The first domestic-built maglev train, built by Chengdu Aircraft Industrial (Group) Co., was finished last Thursday. The 500-km/h train is more energy-efficient, per passenger, than either a car or a plane—unusual for such a high-speed, high-capacity train. It was built for the Shanghai Maglev Transportation Development Company, which is planning to use it during the Shanghai Expo in May. [image credit]
If your water was cut off the Friday before last, it was because of massive pollution in the Baimu River, the source of Chengdu's drinking water. The water for parts of the city was turned off at 6 p.m. when it started to smell bad; four tons of garbage were subsequently found floating down the river. Water resumed the next day after most of it was pulled out. Three men from Tianma Town in Dujiangyan City—which, ironically, is also the location of the annual water releasing ceremony—later admitted to dumping the trash.
Security researchers in Toronto recently published a study uncovering a Chengdu-based hacker group that stole defense-related documents from Indian government computer networks and broke into the Dalai Lama's personal email account. The researchers stated that there may be only two hackers, and one of them probably has ties to the University of Electronic Science and Technology. They further suggested that the hackers belong to the Chinese "criminal underworld," but that the documents may have found their way to the Chinese government. Beijing quickly disputed this claim.
Leaders from business, government, and the UN will attend the Annual Summit of China Green Companies 2010 in Chengdu on April 22-23. The purpose of the meeting is to facilitate cooperation between companies and government toward building a more sustainable economy. Events at the summit include an "idea feast" and the release of a list of the top 100 "green" companies in China.
How can Chengdu turn itself into a "gourmet city"? A recent seminar—which comes only a month after Chengdu joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a City of Gastronomy—discussed just this question. Apparently, the city thinks cultural distinction spells homogenization: plans include developing five new food enterprises with revenues of RMB500 million, helping five more local food companies go international, and luring five foreign multinational dining companies, including Burger King and Hardee's, to set up franchises.
Air China will start direct flights between Jiuzhaigou and Beijing at the end of this month. Bypassing Chengdu will reduce the flight time by four hours, and the cost by more than RMB1,000.
As a late birthday present for the Macao Special Administrative Region (it turned 10 in December), a panel of "experts" recently assembled in Chengdu to choose a pair of giant pandas to give to the autonomous city. The winning pandas must first pass myriad tests of physical and psychological health, genetics, and attractiveness.
"Danish invasion": Damco, a giant Danish logistics and supply chain management company, just opened an office in Chengdu. The customer service center alone will employ over a thousand workers.
A boy in Chengdu who was afraid his father would beat him climbed a 10m tree outside of his house and stayed there for eight hours. His father was unable to convince the boy to climb down—not even angry shouting could sway him. Firefighters finally climbed into the tree and brought him down.
AirAsia X, which offers flights between Chengdu, London, New Delhi, and other far-off places, announced that it is upgrading its entire long-distance fleet with fully reclining seats.