Parked outside the local police station earlier this week we found this shiny new van labelled with the words "食品快速检测"; which translates as "Food Products High-Speed Examination".
With food safety being one of the main causes of public anxiety recently (as we commented on in this
blog) it is no surprise to see the authorities are taking measures to address the situation.
Whether buying a brand new van to quickly transport samples to a laboratory is the most effective method of achieving this, we're not so sure!
As we shared with you in our last blog
, Shanghai's Chinese New Year celebrations last week were very spectacular; however the feeling in Shanghai is that they actually seemed quite restrained in comparison with previous years.
backs up those assertions and cite concerns over air pollution as being one of the key factors.
Such reports demonstrate a growing awareness of environmental issues in Shanghai, where air pollution has recently been a very topical issue.
Due to the heavy smog that plagued Shanghai and many cities in China's eastern and northern regions, local citizens have cut down on fireworks during this year's Spring Festival - about half of the usual amount.
All of this rather begs the question, how much do fireworks contribute to air pollution?
By analysing data from the U.S. Consulate Shanghai Air Quality Monitor
we have been able to answer this question.
The graph below shows how PM2.5 readings varied in the hours either side of the new year's midnight extravaganza.
The columns on the graph have been colour coded to correspond with the Air Quality Index (AQI) chart displayed to the right.
From this we can see that readings from the Air Quality monitor peaked at 1am with an AQI of over 500 - which is quite literally off the scale!
Air pollution continued to be "hazardous" for a further two hours before returning to more "normal" levels.
The data demonstrates a clear correlation between the launching of fireworks and air pollution, though it is hard to say how quickly the effects dissipate.
Fireworks have been an important part of Chinese culture since they were invented in the 7th century and witnessing the Chinese New Year celebrations is a sight not to be missed.
However, people with respiratory conditions, the elderly and children might want to consider taking precautions such as staying insider or wearing a respirator.
Last night people across China were celebrating Chinese New Year and the arrival of the year of the snake.
Although Chinese New Year is a week long celebration the majority of fireworks are launched around midnight on News Year's Eve and it is quite a spectacle.
This short time-lapse video was captured from a residential tower near the Senlinx office in Zhongshan Park, Shanghai.
The team at Senlinx wishes all our family, friends, clients and future clients the very best for 2013. Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Being an Australian-owned and managed business based in Shanghai, China, Senlinx is an active member of AustCham Shanghai
and has recently taken part in a range of informative Servcorp SEC
(Shanghai Enterprise Collective) events.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank TXM Lean Solutions
for hosting the event on Lean Manufacturing in China and Bureau Veritas
for their presentation on Business Certification to name just a few.
Informative events like these help to further broaden our team’s manufacturing and business knowledge, make great new contacts and learn about China’s business trends.
Since introducing market reforms under Deng Xiaoping, China’s manufacturing industry has developed a dominant position in the global market; however over recent years the outlook has darkened somewhat.
"create a culture of sustainability, continuous improvement and innovation"
China is currently experiencing a transformative period featuring fierce competition and a turbulent global economy environment, with many issues and challenges which shouldn’t be overlooked, such as:
- Inexperience in internal management systems
- Spiraling costs, particularly the cost of labour
- Poor development of intellectual property and branding
It is becoming essential for Chinese manufacturers to create a culture of sustainability, continuous improvement and innovation not just for their success, but for their very survival.
As a westerner living in Shanghai, one of the questions friends and family most like to ask is "What do you eat everyday?".
Although it takes a while to adapt, Chinese food is truly delicious, highly varied and pretty healthy too.
In addition, Shanghai is a very cosmopolitan city and as well as China's many cuisines, there are many international choices available.
Senlinx is lucky to be located in close proximity to a huge number of restaurants serving excellent food at good prices.
We thought we would quickly share some food photos to help address this most popular of questions.
With modern, purpose-built airports and comfortable airplanes, catching flights between East Asia’s metropolises is usually a fairly painless experience.
However, despite their comfort, many of these new airports have one main drawback – they tend to be a long distance from downtown.
Fortunately, for those considering trips between Shanghai, Seoul, Taipei and Tokyo a great alternative already exists.
Each of these places has a “city” airport located much closer to downtown then their more renowned competitors.
Furthermore, flights from these airports typically fly to other “city” airports in the region.
The names of these airports are summarised below:
City / Country
Hongqiao (Terminal 1)
Courtesy of a China Airlines display at Taipei’s Songshan Airport, here is a map showing the relative locations of these airports:
Xinjiang, located in the far northwest of China, is an intriguing place renowned for its spectacular scenery, cultural diversity and delicious cuisine.
With the spread of migration across Mainland China, Xinjiang restaurants have become very popular and are found in cities throughout the country.
