Second Impression of Shanghai Expo Site

This is a follow up article after my previous article: First Impression of Shanghai Expo Site

The other day, I visited the Shanghai Expo Site with the Australia Pavilion Group. Before I entered the site, I took a picture of the current Shanghai Expo Land site:

This is the picture of the site on May 9, 2009. If you still remember, in the previous article, I posted a similar photo from a little bit higher than this view point, you will find out the building behind changed a lot.

Photo of February 2009

From there, I started my journey of exploration.

The Entrance to the Site

To my surprise, the entrance of the whole Shanghai Expo Construction Site is actually behind the building shown on the picture. You go deep into the back of the Shanghai Expo Land building, and there is a gate. I thought beyond the gate is a bigger parking lot. It turned out that it IS the actual entrance to the site. Obviously the check at the gate was very serious, and only identified vehicles can enter the site. I always wanted to drive into the expo site myself. Now it seems to be a mission impossible. If you want to explore the Expo Site, you’d better find someone working inside. There is another entrance at the west of the site (on the Pudong South Road) and it was also guarded.

What’s Inside

The Expo site now is still pretty empty. The roads are ready and the permanent buildings like China Pavilion, the Expo Center, and Theme Pavilion were already in good shape. Here are some photos of the buildings under construction.

Theme Pavilion

Below is the outside of the Theme Pavilion.

The Theme Pavilion is north-west direction on the west side of the Expo Blvd.

“Pardon for my appearance” – the theme pavilion is still surrounded by temp power lines, and other construction site.

The Performance Center

The Expo Performance Center is at the north of Pudong side of the Expo, and east of Expo Blvd. It is huge inside – 18,000 people stage will be installed.

The Japan Pavilion

The Japan Pavilion just get started. As you see from the following picture, they just started to build the elevator.

The China Pavilion

The China Pavilion was structually completed long time ago, and they are installing facade for the huge building. It is supposed to be red, and now it is still pure gray.

Other Buildings

There are many other buildings scattered in the Shanghai Expo Site that I cannot recognize what it is. Let’s wait until the Expo starts.

Surrounding Areas

Leaving the expo site, you enters into the city, and it is, just as inside, another construction site. Look at the South Pudong Road – maybe one of the worst road today, but it will be turned into one of the best one in the near future, when all the construction is completed.

Anyway, the Haibao welcomes you despite of the temp difficulties for the city.

Australia Pavilion’s Construction Site

I am happy to be invited to the Australia Pavilion’s construction site inside the Shanghai 2010 Expo Site. Thanks to Anna from Ogilvy PR, and Australia Pavilion team. This is the second time I participate in an even of the Australia Pavilion. I feel very involved with the project. (This was my report from the last time when the foundation was completed).

The Location of the Australia Pavilion

I would complain a little bit that there is no map available to outline the exact location of each pavilion on the Shanghai Expo web site. I searched, and was not able to find one (any reader can point to a direction if you know the existence of this map?). By visiting the construction site, I am able to have some rough idea about where the site is.

It is at the east of the Lupu Bridge, and just south of an elevated pedestrian. On its east is the Expo Theme Pavilion, and Shanghai Expo Center – the two permanent constructions. My first impression is, the Shanghai Expo is so big, and I have no idea about whether the Australia Pavilion has a good location or not – it seems to be the center of the whole site.

This is the relative location with the Lupu Bridge

The Construction Team of the Pavilion

Just as when people review the previous several expo in the history, they will surely put more effort in analyzing how the country prepare for the expo (just like the articles I read today about Qing Dynasty’s participation in the previous few expo), the culture exchange, contrast, and conflict already happens way before the expo starts. Australia Pavilion is an example.

The building of Australia Pavilion was conducted by Bovis, which claimed to be one of the biggest construction company in Australia. The project managers and the management team are Australian, and the workers, of cause, are from China.

The first impression of the construction site was, it was pretty safe. When people like us arriving at the construction site with all kinds of cloths, we were asked to wear the protection equipment, including gloves, a hard hat, glasses for eye protection, and a shining safety dress. After everyone dressed up, it seemed to be a very professional group. The workers, of cause, are very well dressed and protected.

