Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

Business Travel

Toilet app brings relief to those caught short in Shanghai

Monday, Apr 08, 2013 - 02:16

April 8 - Technology is bringing relief to smartphone users who need to answer the call of nature in Shanghai, a bustling city of 23 million. Despite being a tourist magnet, Shanghai is lacking in public toilet facilities, although a new app designed by a local company is now addressing the occasionally urgent problem. Elly Park reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~**NONE* Eric Chen and his girlfriend are tourists in busy, bustling Shanghai. They've seen many of the sights, but haven't yet seen the one thing Eric needs - a public restroom. Fortunately for Eric, help is at hand. His cell phone is equipped with an app that directs needy visitors to the closest facility. This interactive toilet-finding app uses GPS technology to map out public restrooms. It displays their hours of operation and other crucial information such as whether or not they come with toilet paper. . That gives Eric a real sense of relief. (SOUNDBITE) ERIC CHEN, TOURIST, SAYING: "Just letting people know that there are public restrooms nearby you can find them quickly. At least there's an anticipation (for finding one), you know, and it's a sort of psychological relief for yourself." And that's understandable given China's less-than-stellar reputation for public toilet cleanliness and availability. Shanghai's toilets are often as basic as pits in the ground with many lacking flushing systems or doors for privacy. Many are cleaned only sporadically. China's Ministry of Health is aware of the problem and has issued new rules pertaining to public facilities. Among the protocols - no facility may host more than three flies per square meter. But for Yang Xingzhong of the Nanjing Aixiyou Internet Technology Firm, toilet availability is a bigger problem than flies so he developed the app as a modern approach to an age-old issue. (SOUNDBITE) YANG XINGZHONG, CEO OF NANJING AIXIYOU INTERNET TECHNOLOGY, SAYING: "Modern smart phones have a location based service (finder). So we thought, we can link these together with restrooms and you can accumulate (their locations on an app) it's a very convenient method. So when you (need to use) the restroom, this is an application that will quickly find one." And it's not just tourists who'll benefit. China is home to more than a billion cellphone users…all of whom have the same occasional need for directions when nature calls.

Toilet app brings relief to those caught short in Shanghai

Monday, Apr 08, 2013 - 02:16

Top News »

Investing 201 »

Arian Foster = BlackBerry? Arian Foster = BlackBerry?

Fri, Oct 25, 2013 - (3:16)

Don’t miss these red flags for IPOs Don’t miss these red flags for IPOs

Thu, Oct 10, 2013 - (2:34)

Copycat currency trading Copycat currency trading

Wed, Oct 02, 2013 - (2:28)

When to dump a winner When to dump a winner

Tue, Sep 24, 2013 - (1:55)

Where gold might again attract Jim Rogers Where gold might again attract Jim Rogers

Thu, Sep 19, 2013 - (2:05)

Why savings interest rates won't budge Why savings interest rates won't budge

Fri, Sep 13, 2013 - (2:09)

Buy local? ETFs try the trend Buy local? ETFs try the trend

Thu, Sep 05, 2013 - (2:42)

The better bond funds The better bond funds

Wed, Aug 07, 2013 - (2:40)

Best bargain in 40 years? European stocks Best bargain in 40 years? European stocks

Thu, Aug 01, 2013 - (2:24)

Invest like an activist Invest like an activist

Fri, Jul 26, 2013 - (2:49)

Money Clip »

3 things to do before disaster strikes 3 things to do before disaster strikes

Wed, Sep 18, 2013 - (1:39)

Your must-do money list Your must-do money list

Wed, Sep 11, 2013 - (1:24)

The worst "best" financial advice The worst "best" financial advice

Wed, Sep 04, 2013 - (1:42)

Forget gold: The case for REITs Forget gold: The case for REITs

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 - (1:19)

3 rules for buying a house now 3 rules for buying a house now

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 - (1:39)

“Stalking” your dream home - Money Clip “Stalking” your dream home - Money Clip

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 - (2:50)

3 hidden tax deductions - Money Clip 3 hidden tax deductions - Money Clip

Thu, Mar 21, 2013 - (1:33)

Reuters Investigates »

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, Feb 19, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, Jan 10, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (13:21)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, Aug 05, 2013 - (1:36)

How education lost its role as the great equalizer - Reuters Investigates How education lost its role as the great...

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 - (7:52)

Jihad Jane: From abused child to American jihadist - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: From abused child to American...

Sat, Dec 08, 2012 - (10:01)

Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters...

Sun, Dec 09, 2012 - (10:39)

Moving Pictures »

Still missing – MH370 Still missing – MH370

Fri, Sep 05, 2014 - (2:05)

Images of August Images of August

Fri, Aug 29, 2014 - (1:00)

Burning Together Burning Together

Mon, Sep 01, 2014 - (2:23)

Mending dolls, teddies and hearts Mending dolls, teddies and hearts

Fri, Aug 22, 2014 - (3:12)

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, Aug 11, 2014 - (2:27)

Burned memories Burned memories

Fri, Aug 08, 2014 - (3:02)

Images of July Images of July

Thu, Jul 31, 2014 - (1:20)

World Cup: passion on the pitch World Cup: passion on the pitch

Fri, Jul 11, 2014 - (1:00)

A refugee in America gives back A refugee in America gives back

Wed, Jul 02, 2014 - (3:25)

A long search for refuge A long search for refuge

Fri, Jun 20, 2014 - (3:04)