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by Steven

Qingdao Airlines Is A Go

May 25, 2013 in About Qingdao by Steven

Coming soon to an airport near you: Qingdao Airlines will begin operations out of Qingdao Liuting Airport, according to plans recently approved by the CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China). The plans for the new airline have been in the making for a while. According to the 12th Fifth Year Plan of the CAAC, Qing Hang (Qingdao Hang Kong Gong Si, aka Qingdao Airlines) will serve as a portal to neighboring South Korea and Japan. More info below.

More from Mark Elliott at Travel Daily Asia:

China’s aviation authorities have approved the launch of a new airline, based in the northeastern port city of Qingdao.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) announced on its website that it has given the green light to the establishment of Qingdao Airlines. The move follows the recent revision of new airline registration rules, making it easier for new carriers to be established.

The CAAC suspended all new airline applications in 2007, and reinforced the ruling following the crash of a Henan Airways passenger aircraft in 2010.

The revised rules however, mean that the Nanshan Group, which is based close to Qingdao in Shandong province, can proceed with plans for the creation of Qingdao Airlines. The new carrier will be based at Qingdao’s Liuting International Airport, and will initially operate a fleet of Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 jets on domestic routes.

The Nanshan Group will inject CNY550 million (US$89m) into the new airline, with a further CNY250m to be injected by Qingdao Transportation Development Group. Air China’s subsidiary, Shandong Airlines, will supply Qingdao Airlines with CNY200m worth of aircraft.

The creation of Qingdao Airlines would mark the second new airline launch since the CAAC lifted the suspension on the creation of new airlines, following the approval of Yunnan-based Ruili Airlines on 6 May 2013.

More news about CAAC approval of Qingdao Airlines:

CAAC Southeast Regional Administration has checked and given an approval to build Qingdao Liuting International Airport (TAO)-based Qingdao Airlines, which was jointly proposed by Qingdao Municipal Transport Development Group Co., Ltd.(QMTD), Nanshan Group Co., Ltd. (Nanshan Group), and Shandong Airlines Co., Ltd. (SC).

The new entity will have a registered capital of 1 billion yuan, of which 55% will be invested by Nanshan Group with 550 million yuan, 25% by QMTD with 250 million yuan and 20% by SC with aircraft. It will operate Boeing B737 or Airbus A320 aircraft and is approved to carry on domestic air passenger and cargo transportation.

CAAC has begun soliciting submissions on Qingdao airlines and said that the approval will be granted unless it is informed of reasonable grounds to reconsider the plan.

The new carrier will initially introduce professional technicians from SC, and employ engineers, flight dispatchers, cabin crew and other staff by open recruitments.

Relevant Links:
Qingdao Liuting Airport

by Steven

QD Student Gets Anti-Quake Patent

May 17, 2013 in About Qingdao by Steven

A student from Qingdao Technological University has contributed her expertise and brilliance to the benefit of those of us who live in and around tall buildings. Wu Xueli received a patent for a model that helps to keep high rises from collapsing during an earthquake. Congrats to Ms. Wu, and thanks for working to make the world a safer place.

More info on Qingdao student Wu Xueli’s achievement:

Wu Xueli, a senior student from Qingdao Technological University in Qingdao City in east China’s Shandong Province, recently received a patent for her utility model of her self-invented isolation bracket for high-rise buildings.

Wu said that the isolation bracket is a kind of layer between the pile foundation and main building and that it acts as a buffer.

Wu said that many buildings built in Sichuan after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake used isolation brackets to reduce the risk of damages from earthquakes. However, she said that the commonly-used isolation bracket is only effective to reduce top-down earthquakes and is not helpful in reducing left-to-right earthquakes. Her invention addresses that problem.

Wu and her five-member team invented a device that will eliminate earthquake energy. According to teachers at the Qingdao Technological University, the isolation bracket is able to resist an 8.0-magnitude earthquake.

(Source: online.sh.cn/Translated by womenofchina.cn)

Relevant Links:
Qingdao Tech University

by Gars

Walls and Doors of Li Jia He

May 16, 2013 in About Qingdao by Gars

A Last Link to China’s Ancient Culture

The mountainous region of Xiaozhushan is an unappreciated wonder of Qingdao. Li Jia He is a village just east of Xiaozhushan, in a valley in a valley. It’s a small village. Usually people out of the mountain region have never heard of it.

