Shanghai World Expo Sees 1+ Million Visitors In A Single Day

Crowds at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo on October 16th.

From NetEase:

Shanghai World Expo breaks million mark for visitors in a single day, first time officials discourage visitors [from attending]

October 16th, single-day admissions to the Shanghai World Expo‘s reached 1,032,700 visitors, breaking the 1970 record set by the Osaka World Expo. Popular pavilions like the Oil Pavilion had a waiting line of 12 hours while the Saudi Arabia Pavilion line required 8 hours. Because the number of visitors had far exceeded the 600k design limit, officials discouraged visitors from attending for the first time.

[Click images for larger versions.]

2010 Shanghai World Expo receives over 1 million visitors in a single day.

October 16th, with the World Expo grounds packed with visitors, conflicts occurred in the waiting lines. As of 9pm on the 16th, the number of admissions to the Shanghai World Expo had reached 1,032,700 visitors, breaking the 1970 record set by the Osaka World Expo. Popular pavilions like the Oil Pavilion had a waiting line of 12 hours while the Saudi Arabia Pavilion line required 8 hours. World Expo organizers stated that 600,000 visitors is the design limit for the Expo grounds, and as a result of the number of visitors exceeding expectations yesterday, officials for the first time adopted the measure of dissuading visitors from attending.

Crowds at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo on October 16th.

October 16th, the Expo Axis was bursting at the seams on both levels. October 16th was Day 169 for the Shanghai World Expo, as well as China’S Chongyang Festival. That day, the weather in Shanghai was good and clear, and tourists poured onto the Expo grounds. From 9am till 12 noon, there was a nonstop rush of visitors entering the grounds. By 12 noon, the number of admissions for the day had already broken 700,000, with the following 3 hours seeing the number of admissions continuing to climb all the way up past 800,000 and the important 900,000 mark.

Crowds at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo on October 16th.

October 16th, a tourist/visitor waiting in line at the Saudi Arabia Pavilion takes a photograph of the crowds. “600k” visitors was the previous “absolute most visitors” anticipated by Expo organizers. Shanghai Communist Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng had also previously stated that the World Expo grounds were designed for an average of 400k people, and a max of 600k. “Too many people and the facilities will not be able to accommodate the number of people”. Because of this, and with the number of visitors far exceeding expectations on the 16th, Expo organizes adopted for the first time the measure of discouraging people from visiting.

Crowds at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo on October 16th.

October 16th, visitors at the Asia Square watch an artistic performance. At noon that day, as visitors who rode the Expo buses and subway all noticed, the television screens on the buses and subway cars repeatedly broadcast well-intentioned reminders to visitors to “choose another day to visit” and “visit the expo on a day with less demand”. Following that, the number of admissions in the afternoon continued to shoot up with 20 to 30 thousand people per hour. At around 4pm, Expo organizers’ reminders changed from “distributing visitors” [to different parts of the the Expo] to “discouraging visitors” [from attending the Expo], directly notifying “relevant departments to remind visitors to stop heading to the Expo grounds today”.

Large crowds and long lines at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo on October 16th.

October 16th, visitors waiting in line to see the China Pavilion.

Large crowds and long lines at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo on October 16th.

October 16th, the World Expo grounds packed with visitors.

Crowds of visitors around the Australia Pavilion at the Shanghai 2010 World Expo.

October 16th, the World Expo grounds were filled with crowds.

Massive crowds at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

October 16th, the observation deck at the Nepal Pavilion packed with visitors.

Over a million visitors to the Shanghai 2010 World Expo on Saturday, October 15th.

October 16th, the flow of people in the World Expo grounds.

Visitors to the Shanghai World Expo entering through the metro.

October 16th, the World Expo Special Line 13 brought in a large amount of visitors.

Visitors lining up to use the public toilets at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

October 16th, long lines at the mobile restrooms in the Expo grounds.

World Expo visitors taking a break.

October 16th, visitors taking a break in the Shanghai World Expo grounds.

Sunset over the Shanghai 2010 World Expo crowds on record-breaking Saturday October 15th.

October 16th, a shot of the waves of people in the Expo grounds taken from the Lupu Bridge.

Sunset over a Shanghai World Expo parking lot filled with tour buses.

October 16th, the World Expo grounds parking lots packed full of parked buses.

Huge crowds remain into the evening, shown here with the China Pavilion in the background.

October 16th, even after night falls, the Expo grounds were still crowded.

A line of World Expo visitors waiting to enter a pavilion.

October 16th at night, the number of people in line remained high.

