an appreciation of how the paintings were living in harmony with the historical villas on both sides of the road as well as its tranquil atmosphere.

Similar projects will be launched on the road in future, not only with paintings but also various events and public activities, according to the Huayang Road Subdistrict.

These future events will be themed on “interesting people, things and stuff” about the road, an official with the subdistrict said.

The 1.7-kilometer-long road, originally Tunsin Road, was built in 1925. It is one of 64 roads in the city under protected status and lies within Changning’s historical conservation zone.

The road features both East and West architectural styles with garden villas, new lane-style communities and modern high-rises.

According to a blueprint released earlier, Wuyi Road is to become an “international culture and innovation street,” featuring fashion boutiques, traditional restaurants and recreational facilities.

Outdated wet markets, factories and old neighborhoods are being redeveloped into innovation parks and boutique street stores.

Graffiti adds fun to historical road

Imaginechina

A pedestrian passes by one of the paintings on the sidewalk of Wuyi Road in Changning District.

Graffiti adds fun to historical road

Imaginechina

One of the paintings at a parking slot for shared bikes on Wuyi Road

Tranquil and elegant

“The future Wuyi Road is expected to become an ‘exposition street’ for the city’s haipai (Shanghai style) culture,” said a district official in charge of the revamping project. Its historical ambiance will be restored while public facilities will be improved to make the communities along the road dynamic and warm, he said.

The future Wuyi Road will be “tranquil and elegant,” according to the official.

To achieve the goal, the Meijiale wet market at 304 Wuyi Road, an old-school market the subject of complaints about environmental issues, has already been shut down. It will become a modern, convenient and recreational market with a 300-square-meter garden at the entrance.

A nearby former health service center of the Jiangsu Road Subdistrict has been relocated to Yuyuan Road to allow commercial and social facilities to be built for local residents.

The former site of Shanghai Feilo Acoustics Co, the first listed firm on the Chinese mainland, will become an art and culture center. New and preserved buildings will occupy the 16,000-square-meter area.

The center will feature a community activity space, art and cultural exhibition sites, workshops for creative designers and stores displaying and selling artworks.

Cultural performances, exhibitions, art bazaars and handicraft workshops will be held regularly, along with traditional Huju Opera, monodrama and comedies.

Existing businesses on Wuyi Road will be evaluated in order to retain some popular and characteristic stores while bringing in new cultural brands, according to the district government.

A popular scallion pancake store will remain. Its owner, surnamed Mu, has been making and selling the traditional snack for over two decades.

In the future, residents and visitors will be able to taste traditional snacks such as these pancakes and youtiao (fried dough sticks), as well as visit cafes or jewelry stores on the road flanked by tall plane trees, the district government said.

The face-lift is part of Changning’s plan to revamp four downtown roads to improve the environment and highlight their cultural heritage.

Xinhua, Yuyuan, Wuyi and Panyu roads, with their historic villas and former residences of famous personalities, are all being refurbished.

Graffiti adds fun to historical road

Imaginechina

Pedestrians about to pass by the graffiti paintings on the sidewalks of Wuyi Road in Changning District.

China: New rules for middle schoolers

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

New rules for middle schoolers

Local middle school students have to complete 136 hours of social investigation and 80 hours of voluntary labor in their eight semesters, as well as 32 hours of vocational training and 24 hours of safety training in emergencies, according to new regulations released by the city’s education commission and two related authorities.

The regulations on social practice of middle schoolers in Shanghai will take effect from September.

According to the regulations, the social investigations organized by schools include students’ visits to patriotism education centers, revolutionary historical and memorial sites, bases of city’s major and important projects, bases of national defense, science and technology and agriculture, and natural reserves for exploration and research.

Voluntary labor refers to their participation in school or community activities like sanitation, greenery, civilization promotion, services to the disabled, the elderly and children.

For vocational training, schools should organize visits to vocational schools. Safety training includes escape drills in emergencies such as fires and earthquakes and from buses.

The regulations emphasize that each middle schooler should at least visit a patriotism education center once and do voluntary labor in three positions.

