| Global Times | 2012-11-15 11:50:08 PM
By Sun Xiaobo
Residents in Wuhan, Hubei Province, are still not used to having their subway stations on Line 2 named after commercial enterprises rather than their location.
A photograph posted online shows a sign at the Jianghan Road station, the station's name is a combination of Zhou Hei Ya and Jianghan Road in both Chinese and English.
Zhou Hei Ya is a local food company that paid 5 million yuan ($802,170) for the naming right to the Jianghan Road subway stop.
According to China National Radio Thursday, there are 24 signs promoting the food company at the station.
Jianghan Road station is underneath the city's commercial center, and Zhou Hei Ya Foods specializes in duck products.
A poll launched on Sina Weibo shows that as of late Thursday, some 60 percent of the more than 2,100 respondents think that naming a metro stop after a commercial enterprise may negatively affect the image of the city.
Twenty-six percent think it is not a problem as long as the subway asks for public input. Another 13.1 percent said selling the station names to corporations is a good way for the metro to help cover its costs.
The naming rights of seven stations on Line 2 were auctioned in December last year for up to 27.75 million yuan.
"The income from the auction and advertisement can account for around 40 percent of the funds used to maintain the metro operation," a Wuhan metro press officer surnamed Du was quoted by the Chengdu-based West China City Daily as saying Thursday.
The Wuhan Metro Group declined to comment when reached by the Global Times Thursday.
"It may take time for residents to adapt, but auctioning the naming right is a good way to attract private investment," Zhou Shuqing, a professor with the Department of Sociology of Wuhan University, told the Global Times.
The naming rights of four stations on the city's Line 1 were acquired by enterprises in April 2010 before the line was opened.
The city's Line 2 will open to the public in late December.
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