Car Numbers Explode in Shanghai

I went to Decathlon at Long Yang Road Station in Shanghai with friends yesterday. It was 3:00 PM. To my surprise, the parking lot at B&Q and Decathlon area was completely packed. Not only big area (with about 10 rows of 10 cars) was full, the back yard – which typically not used are also fully parked. There are many volunteers guiding cars into the underground parking area under Decathlon.

With the continuous “immigration” from Puxi to Pudong, and the popularity of cars, the once empty parking lot at B&Q area becomes so crowded. I remember when I just moved to Pudong less than 2 years ago, something I didn’t understand was, why B&Q built so large parking lot. At that time, only 1/3 of the parking was used. I LOL when I saw there were entrance to the underground garage. Whenever I drive there, I can easily find a place very near to the entrance.

Today, everything changed. The area looks so crowded. Of cause, it will become more and more crowded in the future. The good thing is, they still have underground garage for future expansion.

How I miss the old days when there is barely no any customers in Decathlon (as a customer). Now it is fully packed of people, and you have to wait in line to try out some cool equipments.

© Jian Shuo Wang. First posted in May, 2005, under Running in Pudong.

Two years means a lot in Shanghai – everything from the business of a store, to the availability of cars and parking lot change.

P.S. With this entry comes the new round of price cut from major car manufactures. With the price cut, I believe cars will become more popular in the next few years.

Auto Industry Enters Winter in Shanghai

I went to maintain the car the other day. When my dearest Goudaner were pulled into the maintenance area for its 8000 KM regular check, I chatted with my friends at the car dealership. The numbers of newly sold cars are increasing and every figure in the auto-industry are showing very positive trend, the message I got at the auto-dealer shop is just on the contrary. The message I got from my friend was, the automobile industry entered its winter.

It was not a busy morning for them. The big exhibition hall was almost empty. I didn’t see any new customer coming in the two hours. The salespersons could hardly see customers at weekdays. Sometimes they only talk with two customers per day. To be more accurate, I should call them “visitors” or “potential customers” because they just drop by and have a look.

The scene is completely different from the time when I bought my car in this March. The hall was full of curious and excited customers. I even have to sit into the same showcase car with other three strangers to experience the car. I had to since more customers were waiting outside to have a try.

My friend, a salesperson, was considering change a job and move out of auto industry. They were not comfortable to make a living with the base salary (which is about 1000 RMB or so) and there were no bonuses. In the current salary structure, the income of a salespersons large depends on the car they sell. They can easily get 10,000 RMB if the auto market is good, but now, it is the winter for them, and the company.

I didn’t know that.

Before I visited the same 4S shop, I didn’t see any hint of the big change from the newspaper. I though my friends inside the dealer company must be very happy to enjoy the booming of demand for cars. The fact is not.

P.S. After I post this article, I checked some news paper and found it was myself who saw only one side of the information. There are also some negative comments on the current auto industry of Shanghai.

The car I got for 99,000 can be purchased at 78,000 already and the price continues to drop.

P.S. Comment Spam

CNBlog and Eric complained about the comment Spam these days. To fight against this kind of spam, Eric removed the post button and ask all users to press Preview before they can see the Post button to post. CNBlog requires all comments to be reviewed before they are posted.

I am not going to implement anything like that on my blog. I won’t consider asking every commenter to enter a image verification code or other CAPTCHA methods in the future. (CAPTCHA is There are more than 200 comment spam attempts on this site every day (if I count my hosted sites, like /mvm, /fanfan, /claire, /gao, the number will reach 500 times everyday). Most of them are blocked by MT-Blacklist, which I can see from the activity log.

I still believe in open discussion – the not-censored real time communication. Wiki and MovableType’s open comment leaves a hole for those advertisers. However, I don’t want to scarify the community’s open discussion just for those annoying spams. I have other ways.

