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    Holding the Line: Shanghai’s Last Public Phone Booth

    In the heart of Shanghai’s Huangpu District stands a relic of communication history: the city’s last public telephone booth. Shen Yuxiu, now in her 80s, has worked at this booth as a telephone pager operator since 1993. First introduced in Shanghai in 1952, public telephones were once vital to daily communication. But with the advent of mobile phones and the internet, these once bustling hubs have faded into oblivion. For Shen, who now lives alone, this booth is more than a relic; it’s an indelible link to the past, one she vows to preserve to her last breath. 

    Credit: Reporter: Lü Xiao; story editor: Apurva; copy editor: Tom Arnstein.