Today was so much fun!! We visited Cheetah Mobile in the morning, had lunch at the mall, toured Microsoft in the afternoon, and then tested our bargaining skills at the Market! It was a super long day, but it was totally worth it.
In the morning, we went to Cheetah Mobile, an app based company that was founded in China approximately 6 years ago. You may have not heard of this company, but maybe you know one of their famous gaming apps -> Piano Tiles 2. This was actually my favorite company to tour so far and I was pleasantly surprised!! We were greeted by a super slick looking building and were herded into a conference room. They set up things for us to snack on and gave us a stuffed cheetah toy! That’s sounds so childish, but I was expecting nothing and they went above and beyond. Cheetah Mobile was super fresh and sleek. It looked really modern and encompassed the “work hard, play hard” motto. There were slides, massage rooms, a ping pong room, karaoke room, a track and party center on the roof, and more! I could genuinely picture myself working in an environment like this. I was talking to a couple of the employees and he told me that the company doesn’t actually own the land or the building – the government does. The company pays rent to the government and the government gives them funding to build the different facilities and things like that. They also have really flexible hours. It’s 10 AM -6:30 PM, but you can stay late or come early and do what you need to do as long as you get your work done. Since the company is based off of apps with varying life cycles, it’s a very fast paced environment where decisions need to be made quickly after analyzing how the apps are doing. Everything was super calm and it was like a mini-hotel because it had EVERYTHING there.
After lunch, we went to Microsoft and I was expecting more. Microsoft seemed to show off their cool gadgets and that’s not what I wanted. I wanted to meet the employees and see the work environment, but we went on a mini-tour that was more like a presentation. However, Cortana was super cool. When we first walked in, there was a super cool wall that was connected to Cortana and when the Microsoft guy told Cortana to switch the wall, she did. Microsoft also showed us the HoloLens. Although it looked really cool and applicable for companies, how would this suit the general population? I don’t have a purpose for mixed reality. I would love to see how they adapt it and tweak it in order to make it useful for the general public. I think the Microsoft visit was informational and introduced the different technology they have, but I wanted more. I wanted to learn how Microsoft China is different than Microsoft in the U.S. and why it’s like that. The Microsoft tour also followed a very long walk at Cheetah Mobile so that could have also impacted how I felt at the Microsoft site visit because my legs were aching.
Then it was time to test my bargaining skills. We took a subway to the Market to get souvenirs for my friends & family back home and it was such an experience. The subway station looked like any other back at home, but getting our tickets was quite the struggle because everything was in Chinese. However, we finally made it to the Market and I was so into bartering. It’s so much fun trying to read the gestures of the lady and deciding whether I should increase my price or stay strong and hope that the vender gives in and says ok. I won’t say what I bought because it was for people back at home and I don’t want to give it away, but I definitely made some good deals with some things and got totally ripped at other places and didn’t bargain as hard as I should have, but it was quite the experience. After all the stuff we did today, I decided to eat comfort food and got McDonald’s. Life is good (: