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Expo 2010

EXPO Shanghai 2010
Expo 2010 logo
BIE-class Universal exposition
Category International Registered Exhibition
Name Expo 2010
Motto Better City – Better Life (城市,让生活更美好)
Area 528 hectares (1,300 acres)
Visitors 73,000,000
Countries 192
Country China
City Shanghai
Awarded December 3, 2002 (2002-12-03)
Opening April 30, 2010 (2010-04-30)
Closure October 31, 2010 (2010-10-31)
Universal expositions
Previous Expo 2000 in Hannover
Next Expo 2015 in Milan
Specialized expositions
Previous Expo 2008 in Zaragoza
Next Expo 2012 in Yeosu
Horticultural expositions
Previous Royal Flora Ratchaphruek in Chiang Mai
Next Floriade 2012 in Venlo
Website official website
China 2010 Shanghai World Expo
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
Simplified Chinese 世博会
Traditional Chinese 世博會

Expo 2010, officially the Expo 2010 Shanghai China, was held on both banks of the Huangpu River in Shanghai, China, from 1 May to 31 October 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 246 countries and international organizations had participated.[3] On 16 October 2010, the expo set a single-day record of over 1.03 million visitors.[4]


  • History 1
    • Early participation and hosting 1.1
    • Selection process 1.2
  • Organization 2
  • Participation 3
  • Attendance 4
  • Finances 5
  • Opening ceremony 6
  • Closing ceremony 7
  • Expo music 8
    • Performances 8.1
    • Theme songs 8.2
  • Mascot 9
  • Expo Axis 10
  • Pavilions 11
    • Theme pavilions 11.1
    • National pavilions 11.2
    • Corporate pavilions 11.3
    • International organisations 11.4
    • Urban Best Practice Area pavilions 11.5
  • Legacy 12
  • Controversies 13
  • See also 14
  • References 15
  • External links 16


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]
3 December 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.

In 2004,

  • Archdaily Shanghai 2010 coverage (details of projects)
  • Xinhua News Agency's official coverage
  • Complete coverage of Shanghai Expo by
  • Shanghai World's Fair
  • Expo 2010 on
  • Shanghai 2010 review by researcher Niels Kolditz

External links

  1. ^ China Rules the World at Expo 2010
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^
  4. ^ Fauna, 19 October 2010, Shanghai World Expo Sees 1+ Million Visitors In A Single Day, Chinasmack
  5. ^ "" 南洋勸業會:南京一個世紀前的世博會. Retrieved on 8 May 2010.
  6. ^ "" Shanghai Wins World Expo 2010 Bid. Retrieved on 8 May 2010.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Knight Frank China Knight Frank Research, Shanghai Retail Quarterly Report, Q1 2010
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ / China / Economy & Trade – Shanghai adds pyrotechnic power to Expo. (28 July 2010). Retrieved on 30 September 2010.
  15. ^ Onlanka News – President Rajapaksa participates EXPO 2010 Closing Ceremony «. (31 October 2010). Retrieved on 19 January 2011.
  16. ^ "" Hong Kong musicians invited to write Expo tunes. Retrieved on 17 May 2010.
  17. ^
  18. ^ mainichi (19 April 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 20 April 2010.
  19. ^
  20. ^ (Japanese)
  21. ^ (Japanese)
  22. ^ Shanghai 2010 Boulevard / SBA international + Knippers Helbig. ArchDaily. Retrieved on 30 September 2010.
  23. ^ Shanghai Daily; 31 December 2009
  24. ^ Theme Pavilions_the official Website of Expo 2010 Shanghai China
  25. ^ Pavilions.
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ United Nations Watch, Joint NGO Appeal for 18,000 victims of forced evictions by 2010 Shanghai World Expo, July 22, 2010.
  31. ^ "" Shanghai Expo - a message for all. Retrieved on 2010-01-23.
  32. ^ Congressional Executive Commission on China, Annual Report, 2010.
  33. ^ "" Little mermaid taking trip to China. Retrieved on 2010-01-23.
  34. ^ South China morning post. 4 September 2010. Political assistant's trip to mainland stirs scorn.
  35. ^ South China Morning Post. 13 April 2010.
  36. ^ South China morning post. 21 September 2010. China pulls plug on Japanese youth tour.
  37. ^ David Barboza, "Shanghai Expo Sets Record With 73 Million Visitors," New York Times, Nov 2 2010
  38. ^ "" Chinese brawl, hurl Nazi insults at Germany's expo pavilion. Retrieved on 2010-01-23.
  39. ^ "" 世博德国馆遭游客辱骂扬言要闭馆 . Retrieved on 2010-01-23.
  40. ^ The Standard HK. "The" Korean crush sparks ticket rethink at expo. Retrieved on 2010-01-23.


