We all know China likes its bling, so it comes as no surprise to discover that Shanghai - that city of spaceship skyscrapers and bottle-opener-shaped buildings - has taken the iconic black hackney carriage and painted it (you guessed it) gold. Two hundred of the flashy rides will go into operation this year, with 50 already having hit the streets last month. Qiangsheng, the city's largest taxi operator and the owner of the fleet, says gold cabs are more "appropriate" for Shanghai than black ones. Shanghai LTI, the Chinese vendor of the taxis, says their shade is more precisely " tuhaojin " - which roughly translates to "new money gold". That's the same hue as the mainland's gold iPhones. Before patriotic Londoners start getting their Alan Whickers in a twist, they should consider this: the London Taxi Company nearly went bust after a costly recall of 400 (black) cabs recently. And Chinese manufacturer Geely seems to have rescued the business, after acquiring it for US$18 million and saving 107 manufacturing jobs in Coventry, England. Its bling-mobile, however, is made at a factory near Shanghai. Now in Chinese hands, it seems the world is the hackney carriage's oyster: Geely plans to make 30,000 of the cars per year and has already sold some to Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia - and Australia, where taxis are painted a blinding shade of school-bus yellow.