A colorful water fountain at the Shanghai 2010 World Expo.

October 16th night, the World Expo grounds were packed full of visitors.

A digital board showing the total number of visitors to the Shanghai World Expo.

October 16th at 6pm, the Shanghai World Expo Operation Center’s big display shows: The number of World Expo visitors had already broken past the 1 million mark. At the same time, the cumulative total number of visitors had reached 64,589,600 people.

Comments from NetEase:


The World Expo is made to sound great, but once you’re inside, there’s actually not much to see, except maybe people! Even places to sit are hard to find.


In China, anything could happen. Yet another miracle.


What brother goes to look at is not the World Expo, but beautiful girls.


Seeing these photographs, I’m truly speechless. Here in Jiangsu, the vast majority of companies/organizations are required to attend and must organized groups to go. See the number on the photo? Just to reach that 70 million figure [the estimated number of visitors for the World Expo to “break even”]? Is it necessary to make the World Expo into a queuing/lining-up exercise for the entire country? With so many people packed there, what can they see? Even if something is seen, what will be remembered in that kind of mood? Other than queues/lines, probably still just queues/lines. Is this kind of event organizing a product of a planned economy?


Getting that many people, [but in the end] it is just a number. Getting yet another world number 1, [but] what is the quality of the experience? No one is considering that.


Chinese people just love to have face…Just how many people truly wanted to go see the World Expo? Isn’t it all about how so and so went to the Expo yesterday, and how another so and so went to the Expo the day before…so if one doesn’t go, then one feels they have no face? [This thinking is] too outdated… To be honest, sitting at home watching television is still more comfortable, really…


SB Hui is indeed SB Hui. [In Chinese, The World Expo is called “世博会” or “Shi Bo Hui“, and many netizens have taken to calling it the SB Hui, but of course SB also has another meaning. So, the joke here is that the “stupid cunt gathering” is indeed a “stupid cunt gathering” referring to all of the people who go to suffer the crowds, lines, and waiting times.]


That everything will soon be dismantled/demolished is such a pity and so unreasonable [the World Expo will end at the End of October, after 6 months]. [Think of] how many citizens have yet to see the World Expo?


Too frightening, 1 million. Now that I think about it, the 400k when it first opened was nothing.


If one were there selling fast food and drinks~~ I think one would become a millionaire in under a month.


Fortunately I already went in in June. Then, there were around 300k visitors every day, and I already though there were quite a lot of people, but now with 1 million…truly difficult to imagine.

The following is a list that began circulating on popular Chinese social network Kaixin001 on the 16th…

From Kaixin001:

2010 October 16th, Shanghai World Expo breaks million mark for visitors in a single day, various situation highlights…

1. Ladies and gentlemen, what are you still waiting for? As long as you set out now, there is a chance for you to become today’s Meat/Flesh Expo’s 1 millionth visitor. Not 100 thousandth, not 500 thousandth, but 1 millionth visitor! So no more talk, so take your normal day ticket, discount ticket, scheduled ticket, or night time ticket, and hurry and join the battle!

2. Seven hundred thousand has been broken. Staff and volunteer personnel have begun to slowly get excited. They are running and shuttling back and forth, in the middle of all the human flesh enjoying the delight of being squashed.

3. As of 2:30pm, there are a total of 80 countries in the world whose populations are less than the number of people inside the Expo grounds.

4. There are now 800k people in the World Expo grounds, and now we finally know how magnificent Cao Cao’s 800k large army was during the Battle of Red Cliff.

5. Witnessed today was a spectacular moment of the World Expo, unusually incredible… already 900k by 3pm, not discounting the people who are going to go now to be part of the 1 million…

6. As of 5:30pm, there are a total of about 141 countries in the world whose populations are less than the number of people inside the Expo grounds.

7. I hear a broadcast in a Line 2 Metro station saying “All visitors heading to the World Expo grounds, please do not enter the Expo grounds”…Please note that this was Line 2, not the Expo Line! Then I also saw that within 10 minutes, there were 2000 more people [who had entered the Expo grounds].

8. [I] truly wanted to softly insert the ticket [into the ticketing gate], slowly take it out, and shout: “Contributing to 1 million!” But in the end, I resplendently turned around and went home to sleep.

9. Historical record: 1949 April 21 ~ 1949 June 2, War of Liberation, millions of men cross the Yangtze River; Historical record: 2010 October 16 ~ 2010 October 16, Meat/Flesh Expo War, millions of men cross the Huangpu River… Today, I have seen several lifetimes worth of people of different backgrounds…in the future, those who want to see me must have an appointment/reservation ticket.

