Expo 2010

Expo 2010
Expo 2010
Shanghai World Expo.svg
Expo 2010 logo
Simplified Chinese 中国2010年上海世界博览会
Traditional Chinese 中國2010年上海世界博覽會
"Expo" is abbreviated in Chinese as...
Simplified Chinese 世博会
Traditional Chinese 世博會

Expo 2010, officially Expo 2010 Shanghai China (Chinese: 中国2010年上海世界博览会; pinyin: Zhōngguó Èrlíngyīlíng Nián Shànghǎi Shìjìe Bólǎnhuì) was held on both banks of the Huangpu River in the city of Shanghai, China, from May 1 to October 31, 2010. It was a major World Expo in the tradition of international fairs and expositions, the first since 1992. The theme of the exposition was "Better City – Better Life" and signifies Shanghai's new status in the 21st century as the "next great world city".[1] The Expo emblem features the Chinese character 世 ('world', Chinese "shì") modified to represent three people together with the 2010 date. It had the largest number of countries participating and was the most expensive Expo in the history of the world's fairs. The Shanghai World Expo was also the largest World's Fair site ever at 5.28 square km.[2]

By the end of the expo, over 73 million people had visited - a record attendance - and 250 countries and international organizations had participated.[3] On October 16, 2010, the expo set a single-day record of having over 1.03 million visitors enter the exhibition that day.[4]



Early participation and hosting

Liang Qichao, one of the many scholars to write about the possibility of hosting an expo

Shanghai has been one of the main cities envisioned to host the expos for some time. Many scholars have written about the possibility and made suggestions in books. Unofficial participation in fairs outside China have happened since 1851. In 1910 the Qing dynasty decided to host China's first fair with the 1910 Nanyang industrial exposition.[5]

Selection process

Shanghai scored the highest in each of the four rounds of voting at the 132nd Meeting of the Bureau of International Expositions in Prince's Palace of Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco, with Yeosu, South Korea maintaining second place. Yeosu later won the bid to host Expo 2012, a three-month specialized world expo.

132nd Meeting of the Bureau of International Expositions[6]
December 3, 2002, in Prince's Palace of Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco
City Nation Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Shanghai  China 36 38 44 54
Yeosu  South Korea 28 34 32 34
Moscow  Russia 12 10 12 -
Querétaro  Mexico 6 6 - -
Wrocław  Poland 6 - - -


Better City, Better Life, the theme of Expo 2010.

The site of the event was the Nanpu BridgeLupu Bridge region in the center of Shanghai along both sides of the Huangpu River. The area of the Expo 2010 covers 5.28 km2.[2]

After winning the bid to host the Expo in 2002, Shanghai began a monumental task to reshape the city. More than AU$48billion[7] was spent for the preparation, more than the cost of cleaning up Beijing in the preparations for the Olympics in 2008. Shanghai began clearing 2.6 square kilometres along the Huangpu River; that involved moving 18,000 families and 270 factories, including the Jiang Nan Shipyard, which employs 10,000 workers.

Six new subway lines were opened between 2008 and 2010; four thousand brand new taxis were added in the month before Expo2010 opened and city night lights improved, using energy-saving LED technology.

During the expo, the expo site was crowded with national pavilions, sculpture gardens, shops, a sports arena and clam-shaped performing arts centre.

Shanghai trained more than 1.7 million volunteers and adopted Olympic-level security measures, adding metal detectors to subway entrances and screening cars entering the city.

The Shanghai Expo also featured an online version of the expo grounds featuring 3D renderings of the expo grounds, and a 3D version of the pavilion interior and offerings.


The Shanghai World Expo provided an unparalleled opportunity for the tourism industry. During 2010’s Spring Festival, Shanghai received 2.79 million tourists, an increase of 12 percent from the previous year, resulting in record high numbers of visitors. Overall Shanghai’s tourism revenue achieved an increase of 13 percent year on year during Spring Festival, resulting in RMB 2.1 billion in total revenue.[8]

Flags of participating countries waving in front of the China pavilion.