I strengthen the MT-Blacklist blacklist. I have added the following Strong filter patterns to my blacklist, for example:

[a-z\-\.]{2,20}\.{biz|info|name}, .info and .name domains are not welcome

I found in all my 6000+ comments, only those spammers uses .biz, .info and .name domains and there is no real readers are using them. So I banned these domains. I also banned the comments with certain sensitive words in URL. It turned out to be very effective. Here is my blacklist. Ironically, some sites on my blacklist are also on the Great Firewall’s blacklist. So when it appears in my binary stream from my server to my client, the Great Firewall sensed it and disconnected me from the Internet. So I never really be able to complete load the txt file I linked just now. The story is, Spammer A is my enemy. Spammer A is also Great Firewall’s enemy. So I am the Great Firewall’s enemy. :-D

My approach is not perfect. New spammers graduate everyday. So I need to keep an eye on the comments and delete those spams. The good thing is, I read every single comment on my blog, and it is not big burden for me. I have easy way to delete a spam with a single click of mouse.

A Car Towed Away for Temp Parking

I saw two workers were preparing to tow a red Santana because it was parked on a street (Xin An Road near the Huaihai Road). Temp parking is not allowed on te street. A policeman was nearby.


Taken by Jian Shuo Wang

Within 2 minutes, the two workers went back to the trailer. The trailer went away with the roof light flashing. The poor car was towed behind it. The whole things happened within 2 minutes.


Taken by Jian Shuo Wang

I was so amuzed to see their effecient work. The poor driver have to go to somewhere in the west part of the city (I heard it should be at the Long Wu Road, which is about 15 km away from the location the car was towed and there is no easy way to get there). A 200-RMB ticket should have been waiting for the driver before he/she arrives.

I work near that area now and every noon, when I finish my lunch, I walked by the streets and paid special attention to see if there is free parking lot in the nearby area. I considered parking along the road, but gave up the idea. It seems if I had parked there, my Goudaner would have been towed already.

P.S. BTW, today is BillG’s birthday, according to Scoble.

Cars with Non-Shanghai Plates

From Sept 1, 2004, all cars in Shanghai without a Shanghai local car plate will be charged 150 RMB per month. It means, I need to pay 1800 RMB more for my car.

According to the new regulation, I need to visit the police office to hand in the money; otherwise the fine will be 30,000 RMB.

Actually, all cars without a Shanghai plate need to pay 30 RMB for the entrance fee when they enter Shanghai. This regulation just added the 7-day valid period for entrance fee. It means, the car driver can choose to go back to the entrance toll gate to hand it the fee every 7 days (so it is 120 RMB per month), or to go to the police to pay a little bit higher – 150 RMB per month. Of cause, the third choice is not to do anything until the fine ticket of 30,000 RMB arrives.

It is strange for a large city to issue a command like this to restrict the flow of cars between Shanghai and other provinces.

P.S. Just found an interesting website to write on the Berlin Walls (via Eric’s blog). Take a look.

Image created by

P.S. 2. I am in Beijing and will get back to Shanghai on Wednesday.

A Car Plate = 21001 RMB Now

The average successful bidding price for a car plate drops to 21001 RMB this month, continued its first dropping last month.

It is due to the rumor that car plate bidding will be cancelled this July. It seems the rumor is only rumor. The July bidding has been arranged to happen on July 24, 2004. Just see how big the influence of a policy is to the market in China.

History of the car plate price:

Search Car Plate on this site.

34226 RMB for a Car Plate in May

Big news that the Shanghai car plate average bidding price dropped down to 34226 RMB in May, almost 10000 RMB lower than last month’s 45000 RMB. The lowest successful bidding price is only 10800 RMB. Rumors said that the bidding process of car plate will be cancelled no later than July and there is almost no cost to get a car plate.


Gasoline Price Goes Up

I never noticed the the change of gasoline price before I bought my car. The bad news for me is, the price of gasoline goes up by 8% from 3.23 RMB/L to 3.47 RMB.

The traffic is still bad recently if not worse. I start to drive my car to work and back. The life of having a car is fun but expensive. The parking lot at Metro City is 600 RMB/month. I have to say, it is a huge discount already since it charges 10 RMB per hour for others.