The students’ social practices will be recorded on an online platform and later be evaluated as part of their comprehensive quality.

Meanwhile, venues providing social practice opportunities for students should supply good education resources and develop courses and programs suitable for middle school students.

China: Can Costco buck jinx of foreign retailers? Yes – on the first day!

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS NETWORK)

 

Can Costco buck jinx of foreign retailers? Yes – on the first day!

Can Costco buck jinx of foreign retailers? Yes – on the first day!

AFP

People visit the first Costco outlet in China, on the stores opening day in Shanghai on August 27, 2019.

The opening of Costco’s first store on the Chinese mainland has proved to be quite a spectacle — so many people swarmed into the store in Shanghai’s remote Minhang District that people arriving at the store had to wait for up to three hours for a parking space and those lucky enough to get in needed to spend another two hours to pay for their purchase.

While Costco didn’t reveal how many visitors were at the store on Tuesday, the US store said it will still open on Wednesday, but will control the number of shoppers in the store under 2,000.

Bulk purchasing often comes at bargain prices and many customers said they wanted to buy as much food and groceries as possible on their first visit.

Unlike other supermarkets that mostly sell fresh food and daily necessities, the new store also has jewelry and luxury handbags from big names such as Prada, Burberry and Chanel. It also has Fjällräve’s Kanken and MCM backpacks.

Popular personal care products such as Avène Thermal Spring Water spray, Lucas Papaw Ointment, Bioderma cleansing make-up removing water also come in various packages and prices.

Costco is also betting on its private label Kirkland, which covers a wide range of products such as fresh milk, nutritional supplements and hygiene products, to draw shoppers.

Can Costco buck jinx of foreign retailers? Yes – on the first day!

The store falls victim to its own popularity.

Costco is the latest in a long line of foreign retailers trying its luck in a fickle Shanghai consumer market.The bulk wholesaler is operating on a membership-only format. Shoppers will have to pay 199 yuan (US$28.4) a year for a membership. Initially at least, that’s a discount to the normal annual fee of 299 yuan.

Can membership fees aimed at building shopper loyalty — a relatively new concept imported from abroad — work in China?

“Chinese consumers are now more willing to paying for membership benefits, and Costco’s model is a good supplement to the existing retailing model,” commented Kantar Worldpanel China general manager Jason Yu. “It still needs to prove that the membership is of value to shoppers.”

Shanghai’s consumer market is littered with the dashed ambitions of multinational retailers who sought to cash in on China’s rising disposable income. Among those that have pulled out of the mainland market are UK-based Marks & Spencer and US-based Home Depot. French retail giant Carrefour announced in June that it is selling 80 percent of its China unit to domestic retailer Suning, and Germany’s Metro AG is trying to sell off its China business.

In China, Costco will be going head-to-head with US-based Walmart’s upmarket, membership arm Sam’s Club, which opened its first mainland store in Shenzhen in 1996 and has since expanded.

Sam’s charges an annual membership fee of 260 yuan and a premium option at 680 yuan that includes extra services such as dental care.

Costco didn’t reveal any expansion plans beyond Shanghai, except to say its focus will be on the Yangtze River Delta, a relatively wealthy region in China.

Costco said its goal is to sign up 100,000 members in the city, a critical point for sustainability of a physical outlet. It will be keeping a close eye on the membership renewal rate, which is around 90 percent globally.

Its major target are well-off families living within a 45-minute-drive radius from the store, said Richard Zhang, senior vice president of Costco Asia. The store’s bulk-purchase model will stock some 3,400 different bar codes.

Costco’s flagship private label Kirkland first tested the waters with Chinese shoppers on Alibaba’s online Tmall. Kirkland’s assorted nuts became a best-seller when Tmall introduced a section dedicated to imported goods. Tmall shoppers don’t have to be a paying Costco member to purchase from the online marketplace.

Shanghai shoppers are spoiled for choices. They can pick up their smartphones and see a mind-boggling array of merchandise, compare prices and have purchases delivered to their doors.

Getting them into the Costco store and keeping them loyal will be the challenge for the US retailer, which operates 776 outlets worldwide.

