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Visitors 'renting' seniors

WORLD Expo visitors continue to find new ways to gain access to pavilions through VIP entrances and avoid lengthy queues.

Now some are "renting" seniors for the day in order to enter pavilions at VIP entrances. At the same time some elderly men have been spotted looking for people who will pay them to access VIP channels.

According to new green channel rules introduced by the organizer this month, only seniors 75 and above and the physically disabled, plus one person to accompany them, can get fast access to pavilions.

The Italy Pavilion has confirmed to Shanghai Daily that they've spotted the new trend, saying it's obvious some visitors have no family connection to the old people they're walking with.

Marianna Drago, an Italy Pavilion employee, said they usually allow an old person and two or three companions to enter after they confirm a person's age by checking their ID card.

"We can do nothing but let them in, even if we know they are not related," Drago said.

A netizen, named sanzhishu, posted a note on, a popular forum, saying he wanted to rent an old person aged over 75 for one day to visit the Expo.

"I want to see the Saudi Arabia Pavilion," he said in the note. People usually need to wait at least four hours to enter the pavilion.

Sanzhishu offered to pay for the person's Expo ticket, pick up and drop off the person at his home and provide two good meals at the site.

The post triggered a big discussion online, with more than half of posters disagreeing.

Song Laixin, spokesperson of the Visitors Service Center at the Expo site, said this practice was hard to stop because the organizer can not recognize whether the senior is a true relative of the person they are accompanying.

Song added that visitors basically need to behave better and obey the rules.

Posts have also appeared on public forum Baidutieba, requesting a person older than 75 to accompany them to the Expo in exchange for 50 yuan (US$7).

These posts first appeared after Expo authorities tightened VIP access because some people pretended to be disabled or put their 4 or 5-year-old kids in strollers in order to skip queues.

A Brazil Pavilion employee surnamed Wang said that it's virtually impossible to stop these dishonest people.


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