Day 4: A Whole Lot of Sunshine and Some Rice

First company visit day! We visited Sunshine Insurance and Xiaomi today. Sunshine Insurance’s headquarters was specifically designed to look like a European university. The campus was very expansive and beautifully built. Because of its European architecture and style, Sunshine’s headquarters made me feel like I wasn’t in China anymore. We were led to a lecture hall and were greeted by Fanny. Fanny explained that Sunshine Insurance company offers life, property, and management insurance and have a clear plan in which they are going step by step to make the company better. After the introductions, we toured the campus further. From a distance, I could see Sunshine Tower, which symbolizes Sunshine’s history. The tower is made up of tiers that are specifically measured at heights that correlate to important dates of the company’s history.

What most interested me about Sunshine Insurance was regarding the Sunshine Hospital. I have never heard of an insurance company funding a hospital. After watching a brief video at the company showcase, I found out that they regard each patient as an esteemed customer. I later asked Fanny if the Sunshine Hospital is up and running, and she said it does exist. After some further researching, the hospital located in Shandong province has over 2,000 beds and is a Class A level hospital, which means it offers the quality of care and service that is comparable with the hospitals in China’s Tier 1 cities. Sunshine Insurance Group invested 3 billion yuan (461 million U.S. dollars) to set up the hospital in cooperation with the city government. This could be a means to help achieve the health care-relate goals of China’s Five-year Plan to improve the nation.

After the tour, we had a buffet style lunch. I must say the pork buns were top-notch. Next, we took the bus to Xiaomi. Luckily, we had 20 minutes to spare so I went with a group to visit the Xiaomi store and look at their products beforehand. The store resembled an Apple store in aesthetic, but no doubt they provide products that are much more affordable. I was very impressed by the high-quality camera of the Xiaomi phone, but I most surprised by the other products, such as Mi Water Purifier and the electric scooters. One employee showed us Xiaomi’s smart device with its own A.I. similar to Amazon Alexa and Google Home. She turned on the fan by us by telling it to do so. She also said, “Are you okay?” and the device started playing music. Apparently, Xiaomi’s A.I. works with all if not most of Xiaomi’s products. After receiving passes, we were taken upstairs to the VIP room where one of the upper level executives explained Xiaomi’s supply chain operations. He emphasized how Xiaomi partners and maintains good relationships with 1st tier suppliers to ensure high quality products. He continued to explain the process of turning raw materials into actual products that are then distributed around the world. Xiaomi’s goal is to “empower everyone to enjoy technology.” Trying to keep prices low and their product quality high, Xiaomi has become the top number 1 seller in India. There also seems to be beginning effort to shift to the U.S. market. After the very informative presentation, we were led to the same Xiaomi store I already explored. Before leaving, a group and I bought carbonated lychee drinks for only 2 RMB; it was quite tasty. For dinner I went to get dumplings. We ordered 5 types of dumplings, each plate having 15 dumplings. The shrimp dumplings were my favorite. Afterwards, we went to explore the nearby mall. I was looking for a light jacket, but most products were expensive. We also found an area enclosed with glass walls where people can play with many cats.

After visiting Sunshine Insurance and Xiaomi, I’ve gained a better understanding of how much thought and planning it takes to produce a product. I can’t wait to visit and learn more about the next companies we will visit.

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