Today we took a trip to the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing. We had the opportunity to interact with students from the school, eat lunch with them and ask questions about their student life. The students are very studious and prioritize their classes, but they also go into downtown Beijing to have fun on the weekends.
Kai Yao, a graduate student from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business gave us a lecture on the market for smartphones and e commerce. I learned that 55% of China internet users make mobile payments vs. 19% in the United States. This is indicative of a strong prevalence of smartphone use in China. In China, smartphones are used more than computers because many families cannot afford it. However, mobile phones are cheaper, typically have better servers, and are convenient.
Along with heavy smartphone use, e commerce is exploding in China. China has over 700 million internet users, up from 2.1 million in 2000. Buying products online is great for Chinese residents because traveling to shops can be a hassle with the heavy traffic in major cities and limitations exist if you don’t have a car to carry things back to their homes with. In addition, Singles Day, China’s equivalent of Cyber Monday in the United States, led to the sale of over 680 million packages.
The lecture also touched upon personalized marketing. If you look at Facebook, Google, or Amazon, you can see ads that are specific to you. The idea behind this is using user’s cookies from searches on websites such as google to deliver ads that are more appealing to a particular customers. Some other tools to create personalized marketing include past purchases and click streams. This is a new method that strays from traditional marketing and makes advertisements more effective.
Overall, the visit to the university was not only a fun experience, but also provided much valuable information that expands my understanding of business in a global context.