- For those with little money and fewer scruples, a new business is taking off in town — wedding venue scalping. With this being the popular marriage year of the Olympics and lucky number 8, demand for reception spaces has been at an unprecedented high throughout the city, forcing many to contact the new wedding banquet resale moguls who reserve spaces in advance and charge desperate couples a fee to use them.
- A Hong-Kong based human rights group reported that Shanghai dissidents and protesters have been sent a notice instructing them to stay within the city limits and stay away from foreign media during the Olympics. A copy of the document released in the group’s statement warned against offenses such as “picking quarrels in public places,” “expressing political opinion” and “disturbing social order.” A Shanghai police spokeswoman declared she was unaware about the notice’s existence.
- Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin discussed plans to use the direct flights from his city to Shanghai, which begin July 4, to create an “economic circle” between the two Asian business hubs. Relations between the two cities are strong, with Taipei recently signing on to the 2010 World Expo, the first time since its 1971 departure from the U.N. that Taiwan has participated in the event.
- Shanghainese looking to buy a car or build a factory anytime soon may want to get on that ASAP, before the 96.5 percent increase in ore prices just agreed to by Chinese steelworkers starts to raise the cost of many mechanical products. This is the industry’s largest-ever price jump, far above last year’s 9.5 percent increase.
- Don’t speak Shanghainese? No problem. Linguistics professor Qian Nairong has compiled the first-ever dictionary of the city’s dialect, complete with an analysis of sounds and usage. Look for it out in bookstores, or check the South China Morning Post interview with the author here.
- China National News reports that archaeologists have uncovered five ancient tombs, complete with human remains, in Shanghai’s very own Songjiang District. The area, first explored in 1958, has previously yielded pottery and building foundations from as early as the Neolithic period, and is slated to become a cultural park in time for the 2010 World Expo.
Photo from Brian’s Tree