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August 23, 2011

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Top carnival rides remain dark

THREE of the most thrilling rides at the Shanghai Grand Carnival may never be put into operation.

The three are the "Bat Roller Coaster," "Mega Drop" and "Horror Castle." In the event's promotions, all three were highly touted. In particular, promoters said the "Bat Roller Coaster" was the "biggest and newest model of roller coaster in the world."

But the Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision said yesterday that the suppliers must provide documentation of the design and operation and pass a quality test before the rides can run, since this marks the first time they have come to China.

"Up to now, we still haven't received the full documents we require," said Shen Weiming, deputy director of the bureau. "Thus we are not able to issue the operation certificate for the rides."

The event's organizing committee said the foreign investors were not willing to turn over the documents out of concern for intellectual property. They said they fear that once the documents went to the Chinese, copycats would soon emerge.

"The investors lay much emphasis on intellectual property rights issues. But we are still communicating with the two parties, hoping that they can reach an agreement soon," said Wu Liangyu, an official with the organizing committee.

As a result of the impasse, some visitors from outside Shanghai, especially those who came to the city for the carnival, were disappointed.

"I heard that the Bat Roller Coaster is one of the most exciting rides in the event," said Samuel Wen, a student from Shandong Province. "But when I went there, it wasn't in operation."

The carnival started on July 28, days after its originally scheduled date due to problems with equipment and permits. It is scheduled to run until October 30.

The carnival, co-organized by the United Arab Emirates-based Freij Entertaining Co Ltd, is back in Shanghai with the event after a six-year absence.


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