Unlimited, free Internet connections for Shanghai residents & travelers
Shanghai has entered a new phase in Internet connectivity with the city’s upgraded i-Shanghai Wi-Fi service as residents now have access to free and unlimited wireless connections at 620 public locations across the city, including public transportation hubs, commercial zones, parks, tourist sites, cultural venues and education institutions.
Over the past two months, 170 new i-Shanghai points were opened to the public to broaden the free Wi-Fi network in the city. The i-Shanghai service, also known as the city’s official Wi-Fi, is part of a program launched in 2012 that aims to transform Shanghai into an “intelligent city”. The municipal government, along with the country’s three major telecommunications operators — China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom — are a part of this initiative.
According to the Shanghai Commission of Economy and Informatization, the city will expand its wireless LAN services to 4,000 major public places by the end of 2020, with 450 more due to be available later this year.
The most notable change in the latest upgrade to i-Shanghai is the removal of the twohour cap for users and a simplified log-in process.
“I think it is very easy to get connected to the Internet via i-Shanghai as it requires just a few simple verification steps. This service has saved us money in purchasing more data,” said Wen Xiaoqing, who relied on the free service during her stay in the hospital after she gave birth in March. The 27-year-old added that the upgrade would create a more Internet-friendly atmosphere for local and tourists.
Providing free wireless connections in public areas has become a trend in other parts of China as well. In December 2011, Beijing launched free Wi-Fi hotspots where people can log on to the “My Beijing” network — all they need to do is to follow instructions via a text message to connect. In the same year, Guangzhou, Guangdong province, also started to provide Wi-Fi services in public areas as part of the government’s plan to envelope the entire city with
residents Internet connectivity.
The annual report on Internet development in China, released by the China Internet Network Information Center in January, showed that the number of Chinese accessing the Internet via mobile devices had reached a high of 557 million by the end of 2014, an increase of 56.72 million from the previous year. Mobile Internet users accounted for 85.8 percent (649 million) of the total number of people accessing the World Wide Web, up from 81 percent in 2013.
A rising number of Chinese investors from Beijing and Shanghai are buying properties in Japan through various channels, the China Business News reported. Compared with the more sophisticated Australian and American markets, the lower entry requirements for investment and a promising outlook has made the Japanese market a favorite with wealthy Chinese people.
Chinese investors have been driving up the purchasing index of Japanese properties by 54 percent to 2,086 in the second quarter of this year — the index was merely 100 in the same period last year, according to the purchasing intent index from Juwai.com.
China was responsible for nearly a quarter of the global ice cream consumption in 2014, surpassing the US to become the world’s largest ice cream market, a report by United Kingdom-based research firm Mintel Group Ltd showed.
Chinese consumers bought $11.4 billion worth of ice cream in the year of 2014, while their US counterparts consumed $11.2 billion. But the Americans are still the world’s biggest fans of ice cream as their per capita consumption is more than four times that of China’s. The Chinese ice cream consumption is expected to expand to $12.5 billion this year. One of the reasons for China’s growing ice cream demand is the increase in people’s income, especially in the fast-expanding middle income group, added the report.