The Hills of Qingdao are pleasant… they are so pleasant that sometimes you can’t stand it. You can cut it with a knife, and then with the air blowing off of the sea (yes, the Yellow Sea), it’s just too good to handle. You look down the valley and there’s the sea.

There’s the island, Lingshan Dao right. It’s an overload of too many pleasant things at the same time. “It doesn’t get any better than this.” And then that air. It’s so delicious. Sometimes you fill your lungs with it and smile.

“Kong qi hao!” the peasants here boast. “Shui hao he!”

There are only three villages left in the hills East of Xiaozhushan. Babylon is advancing into the mountains. In a matter of time, all of the ancient culture of the hills will be a memory. These villages are the last link to that ancient past.

Imagine: the villages have been there since Ming times at least. When the villages are destroyed, the people move into apartments. But the apartments, one might say, have the culture of Babylon. So in a way, it’s the final end of a long tradition of Chinese village culture.

Here are some walls and doors of one of these last villages. This village is called Li Jia He, and no, nobody in the village is named Li.

Li Jia He Village Xia Zhu Shan Qingdao Door

Li Jia He Village Xia Zhu Shan Qingdao Door Couplets

Li Jia He Village Xia Zhu Shan Qingdao

Relevant Links:
Qingdao Photos: Xiao Zhu Shan

by Steven

Strong Ale Works

May 16, 2013 in About Qingdao by Steven

Qingdao based craft brewer Strong Ale Works took over the coffee shop next door to the brewery and turned it into their tap house. They’ve got all the beers pouring in a cool place to enjoy them. Check out the latest innovation in Qingdao beer culture from SAW at Daxue Lu #10 & 12. Call 136.0896.4700 for more info. Check out some pics below. More info on Qingdao craft brewing here.

Strong Ale Works Qingdao Tap House Beer

Strong Ale Works Tap House Room

Relevant Links:
Craft Beer in Qingdao
Daxue Lu in Qingdao

by Steven

The Wave, Muscat Takes Extreme Qingdao 2013

May 8, 2013 in About Qingdao by Steven

The Wave, Muscat out of Oman has taken the Extreme Sailing Series in Qingdao yet again. Congrats to the winners. Overall, Alinghi is leading The Wave, Muscat by 1 point in the 2013 Extreme Sailing Series. Thanks to all who made this event a success in Qingdao. See overall results and more info below.

More info on The Wave, Muscat’s win in Qingdao

MUSCAT — A nerve-jangling final day’s racing in Fushan Bay saw The Wave, Muscat lock horns with rivals Alinghi and emerge triumphant to retain their China crown of the Extreme Sailing Series 2013 Act 3 in Qingdao, according to a press release issued by Oman Sail yesterday. It was the hardest and closest racing they had ever been part of, said Musab al Hadi, one of five Oman Sail crew who fought hard throughout all four days to return The Wave, Muscat to the top of the podium following the frustrations in Singapore.
Going into the final double pointer race, The Wave, Muscat had a slim four point advantage over the Swiss team, their overnight lead having been whittled down by some outstanding light airs tactics and manoeuvres from skipper Morgan Larson and his team. A classic match race between Larson and Oman Sail’s Leigh McMillan in the final race saw the lead — and Qingdao honours — change hands at crucial times and before the final leg, lying in fourth place The Wave, Muscat looked to be defeated before they made a late surge into second to earn the win.

“It was a bit tense but we are massively relieved to get back on top,” said an exhausted but happy McMillan afterwards. “Morgan in his typical style took us by surprise when we were second or third — we weren’t expecting him to get a move on up and we were caught unaware and took a penalty. “From there it was a real battle with him having a dig at us and us having a dig at him but all the time they were eating into our lead. At the end they pushed us down to fourth at the top mark which would have cost us the trophy but we managed to pull back into second which gave us the win but it was nerve-wracking.”
McMillan paid tribute to his winning team of Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth, Musab al Hadi and Will Howden saying the disruptions at the start of the week, where regular Omani crew Hashim al Rashdi was taken ill with appendicitis and was replaced by Howden, had made little difference to team dynamics. “We are a strong team with Hashim and we are a strong team with Will but we are looking forward to having Hashim back on the boat when he has recovered,” he said.

