It may be April Fools Day today, but I don’t think this is a joke: Employees in Shanghai will likely be happy to hear that the Shanghai government decided to give everybody 2 days off during the start of the World Expo. Instead of getting just a 1-day holiday for Labor Day, the whole city now gets April 30-May 4 off as ‘compensation for the understanding and support of the population during the preparation of the Expo’ and ‘in part to ease the traffic burden when the Expo starts’. I think the 2nd reason is the main reason for this, with all the foreign VIPs in town you don’t want to give them a bad image with all the traffic jams around town.
Next to the extra holidays every household also gets one free Expo ticket (expect a huge black market for Expo tickets as a result) and a RMB 200 public transportation card (probably hoping to give people an incentive to take public transport during the Expo?)
Of course employers were not asked if they would be happy to give their people an additional 2 days off. And although China is officially a planned economy, you as usual only get informed about this less than a month in advance. Bad luck if you already had business events planned during these days. The joys of running a business in China…
Update: This is not an April Fools Day joke, source is among others a serious article in the Shanghai Daily