Day 3: In Good Company

The buses left fairly early in the morning, but I had enough time to fill out the blogs and eat breakfast beforehand. We first set out for Cheetah Mobile. My group had done some research on this company, and so we knew they were very successful. They were one of the first Chinese mobile companies to break into foreign markets, and had recently begun to create games as well as utility apps. It was clear as soon as we arrived that the company was embracing the western culture. They were one of the only buildings I had seen so far to have an expansive lawn, and their cheetah mascot statues scattered around the campus seemed to be a direct emulation of Google’s android. The welcome we received was amazing! They brought us through the face recognition security system into a large conference room where they had all sorts of snacks and stuffed animal cheetahs waiting for us. The CTO of the entire company took the time to talk to us and held a really informative Q&A session. Later, we were taken on a tour of the facility, which was absolutely gorgeous, and included a rock climbing wall, café, gym, market, karaoke club, slide, and rooftop garden. All too soon, we had to leave, and we all agreed that Cheetah Mobile had set the bar extremely high for the next company visit. We took a quick lunch break in Joy City, which was a 10 story mall with many expensive western stores. Afterwards, we stopped at Microsoft’s Asia headquarters, where were herded into a showroom that they used for business managers and government officials. All of the technology demonstrations were meant to wow, and I was especially impressed by the HoloLens (I wish I had gotten a chance to try it out!). Unfortunately, we only had an hour and we weren’t able to get to everything. I still loved hearing about Microsoft’s plans for AI, mixed reality, and future strategies for Asian markets. Lastly, while the rest of the group traveled to an electronics market, a group of engineers went with one of the program coordinators, Francis, to Tsinghua University, which is known as the MIT of China. The campus itself was absolutely beautiful, and we spent the evening wandering around and taking in the views. Dinner at their cafeteria was upscale and only cost 36 Yuan! After dinner we enjoyed the evening listening to traditional Chinese music as the moon rose over the campus waterfront .

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