For the topping ceremony, most of the workers have already withdrew from the site, and lined up to witness the ceremony. I started to search about my memory of Chinese construction site: Is this normal safety standard or higher? Since I haven’t visited a Shanghai local construction site yet, I had no basis of comparison, but my gut feeling is, safety was pretty deeply coined into this construction site. Impressive, I would say.

The Ceremony

After everyone arrived, including the VIP guest, the Minister of Trade, a very brief ceremony was held. A big red box with green tree in it was elevated to the top of roof, to mark the milestone of the construction.

Here is the culture conflict point: when the tree quietly “fly” to the top, I heard the construction worker with obvious Sichuan accent commented behind me: “Just this? Where is the firework?” I feel the same thing. Why important event like the completion of the main structure happened without any sound?

Well. I’d like to add here, just as I did in the West meets East section of this blog, I tried to explore, write, and explain the conflict, and help people to understand the differences. There is nothing right or wrong, just the different. With the globalization, people may find out the right mixture in the future such like a big green tree flies onto the top with fireworks fired along with it. Right?

The Site Itself

It is obviously overstated that the Australia Pavilion has completed. It is still far from a completion. It is just the main structure completion – the key semen-tin building in the middle that support the weight of the building. Around this main building, a huge number of big poles are to be built to form the unique curve of building.

The most part except the middle are built with steel. My personally feeling is, it is not as complicated or costly as I thought. It is just like a big toy bricks of steels. The workers just need to number all the parts, and assembly it at the site. With the right diagram, it may seem as easy as assembly a piece of IKEA furniture.

The building blocks of the Pavilion

My Impression

The Australia Pavilion is among the first to construct – there are many pavilion not yet start construction yet, and they are very aggressive to make it a big hit. It is clear that all the pavilions have started competing for attention already, although it is 1 year from the starting day. On the same day, two other pavilions have similar events. Hmmm… The show has started.

After visiting the construction site of Australia Pavilion in the sunny morning, and I started to think about the ultimate question about why we have Expo. Although as costly as it seems to, to have a chance for people to work together, and put everything so different into the same place, may create something that is never possible otherwise. It is just like a costly art work – the change it brings to people is maybe bigger than what people expected. let’s just wait and see whether the magic or chemistry happens.

Communication is Key to Any Success

Once again, it is proved the importance of communication in our team.

Communication is a very very very important thing in a team, and we need to make sure the trust are maintained among everyone, and information is freely available to everyone. That is key to the success of anything.

To make something work is an art. It includes many factors that multiply by each other. It is hard to say which is the most important one, but communication is definitely a factor that can easily get to a lower score, which affect the people, and thus affecting many things.

Always remember, that communication is the key to any success – both personal and professional.

Two Nice Photos from Xiaoliang

Xiaoliang just got back from his Europe trip. I found two nice photos of his recent blog, and want to share with my readers.

Shanghai Changjiang (Yangtze) River Bridge

Recently, Shanghai went crazy to build really big bridges, like Donghai Bridge, and Hangzhou Bay Bridge.

This one is also very amitious – to connect Chong Ming Island to Shanghai via a bridge. Here is the almost completed bridge from airplane:


Photograph by Xiaoliang

H1N1 Flu Inspection

With the H1N1 Flu situation gets worse and worse, thorough check has been carried on. People need to wait for people wearing suites like that to inspect for temperature. Not many people complain, I guess, if they experienced SARS.


Photograph by Xiaoliang

My other friends just returning from Netherlands received the same treatment.

P.S. BTW, do you feel that the page of this blog loads much faster than before? If so, you are welcome to read more pages than before.

Make My Blog Faster

In day one, my blog was very fast. These days, I don’t feel it is as fast as it was long time ago. I started to add more and more elements to this blog, and unfortunately, it slows everything down a bit at a time, and now, it is not as fast as before.

At the same time, I am working very hard in my company to make even faster. These two things can be done in parallel, and I can use some tips and learning from this site and apply it to my blog.