The high tension involved in successfully defending their Qingdao title when they were being chased so hard by Alinghi had made the contest the hardest and closest in their Extreme careers said Musab al Hadi. “It wasn’t easy and we were a bit nervous on the starts. We were watching Alinghi and they were watching us and the pressure was intense but this was what we had been planning for. “It was the hardest and the closest racing I have ever been part of. But we enjoyed it in the end — the support I had from my friends and family in Oman helped me a lot. There were messages telling me we should keep on pushing and we did.”
Earlier in the day, McMillan who as skipper of The Wave, Muscat plays a vital role in teaching younger sailors at Oman Sail what it takes to compete at the top level, took part in an educational session at the Extreme Club in the Race Village on Fushan Bay. He gave a sailing lesson to 20 Chinese students from Qingdao’s Laoshan Zhonghan and Fushan elementary schools and using Oman Sail’s championship winning Extreme 40 The Wave, Muscat, showed the children a range of basic sailing manouvres to excite their interest in the sport.

The Qingdao win leaves The Wave, Muscat in second place overall on the 2013 Extreme Sailing Series leaderboard, trailing Alinghi by just one point. The two boats will resume their duel in Act 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Turkey from June 20 to 23. “It looks like we could be having a nice little tussle with Alinghi for the rest of the series but they seem to have a magic touch in the very light airs so we need to look at how we can reduce that advantage,” McMillan said.

ESS 2013 Act 3 standings (after Day 4): 1 The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 202 pts, 2 Alinghi (SUI) 200 pts, 3 SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 191 pts, 4 GAC Pindar (NZL) 181 pts, 5 Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 168 pts, 6 Team Korea (KOR) 163 pts, 7 Realteam (SUI) 154 pts, 8 China Team (CHN) 145 pts.

    Extreme Sailing Series 2013 overall standings after Act 3, Qingdao

    Position / Team / Points

  • Alinghi (SUI) 27 points.
  • The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 26 points.
  • Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 24 points.
  • SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 20 points.
  • Team Korea (KOR) 16 points.
  • GAC Pindar (NZL) 16 points.
  • Realteam (SUI) 14 points.
  • Team X Invitational 13 points.

Relevant Links:
Extreme Sailing Series

Image Credit @ Lloyd Images

by Steven

Stranded at Sea in Qingdao

May 3, 2013 in About Qingdao by Steven

This happens more often than one may think in the waters around Qingdao. Seems this young woman was unable to get back to shore without assistance from some alert bystanders – she was on the rock outcropping and when the tide came in, “Help!”. Glad there was someone there to heed the call.

Please exercise caution folks, especially during windy and high wave conditions, as there are far too many stories of people unfamiliar with the sea getting carried away and not coming back to land. Just fyi. Thanks good samaritans!

China Daily captioned the above photo by Li Zhiyong @ Asianewsphoto: “Two men rescue a woman from a rock where she was stuck after the tide rose near a beach in Qingdao, Shandong province, on Monday. The woman was too excited to heed the danger after seeing the sea for the first time, according to a police officer who participated in the rescue.”

Relevant Links:
Migrant Workers Save Drowning Woman in Qingdao
Sea Rescue Qingdao

by Steven

QD Dairy Co. Factory in France

April 12, 2013 in About Qingdao by Steven

Qingdao based Synutra will make dairy products at a new factory in France: cheese for Europe, whey for China. The facility is to be purpose built for Synutra in the Brittany region at a proposed cost of 100 million euro. The move will allow Synutra to source their own imported whey for their baby formula that will be sold in China. NASDAQ listed Synutra was in the news in 2012 over suspected chemical alteration of baby formula, which the company denied (keep in mind that even without adulterants, some consider cow milk itself as unfit for humans). This will be the first overseas plant built by Synutra.

More info on Qingdao Dairy European Expansion:

Synutra International Inc. has been given approval from China’s commerce authorities to go ahead with a 100-million-euro (130 million U.S. dollars) investment project that will result in the construction of a milk factory in France.

The company, based in the city of Qingdao in east China’s Shandong Province, said Tuesday that construction will kick off in France’s western Brittany region in September.

Li Ke, general manager of Synutra, said the company expects the factory to start production in the first half of 2015.

As Synutra’s first overseas factory, it will supply cheese products to the European market and allow for whey powder to be shipped to China.

Li said Chinese baby formula producers largely depend on imports for whey powder, a crucial ingredient in making formula. Li said the factory will be built according to European standards and target the global dairy market.