Can Costco buck jinx of foreign retailers? Yes – on the first day!

AFP

A woman pushes a trolley with a teddy bear at the first Costco outlet in China, on the stores opening day in Shanghai on August 27, 2019.

Skepticism

The store will have to win over doubters like Shanghai office worker Daisy Hu, who lives in Minhang District with her husband. She said she buys fresh goods and pet food from nearby supermarkets and from online platforms.

“Driving and carrying bulk purchases home could take at least two or three hours,” she said. “Waiting for the delivery is much easier.”

Costco said it is considering offering online orders and delivery service, but no timetable was given.

Chinese consumers have proven to be fickle shoppers. They are demanding higher-quality goods and competitive prices. Discount bulk purchases are already on offer, with Internet giants setting up logistics arms and linking up with existing supermarket chains.

To survive in such a market, foreign retailers are adopting new strategies to woo consumers. Aldi, a German discount supermarket chain, made its first physical presence in China with two outlets in Shanghai’s Jing’an and Minhang districts in June. The company is working with a number of domestic manufacturers to offer home care, clean wipes and hygiene products with private label brands in the Shanghai stores.

Aldi stores are smaller than Costco’s, fitting into community neighborhoods they seek to serve. The stores offer fresh fruit and vegetables, takeaway bento boxes, bakery goods and a variety of imported wines.

Home delivery within the Outer Ring Road is available for purchases of 299 yuan or more.

Sam’s Club expanded its offerings to include wine tasting, a pharmacy, a jewelry counter and an optical center after renovating its Pudong store last year.

Can Costco buck jinx of foreign retailers? Yes – on the first day!

AFP

People try to get a roast chicken at the first Costco outlet in China, on the stores opening day in Shanghai on August 27, 2019.

The company opened a second store in Shanghai in June, adding features such as home décor items. Its 8,000 different bar codes are still significantly lower than many supermarkets.

Sam’s has placed some of its best-selling items, such as fresh food and baby and maternity products, in warehouses around the urban area to facilitate home delivery within an hour after orders are placed.

The German wholesale retailer Metro hasn’t been quite so lucky. Its initial targets were grocery store owners and canteen businesses, but the response was lukewarm.

Its timing for wholesale, membership retailing in China was off. Automobile ownership wasn’t quite so prevalent when it first entered China in 1996, and many family shoppers were put off when they got to checkout counters and were told they needed a membership card. The bulk purchasing model didn’t really work well back then.

In March, Metro announced it was seeking buyers for its China business and hopes to conclude a deal by September.

Domestic retailers, too, have danced around the membership concept.

Alibaba’s Freshippo grocery and delivery service has a 218-yuan membership offering frequent shopper discounts on fresh goods.

Costco claims that the “touch and taste” experience is a crucial part of consumer shopping. It said it will entice new buyers through endorsements by existing members. But without powerful domestic partners, that may prove difficult.

Consumers have accepted new models like Freshippo because of their long association and trust in parent group Alibaba.

Costco’s challenge is to build trust as the go-to place for almost every type of product. That is a slow, long-term process in a rapidly changing consumer market.

5 Cities With the Largest Subway Systems

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 Cities With the Largest Subway Systems

A great subway system is a badge of honor for a city. As writers at City Metric, a website devoted to exploring topics that affect the lives of city-dwellers, discovered, there are lots of ways to measure such a system. Maybe it’s by how many people ride a specific subway in a day or year, or maybe it’s by how many stations there are around a city.

For the purposes of this article, we looked at subways with the longest routes. Here are the top five largest subway systems in the world.

Seoul, South Korea

Seoul, South Korea

Credit: Savvapanf Photo/Shutterstock.com

332 km/206 miles

More than two billion people ride the particularly high-tech subway system in Seoul each year. It’s known for its tech, including screens displaying important messages and internet access on its cars. The first line was built in the 1970’s, and today the system includes 22 lines that are still being expanded. Plus, it’s relatively cheap and known for its cleanliness, and all directional signs are written in three languages, including English.

New York City, New York, U.S.A.

New York City, New York, U.S.A.

