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Businesses start on 5th New Year day

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin yesterday handed out gifts and greeted people at several hypermarkets in the city.

Yesterday was the fifth day of the Chinese New Year, which is traditionally a day for businesses to resume operations.

Hau inspected the branches of three hypermarket chains — Geant, Carrefour and RT-Mart.

“Prior to the New Year's holiday, retailers, hypermarkets and department stores in Taipei all experienced a boost in sales, and we hope that after the holiday, sales will remain high,” said Hau, who handed out coin-shaped chocolates, as well as commemorative Year of the Snake Easy Cards with NT$1,000 stored in each.

Afterward, the mayor visited Guanghua Digital Plaza, the city's premier electronics shopping district.

“What we are trying to do is to turn Guanghua into the Akihabara of Taipei,” Hau said, referring to the premier IT shopping district in Tokyo. “I'm confident that one day sales at Guanghua are going to surpass those at Akihabara.”

Separately, the National Freeway Bureau yesterday implemented high-occupancy vehicle measures at certain sections of the island's expressways.

“Yesterday many people went back home to resume their businesses, and homebound traffic emerged,” the bureau said. “We expect another wave of traffic on Sunday, the last day of the nine-day break.”

Yesterday, high-occupancy vehicle control was in effect from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kaohsiung-Neili section of the Sun Yat-sen National Expressway and the northbound lane of the Jiuru-Daxi section of the Second Expressway, and from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the northbound land of the Suao-Toucheng section of National Expressway No. 5.

Under the control measure, no vehicle with fewer than three passengers are allowed to enter the freeways.

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Businesspeople operating in Guanghua Digital Plaza, Taipei's premier electronics shopping district, pray for a prosperous year while opening their businesses, yesterday, which was the fifth day of the Chinese New Year.(CNA)

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