It’s late on a Saturday night, or actually early on a Sunday morning, and I just realize that today the Shanghai Expo 2010 is exactly half way. Three months ago it opened, and initially not too many people visited it. During a Tudou board meeting in early May one of the VC’s told me that there were not many visitors on the Expo terrain and that he could visit most pavilions without waiting. I thought the whole thing would be a disaster, but for some reason (unknown to me) suddenly the Expo started to become hugely popular: per day 400,000-500,000 people visit the Expo and for many popular pavillions waiting times are now 4-6 hours…
This video on Tudou.com captures how visitors pour into the Expo site as soon as the gate opens everyday at 9 AM sharp.
I can’t prove anything, but I’ve heard from a travel agency friend that people employed by the government are forced to buy tickets and visit the Expo in order to ramp up the numbers. Having shot videos over there for more than 20 days in June and July, I kind of believe it, looking at the buses arriving from other provinces and the look of the people inside.
Oh, and the funniest scenes happen in waiting lines, when older people try to run past security and to cut the line. Hilarious!