Relevant Links:
Synutra Official Website (English)

by Steven

Tsingtao Sponsors WK Bikes

April 11, 2013 in About Qingdao by Steven

Tsingtao Beer is the new sponsor of the WK Race Team of the UK. Qingdao’s hometown brewers are now supporting the team at events including the International Isle of Man TT Race, held since 1907 and historically one of the most prestigious motorcycle races in the world. Tsingtao is also getting involved with the UK’s leading road racing superbike championship, British Superbike (BSB) and the Triumph Triple Challenge.

More on Tsingtao Beer’s sponsorship of WK Race Team:

Beer brand Tsingtao has revealed a sponsorship deal in association with the British Superbike Championship, Triumph Triple Challenge and the Isle of Man TT.

Tsingtao is now the official sponsor of the Tsingtao WK Race Team which is set to launch the first Chinese bike into the Isle of Man TT, which will also mark the first new major manufacturer in the TT since Honda in 1959. As sponsor Tsingtao hopes to capitalise on the sports global audience, widening brand awareness in the UK and further afield.

“Tsingtao’s involvement with the BSB and TT, not only marks motorcycle history, but allows the brand to continue to tell its story of rich tradition, much associated with the TT’s 100 years of culture.

The partnership will be supported in the on trade by a fully integrated campaign including above the line, social media, PR and on trade activation. POS activity will also feature in outlets in the form of merchandise, bar posters and banners as well as competition opportunities in selected outlets.

All activity will be underpinned with Tsingtao’s current ‘Speaking Chinese’ initiative.

Relevant Links:
Tsingtao Beer Sponsors WK Race Team

by Steven

Water City & Aoshan Bay Qingdao

April 4, 2013 in About Qingdao by Steven

Qingdao’s hot new nouveau riche area of Aoshan Bay (north of Laoshan along the coast) is getting a new expo center, the Qingdao Aoshan Bay International Exhibition Center. Reported to be one of China largest buildings of its kind, the venue will sit right on the water, and right next to the development that is to carry a name befitting such a location, Water City at Aoshan Bay. Also to be built on the coast: a 5 star hotel and apartment blocks. The master plan is by the international firm NBBJ, who’ve also worked with the University of Southampton, UCLA, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

More info on the Qingdao Aoshan Bay International Expo Center:

The Qingdao Aoshan Bay International Exhibition Center, at 6,000 standard exhibit stands altogether, is one of China’s largest expo and convention centers.

Although it is one of China’s top industrial cities and has a rich cultural heritage, Qingdao lacked a facility for large events and for exhibiting the many goods produced in the region. Therefore, when NBBJ planned the new Qingdao Water City at Aoshan Bay, 50 km northeast of the city center, a new expo center formed a crucial element and gateway of the development.

Organized into an “L,” two wings of expo halls, ten total, linked by a vast canopy, shelter a public plaza that can be used for large outdoor events. At the corner, a dramatically curved main entrance faces outward to welcome visitors to the expo center. Each of the column-free halls can be subdivided into two smaller, square halls, allowing maximum flexibility in planning a variety of events.

The expo center anchors the new Water City at Aoshan Bay, part of a regional economic strategy designed to increase and promote tourism, convention, and resort activities in Qingdao and greater Shandong province. The expo center, the first built component of NBBJ’s master plan, is to be followed by a 5-star hotel (linked to the expo center via a pedestrian bridge) and residential areas, all integrated into the wetland site along the shore of the East China Sea.

Qingdao Aoshan Bay Expo Center Water City

Relevant Links:
About NBBJ

Image Credits @ NBBJ

by Steven

Tsingtao Beer Slows Up

March 29, 2013 in About Qingdao by Steven

Tsingtao Beer, the pride of Qingdao, the nectar of choice for many in the Dao, and for (as Frank Zappa said), “all the rest of whom for which to when-so-never of partially indeterminate biochemical degradation seek ‘the path’ to the sudsy yellow nozzle of their foaming nocturnal parametric-digital wheat inter-faith geo-thermal terpsichorean ejectamenta”, has been selling slower than usual for the first time since 1999. Whoa.

Net profits are up, but just not as up as previously, and below earlier estimates. A cold winter and rising costs were stated as reasons for the slow down. On the bright side, Tsing Pi’s HK stock is up 5% this year on the Hang Seng. QD folk, it’s time to pitch in, drink up, ganbei, and help the hometown hopsters get back to earlier levels of growth.

More info from Reuters:

(Reuters) – Tsingtao Brewery Co Ltd , China’s second-biggest brewer by volume, on Wednesday said its 2012 net profit rose 1.2 percent in its slowest growth since 1999, as higher production costs offset a rise in beer sales.