The site

The site is still not working very well recently. The domain resolution does not take effect until late tomorrow. So you still cannot access, but is up and running, which is the best news among the bad news.

Car Expenses

It is not as expensive as I thought to own a car. The parking package under the Metro City is 600 RMB for 24×7 in a month. Otherwise, it is 10 RMB per hour. The packing at the new residential area is 100 RMB per month – not bad. :-D

Now the car has been around for about 900 KM already, including a long march to Hangzhou to put on the Hangzhou car plate. I handed over my car to the dealer and she helped me to drive the car and went through all the required procedures. This is costly – 3500 RMB for everything, but still cheaper than the 43000 RMB bit price in Shanghai.

The gasoline consupmtion is about 70 L now. I filled the tan twice already with 40 L each time. The gasoline price here in Shanghai is 3.27 RMB per L for 93# and 3.07 RMB per L for 90#. What aboutt the prices in other region?

Puxi is not Car Friendly

I drove my new car in Xujiahui and felt very happen when I was on the road – the traffic is not as bad as working days. However, I am so frustrated when I attempted to park the car.

I went along the Panyu Road (near Huashan Rd.) in Xujiahui. The road is very narrow and parking is not considered at all during the design pharse of the road. I felt bad to pull my car over and stop it just on the road – many cars do it since temperory parking is allowed on the road, but it affects the traffic greatly. I tried to drive the car onto the sidewalk. This brought trouble to the pedestrian on the sidewalk. Anyway, it is the best I can do in this crowded and narrow space. With the car, I want to “Escape” to Pudong ASAP. In the new area, you can easily find free parking everywhere.

Car or Bicycle?

Blanc from France asked me a series of questions regarding using cars and bicycles in Shanghai.

Finally, I have some questions about you car and your life? Do you know how often you will use your car, on a regular basis? For you, is it quicker to take your car or to take the subway, to go to work, for instance? Why did you eventually decide to buy a car? Will you use it for longer trips? What about traffic jam?

How Often I will Use My Car

I may not use my car frequently before I move to Pudong. I have decided to say bye bye to Pudong after long hesitation. After changing my mind back and forth, I finally (I hope) decided to move to Pudong with the new car. It may happen quickly. After that, I suppose I will use the car everyday to go to work.

Is it quicker to take subway?

Yes. It is always the quickest way to go with subway, if the destination are near a subway station. The reality is, however, the subway only covers a small part of the city. Apartments near the subway station is much more expensive than other places. I decide to move to a place with no subway so it will be quicker to use car instead of taking buses to subway station, get Metro #2, transit to Metro #1 at People’s Square…

Why did you eventually decide to buy a car?

Because I decided to move to Pudong. They why did I decided to move to Pudong? Because I decided to buy a car. :-D

Actually, the life with a car in Pudong and the convinient life in Puxi without a car are completely two different life styles. I chosed the first one. To tell you the secret, just because it was too hard to find a good apartment in Puxi after seeking for an apartment for a long time.

Will I use it for long trip?

Yes. Hangzhou and other cities in Zhejiang are very good for weekend. I may drive there during weekend and enjoy life there.

Another thing is about your cycling trips? How often do you usually use your bike? Do you use your bike on a regular basis in the city? Is it true that The City if Shanghai decided to ban bicycles from certain streets? Is it still the case? If you want to go to the supermarket, will you use your bike or your car? Is it expensive to take the subway?

Bicyles? I don’t take it seriously. It is a toy for me, like the excercise equipment. I know many people are still using bicycle as transportation because they think the bus and metro are too expensive. Do you think 2 RMB or 0.24 USD expensive? They will since their monthly salary may only be 1000 RMB or 120 USD. Bicycles are serious transportation options for them.

I don’t use bicycle to go to supermarket. I either take taxi or go there by bus, but not taxi. Shanghai is not a taxi friendly city. It is true that more and more roads start to ban bicycles. This will continue. Cycling is still my favorite sports, but not my transportation option.

