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IT mall to be reborn as wet market

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IT mall to be reborn as wet market





One of Shanghai’s earliest computer markets has been shut down and will soon be reborn as a modern wet market.







The Furongjiang Computer City in Changning District began life as a street of electronic products in 1991 and was home to over 100 Internet and software companies. HK-listed Digital China began life there.




However, the building is almost obsolete after two decades of great change in the market, due in the main to the slump in brick-and-mortar business brought by the online shopping era.




Nearby residents are also keen to have a bigger and more up-to-date wet market to replace their current small, old-fashioned market.




Renovations have been completed on the exterior of the nine-story building along with new drainage and fire sprinkler systems.







Work is ongoing to turn the first and second floors into a wet market.




The rest of the building will be turned over to artificial intelligence businesses.




Over 60 suppliers of vegetables and other foods have signed up for spots in the new market which will feature a much cleaner environment and be directly supplied by farmers on Chongming Island.




The digital market building previously had a wet market but it was shut down two decades ago to accommodate the IT firms.




The new market will open on October 31, when the old wet market will be closed.




From the 1990s, the site was one of the most popular places in the city for people looking to buy computers and other electronic products.







Over 100 companies selling and repairing computers were once stationed along a 500-meter section of Furongjiang Road.




In 1998, the district government vacated the building and relocated the companies inside to become the famous Furongjiang Computer City.



A smaller wet market was opened in a lane near Tianshan Road after the original market in the building was closed.





Cycling in the best time of the year



Riding a bicycle to explore Changning is one of the most enjoyable moments in autumn.  







A highly-recommended cycling route is to set off along Suzhou Creek, from the west end of Wanhangdu Road via the East China University of Political Science and Law and Zhongshan Park to Yuyuan Road in the east side of the district.  





Suzhou Creek



Suzhou Creek that passes through Shanghai is named after the neighboring city of Suzhou where the outlet of Lake Tai originates. The downtown section of the 125-kilometer creek runs through Putuo, Jing’an, Hongkou and Huangpu districts - highly urbanized parts of Shanghai.




The creek has witnessed the enormous changes in Shanghai over the past century. It was once heavily polluted by industries along the river bank but the water quality is improving under the city’s waterways clean-up plan and the creek is schedule to reach the top level of cleanliness by 2021.




Many entertainment and sports facilities, parks and footpaths have been built along the downtown section of Suzhou Creek between Zhongshan Park and its confluence with the Huangpu River to raise the commercial attractiveness of this central part of the waterway.




Cycling along the creek and enjoying the landscape, you will first come to the East China University of Political Science and Law.




East China University of Political Science and Law



As one of the first law schools in China after 1949, the university established on the former campus of St John’s University spans Suzhou Creek. A bridge rebuilt early this century by the university links the east and west wings of the campus. 



Most of the school buildings are nearly a century old. With its red walls, mottled trees and big lawns, the prestigious law school worth a visit.





Zhongshan Park




Just meters away from the front gate of the university is the back entrance of Zhongshan Park. Built in 1914, it was formerly known as Jessfield Park. Renamed in 1941 in honor of the founder of the Republic of China, Sun Yatsen, who was also known as Sun Zhongshan.




The park is in the English country style with elements of a classical Chinese garden. The big lawn and features of Chinese gardens make a perfect match. A 31-meter-high plane tree in the backyard is the biggest and oldest Platanus in East China.




The park also has a lot of peony, cherry, osmanthus and Chinese rose plants that attract many visitors during the flowering seasons.





Yuyuan Road






Leaving the park, Yuyuan Road marks the end of the tour. The street was once a high-end destination on Shanghai’s west side. It has dozens of protected historic and cultural places.




New ideas and lifestyles have rejuvenated old sites. They are now cafes, workshops, book and jewelry stores, florists, bistros and steakhouses.



Art installations are everywhere along the street.




iFLYTEK stretches research arm


IFLYTEK, a leader in voice recognition technology, will establish its artificial intelligence and brain science research institute in Changning.







The institute will carry out global technology cooperation and recruit talent from around the world. Its research will focus on multi-lingual, brain-like intelligence and other fundamental artificial intelligence applications.



Other tasks also involve in-car speech recognition as well as applications in fields of politics, law and finance.







The institute will play an important role in boosting the development of Changning’s AI industry and the agglomeration of talent and operate as part of the district government’s blueprint for the development of the AI industry.





District opens Foreign Affairs Services branch





The Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office and the Changning district government have jointly established a sub-center of the Shanghai Foreign Affairs service to better serve overseas talent.







Meanwhile, a counter for visa services, consular authentication, paperwork translation and education verification will be available at the Shanghai Hongqiao One-Stop Service Center for Overseas Talents.




Under the guidance of the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office, Changning will establish its commendation system for foreign citizens in the district. It will also identify extraordinary foreigners as candidates for honorary city titles.






Through the sub-center, Changning will work with the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office to host more overseas talent fairs with global influence and competitiveness.







As Changning is home to a number of consulates, it will support the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office in management and service. Additionally, the district will enhance exchanges with its sister towns around the world.









We need to embrace AI: Gu




Changning district director Gu Honghui unveiled Changning’s ambition to develop artificial intelligence during a parallel session of the 2018 World Artificial Intelligence Conference.







“Artificial intelligence is a new driving force for regional economic and social development,” Gu said. “We can't be absent. We need to embrace AI.”



Gu told the session that Changning would allocate more working spaces for AI development, optimize the ecosystem for AI, create various application scenarios, improve AI policies, strengthen institutional supply and innovation and provide a customized high-efficient talent service.








The Changning government has established strategic ties with Huawei Technologies Co and China Unicom Shanghai to jointly build Hongqiao Smart Valley.




As part of the project, an innovative AI demonstration center by Huawei and China Unicom will be established at 1033 Changning Road.




The center will mainly consist of a 2,900-square-meter incubator and 18,000 square meters of office.








Companies engaged in AI will be introduced through Huawei and China Unicom’s customer resources and channels.



More than a dozen of high-potential AI startups have moved in. The next step for the center is to give full play to the technological advantages and industrial resources of Huawei and China Unicom to attract more AI startups to become the highland for the development of Shanghai’s AI industry.





Editor: Li Xinran Shanghai Daily





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