Reuters - Video

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

Technology

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 »

Money »

Finding meaning in the S&P 500 2000 mark Finding meaning in the S&P 500 2000 mark

Mon, Aug 25, 2014 - (2:35)

S&P falls back from record high S&P falls back from record high

Fri, Aug 22, 2014 - (1:35)

S&P 500 closes at new high S&P 500 closes at new high

Thu, Aug 21, 2014 - (1:24)

S&P 500 just shy of record S&P 500 just shy of record

Wed, Aug 20, 2014 - (2:23)

Apple hits $100 a share Apple hits $100 a share

Tue, Aug 19, 2014 - (2:06)

Nasdaq closes at 14-year high Nasdaq closes at 14-year high

Mon, Aug 18, 2014 - (2:23)

Putin puts Wall Street in buying mood Putin puts Wall Street in buying mood

Thu, Aug 14, 2014 - (2:10)

We've become a promotional culture-RetailMeNot's Bodge We've become a promotional...

Thu, Aug 14, 2014 - (4:39)

Dow back to positive territory for year Dow back to positive territory for year

Wed, Aug 13, 2014 - (2:18)

The Exchange »

The Exchange: Hot commodity The Exchange: Hot commodity

Wed, Jul 16, 2014 - (9:25)

The Exchange: Constitutional crusade The Exchange: Constitutional crusade

Wed, Jun 25, 2014 - (11:35)

The Exchange: The value of money The Exchange: The value of money

Mon, Jun 02, 2014 - (9:53)

The Exchange: China’s Second Continent The Exchange: China’s Second Continent

Tue, May 27, 2014 - (9:35)

The Exchange: A master of business arts The Exchange: A master of business arts

Thu, May 08, 2014 - (8:24)

The Exchange: America's bankrupt cities The Exchange: America's bankrupt cities

Mon, May 05, 2014 - (8:52)

The Exchange: Let the rocking commence The Exchange: Let the rocking commence

Tue, Apr 08, 2014 - (8:13)

The Exchange: The Moneyball fallacies The Exchange: The Moneyball fallacies

Mon, Mar 24, 2014 - (9:54)

Is doing good a good business? Is doing good a good business?

Mon, Mar 17, 2014 - (7:38)

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 »

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)

World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals

Fri, Jun 06, 2014 - (1:08)

VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light

Fri, May 30, 2014 - (1:37)