China Stages the World's Biggest Annual Mass Migration

By Jane Hwang - 2013-02-08T13:24:04Z

Photograph by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

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Moving the Masses

The Chinese rail ministry, which has a monopoly on ticket sales, introduced the website last year to tackle black-market transactions and to ease lines at stations that often leave passengers waiting for hours.

About 6.75 million tickets are being sold in total each day, 13 percent more than a year earlier, Cheng Xiandong, a rail ministry official, told the state-run People's Daily newspaper this week. The weeklong holiday, which this year begins Feb. 9, is the world's biggest annual mass migration.

Left, passengers wait to board trains at Hongqiao Railway Station in Shanghai, China. Forecasts of snow and rain across China threaten to disrupt travel plans of millions of Chinese heading home for the Lunar New Year holiday.