Shanghai Car Plate = 43000 RMB

The latest car plate price came out. The lowest price for car plate is 43000 RMB and average price for the plate is 43300 RMB (5216 USD). 4800 plates entered the bid.

As you may know, Shanghai uses the bidding system to determine the price for private car plates. There is no base price. So by theory, if everyone bid 100 RMB for the plates, the first 4800 bidders will win the plate at 100 RMB. Of cause, this never happens since there will be much more bidders than the number of the car plate.

It was 38000 RMB on August 24, 2003

I didn’t Join the Bidding

I chose to get a foreign province car plate at last. I gave my new car to the car dealer, who drove my car to the nearby city, Hangzhou. It is 240 km away. They helped to get the plate there. My new car plate is


It cost 3500 RMB.


There are some limitations to use a car with foreign plate in Shanghai. For example, I cannot use the elevated highway in rush hours and on certain roads. I don’t care too much.

Struggling for Parking Lot

I rent a car again these two days. I still don’t want to put out around 100,000 RMB to buy a car yet since the expensive to maintain a car in Shanghai is still far too expensive. The recent car plate reached 390,000 39,000 RMB (Thanks The King for finding out the typo) cost already. (Anyway, someone take it as another investment method with the rapid rise of the price)

Today, I moved around the downtown. I went to Xintiandi with my family and found an underground parking. It charges 5 RMB per hour. I was surprised that the price is already very low in that area. Last time, we went to the JC Mandarin hotel on the opposite side of the Shanghai Center. They charges 20 RMB for parking. Nearby underground parking in office buildings charges 10 RMB per hour. Some charges higher. The bigger problem for car owners is, there is not enough parking lots now. It is a big headache for me to find parking today. Drivers pull their car over to the road side and blocks the road. I did the same on South He Nan Road and waited there for several minutes for the arrival of the painting I bought in Yuyuan. It seemed there is no better options – if I go and find a better place to park, it may cost me 15 minutes to longer to get back to where I was. Anyway, the current situation is understandable and I saw the improvement in the last several years.

Beijing is a more friendly city for car owners. There are many free parking area in the city. If it charges, it charges for two RMB per hour or so. No to mention western areas in U.S.

Pudong is a New Shanghai

The situation in Pudong is much better. It is like Beijing. I can find many places to park for free and there is always parking lot available. In big shopping malls like Hymall, Nong Gong Shang and Lotus (both Pudong and Puxi), parking is free. They are very attractive for me. The several kilometers’ drive is well compensated by the free parking for my car. Well. I was so shocked to use the parking on the forth floor of Carrefour in Guibei Area. The slope is more than 30 degrees and I was very nervous as a new driver…

In Pudong, the roads are least as twice wide as in Puxi. The population is still far less than in Puxi so in many roads, there are barely no car (like Jin Xiu Road near the Centaury Park). The two areas are just like to cities with completely different life style.

Volkswagen Polo

Currently, Volkswagen Polo is on the top of my wish list for my upcoming car. My schedule of purcharse is about 12 months from now. Here are some good pictures:





Polo looks very nice and the inner decoration and space are good enough. The 1.6L MT version costs 147K RMB. To be honest, it is not on my list at all before this weekend. My list was:

Bora 1.8T (My friend strongly recommended me about this car. It was said the engine was very powerful. However, it is far to expensive for my first car – 220K RMB)

Mazda 323 (Looks nice and the price is OK.)

VIOS was once on my list also, but it is too small and my head touches the roof. I am not a big guy.

After I first steps into a Polo last weekend, I found the inner space is much bigger than all the cars I listed – even bigger than Bora.

Updated Anti Japanese Car Movement October 4, 2003

Regarding selecting cars, there is a strong voice in China. It is the voice of Anti-Japanese Good Movement. The car, as the biggest purcharse among common people can decide, is under the spotlight.

I got a picture from Alex about the treatment for Japanese car in China.

