Today, we had two site visits, neither of which were tourist visits. Boring as it may seem, it was anything but that. Sunshine insurance was our first destination of the day.
Once we got there, all I could see on either side was big beautiful brick buildings, gardens, and perfectly mowed lawns. This place didn’t look like an insurance company at all! It didn’t even seem like a company to be honest because everything was so nice it looked more like a private mansion with roughly a dozen buildings.
We were greeted by people that work there and sat down in an auditorium where we talked about our majors and our experience in China so far. Following that we were given a presentation about the humble beginnings of Sunshine insurance and how it has risen to be one of the top competitors in China. They seemed to really highlight how the founder and his co-investors spent days with minimal food because they had put all of their money collectively into this company.
After their presentation we were given a tour of their facilities, specifically their history museum, which struck me as odd that they had a museum of an insurance company, but hey more power to ya. Besides the museum though, as I previously mentioned everything was stunning. The grass was the same height everywhere, the gardens were gleaming in the sunshine (pun intended), and the buildings all looked brand new.
Upon completion of the tour they served us a Chinese buffet lunch, and we were on our way to the next site.
Next up was Xiaomi. It is pronounced Sh-ow-me. Xiaomi is a tech company that more specifically focuses on cellular phones. They remind me a lot of apple or Samsung in the sense that they are at the forefront of innovation in China. We were given a presentation just like all the other visits we have gone to. The employee talked about how their manufacturing works, and how their company works in different sections, but also they collaborate together to create the best product they can. We were shown their products after the presentation when we went down the to mall section of the building and stayed in the Xiaomi store for a while messing around with their phones. I actually figured out how to make myself the background on the phones, which wasn’t an easy task. I probably surprised someone in China pretty good when they went to pick up the phone and discovered me and a few others faces on it.
Just like every night after our business of the day was over, we were left with free time to do whatever we liked. Tonight was a visit to the silk market. This market was nothing like the other one we visited. This was an aggressive market place where you can barter for your fake Gucci if you choose. My experience with the salespeople is that they can be easily dooped by mentioning that a nearby store offered something for a lower price. It was my first time actually arguing over prices for anything so I enjoyed myself seeing how low I could get them to go.