Day 3: Companies & Cats

Today, we went on two company visits. In the morning, we went to Sunshine Insurance. When we arrived, the area was so big; it looked like a university campus. We went into an assembly room for a presentation about the company, and it felt like a lecture hall. They told us a little bit about what they do at the company and then showed us a video about the history of the company.

The video was very founder oriented and had a slightly propaganda-ish feel. But overall, it was impressive how far the company had come in just 13 years. When we got a tour of the facility, they showed us a museum they had added for the company’s 10th anniversary and then went outside to walk around. They gave us a really nice buffet style lunch and then we left. Overall, the company was very nice and interesting, but since they dealt with insurance, there were a lot more business applications than there was engineering.

After Sunshine Insurance, we went to Xiaomi which is the second leading cell phone company in China. We were given a presentation by the head of the supply chain department. He told us about their supply chain and product development. Then he answered some of our questions about the company. After our question and answer session, they took us to the mall next door to show us the Xiaomi store and all of the other products in their ecosystem. Like Apple, they have cellphones, computers, headphones, speakers, and watches, but they also have so many other products. They have TVs, vacuums, kitchenware, water filters, kid’s toys, security systems, and more! It was very impressive. The prices were also much cheaper than Apple’s.

After the company visits, we had dinner to ourselves again. We wanted to find a dumpling place close by and asked Liliana for suggestions. She told us about one place across the street. When we got there, everything was in Chinese, which is to be expected, but there were no pictures, so we really struggled with communication, and we ended up in the place next door that had pictures of dumplings that we could point at. Nine of us split six plates of fifteen dumplings which was the perfect amount. Afterwards we decided to explore the mall a little. There were lots of shops with nice clothes, everything was just slightly overpriced. We went to this place called Cat Planet; they have an area with a bunch of cats that you can play with for 30 yuan, and two guys played with cats while the rest of us walked around a little more. By the time we got back, they both had multiple cats on their laps, and it was feeding time. After we left the mall, a couple of us decided to go out and explore some more. Beijing is just so large and even when we don’t know what to do, there is always so much to do. It felt like the days had be going by so fast.



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