Tsingtao, in which Japan’s Asahi Breweries Ltd holds a stake of about 19 percent, said net profit rose to a record 1.76 billion yuan in the year ended December, up from 1.74 billion yuan profit in 2011.

The result lagged an estimate of 1.8 billion yuan, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenues increased 11.3 percent to 25.78 billion yuan from 23.16 billion yuan in 2011.

A slowdown in China’s economy and cold and wet weather had hit the beer industry production, while rising raw material and labour costs further squeezed margins, analysts said.

The Chinese brewer posted fourth-quarter profit of 80 million yuan in the three months ended December, compared with 73.8 million yuan profit in the year earlier period, Tsingtao said. That lags a forecast of 120 million yuan.

Sales growth was hampered by rising costs of labour, packaging and raw materials including barley, analysts said.

Tsingtao’s Hong Kong-listed shares have risen 5 percent so far this year, outpacing a 0.8 percent fall in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

Relevant Links:
Tsingtao Beer Official Site (China)
Tsingtao Beer Official Website (US)

by Gars

Shan Shen, The Mountain Spirits

March 22, 2013 in About Qingdao by Gars

Up in the mountains are the mountain spirits. Shan Shen (山神) in Chinese, the mountain spirits are said to watch over the mountains. If you walk enough around the mountains and hills of Qingdao, you will enounter shan shen miao (山神庙), or mountain spirit shrines.

Laoshan has numerous of these shrines. All you need to do is go to Laoshan and start walking around the valleys at the bottom of the mountain. You’re sure to find some. Often there will be fruit left at the shrines. People burn incense there. It is believed that offerings left there will be received by the mountain spirits.

These pictures here are from a mountain spirit shrine in the hilly, low-mountain region to the northwest of Xiaozhushan. This fellow’s name is Xing, and there are numerous Xings living in the area. On the day of these photos, just before Xing came to the shrine, another fellow was walking away from the shrine. He was the one who clarified for me that the mountain spirits are watching over the area. He waved his arm to demonstrate the area which these mountain spirits watch.

Essentially, it was the whole valley area which we were in, in between mountains on both sides of us.

These traditions go back hundreds and hundreds of years. It is real history alive right before our eyes. This Mr. Xing is a real funny guy, too. If you see him, tell him I said hello.

Shan Shen Mountain Spirits Qingdao

Shan Shen Mountain Spirits Qingdao

Shan Shen Mountain Spirits Qingdao

Relevant Links:
Gars on QINGDAO(nese)

by Steven

Qingdao Desalination Model

March 22, 2013 in About Qingdao by Steven

The Qingdao desalination plant developed by Spanish company Abengoa has been called a model to follow for further development of desalination plants in China. The plant, which began commercial operations on January 30, 2013 (official announcement on the Abengoa website), is said to able to “produce 100,000 cubic meters of drinking water a day from seawater”.

Qingdao is the site for an annual International Conference on Desalination and Water Reuse. The 2013 conference (scheduled for June 25 – 28) will once again take place at the Shangri-La Hotel China Ballroom (kitty corner to May 4 Square, adjacent to Shandong Lu and the QD City Hall). Registration and info for the 2013 conference here. Besides the plant in Qingdao, desalination projects are being developed in China by Israel’s IDE Technologies in Tianjin, home to China’s largest thermal desalination plant.

Get the full story from Bloomberg:

Abengoa SA (ABG), the Spanish company that has developed desalination plants from Algeria to India, said a new unit in China is a “model” to expand in the world’s most populous nation.

Abengoa financed the $177 million Qingdao project entirely through Chinese banks, Guillermo Bravo, a vice president at Abengoa, said at the Water Week Latin America conference in Vina Del Mar, Chile, today. The project will generate $865 million in revenue, he said.

“This is a model to follow going forward,” he said. China is turning to desalination to boost supplies in its arid northeast and has awarded contracts to Abengoa and Israel’s IDE Technologies Ltd. to build plants. China plans to triple its desalination capacity to 2.2 million cubic meters a day by 2015, according to the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission.

The Qingdao plant at the second-largest port in northern China can produce 100,000 cubic meters of drinking water a day from seawater, enough to supply the needs of half a million people, according to Abengoa.

The company began building the plant in 2010 and will operate and maintain it for 25 years.

Qingdao Desalination Plant Abengoa Interior.

Relevant Links:
Abengoa Commercial Operations Qingdao

Image Credit @ Abengoa