As if it would have surprised anyone, a recent large-scale public opinion survey by the Fudan Media and Public Opinion Research Center found that 90 percent of Shanghai residents gave the World Expo a resounding thumbs up.
According to the survey, many believed that the event, which concluded last week, will have a positive effect on China’s development and “make the world more interested in Shanghai and China”. More than 95 percent of survey respondents thought the event was a success, with about 66 percent of the public agreeing it was “very successful” and around 29 percent saying that it was “relatively successful.”
The volunteer service at the Expo was the most well-received among respondents, with 94 percent of them saying they were either “very satisfied” or “relatively satisfied” with the volunteers they encountered at the Expo. Security measures and transportation at the park ranked as the second and third most favoured aspect of the Expo, amounting to satisfaction rates of nearly 91 percent and 84 percent respectively.
The survey was conducted via telephone interviews with 513 respondents of varying ages and educational backgrounds who live in the 18 districts and counties of Shanghai. At least 70 percent of Shanghai residents have reportedly visited the Expo Park.
But the recent survey is only one among a slew of statistics slung at the public relating to the Expo.
Just before the event started in May last year, 1,673,101 e-questionnaires were completed on 9000 taxi screens via Touchmedia, the largest in-taxi interactive media in China, which found that 83 percent of the passengers were definitely or likely to visit the Expo. This was a dramatic hike from a previous survey, conducted in the earlier part of 2009, which found just 38 percent of Chinese respondents likely to visit the World Expo and only 8 percent of them saying that they would definitely go.
Foreigners have not been spared the survey frenzy either. In early July 2010, a Mastercard survey found that more than half of all foreign tourists visiting Shanghai – including 80 percent of Hong Kongers, 48 percent of Japanese and 46 percent of Taiwanese – planned to make a pit stop at the World Expo as part of their Shanghai itineraries.
And even before the end of the Expo, yet another set of survey results released in mid-October found Chinese citizens already crying for more. About 60 percent of passengers among the 130,000 surveyed through Touchmedia’s taxi screens want the event to be held again in other Chinese cities. China has recently fronted Guangdong province as a host city candidate for the 2020 World Expo.
In the orgy of statistical effort by Chinese media, only one lone Shanghai resident surnamed Zhou has bravely spoken up against the event so far. He was quoted in China Daily as saying: “The half-year event has brought many inconveniences to local residents and some of them have been forced to change their lives, like getting through traffic, to welcome the event”.
Amen to that.