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Shanghai gets 2 days off for World Expo 2010

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

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  1. I think that’s real as well, it’s also in a serious article about the Expo in the Shanghai Daily. Glad April Fools Day is almost over though, I find all the fake news kind of annoying.

  2. free tickets is true but only if you have a Shanghai hukou which rules out any expats. Still should help get them towards that 75 million visitor target!

  3. I checked on the free tickets and transportation card. The tickets can only get you in the main area of the Expo, you still need to buy entrance tickets to actually visit the pavillions. The transportation card is a collector’s item and ‘worth’ 200 RMB, but there is no actual credit on the card.

  4. A collectors item card without credit on it? Hmm, I don’t think I need one of those. With regards to the tickets, I understood that for all tickets (except group tickets) you still need to get tickets for every pavillion, but that these tickets are all for free. Reason is to make sure that pavillions don’t get too crowded.