Credit: William Perugini/Shutterstock.com

373 km/232 miles

The much older New York City subway system opened in 1904. Nearly six million people utilize the transit system every day, at about 470 stations — more than any other system in the world. Most of those stations operate 24 hours a day.

London, England

London, England

Credit: andrea flisi/Shutterstock.com

402 km/250 miles

The London Underground, sometimes called the Tube, opened in the 1860’s. Despite the name, most of the lines were built just below the surface with the “cut and cover” method, and many of the newer tracks are above ground. The system includes 11 lines and about 200 stations, and carries about five million daily passengers today.

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Beijing, China

Beijing, China

Credit: ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock.com

527 km/327 miles

With almost 11 million daily riders, this is the world’s busiest subway system. It first opened in 1969 and had only two lines for decades, before undergoing a rapid expansion in 2002. And those 11 million daily riders are expected to expand to 18 million by 2021. By then, the subway will account for 60 percent of the city’s public transit ridership.

Shanghai, China

Shanghai, China

Credit: Arwin Adityavarna/iStock

548 km/341 miles

The largest subway system in the world by route length is still expanding, with plans to add seven new lines by 2025. It’s a system that links provinces and provides inter-city transportation — or at least, it will soon. On a regular day, 10 million people use the system. The most recent expansions to the system opened in December.

China: Xi calls for preserving quintessence of Chinese culture

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

Xi calls for preserving quintessence of Chinese culture

Xinhua
Xi calls for preserving quintessence of Chinese culture

Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, visited exhibitions of relics and research results and attended a symposium with experts, scholars and representatives from cultural units in the Dunhuang Academy in Dunhuang during his inspection tour of northwest China’s Gansu Province on August 19, 2019.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, has called for well preserving the quintessence of Chinese culture.

Xi made the remarks on Monday at a symposium at Dunhuang Academy with relevant experts, scholars and representatives from cultural units, during his inspection tour of northwest China’s Gansu Province.

Xi stressed the need to help carry forward and promote traditional culture.

He also called for more efforts in cultural exchanges with other countries and learning from the outstanding achievements of civilizations from around the world.

During the inspection tour on Monday, Xi visited the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, a key cultural heritage site under state-level protection.

Dunhuang culture shows the Chinese nation’s confidence in its culture, Xi said. “Only a self-confident civilization can absorb and draw on the achievements of other civilizations while maintaining its own characteristics.”

Xi also encouraged workers in the cultural sector to well tell the stories of Dunhuang and China.

During his visit to the Mogao Grottoes, Xi talked with tourists there and wished them a pleasant journey.

Dunhuang is home to the Mogao Grottoes, a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting rich collections of Buddhist artwork — more than 2,000 colored sculptures and 45,000 square meters of murals — in 735 caves along a cliff.

The Mogao Grottoes, first constructed in 366 AD, symbolizes the great achievements of China’s Buddhist art from the 4th century to the 14th century. It showcases the cultural integration and mutual learning among the diverse civilizations along the ancient Silk Road.

China: Job fair aims to make Shanghai home for global young talent

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE”)

 

Job fair aims to make Shanghai home for global young talent

Job fair aims to make Shanghai home for global young talent

Chen Huizhi / SHINE

Foreign and Chinese students at the job fair in Shanghai

Job fair aims to make Shanghai home for global young talent

Chen Huizhi / SHINE

A student finds out about job opportunities at the fair.

Over 800 Chinese students studying at universities overseas and foreign students studying in Shanghai attended a job fair in the city on Wednesday.

The 11th “Shanghai Career Fair” held by the government in cooperation with universities in the United States, the UK and Canada, seeks to attract more young people to work in Shanghai under the banner of “Make Shanghai Your Home.”

The city’s human resources and social security bureau said that 12,700 Chinese who had studied overseas had obtained a Shanghai hukou, or residence, last year, 33 percent more than in 2017.

Students from Cambridge University, Imperial College London, London School of Economics, Columbia University, the University of Chicago, Stanford University, UC Berkley, UCLA and Toronto University, met over 60 companies based in Shanghai at the job fair where over 1,000 jobs were on offer.