192 countries and 50 organizations registered to participate in the Shanghai World Expo. A record number.[citation needed]


Over 73 million people visited Expo 2010 during the 184-day event, breaking the previous record of 64 million visitors set by Expo 70 in Osaka. Organizers had expected 70 million visitors at the start of the expo. About 5.8 percent of the visitors, or 4.25 million, were foreigners.[9]


Shanghai spent 11.964 billion yuan in operating cost to host the event, making it the most expensive World Expo ever, but the organizers still made an operating profit of more than 1 billion yuan (US$157 million) thanks to the record attendance. The total revenue was 13.014 billion yuan, including 7.36 billion yuan in admission fees and almost 4 billion yuan in sponsorship income. However, the city invested another 19.74 billion yuan to prepare and construct the 5.28 square kilometer site, exceeding the budget of 18 billion yuan.[9]

Opening ceremony

Opening ceremony fireworks finale, viewed from below Nanpu Bridge
Fireworks at the Expo site

The opening ceremony was held in the evening of April 30, 2010 attended by dozens of world leaders.[10] The ceremony consisted of an indoor and outdoor component. Jackie Chan, Lang Lang, and Andrea Bocelli were among the performers in the indoor component. The event featured an outdoor display of fireworks, lasers, and dancing fountains after a performance by singers and dancers.[11][12] The outdoor ceremony was produced by David Atkins Enterprises. 6,000 LED balls were floated into the Huangpu river representing fish. Organisers called the outdoor show "the largest searchlight display in history, the largest collection of multi-coloured laser firepower ever assembled in one place, the world’s largest LED screen, one of the largest dancing water fountains ever, and the “largest light show ever attempted”."[13] President Hu Jintao inaugurated the opening of the Shanghai World Expo.

Closing ceremony

The closing ceremony was held on October 31, 2010, with numerous world leaders in attendance including Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister of China, Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, Mari Kiviniemi, Prime Minister of Finland, Hubert Ingraham, Prime Minister of Bahamas, Pakalitha Mosisili, Prime Minister of Lesotho, Ram Baran Yadav, President of Nepal and Ban Ki-moon, General Secretary of the United Nations.[14]

Expo music


About 20,000 performances were set to be staged between May 1 and October 31 in 2010, many singers present at the expo song writing and preparation process since 2008. Performers included Alan Tam, Gigi Leung, Stephanie Cheng, Khalil Fong, Hacken Lee, Denise Ho, Hins Cheung, Vincy Chan, National Boys Choir of Australia, the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland and the Harvard Din & Tonics.[15]

Theme songs

  • The official theme songs of the Expo were "City" by Jackie Chan and "Better City, Better Life" by Quincy Jones.
  • The promotional song of the Expo was "Right Here Waiting for You 2010" (Chinese: 2010等你来; pinyin: èr líng yī líng děng nǐ lái).[16] Released during the 30-day countdown on April 1, it was originally written by a Japanese singer, Mayo Okamoto. Okamoto's agency announced that the Expo Committee requested the permission of the use of the song, and Okamoto's management agreed.[17]
  • The theme song for Shanghai World Expo volunteers was "By Your Side" (simplified Chinese: 在你身边; traditional Chinese: 在你身邊; pinyin: zài nǐ shēn biān) by Eason Chan.
  • The theme song for the Shanghai World Expo for the Chinese culture was "The World Watching China", sung by Korean/Chinese singer Han Geng.
  • The theme song for Norway was "Powered By Nature" which was composed by Rolf Løvland and performed by his group Secret Garden.[18] The song was recorded for their 2011 album Winter Poem.



Haibao was the mascot of the Shanghai Expo 2010. It means treasure of the sea and was based on the Chinese character for man or person, "人". Some said that Haibao resembles Gumby,[19] but the expo's secretariat said that it was an original design chosen through a competition and that they had never heard of Gumby.[20]

Expo Axis

Expo Axis at night.
Expo Axis.

