Today we had our usual routine as always. Wake up early, get breakfast, go to the bus. This time was a little bit different though. Today we were making our first engineering site visit to Delphi Technologies so I was both happy and excited for the engineering students who had been only sitting through business presentations up to this point. We arrived at Delphi and went upstairs to a conference room for our presentation given to us by Dr. David Fan. He got his MBA from the University of Michigan and then actually went to Pitt for his Ph.D., studying there for 2 years (Hail to Pitt!). Dr. Fan told us he’s been a sales employee of Delphi for 3 years now and he manages all of the Asia Pacific for their company. Unfortunately for the engineers, this ended up being another business presentation, mainly focused on sales of automobiles. We first learned that Delphi used to be a part of General Motors. Additionally, Dr. Fan told us that the Chinese government is pushing for better technology, meaning hybrid vehicles for Delphi. He told to expect in the next 10 years to see a 70-80% increase in hybrid vehicles and a large decrease in combustion engine vehicles. Lastly, I learned that the reason electric cars are so expensive is that the battery is extremely expensive for them. Following the presentation for Dr. Fan, we were given a tour of their facilities. To be honest, it was pretty cool to walk through and see all sorts of different machines and equipment being put to use to make cars. I’m sure this was the best part by far of any of the company visits for the engineers.
Next on our agenda was our visit to the American Chamber of Commerce in the People’s Republic (AmCham). When we arrived we were lead to a presentation room and met our two presenters, Hank Hulick and Chris Chen. They were both from the US and talked with us about business in both China and the US (mainly China though) and relations between the two countries. AmCham partners with Chinese businesses to provide them support. Companies join with AmCham for networking, information, and to help influence Chinese policy. We learned about China’s GDP over the years and even found out that New York City and Shanghai are ranked 1 and 2 respectively as the cities projected to contribute the most to global GDP by 2030. Additionally, China is the 2nd largest economy in the world based on nominal GDP. Hank and Chris also touched on the Presidents of both countries and how differently the people and media portray them. Lastly, they mentioned 2 things that they told us we should all know which are the One Belt One Road plan and the AIIB. One Belt One Road is China’s long-term roadmap for influencing the road (Econ + policy + infrastructure + trade). It focuses on infrastructure investment/construction and is one of the largest infrastructure and investment mega-projects in history as it covers more than 68 countries, which is equivalent to 65% of the world’s population and 40% of the global GDP as of 2017. The AIIIB (Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank) aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific Region. The AmCham visit was our last company visit, but it was easily my favorite as it focused on finance and economics. Another thing I want to include in my blog for today is that I ate a chicken foot at lunch which was honestly pretty good, I’d eat another one. Dr. Li took a picture of me eating it so I’ll have to find that. Anyway, sadly tomorrow is our last day before we leave, but we are headed to the Yu Garden, have our final group presentations, and have our farewell dinner so it should be fun.