Blog day 12: Amcham and Delphi

Breakfast today was great, as usual.  I enjoy how it is a blend of both Chinese and Western breakfast foods.  It gives me the option to choose between trying something new and eating something familiar for I am getting sick of the local cuisine.

Today’s program activities were composed of two company visits, Delphi technologies and the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham).  We first visited Delphi.

Delphi is a mechanical engineering firm that concentrates in designing powertrains for cars.  Our presenter got his PHD in Mechanical Engineering from Pitt, which I suspect is the primary reason that we went there.  He mostly talked about what it is like to be an engineer who goes into sales for a technology firm.  Although it may have been a veer away from supply chains, it was very informative and had a great Q&A section to it.  After the presentation, the group was given a tour of Delphi’s Quality Assurance lab.  This is the place where tests are run on Delphi’s engines to assure quality.  The tour was interesting, and some people really got into it. They were mechanical engineers, so it makes sense.  We left for lunch right after the tour.

After lunch, we went to AmCham, which has its office located in a high-end office complex on Nanjing Street.  It was in the nice part of town to say the least.  We saw a cute dog on our way up, that made my day, and most others’ day as well.  The AmCham office itself is fairly small, but it is a looking office based off of its lobby and our presentation room.  We had two presenters, both who are from the US and learned Chinese as a second language.  One of them worked for AmCham, and the other worked for PNC bank, which was interesting and the only time we didn’t have a presenter that didn’t work for the company we were visiting.  Having a guy from outside the company made sense for this presentation because AmCham is a Nonprofit organization that works to help American businesses connect with Chinese businesses, both large and small.  The presentation itself discussed mainly China’s economy and how it is growing.  There was also a Q&A section to it which veered more towards China’s economy in relation to increasing use of technology by the Chinese and how foreigners end up working in China.  The presentation and Q&A was easily the best presentation during the trip because of how informed our presenters are and how they were able to handle tough questions from us.

Once of the most insightful topics that came up was the Chinese perspective on their privacy online in relation to the Chinese Government and Chinese Companies collecting their personal data.  The Chinese have a much different perspective than Americans do.  While Americans tend to dislike the notion of the Government and companies collecting our private data, the Chinese are indifferent to it and accept it as a reality.  This is because they know that the Government is spying on them and there is nothing they know that they can’t do anything about it, so why is a private company collecting data any different if it goes towards making their lives easier to some capacity.  This helped reinforce to me that the American way of approaching certain issues isn’t true any other country.

AmCham was our last company visit for the trip, and it sure was a great one to go out on.  We went back to the hotel after the visit and then we had the rest of the night free.

-Steve

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