See also

State employees were given free one-day vouchers to the expo, and according to one worker, threatened with wage cuts, in order to fulfill the target of 70 million visitors.[37] Long lines at the Germany pavilion caused visitors to shout "Nazi, Nazi" and attack workers, according to general commissioner for Germany's pavilion Dietmar Schmitz.[38][39] Free tickets to an expo show featuring K-pop group Super Junior allegedly caused a stampede that injured 100 people, which spokespersons for the expo and the Korean pavilion denied.[40]

Denmark controversially sent the original Little Mermaid statue from Copenhagen to the expo, putting a video replica recorded by dissident Ai Weiwei in its place.[33] Some observers criticized the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office's payment for the 9 Hong Kong undersecretaries to inspect infrastructure projects and hold discussions on city-to-city cooperation.[34] Six legislators from the pro-democracy camp boycotted an invitation to the expo by the Shanghai government because of the issue of political reform and the Hong Kong by-election, 2010.[35] The Chinese government postponed the planned visit of 1,000 Japanese youths to the expo in September because of the 2010 Senkaku boat collision incident, which Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan called regrettable.[36]

A group of NGOs protested a month before the expo against the alleged displacement of 18,000 families in the Shanghai area in connection with the Expo.[30] Dissident Feng Zhenghu was detained in mid April 2010 for threatening to publicly seek redress for them in the courts.[31] According to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Shanghai authorities used the expo as an excuse to conduct a surveillance, propaganda, and detention campaign against members of the banned Falun Gong spiritual group.[32]


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”.[28] Outside China, the Expo propelled Shanghai onto magazine covers, newspaper front pages and television programmes at a time when it is laying the groundwork to become an international financial centre by 2020.[29]

Within Shanghai, the grounds of the former Expo site now constitute the Expo Park, including the former China Pavilion. 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.[27]

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 31 October 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".[26]


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

Urban Best Practice Area pavilions

The Expo also included a pavilion for the others.

International organisations

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.[25]

Corporate pavilions

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, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, 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.

National 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.[24]

Theme pavilions


The main building – called "Expo Axis" – has the world's largest membrane construction[22] 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.[23]

Expo Axis.
Expo Axis at night.

Expo Axis

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,[20] but the expo's secretariat said that it was an original design chosen through a competition and that they had never heard of Gumby.[21]



  • 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).[17] Released during the 30-day countdown on 1 April, Right Here Waiting for You 2010 was plagiarized from the 1997 Japanese song "Sonomama no Kimi de Ite" ("Stay the Way You Are") by Mayo Okamoto. This resulted in its use as the Expo theme being suspended. After discussions with Okamoto's management, a compromise was reached such that "Sonomama no Kimi de Ite" is now the official song of the 2010 Expo[18]
  • 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 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.[19] The song was recorded for their 2011 album Winter Poem.

Theme songs

About 20,000 performances were set to be staged between 1 May and 31 October 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, Salut Salon, the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland and the Harvard Din & Tonics, and others.[16]


Expo music

The closing ceremony was held on 31 October 2010, with numerous world leaders in attendance including Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister of China, Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Viktor Orbán, 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.[15]

Closing ceremony

The opening ceremony was held in the evening of 30 April 2010 attended by dozens of world leaders.[11] The ceremony consisted of an indoor and outdoor component. 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”."[14] President Hu Jintao inaugurated the opening of the Shanghai World Expo.

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

Opening ceremony

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.[10]


[10] Over 73 million people visited Expo 2010 during the 184-day event, breaking the previous record of 64 million visitors set by


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

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

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.[9]


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.

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.

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

Six new subway lines were opened between 2008 and 2010; four thousand brand new taxis were added in the month before Expo2010 opened and the city's buildings along the river were decorated with more energy-efficient LEDs.

After winning the bid to host the Expo in 2002, Shanghai began a monumental task to reshape the city. More than $48 billion [8] 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.

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]


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