I am a fan of Steve Souders, and reading his book High Performance Web Site, and his blog. I will apply those technical to this blog, and then report the result to my readers.

Here is a rough plan:

  • Setup metrics – using Google Analytics to track time used on each page.
  • Remove stuff – the less stuff on this page, the better
  • Optimize CSS, and JS to ensure I am a minimalist
  • Check data to see if it faster or not

I will keep updating this page (not new pages) about the progress, so you can check from time to time to know the progress.

Update May 5, 2009

Today, I added the tracking code to the individual archive page, so I can keep measuring what is happening to my network speed. Here is the code I used:

  1. Immediately after <body> tag, add the following

    <script>var t_start = Number(new Date());</script>

  2. At the end of the file, add the following:

    <script type=”text/javascript”>

    window.onload = function() {

    var t_end = Number(new Date());

    var t_duration = t_end – t_start;

    var lc1 = Math.floor(t_duration/1000);

    var lc2 = Math.floor((t_duration % 1000)/100);

    var lc3 = Math.floor((t_duration % 100)/10);

    var lc4 = t_duration % 10;

    try {

    var pageTracker2 = _gat._getTracker(“UA-XXXXX-3”);

    pageTracker2._trackPageview(“/speed/” + “/” + lc1 + “/” + lc2 + “/” + lc3 + “/” + lc4);

    } catch(err) {}



    UA-XXXX-3 is my profile ID in Google Analytics. If you read the code more carefully, you see it generally calculate the time from the start of parsing the page (t_start) to the end of the page load (t_end or window.onload event), and then turn it into a folder structure and record it in Google Analytics. For example, 3402ms will be recorded as /speed/3/4/0/2, and thus I can do more analysis in the future.

It is always a good idea to setup measurement before doing anything (that is important), since it helps to guide you through a more certain road, than just wandering around, and run back and forth.

Enjoy the Beauty of Life

I live far away from office, and it costs me one hour to get to where I work. That is one of the key painful things I have in my life. Wendy and I tried many different solutions from waking up earlier, to looking for an apartment to rent in nearby places, and other ways.

Finally, we give up the idea of buying or renting an apartment near where I work. We decided to really think about what we have today, and appreciate what we have, instead of pursuing what we don’t have. I loved to discuss about the meaning of happiness, but from time to time, we just lost in our own puzzled life, and forget it.

P.S. Update about A H1N1 Flu

This Sunday, Wendy, Yifan, and I went to IKEA. It is the first time I saw people wearing masks in the store. Swine flu has already hit Shanghai with one pass-by passenger confirmed to be affected in Hong Kong. It reminds me of the SARS period of 2003. So far, Shanghai is fine. We are not the epi-center anyway this time.

Google Analytics Cookie by this Site

I am using Google Analytics to track traffic to this site, and thus, it will set first-party cookie on computers of my readers. To help my readers to understand what it is, and whether it contains any private information (someone asked), I am writing a quick guide, although it should be Google’s job to do it.


Name: __utma

Content: 140862379.1932703144.1241269035.1241269035.1241269035.1


Path: /

Sent For: Any type of connection

Expires: 2011-5-2 20:57:18

Remember, my site ID of with Google Analytics will always be 140862379. That is a hash of my site name – in case you don’t know what hash is, it is just a complicated way to turn a string (any string) into a unique number. The number 140862379 is always attached to this site. It is not changed unless I change my domain name, even though it has a 4 in it. :-) The good thing is, the 379 ending part seems to be related to my home town Luoyang.

1932703144 is a random number – yes, that is me! Yours should be different than mine. It may be another random number. Anyone has its own number. That number does not change and follows you long enough – 2 years to be exact. Using Internet explorer to visit, I get another random number 1288054309. It is just like this… That is maybe the only thing identify you, my reader, and nothing else is revealed.

Another interesting thing is the last number – that is how many times you have visited this site. Check back from time to time to see the total number of visit you come to this site.


