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article imageToilets with free Wi-fi, ATMs soon to sprout across Beijing

By Lucky Malicay     Apr 30, 2016 in Technology
At least 100 toilets with free Wi-fi access and automated teller machines will soon sprout across the Chinese capital of Beijing.
The toilets will also have cellphone charging facilities, baby seats and electric vehicles, according to Ji Yang, an official of the Beijing Municipal Commission of City Administration and Environment, in a Xinhua news agency report.
Estimated to cost $7,685 each, the state-of-the-art toilets will be built in the districts of Fangshan and Tongzhou complete with urinals for children, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
Beijing is not the first Chinese city embracing the idea of establishing toilets with Internet connections. In the city of Chongqing, a public bathroom has free 50 Mbps Wi-fi, mobile charging stations, a fridge, a microwave, a water dispenser and some emergency first aid supplies.
This solar-powered bathroom is one of 20 high-tech public restrooms that Chongqing is building this year.
Since 1960s, China has been embarking on a “toilet revolution” to improve sanitation, especially in urban areas, amid concerns on muddy floors and dirty squat toilets.
Over the next five years, Beijing is implementing another “toilet revolution” to address the long queues in women's bathrooms in shopping malls and other tourist areas.
In 2015, officials in the southwestern province of Yunnan, one of China’s most popular tourist destinations, planned to establish more than 600 “three-star” toilets as part of the local government’s program on sanitation following complaints from tourists.
The goal by the committee on tourism development was to build 336 new toilets at tourist spots across the province and upgrade the existing 265 restrooms.
The government of Yunnan, famous for its beautiful mountains, is spending $15 million for such undertaking to boost tourism promotion.
Complaints about unsanitary and poor quality toilets at Yunnan's tourist sites have hurt the tourism industry, according to the committee.
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