Date of this Version
June 18, 2010 in The China Beat http://www.thechinabeat.org/
In Shanghai these days it is impossible to avoid the World Expo. Hotels are packed with domestic tourists and school groups; subway and bus televisions show a constant news loop about events at the Expo; and Haibao, the rectangular, blue mascot of the Expo, graces numerous government offices, posters, and official merchandise stalls. To ensure the target of 70 million visitors is met and exceeded for the duration of the Expo from the beginning of May to the end of October, various government offices in Shanghai have handed out Expo “gift packs” of one free ticket per Shanghai resident family. Work units, danwei, have also given out tickets to employees both current and retired, some valid only during a particular month. All of the hubbub has guaranteed a massive influx of visitors, with long lines at many of the popular pavilions, and images of old and young alike sprinting from the gates at the opening of the Expo park at 9 am each morning (watch a video of this at Shanghaiist).