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June 23, 2010

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Jail warning for visitors who won't leave

THE World Expo authorities yesterday warned that visitors who did not leave the site after midnight could be charged with disturbing social order.

According to Chinese law, they could be detained and face up to three years in prison.

The warning comes after there was discussion online about finding nice places to stay and enjoy the late-night summer breezes inside the Expo site after it closed.

Some shared their experience of staying at the Expo after midnight on one of the country's biggest online forum, Baidu Tieba, saying they didn't leave because they wanted to line up for popular pavilions early the next day.

One poster, surnamed Li, said on the forum that he was working for a retail shop at the Expo site and he decided to stay throughout the night with his friends, who were visitors.

No one caught them, but they were having a tough time as all the air-conditioning systems, together with the electricity systems, had been shut down.

Li said that after spending the night on the Expo site he and his friends still failed to visit the Saudi Arabia Pavilion because Expo officials checked the date of their admission tickets and ejected them.

The Expo authorities are tightening patrols after closing to find out if anyone was overstaying their welcome.

An official, Hu Jianping, said the site closed at midnight every day and security guards would be patrolling the site throughout the night.


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