Today, we went to the Central University of Finance and Economics, or CUFE. When we first arrived, we went into a lecture hall where we were welcomed. A lecture on Smart Phone Supply Chain Business in China followed the welcome and introduction. This lecture was given by Professor Yao.
The lecture was broken down into five subcategories. What I found most interesting was the discussion about the difference in the marketplace between the USA and China. In the US, grocery stores are larger with larger aisles, larger carts, and ultimately, larger purchases. This is due to the fact that families in the US are typically larger and groceries are purchased to last at least one week. Also, about 800 per 1,000 people in the US own a car, making the transportation of those groceries easier. In China, however, the population density is so high that it is easier to order things online. Therefore, grocery shopping, among other kinds of shopping, is done via the Internet, particularly through smart phones. This rapid development in e-commerce has had an effect on the few remaining grocery markets in China; These markets have small baskets, narrow aisles, and few items purchased per transaction.
After the lecture, we had the opportunity to ask questions. So much additional information was covered as a result of the questions we had asked. In particular, I was interested in how the rapid development in e-commerce effects the elderly population in China. Ultimately, the elderly in China are not much different from the elderly in the US in the sense that children and grandchildren help them to understand how to use the new technologies.
After the lecture and Q&A, Matthew, a finance professor, spoke to us about what it is like to be an American living and working in China. He has been in China for 18 years, and he said he has not once cooked a meal. This was so shocking to me!
Moving from the lecture hall, we made our way to the three-story cafeteria. Tons of students were also headed there for their lunch. We had a separate room with food on the lazy Susan, just as it had been the last two days. The food was good, but not as good as some of the other meals I have had thus far. We are given more food than I even know what to do with!
Lunch lasted a little over an hour, allowing us to socialize with some of the students at CUFE. Then we were given a tour of the library. The library is gorgeous and modern with plenty of study space and a unique reservation system for tables. We were also taken to the outside facilities where students were playing volleyball, tennis, basketball, and a number of other activities for their P.E. class. Our group did some jump roping, which was fun to watch!
When we got back from CUFE, I went to a local candy shop and I bought a bunch of beautifully and brightly wrapped candies. I picked them based on their wrapper design, considering I cannot read Chinese to decipher what it actually is. I bought about 9 different candies for 22 yuan (~$3).
As for the rest of the evening, we will be having dinner as a group and then I will most likely go on an adventure like I did last night!