10. The last country to stuff 1 million people within 5 square kilometers was Nazi Germany…

11. One visitor asked: Where is the exit? Me: Which exit? Visitor: Doesn’t matter, I simply want to get out. Such desperation…

12. Today…did the almanac say today was an auspicious day to go to the World Expo grounds? ~~ Orz…

13. 3.28 square kilometers / 1 million visitors = 3.28 square meters / person. Incredible…

14. Now that the World Expo has reached 1 million [visitors], I suddenly want to go to the World Expo, not to look at the pavilions, but to look at the people…

15. Every “cabbage” [nickname for the Expo volunteers] should be given a sign, on it written: “Waiting time before ‘cabbage’ responds to your question is 30 minutes!” [A joke about the waiting time in line for many of the pavilions].

16. From this day forward, the most crowded place is not Beijing, not Tokyo, not Hong Kong, and definitely not Shanghai, but the World Expo grounds.

17. Seeing that rising red line [a graph measuring visitors] at the World Expo Operations Center rising, my old man calmly said, if only the stock market was like this.

18. “What is the fastest way to get to Pudong [side of the Expo]?” “Swim across!”

19. My delight right now is to check every half hour the World Expo Operations Center announcement of the number of people who have entered the grounds today. Even the stock market has never risen like this before~

20. The crowds are in front of your eyes, the pavilions are outside of the crowds…

21. At present, there are 3000 Right-Wingers surrounding the Chinese Embassy causing trouble! May the 1 million strong army of the World Expo please relocate the battle to the Japanese Consulate!

22. This morning I was still discussing whether it would be 700k or 750k; While eating lunch, I was betting whether it would be 750k or 800k; Getting out of school in the afternoon, I was thinking how breaking 1 million is just a matter of time; Returning to campus at night, everything was just passing clouds, deciding what to eat for dinner~~

23. Today I saw a spectacle that I have never seen before: 1. A line formed at the Pacific Pavilion. 2. Zone B03 became as crowded as Zone C. 3. I could no longer see the “little cabbages” on duty around me. 4. Over ten people asked me questions at the same time.

24. Wasn’t 750k said to be a good day…?

25. Zone A03’s spectacular event today: The line for hot water at the G08 Information Desk reached the United Arab Emirates line~ The United Arab Emirates line surpassed the Israel line~ The Israel line reached the Saudi Arabia line~ The Saudi Arabia line exceeded the Expo Axis…  breaking the 1 million mark and whatever are all just passing clouds…

26. “Hello, may I ask what would be the best place to go after looking at this pavilion?” “Turn left, walk 5 minutes, #3 exit.”

27. A “little cabbage” that has experienced 900k [visitors] was calm. As a result of a problem with the proportion of men’s toilets in the Expo grounds, a line that reached outside formed. = =

28. 6 hour lines were no longer for Saudi Arabia, Japan, Korea, but for Thailand…THAILAND…

29. Before when there were only 190k people I did not cherish, and now it is too late for me to repent.

30. Heartily celebrate me fighting my way back from 1 million people!

31. Witnessing the miracle, the Oil Pavilion line was 12 hours, the China Aviation Pavilion line was 7 hours, the ferry line was 3 hours, the line for the cross-river bus was 2 hours, the metro line was 1.5 hours, and the toilet “pavilion” line was half an hour…

32. Sister [referring to self] can be said to have seen a World Expo “cabbage” now…

33. Stop asking how to get to Pudong [from the Puxi side of the Expo grounds] faster, it is 1 hour on the metro, 2 and a half hours by bus, 3 hours by ferry, and 15 minutes by swimming…

34. Today’s World Expo pavilion waiting lines exceeding two hours include: World Expo Cross River Bus… [the joke is that it is not a pavilion but it still has a really long wait time.]

35. The Cross River Bus’s [waiting lines] can be compared to the ark [Noak’s Ark, or the arks in 2012].

36. Welcome, visitors, to the 2010 China Massive Population Expo…

37. At the World Expo, it is truly possible to be in a line for half the day. The Oil Pavilion’s promotional slogan is “One pavilion a day, Happy Chongyang Festival!”

38. To experience China’s population, please visit the Expo today.

Have you gone to the Shanghai World Expo yet? How was your experience?

Not as popular as the Shanghai World Expo… chinaSMACK personals.


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


Leave a Reply

2 Pings & Trackbacks

  1. Pingback:

  2. Pingback:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.