Today was slightly a more relaxing and slow-paced day than the first two. The program guided visit today involved a trip to the Central University of Finance and Economics. Upon arrival we walked to one of the lecture halls. We then received a lecture from Dr. Yao, whose Phd is in Marketing, and he also has a background in computer science. Dr. Yao spoke on big data, and how to manage it, personalized marketing, differences in Chinese and US markets, Ecommerce in China, and smart phone marketing throughout the country. We then followed up this lecture with a Q&A session. Dr. Yao made some very interesting points. The things I found the most interesting is the information on WeChat. It amazes me that China lives within one app. I compare it to an entire iPhone in one app. The Chinese also live on QR codes. Everything they do involved scanning a QR code to pay for something. Most things are paid for with cell phones too. They have taken a step above the US and have eliminated cards all together. The MoBike agency has also found a way to revolutionize the bike sharing industry in Beijing. They emphasize getting bikes back on the rode for cheap fees. Quite the way to incentivize bike riding.
After the lecture we went to lunch with students from the university. The two students at our table were not very fluent in English so there was a slight language barrier. We still were able to have a fun time, as they laughed at most of the ways that we ate the food. They had fried fish, with the bones and heads still on them, and I accidently ate the entire spine out it. This got a laugh out of the natives.
After lunch we got a tour of their brand new 30-million-dollar library. This building was one of the most insane buildings that I have ever seen. I could not believe that some students have this at their school. Then we went on a walk through the university to the athletic center. We walked in during gym hour, which had a couple hundred students playing assorted sports. The US has nothing like this. The last thing we did was played some games with the locals. Apparently to over half of our class jumping a rope is hard. We then said our goodbyes and headed home.
We decided that dinner was not urgent because of the giant lunch we had eaten. A group of us went to a grocery store under the street and bought a bunch of Chinese snacks and candies. They were alright but nothing special. My favorite snack was the blueberry filled marshmallows. My dinner was certainly spoiled. In our “free” time, we decided to venture up to the Olympic village. The 2008 Olympics were the first ones that I paid attention to so seeing all the stadiums (including the Water Cube which is the aquatic center shown in the picture) and buildings was special. They were very beautiful buildings, but I was amazed at how much space and walking area was between them. We spent the remainder of the night at a little market ally way. There was little to no haggling at this market so this was not what I am looking for. We had to sprint through the subway to get home too so we had quite the adventure. Overall it was a great day, just like the rest of the trip.