A new restaurant offering Xinjiang cuisine has recently opened in Shanghai's Caojiadu area. Nicely decorated and centrally located, this restaurant is aimed at Shanghai's middle classes and this is reflected in their pricing.
Each table is adorned with the richly colourful pattern of an Uygur tablecloth and, under a layer of glass, the notice to the left.
One would usually expect in these confines to encounter something like a menu, a restaurant introduction or maybe even some literature introducing the culture and beauty of the region.
However, the notice in fact carries the following rather depressing message:
This shops uses oil from Metro, please consume rest assured!!
Below it is a photocopy of an invoice from the German wholesale retailer Metro with the purchase of 50 drums of 20-litre cooking oil - underlined twice, in bold!
That a restaurant such as this feels it necessary to display such information so prominently is symptomatic of a general trend in society. After numerous food scandals
affecting foodstuffs as diverse as milk, rice, pork, dumplings and bean sprouts the public has lost their faith in the ability of the authorities to regulate the food industry.
This notice has been prompted by another infamous practice, the use of "gutter oil
", where recycled waste oil is illegally resold to consumers.
It is significant that this invoice is from a foreign retailer, who are seen as more trustworthy, and highlights China's crisis of confidence in the industry.
Its nearly two years since a huge fire
engulfed a residential tower in Shanghai's Jing An Temple district leading to the death of at least 58 people.
After the event the authorities made a big push to improve awareness of fire risks and displayed posters and distributed booklets to residents.
With the fire still at the forefront of everyone's memory, for the subsequent few months, fire doors were kept shut and residents were being vigilant.
In addition, bright orange emergency boxes were soon to be introduced. They can now be found stationed near the entrance to high rise buildings throughout Shanghai.
At the Senlinx office two vending machines made way for ours which is located at the bottom of the stairs.
A check of the emergency box in our office building revealed the following contents:
- LED traffic control baton (x2)
- LED lamp
- whistle (x2)
- ID armband (x2)
- rope & harness
- loud hailer (x2)
- pair of fireproof boots
- camouflaged bag (contents undetermined)
- reflective vest (x2)
- tool box
- first aid box
- CO2 fire extinguisher
- fire axe
The emergency box is kept locked and there is no obvious way to open it, except for trying to smash the glass.
Since the box arrived we haven't been told who has the key, how to open it, who to contact in an emergency or how to use the equipment.
There are no certificates or records evident to demonstrate that the emergency box has been checked and is still in usable condition.
With the two year anniversary of the disaster approaching it is difficult to find clear signs of progress - posters have been replaced, booklets are collecting dust in the back of cupboards and fire doors are once again propped open.
Of course there is one obvious exception, the not entirely useful, but highly visible, orange emergency boxes.
The scene below was photographed at Shanghai's Hongqiao Airport Terminal 1 - which serves international flights to destinations across East Asia.
The photo features two airlines - the privately owned Taiwanese carrier "EVA Air" and the Chinese government majority owned "China Eastern Airlines"
At first view it looks like a pretty normal airport scene, however at second glance you can see that both planes in the photograph are themed, or as they say in the business "have special liveries"!
The two contrasting designs serve as a good example of the difference between private business being run for the benefit of shareholders and state owned enterprises being run for 'the benefit of all'.
Let's take a closer look at the two aircraft:
Adorned with the cute image of Hello Kitty, this might not be everyone's cup of tea, however it is an attractive design which instantly draws people's attention.
The service is primarily aimed at developing tourism between Taiwan and Japan and comes complete with it's own website
This design features the logo of the Xinhua News Agency, their website address and some yellow clouds.
It is poorly presented and easily forgettable.
According to this account on their website
(Chinese only) the objective is to "further enhance brand awareness, social influence, promote bilateral business and achieve new development"
Ceremonies to promote and announce the launch of these respective services were held.
Information about the parties involved is summarised in the tables below:
100% Privately Owned
China Eastern Airlines
61% Owned by Chinese Government
Tokyo-listed Sanrio Company
Products focusing on the kawaii (cute) segment of Japanese popular culture
Xinhua News Agency
State Council of the People's Republic of China
Official press agency of the People's Republic of China
Great News! Senlinx has become a member of AustCham Shanghai, Australia's Chamber of Commerce in the city.
Founded in 1994 as the China Australia Chamber of Commerce, today AustCham Shanghai is a modern networking organisation with over 300 company members represented by 1,500+ card-carrying employees.
Their events range from business conferences to social gatherings, with the highlight being the annual Great Australian Ball.
Joining the association should help the business to gain more recognition and develop in the future.
to view Senlinx's entry in the membership database and here
to learn more about the organisation.