The strong words read:

Employees of our company are forbidden to buy Japanese cars. Japanese cars parking not allowed in this garage. 50 RMB fine and a good beat will be treated for those who disobey this rule. We will disflate your four tires if you are caught the second time

This is one of many samples of the anti-Japanese good movement. People just don’t want to buy anything from Japan. This is very true. The voice is becoming stronger and stronger. I have some friends who refuse to buy anything from Japan.

A Car Plate = 38500 RMB in Shanghai

The result of the last car plate bidding excercise revealed on the Morning Post. The latest record for a plate is 38500 RMB (4,600 USD). There is a special report on this on the Morning Post. Shanghai is famous for bad traffic condition. It is such a large city on so small area. The price of July is 36900. The raising of price for a car license (or number plate) is reasonable.

The Bid

From about one year ago (not sure though), Shanghai issue the plate using the open bidding system. It is said the first bidding result price was only 1000 RMB. It was a miracle. Now the price has been too high already.

The bid excercise on every third Saturday of every week. That means, the date for the bidding will be:

July 19

Augest 23

September 20

October 18


To enter the bid, the bidder need to

1) Buy a bidding form at 100 RMB before the Friday morning of bid.

2) Deposit 2000 RMB – to make sure you attend the bidding. It is returned if you don’t get the plate.

3) Call into the system or go to the bidding hall to enter the bidding.

Interesting Game

Since this auction is the bidding without base price. That means, by theory, if everyone only offer 100 RMB for the plate, then the final price for the plate should be only 100 RMB. The success bidders are determined by price (from higher to lower) and by time (from ealier to later).

This time, 4500 plates were issued, which is obviously much less than the number of participants. The city can control the number of cars by limiting the number of plate sent to market. The less the plate they send to the market, the higher the price will be.

My Choice

I am considering buying a car – not very seriously, just begin to get interested to checkthe model and price. Meanwhile, I am learning to drive. Hopefully, I can get the license in two weeks. So I have to take the plate issue into consideration.

Shanghai Plate or Hangzhou/Suzhou Plate

Considering the high price of Shanghai car plate, the plate outside Shanghai is an attrative option. For example, a plate in Zhangzhou is only 200 RMB (others said it is 2000 RMB, not confirmed yet). The limitation is

  • Cars without Shanghai local plate canont use the elvated highway, bridges like Lupu Bridge, and some tunnels in rush hours.
  • The annual car checking is held in the place where the plate is issued

For the second limitation, it is not a big problem. Hangzhou is only 2 hours’ ride from Shanghai. I heard the rumor that this can be done in Shanghai too now – Not confirmed too.

For the first limitation, I am not sure. On one hand, I believe I will not likely to use the car to go to work – the traffic on the elevated highway is terrible (the normal roads are even worse). On the other hand, if there is something urgent, it will be very troublesome if the time falls to the rush hours.

Well. My personal oppion is that a Shanghai plate is still the best choice. Although it is so expensive now, but you can always see the trends for raising in the long run…. Is it a method of investment?

I just checked the price for a plate in Singapore – or COE (Certificate of Entitlement). The latest price is about 30,000 Singapore Dollars, according to the One.Motoring

A Car in Shanghai

I have been considering to buy a car in Shanghai for some time, but till now, I believe this is still not feasible.

I enjoys the cars in north Amerian but cannot bear the boring life there. In Shanghai, I love the life but I still want to have a car. It is a problem though since

  1. It is impossible for me to ride a car to work due to the heavy traffic.
  2. The car is too expensive – it is about 120,000 – 200,000 RMB for normal cars and cost more for better one.
  3. The car ID is way too expensive. It costs about 20,000 RMB for the car ID alone.
  4. It is too expensive for parking and oil.

20 more tunnels in Shanghai

Today, I read this piece of news:

Shanghai set to build 20 expressway tunnels by 2010 – NOV 23, 2002

Shanghai is set to have 20 expressway tunnels snaking under the city’s Huangpu River by the year 2010, making it the world leader in the number of underwater tunnels.

It is just amazing. The road infrustracture improves a lot but it is still a bottle neck for Shanghai. I hope the tunnels and more roads will change the situation so I can have a car soon.