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LinkAsia | Feb 8
Beijing continues to be inundated with smog as Chinese New Year approaches, and the fireworks that will be set off to mark the occasion will only m...
In China, 230 million people are expected to travel by rail for the upcoming Spring Festival. A new online ticketing system is being launched just in time for the Chinese New Year holiday. But China’s state broadcaster CCTV tells us it’s been a bumpy ride for people trying to use the system.
Liu Wei was excited about getting train tickets from the online booking service. He left his hometown for work not long after the birth of his son. Like other migrant workers, he was eager to share the reasons for a family reunion as the holiday season fast approaches.
I miss my 3-year-old son. I’ve promised him some gifts. It’s a bike, which he has been expecting for so long.
Liu started bidding on online tickets a week ago from his home. Two computers and two cellphones were used simultaneously, but a determined mind was also required.
I got up at 6 o’clock, and kept trying to book for six consecutive hours.
Not all fellow workers were as fortunate. 20-year-old Qiu Mao has a lot to complain about the ticket sales since he came to Guangzhou at the age of 14. He tried to call the train ticket service with different booking numbers. But the result was disappointing.
"The number you have dialed is busy."
Qiu’s parents are both migrant workers working on a construction site. They were also eager to go home, but booking tickets either by cellphone or internet is too complicated for them.
There are only my parents at home. They are looking forward to a reunion, but the tickets are hard to get. There is no alternative for home if I cannot get a train ticket, but I really want to go home.
Not a single ticket has been reserved by Qiu’s family to date, but they still hope for a family reunion after being separated from their hometown for six years.