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Car crazy

China adores cars. Can one man persuade a nation to rent, not buy?

By Megan Shank   November 2012

Shanghai’s overhead highways illuminated by LED lights

At a bus stop near Beijing’s Dashanzi art district, shoppers swayed with bulging bags. Horns swelled. Trucks rumbled. Saturday. Six o’clock. Stuck.

Beside me, my friend, Wang Shuyue, murmured in the lyrical Mandarin of the capital city: “The traffic in Beijing is really over the top.” She kicked a pile of ashy fallen leaves. The days had grown short. We waited in the dark.

Beijing, once the kingdom of bicycles, is being colonised by the car: there are now more than five million in…

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