Rich Carruthers, deputy director of the careers service at Imperial College London, said Shanghai had become a hub for global talent to work and the college was honored to be a part of the talent exchange.

“People say that innovation happens in a right time and a right place, and I believe our students here are making a wise move in choosing Shanghai as their career destination,” he said. “Shanghai is opening its arms, welcoming them and making the city a hub gathering overseas talent.”

Carruthers said feedback from students who attended past events was all very positive.

Chen Yu’ang, a Ningbo native who’s doing a master’s degree in international health management in the UK and who has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the US, said he was looking at jobs mainly in the consulting industry.

“Shanghai has great cultural offerings and has a lot of career opportunities as the entire economic landscape of China is promising,” he said.

Zhu Di, from Hangzhou, a sophomore studying electronic engineering in the UK said Chinese companies are keen to attract Chinese graduates with an overseas background while Chinese students like her tended to return to China to work.

“Take the UK, finance might be more emphasized in its economy, but for students of technology, China is the future because the country is so much pushing for science and technology development,” she said.

Piao Song, recruitment director of Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica of Chinese Academy of Sciences which had a stand at the fair, said Chinese students and professionals with an overseas background are welcomed for their international scope, and out of patriotic feelings they were willing to return to build their own country too.

“Shanghai has competitive talent policies and perhaps more and better career opportunities,” she said. “Our scientists as principal investigators who lead research groups that get generous support for their projects, which probably wouldn’t be available elsewhere.”

Also at the fair were foreign students studying in Shanghai. Elmira Safarova from Russia, a master’s student at East China Normal University.

Safarova, who has been living in China for five years and is fluent in Chinese, said she’s currently interning for a software developer in Shanghai on a mobile app targeting foreign students and helping them work towards higher levels in the HSK test for Chinese language proficiency in non-native speakers.

“There are many possibilities here, and for students with a language background it would be even better if we continue to study other subjects such as finance and business,” she said.

In previous fairs, over 5,000 students had met with employers, and a great number had found jobs in Shanghai, according to the human resources bureau.

Over 160,000 Chinese who had studied overseas have been working or starting businesses in Shanghai, it said. The number of companies they founded exceeded 5,200 with starting funds of over US$800 million.

The bureau said an even larger job fair will be held in November.

To help companies and students reach each other, the bureau said it planned to introduce a website called “Shanghai Overseas Talents.”

The bureau said it will continue to support returnees to settle in Shanghai and relax the requirements for overseas talents to obtain a residence permit for overseas talents, while expanding the scope of financial support for them.

China: Shanghai’s unemployment figure down 4.38%

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

Shanghai’s unemployment figure down 4.38%

Shanghai had 187,700 registered unemployed as of June, a decrease of about 4.38 percent, or 8,600 from the same period last year, the city’s human resources and social security bureau said on Wednesday.

In June, young people accounted for just over 20 percent of the total, a drop of nearly 9 percentage points from 2011, with training, help and specific programs to boost their job opportunities, according to the bureau.

More than 5,400 long-term jobless young people had received help to start their own businesses as of the end of June, with 8,000 the yearly target, the bureau said.

More than 610,000 people had received vocational training between January and June, and the city had also established 110 training centers of highly skilled talents.

A total of 385,400 new jobs had been created in the first half of the year, the bureau said, more than 77 percent of the target for the year. Among them, 108,500 covered strategic emerging industries.

Over 500,000 new jobs are provided in the city every year, the bureau said. The city’s registered jobless rate was 3.6 percent at the end of last year, a figure that decreases year by year, it said.

Although the city’s job market is stable, the slow down in economic growth both at home and abroad and the emergence of world trade protectionism had led to increased uncertainty in the job market, said Zhao Yongfeng, the bureau’s director.

The city has taken measures such as increasing the frequency of monitoring key enterprises and providing subsidies for enterprises that retain employees, he said.

Last year, 117,900 enterprises enjoyed such subsidies, a total of 2.136 billion yuan (US$304 million).