The main building – called "Expo Axis" – has the world's largest membrane construction[21] and was built by SBA (architects) and Knippers Helbig (structural engineers). The building consists of some steel-glass funnels with a 1,000 m long membrane construction. The main construction was completed at the end of 2009.[22]


Theme pavilions

There were five central theme pavilions at the Expo 2010, exploring different aspects of urban development. They were called Urban Footprints, Urban Planet, Urbanian, City Being, and Urban Future.[23]

National pavilions

Shanghai Expo 2010.jpg
Shanghai Expo 2010 3.jpg

National pavilions included: Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Pacific Pavilion, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam and Yemen.

Corporate pavilions

Corporate pavilions included: Aurora Pavilion, Broad Pavilion, China Railway, China State Shipbuilding Corporation Pavilion, Coca-Cola Pavilion, Cisco Pavilion, Information and Communication Pavilion, Oil Pavilion, Japanese Industry, PICC, Private Enterprises Joint Pavilion, Republic of Korea Business, SAIC-GM Pavilion, Shanghai Corporate Joint Pavilion, Space Pavilion, Space Home Pavilion, State Grid and Vanke Pavilion.[24]

International organisations

The Expo also included a pavilion for the Red Cross and Red Crescent and several others.

Urban Best Practice Area pavilions

The Expo also included Chinese displays about Hong Kong and Ningbo.


The Expo introduced numerous urban best practices and concepts from all over the world which the organisers hope will be a lasting legacy for better urban life in China and around the world. It advocated for future development to focus on environmental sustainability, efficiency and diversity. The innovations and achievements of the event were summarised in the Shanghai Declaration issued by the participants of the Expo. The declaration also nominated the Shanghai Expo’s closing day October 31 as "World Better Cities Day". United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated at the closing of the Expo, "Thanks to this Expo, millions of people learned about possibilities for making our cities healthier and safer, cities that better integrate nature and technology, cities that offer their citizens cleaner air and water, and better lives all around".[25]

The Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) and the Shanghai government have announced plans to construct the world's only official World Expo Museum in Shanghai, on the Puxi side of the expo site. Construction will begin in 2012 and is expected to be completed by 2015. More than 200 participants from Expo 2010 have donated over 30,000 exhibits to the future museum. The BIE has added into its formal requirements that all future Expo bidders shall support the new Expo Museum.[26]

The Shanghai Expo was touted by the Chinese government as yet another first-rate global scale event, similar in significance to the Beijing Olympics, which would symbolise the economic and political rise of China in the 21st century. The event would demonstrate to both the Chinese populace and foreign nations the enormous progress of China's urban development in the heart of the nation's economic hub of Shanghai. The event received extensive media coverage in the Chinese media both in the lead up and during the World Expo. According to China analyst Tom Doctoroff, “In terms of what the city was able to achieve, the Chinese were impressed. Shanghai stepped up a level in internationalization”.[27] Although the event was widely recognised domestically, the Expo was less effective in reaching a global audience. This was reflected by the fact that less than 5% of the Expo's 73 million visitors were foreign.


A number of controversies surrounding the Shanghai Expo existed. Some involving domestic issues while others involve other countries that participated in the Expo. The issues range from human rights, politics or responses from the government at the time of the hosting of the Expo.

