Shanghai Expo Sets New Visitor Record


The World Expo 2010 in Shanghai closed with parades and performances on Sunday after a record 73 million visitors had visited the exhibition in six months.  It was the first expo staged in a developing country and it broke the world record set up by Osaka Japan in 1970, which was visited by 64 million.  The Shanghai fair was the most expensive exhibition ever hosted. The Expo cost the Chinese government more than $45 million.

China spent a lot on the event. New bridges were built and subway lines were extended. Some people had to leave their homes to make room for the expo which took up over six square kilometres along Shanghai’s Huangpu River. Not all of Shanghai’s 18 million people were in favour of the event. Those against hosting the expo think that two much money was invested and that the city will not get enough in return.



Shanghai authorities, on the other hand, hope that the expo will improve the city’s profile and will encourage international companies to come and invest in the Chinese city. Shanghai has already overtaken Hong Kong as Asia’s economic centre.

Most of the visitors came from the rural parts of China. For them it was a great opportunity to learn about foreign people and cultures. With only 3% of the Chinese population having a passport most Chinese have never had the chance to travel to foreign countries. Visitors waited for hours to get into some of the pavilions. But also for foreign tourists who came to China the expo was a great experience. It gave them a better understanding of Chinese culture and traditions.



The motto of the exhibition was city life. It showed how urban life could be like in the future. Industrialized countries showed new forms of urban transportation, clean energy and intelligent medical devices.

190 countries took part in the expo.  The most expensive pavilion was Saudi Arabia’s. It included the world’s largest IMAX cinema. The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen’s landmark, was shipped to China for the duration of the exhibition. Over 5 million people visited Denmark’s pavilion. Other popular pavilions were those of the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden. After the event most of the 200 buildings will be taken apart or rebuilt somewhere else.



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  • authorities = government, the people who rule the city
  • developing country = poor country of the third World
  • device = machine, gadget
  • duration = time
  • encourage = to persuade someone to do something
  • exhibition = show , place where people can go to  see things
  • experience = here: something that happens and makes your life better
  • expo = a short word for exposition = exhibition or show
  • extend = to make longer
  • foreign = from another country
  • host = organize
  • IMAX = a cinema system with a very big screen and sharp images
  • improve = to make better
  • in favour = for
  • in return = back
  • industrialized country = rich country of the First World
  • landmark = something that you can see easily; it helps you know where you are
  • opportunity = chance
  • overtake = to be better than
  • pavilion = a building which is part of an exhibition and is used to show a country’s traditions
  • performance = people or groups that  act in plays or sing songs
  • record = highest, best ever
  • rural = countryside
  • ship = bring by water
  • square kilometre = an area that is one kilometre long and one kilometre wide
  • stage = to organize a public event
  • subway = underground
  • take apart = to separate into small pieces
  • transportation = travel
  • urban = about the city