China: Ride-hailing firms face Internet blackout

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

Ride-hailing firms face Internet blackout

Ride-hailing firms that still allow unqualified drivers and cars to operate may lose Internet access or have their apps removed, according to the Shanghai Transportation Commission’s law enforcement department.

Unqualified drivers and cars refer to drivers who don’t have permanent Shanghai residency and private or rented cars without a Shanghai certificate to transport passengers.

When law enforcement officers visited Didi Chuxing, Meituan Dianping, Xiangdao Chuxing and Shouqi Limousine & Chauffeur on Monday and Tuesday, they found Didi and Meituan still had a fairly large number of unqualified drivers and cars providing ride-hailing services.

Didi was fined 200,000 yuan (US$28,300) and Meituan 30,000 yuan.

Since July, the two firms have received 114 tickets from the city’s traffic authority. Altogether, Didi was fined 5.5 million yuan and Meituan 1.47 million yuan in July.

However, the fines seem have done little to persuade these firms to regulate their drivers and cars. Over the past three days, more than 80 percent of unqualified ride-hailing cars detected by the traffic authority’s online supervisory platform came from Didi and another 15 percent from Meituan.

Both Didi and Meituan say they will keep working with the authorities to weed out unqualified cars, but neither could give an exact number of how many unqualified cars and drivers there are, and neither had a timetable for eliminating them.

Penalties may be increased if the situation carries on, law enforcement officers said. According to the Shanghai Communications Administration, the apps that allow illegal ride-hailing cars to operate may face a temporary shutdown.

“The apps will be removed from the app stores, or they will lose Internet access, up to six months,” said an administration official.

China: Typhoon Lekima lashes Shanghai

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWSPAPER ‘SHINE’)

 

Typhoon Lekima lashes Shanghai

Shine
Typhoon Lekima lashes Shanghai

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

People walk in Lujiazui in the Pudong New Area on Saturday.

Typhoon Lekima lashes Shanghai

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau upgraded the yellow rainstorm alert to orange at 2:20 pm on Saturday, the second highest on China’s four color-coded weather-warning system.

Under the influence of typhoon Lekima, the maximum rainfall in the city’s downtown, Jiading, Minhang, Fengxian districts and the Pudong New Area was expected to reach 60 to 80 millimeters per hour in the next six hours, the bureau warned.

The bureau issued a yellow alert for thunder and lightning on 1:50 pm on Saturday.

In China’s color-coded weather-warning system, red represents the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

Rainstorms and gales with a level of 9 to 11 are lashing the city’s central and southern areas under the influence of Lekima, according to the bureau.

Typhoon Lekima lashes Shanghai

Metro Line 5 was suspended from 3:30pm, said Shanghai Metro. Sections of Line 9 between Zhongchun Road station and Songjiang New Town station also stopped  about the same time.

With outdoor tourist attractions and parks such as Shanghai Disney Resort and Shanghai Wild Animal Park closing on Saturday, some indoor venues witnessed big crowds.

The Shanghai Science and Technology Museum put a cap on the number of visitors from 10:54 am, and the number of its visitors reached 13,244 at 11:34 am, approaching its maximum capacity of 13,500.

The Shanghai Natural History Museum was also crowded on Saturday. The number of visitors hit 4,149 at the same time, compared with its capacity of 5,900.

The center of typhoon Lekima was inside Zhuji, Shaoxing City, in neighboring Zhejiang Province, at 1pm. It has weakened to a strong tropical storm with a maximum gale force of 10, according to the National Meteorological Center.

It is moving north at 15 kilometers per hour, according to the center.

Lekima will whistle past the Taihu Lake at the same latitude with Shanghai on Saturday night, according to the Shanghai bureau.

Typhoon Lekima lashes Shanghai

Stranded passengers in Hongqiao Railway Station on Saturday.

Typhoon Lekima lashes Shanghai

Dong Jun / SHINE

Stranded passengers in Hongqiao International Airport on Saturday.

Typhoon Lekima lashes Shanghai

Dong Jun / SHINE
Typhoon Lekima lashes Shanghai

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

People walk difficultly on the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall on Saturday afternoon.