2017 in review

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/12/28 21:58:39

The Global Times Metro Shanghai selects the top-10 most noteworthy local news of the year

Li Qiang (left) and Han Zheng Photos: VCG and Xinhua

Li Qiang appointed Shanghai's Party secretary, vows to pioneer innovation

Li Qiang has been appointed as the secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), replacing Han Zheng, who was elected as a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau in October, following the 19th CPC National Congress. Li was born in East China's Zhejiang Province in 1959. He joined the CPC in 1983. He became Party chief of East China's Jiangsu Province in 2016 after working in Zhejiang. Li said in October that Shanghai will continue its efforts to be the vanguard of the country's reform and opening-up and strive to be a pioneer in innovation, making even bigger contributions to the development of China.


Shanghai forbids children under the age of 12 from using shared bikes

In February, Shanghai launched a series of new measures to prevent juveniles from riding shared bikes or non-motor vehicles. The measures include requiring shared-bike platforms such as Ofo and Mobike to tighten their registration process, strengthening traffic police patrol of cyclists and promoting road safety awareness at local schools. As bike sharing has become a popular method of commuting in the city, many juveniles were reportedly injured and even killed while riding shared bikes on public streets. Statistics show that, in 2016, there were 245 cases of children under 12 who were hurt while riding a shared bike or non-motor vehicle.


Mainland's first Victoria's Secret flagship store opens in Shanghai

The very first Victoria's Secret flagship store in the Chinese mainland opened in Shanghai in February, thepaper.cn reported. The four-floor store is located in a high-end shopping mall on Huaihai Road Middle. Apart from its famous underwear, the new store also offers customers a wide range of perfumes and body care products. Customers can also purchase the brand's home-goods collection and beauty products. The 2017 Victoria Secret Fashion Show took place in Shanghai in November, making global headlines after model Ming Xi took a tumble on the runway. "After modeling for seven years, on this journey I've fallen countless times, but I know that no matter how painful the fall, I must always stand up and finish walking," Xi later wrote on Weibo, earning praise from Chinese netizens.


Shanghai-based French bakery shut down for expired materials, owner flees

Market supervision authorities confiscated over 2,000 packages of expired flour in March from the Minhang district factory of popular Shanghai-based French bakery Farine. Farine's four branches across the city, including the busiest branch on Wukang Road in Xuhui district, were all closed down during the investigation. "After four months of investigation, I found hundreds bags of expired flour stacking up in Farine's stores and factory, and they are still using these to make bread," a former Farine employee wrote on his Weibo account, triggering the investigation. "I've reported it to the city's food and drug administration." Farine's owner, Frenchman Franck Pecol, immediately fled China and returned to France, abandoning his businesses and leaving his employees left to deal with the mess. Farine's French production director and three Chinese employees were arrested, according to media reports.


Nursery school teachers arrested for abusing toddlers

A nursery school in Changning district sparked outrage after several video clips of its teachers abusing toddlers were exposed online in November. One clip showed a woman beating a little girl's head, and another clip saw the same person force-feeding a small boy spicy wasabi. That woman was later confirmed as a janitor, not a teacher. The school was run by Ctrip, a Chinese online travel agency, for its employees. Only after the scandal triggered public concern did Ctrip notify the police and dismiss the abusive employees. It promised to offer the children and their families physical examinations and psychological counseling. Local police later detained the three nursery employees for further investigation. One month later, five nursery school employees including the nursery's executive manager were arrested by Changning District People's Procuratorate.


Overseas students in Shanghai receive legal work permits after graduation

The Administration of Overseas Talents was established in Pudong New Area in June, offering a one-stop service for overseas talents, thepaper.cn reported. Pudong also launched nine new policies to attract overseas talents. Foreign professionals who work in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) and meet certain conditions can apply for permanent residence in China if they receive a recommendation from FTZ management committee. Foreign professionals with a doctorate, who have also been working in FTZ for four consecutive years and living in the Chinese mainland for no less than six months out of the year, can also apply for permanent residence.


Shanghai metro extends operational distance to 666 kilometers

Shanghai metro operated 666 kilometers worth of tracks by the end of the year. The number of stations also increased to 389, including 52 interchange stations. According to Shentong Metro Group Co, which operates the city's subway system, two more lines - the east extension of Line 9 which runs through Jinqiao and China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone in Pudong New Area, as well as Line 17 which runs through Qingpu district - are expected to start trial operations on Saturday.


China's A-share stock market endures a year of fluctuations, regulations

China's A-share stock market grew this year, but with fluctuations. The Shanghai Composite Index grew from about 3,100 points in early January to about 3,300 points in late December. China made great efforts to curb stock market manipulation and punish wrongdoers. The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) this year made 224 administrative penalties, with the total fine and confiscation reaching about 7.5 billion yuan ($1.15 billion), according to China Securities Journal. In June, MSCI, the global leading index provider, announced it would include China A-shares into the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which brought not only an influx of international capital to the Chinese market but also new and bigger challenges for Chinese authorities and listed companies.


City government curbs soaring housing prices and regulates development

To curb skyrocketing housing prices in Shanghai and to ensure that the market stably develops, the local government implemented a series of major adjustments in housing policies throughout the year. In February, a stricter process in the drawing of housing provident funds to prevent abuse was launched. In May, Shanghai required developers to sell housing products via a lottery process held by notary authorities, which helped regulate the bad behavior of greedy developers. Two months later, Shanghai published the 13th five-year development plan for housing, whereby the city will see a significant increase in the supply of houses and land for residential use within the next five years. Shanghai also put forward enforcement advice on its rental market development in September. Reports said that, in general, the supply for housing and land in Shanghai still falls short of demand.


Shanghai increases its parks, green spaces and protected wetlands

At the beginning of the year, Shanghai announced the "Chongming World-Class Eco-Island Development 13th Five-year Plan." According to the plan, by the year 2020, forest coverage of Chongming Island will reach 30 percent and the natural wetland preservation rate will reach 43 percent. At least 95 percent of the island's ground sewage will be well-treated and 80 percent of household waste will be recycled. Eco-friendly commuting will account for 80 percent of local transportation, with new-energy powered buses covering the whole island. The number of urban parks in Shanghai also increased, from 157 in 2012 to 217 in 2017, and is expected to reach 300 by 2020. After the first batch of 35 parks extended their opening hours in 2011 in order to meet the increasing public need for leisure and fitness, 133 other parks also extended their operating hours, with 44 of them now open 24 hours. Five countryside parks also opened to the public, including Jiabei park in Jiading district, Qingxi park in Qingpu district, Pujiang park in Minhang district, Langxia park in Jinshan district and Changxing Island countryside park in Chongming. By 2020, the number of countryside parks in Shanghai is expected to reach 21.


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