This is a 30 minute tracker – the content is the number I just described: with a 4 in it and ending with 379. That is this site again. Actually, this can be nothing or any other random number, because it is whether this cookie present or not that matters, not its value. Every time you visit the site, the expiration time is reset, such to keep the session as long as possible, if there are no pause longer than 30 minutes in the middle.

Name: __utmb

Content: 140862379


Path: /

Sent For: Any type of connection

Expires: 2009-5-2 21:49:45


This is completely the same as the previous one, except it expires at the end of the session – you close your browser. Just as __utmb, the presence of this cookie is more important than its value. If either of __utmb or __utma misses (__utmb disappears after 30 minutes, and __utmc disappears after the user close the browser), a new session, or in Google Analytics’ term, a visit, starts.

Name: __utmc

Content: 140862379


Path: /

Sent For: Any type of connection

Expires: End of session


__utmz records the campaign information – it is about how user comes to this site. It expires after 6 months. As you can see from this sample, this user (it is me) comes from Google (as stated in utmcsr, or source), and is from (organic) search result (in utmccn) with term Shanghai taxi (as in utmctr, or term) and the media is organic (as in utmcmd). This typically tells the story of how you get to this site – a search, from Google, and I didn’t pay for the visit (organic).

In this cookie, you notice that 140862379 is still there – my site, and 1241269038 is a time stamp.

Name: __utmz

Content: 140862379.1241269038.1.1.utmccn=(organic)|utmcsr=google|utmctr=shanghai+taxi|utmcmd=organic


Path: /

Sent For: Any type of connection

Expires: 2009-11-1 8:57:18

Technical Stuff is Interesting, and Boring

Depends on where you come from, technical information like this can be either boring, or interesting – for me, it is very interesting to understand how on earth it is done to help me understand more about many different things.

Google Analytics Cookie Monitior

Here is a small tool that I created to help you understand what cookie I set to your browser (actually Google did it). As I said, technical stuff is interesting when you know it works.


Balloon and Camera in Outer Space

Robert Mao posted a nice article talking about two outer space projects.

One is the Teddy Bear project. The pupils in UK made the balloon and shipped it with two teddy bears, and send it to 30 km away from space.

I love this picture also – the pupils put a teddy bear into a plastic bottle to keep it warm in the harsh cold in outer space, and another one wear a plastic head cover – seems to be the bottom of a Pepsi bottle.

I talked with Wendy about this project for a long time, and I do wish we can create the same project today ourselves, to explore the outer space by ourselves. Wendy said: “Sometimes tech can make people blind of what they can do.” I agree. Anyone want to join?

Clear Shanghai Night

It is nice to have a good view outside my office window, isn’t it? It is especially true when it is clear night in Shanghai.

Photo by Jian Shuo Wang

Photo by Jian Shuo Wang

Photo by Jian Shuo Wang

I know there are many photos like these in my blog, but I just cannot help to post the same view again and again on my blog, since I am impressed by the views from time to time.

Breakeven Happiness

I got a new term called break-even happiness from MC today. Very nice term. Just like a company that can either be losing money or break-even or profitable, the status of break even happiness means the status of not having obvious pains, and no things that trouble you too much, and you don’t have too much extra than that.

That is a nice state to get for any one in a startup company, and that is what we want to archive first. Although there are big return in the future in terms of stock options, we want to make sure everyone is at least happy about their life – to lead a reasonable good life with dignity, and don’t have to worry too much about their family and personal life. So people can be patient with the growth of the company. Nice term! It is nice to apply that to daily life.

P.S. Another interesting term I learn is local maximum. It is a mathematics terms, but can describe a lot of situation like in someone’s career, or the state of a company. Thanks, MC.

China and US is Opposite on North and South

I talked with a friend today and he always cannot relate Shanghai with finance and operational type of city, and relate Beijing with culture, and media center. I believe that is the tend of thinking for many people.

In US, north may mean economy centers, and mean people are more business oriented, and for south, the people is more straight-forward culturally, and it is not as business oriented as the north.

