The American Bunny Day

May 17

Today’s bus ride was not nearly as long as yesterday’s (thankfully). Today in the morning we visited Delphi Technologies. The person we met with there was head of sales but most shockingly, he was also a Pitt Grad. Well, he got his Ph.D. from Pitt, but still! In his talk, we talked a lot about his background (he was from China) and how he had gone from being an engineer to being in charge of the sales department. He said that when he came back to China he was at first a translator for people doing sales, but he was able to more easily make sales because he could better communicate with potential clients. All of the engineers in the group were thrilled to finally meet someone with an engineering background and on the trip and who could understand and answer their questions with good information (everyone else on the trip we had met with had been either the business side of the company and knew very little about the technicalities of the engineering involved in the company). We also took a tour of Delphi’s labs. These labs were used for testing cars and their emissions systems. Delphi creates emissions systems and they showed us the machines that test each piece of those systems and the system as a whole once it is put in a car. I cannot say that I was very excited by this visit.

I was much more excited by our second visit of the day. After lunch, we drove back to the same area the acrobatics show had been and met with the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, or AmCham Shanghai as they called it. They are focused on making it possible and simple for American companies to do business in Shanghai and the rest of China. They give information to companies about starting their business in China, about the latest policies that will affect them and how they will affect their business, as well as creating a channel of communication between the businesses and the government. They talked with us about the economics of China, some difficulties that American companies have in China, and we talked about the potential trade war that people believed might occur (they said that it wouldn’t happen because both sides need the other so badly). It was also nice to hear an American’s perspective on business in China. It was also a very good session because they fully understood the questions we were asking and what information we were looking for. That visit took a little longer than it was supposed to, and they had to actually cut us off to leave (it was really hot in that room).

When we got back to the hotel, I played a game called Codenames with some other people before dinner. Yang, Jane, and Liliana took us to get dim sum for dinner which is the style of food Shanghai is known for. Our favorite thing we got was a hot doughy thing shaped like a bunny and filled with hot egg-sugar liquid stuff (I don’t really know what it was, but it was delicious).

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