We started day three with the breakfast that I have become so accustomed to. I have to say, eating a meal without chopsticks and actual forks and knives is very refreshing. Following breakfast, we started our hour bus ride towards Huawei. When we got there, I was completely amazed by the building. It was a large, extremely open building that has gorgeously decorated floors and ceilings. Throughout the tour, we were introduced to all different groundbreaking technologies that Huawei has developed or is developing. I was shocked to see that Huawei is involved in numerous businesses aside from smartphones like computers, watches, chips and many more.
While at Huawei, we were wined and dined like I have never seen before. We sat in on a presentation in one of their meeting rooms. It consisted of a long table of about 20 seats. During the talk, employees came around and gave each student coffee/tea and a dessert plate. After this presentation was over, each student was greeted with gifts from Huawei. In general, this is a big cultural difference between foreign countries and the U.S. Huawei believes in wining and dining spectators as a way to increase brand awareness. You just don’t see that same thing at American companies. They would view this kind of treatment as inefficient and a waste of money.
Following our Huawei visit, we went to a mall for lunch. A good question came up on the bus was if China’s e-commerce business hurts malls as it has in the United States. It turns out this large mall sells higher-end goods and since there is such a larger population in density, these malls can survive.
After lunch, we went to VIPkids. When I arrived at this site, I truthfully had no idea what this organization did. I left with a good of understanding that they are a Chinese founded company that uses American teachers to teach Chinese students (pre-school to 6thgrade) the English language. They follow a similar revenue model as Uber as they take a percentage of what the teachers make per class. One thing that surprised me with this company was how many active staff members they used. A big responsibility this staff has is sales and marketing. The company is very young (only five years old) so employing so many workers for these jobs makes me question some of their business decisions. I understand you need to sell your product to consumers and to do that you need to spend money reaching out to people and telling them about your product, but I believe in the early years of a business, companies should focus less on this aspect and more on developing a superior, proprietary business.
Succeeding our two company visits, we trekked back to the hotel for a dumpling dinner on the boujee third floor that did not disappoint. After tens of dumplings were in our stomachs, we took a 40-minute subway to The Olympic Park. This was my first time on the subways in China. One thing I liked was they had glass up by the tracks that make it much harder to accidentally fall on the tracks compared to the United States. The subway itself was not very crowded and was pretty similar to the United States subways. When we arrived, I was pleased to finally see some of the arenas that I watched in 2008 up close. My two favorite stadiums were “the nest” and “the cube.” I wish I could of went inside these two places and really got an up-close view of where Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals or Usain Bolt broke the world record in the 100-meter sprint. Overall, I was pleased with the opportunity to get close to the buildings.
Tomorrow brings a new day where we will take a break from site visits and venture to historical landmarks like the Forbidden City, Tienmann Square, and the Temple of Heaven.