In China, the situation is just the opposite. South coastal cities are very active in economoy, and veyr strong in businesses, and people there tend to calculate things more carefully, and preciously. The north provinces is more traditional, and more arigculture driven, and on the culture side, more straight-forward, and candid in communication.

If you compare people in Taxas and people in the three north east provinces, they share pretty much common characteristics, and if you put Shanghai and New York together, they share something in common.

It is something called IA (Implicit Association) as shown in the IAT (Implicit Association Test) by Harvard – people in US associate financial centers with coldness, and people in China associate financial centers with warm and hot.

When I went to New York for the firs time, I cannot get used to it since how can a financial center be so cold, just as cold as north east provinces in China? The same question is asked by my friend: how can a financial center be as warm as Shanghai?

Why Use the Pedstrain Crossing?

I talked a lot about traffic rules, and people jaywalking on the street, and even how I drive in Shanghai. All the thought is based on two assumptions:

  • The international traffic rules are always the best laws possible
  • We should always follow the laws although in China, most people don’t do it

But after my visit to Xiamen, and to be more exact, in Gulangyu Island, I started to think twice about what I have believed for so many years. The key question is, why we need a pedestrain crossing in the first place, and why people cannot just go across the road as they wish? I know it is crazy ideas but let me explain more.

Life with No Cars or Few Cars

Gulangyu is a wonderful place where the small island don’t have any cars (basically). There are many coffee shops, nice villa, and wonderful small streets to wander around. They don’t have cars, and the streets are not designed to cars, or even bikes.

The life is great!

It also reminds me of the nice water town like Tong Li or Zhou Zhuang – especially when it is night.

Then I have to think again, and do some reflection about what we get from automobiles, and what we have lost.

Crazy Action of Beijing University

This echos to another piece of news from Beijing University. They started to pain Zebra Crossing lines in many roads, and ask all the students and faculty to cross the streets only via Zebra Crossing. That is ridiculous. A campus should be designed for walking students, and for bike riders at most, not for cars. Who are those people driving race cars on campus? Campus belongs to pedestrian, that is for sure.

Instead of enforcing speed limit of 5 km for cars or ban cars from certain “central areas”, they did the opposite. What is the point to force students to use pedestrians? Is it safer, like to say jail is the safest place for most people – no robbery, and not traffic accident?

A City is in the Middle

A city is not as a small town of Zhou Zhuang or Tong Li, or the island of Gulangyu, but it is not completely a car world. Cars have turned our city into a big machine with little life, especially in Shanghai. Why we should care cars so much and don’t care about pedestrian? Why don’t we move the needle a little bit toward the pedestrian friendly side, and put more constrains on cars, not pedestrian?

China v.s. developed countries

Most of my U.S. friends complained about jay walking and always list it as top of their culture shock list. BUT, wait a minute. Let me tell you this. Do you think a country with 44 cars per 1000 people should have the same rule as a country with 750 cars per 1000 people?

That affects the driver and pedestrian’s behavior in two ways.

1. Pedestrian has to use road crossing in US, since if they don’t, there are high chance to get hit by a car with so many cars. In China, let’s just put few cities like Shanghai and Beijing aside, in most cities, there are much more people than cars on the streets, and crossing is safer compared to US.

2. In US, cars yield for pedestrian simply because that is possible to do, but in China, there are much more people than cars, and if you use the same behavior, that is impossible to cross.

By noticing the small difference, I believe we should think about something that work better in China.


I am a strong believer of ruling using laws, and believe everyone should follow laws, but I do have some problem with some of the laws we have – to follow what other countries have in place is easy, but may not be the best way. Back to the urban planning topics, I am a turned-environmentalist, and want to push to give lives back to people so people can live a slower, and more graceful life, than competing with cars for the right of the road. Hmmm… I am not talking about Shanghai – Shanghai is a different animal than most other cities.


Met with MC today (as always, try to keep my friend annoymous) and spent 9 hours together. Very nice conversation and learn a lot. Sillicon Valley does have something so unique, exciting and it never lacks of inspiration. Great.

BTW, Byebye, April of 2009, and tomorrow is the first day of the May Holiday.