See also


  1. ^ China Rules the World at Expo 2010
  2. ^ a b "Shanghai World Expo showcases China's soft power". Associated Press. http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=10469579&page=2. 
  3. ^ "Shanghai World Expo wins worldwide applause". Xinhua. 31 October 2010. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-10/31/c_13584040_2.htm. Retrieved 31 October 2010. 
  4. ^ Fauna, October 19, 2010, Shanghai World Expo Sees 1+ Million Visitors In A Single Day, Chinasmack
  5. ^ HK.huaxia.com. "HK.huaxia.com." 南洋勸業會:南京一個世紀前的世博會. Retrieved on 2010-05-08.
  6. ^ English.peopledaily.com.cn. "English.peopledaily.com.cn." Shanghai Wins World Expo 2010 Bid. Retrieved on 2010-05-08.
  7. ^ "You've come a long way, baby: Shanghai finds its big feat". The Sydney Morning Herald. May 1, 2010. http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/youve-come-a-long-way-baby-shanghai-finds-its-big-feat-20100430-tzbt.html. 
  8. ^ Knight Frank China Knight Frank Research, Shanghai Retail Quarterly Report, Q1 2010
  9. ^ a b "City's record-breaking Expo turns in a profit". Eastday. 2011-10-01. http://english.eastday.com/e/111001/u1a6133087.html. 
  10. ^ Higgins, Andrew (May 1, 2010). "Chinese officials open Shanghai Expo". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/30/AR2010043001155.html. 
  11. ^ "World Expo Aims To Woo Chinese Customers". Sky News. http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/2010-World-Expo-Shanghai-Fair-Showcases-189-Countries/Article/201004415623116?lpos=World_News_Second_Home_Page_Feature_Teaser_Region_0&lid=ARTICLE_15623116_2010_World_Expo%3A_Shanghai_Fair_Showcases_189_Countries. 
  12. ^ "Shanghai marks comeback with Expo extravaganza". Associated Press. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gGlI66t_-GaZT9xSgwXHbqXT13aQD9FDFR1G2. 
  13. ^ / China / Economy & Trade – Shanghai adds pyrotechnic power to Expo. Ft.com (2010-07-28). Retrieved on 2010-09-30.
  14. ^ Onlanka News – President Rajapaksa participates EXPO 2010 Closing Ceremony «. Onlanka.com (2010-10-31). Retrieved on 2011-01-19.
  15. ^ En.expo2010.cn. "En.expo2010.cn." Hong Kong musicians invited to write Expo tunes. Retrieved on 2010-05-17.
  16. ^ "Expo song released for 30-day countdown". Xinhua News Agency. April 1, 2010. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/culture/2010-04/01/c_13233648.htm. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  17. ^ mainichi (April 19, 2010), 岡本真夜:上海万博PR曲に盗作された疑いの「そのままの君でいて」が正式決定. Retrieved April 20, 2010.
  18. ^ "Secret Garden - New Album and Norwegian Winter Concert". SecretGarden.no. http://www.secretgarden.no/lowband/fs_facts_feeling.html. Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  19. ^ "上海万博:また盗作騒ぎ マスコット「ガンビーに似てる」". The Mainichi Daily News. 24 April 2010. http://mainichi.jp/select/world/news/20100424k0000e030038000c.html. Retrieved 24 April 2010. [dead link](Japanese)
  20. ^ "上海万博:マスコットのコピー横行 「そもそも米キャラの盗作」". The Mainichi Daily News. 24 April 2010. http://mainichi.jp/select/world/news/20100424dde035030059000c.html. Retrieved 24 April 2010. [dead link](Japanese)
  21. ^ Shanghai 2010 Boulevard / SBA international + Knippers Helbig. ArchDaily. Retrieved on 2010-09-30.
  22. ^ Shanghai Daily; 31.12.2009
  23. ^ Theme Pavilions_the official Website of Expo 2010 Shanghai China
  24. ^ Pavilions.
  25. ^ Zhang Fengmin (01/11/2010). "Expo legacy will live on". http://en.expo2010.cn/a/20101101/000005.htm. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  26. ^ Shanghai Daily. 25 September 2011. http://www.shanghaidaily.com/nsp/Metro/2011/09/25/City%2Bgets%2Bofficial%2BExpo%2Bmuseum/ title=City gets official Expo museum. 
  27. ^ "Expo 2010’s Legacy: What Did Shanghai Gain?". 24 November 2010. http://www.knowledgeatwharton.com.cn/index.cfm?fa=viewArticle&articleID=2336&languageid=1. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 

External links


Coordinates: 31°11′39″N 121°29′11″E / 31.194118°N 121.486387°E / 31.194118; 121.486387

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