Today was a day I had been waiting for a long time. As soon as the day started I couldn’t wait until we got to Huawei. I have been following the company for a long time and have been fascinated by their phones, displays, and their new 5G cellular network. Once we made it to the site, I was surprised by the building. I would’ve thought we were visiting a head office or factory even, but this building was almost just a showcase building for investors and executives. We walked in the front doors and it looked like the red carpet at the Oscars. The room was open and beautiful, with a crystal chandelier on the ceiling and red carpet on the floor. We were quickly escorted into a room with a display with our group name on it along with a larger than life 16K display that showed the largest waterfall in China. This room was just the entrance to the showcase room which contained information on the 5G network, examples of the antennas, and displays and art that represented the company. Huawei does a very good job of showing and explaining their products while also giving statistics and giving implications of the product. Next as we moved through the hall, we learned how Huawei is also building towers that are self-sufficient and can be used to provide data for rural areas in China and third world countries. We moved on next to the phone aspect of Huawei which was very interesting since we got to play with and try out the various new models. The phones felt very premium and we learned how they ranged in price from 200 dollars up to 1000 dollars US and had features such as 50x zoom and 5G data capabilities. Throughout our tour we were able to see how beautiful and well thought out the facility was with the bathrooms being made out of intricate tile and dark, rich woods. Finally we ended the showroom tour with a showcase of the various chips and products they show up in. For example, some of the chips are used for AI they are developing that only lets certain people walk through a locked gate. Also a facial and gesture recognition software that allows a user to control a robot. We thought this was the end of our tour, but as we were led upstairs, it was far from over. We sat at a long table in a very grand room and had a lecture about the history of Huawei and current sales numbers. At the end we asked questions into an individual microphone. I was excited to learn that many important people have been in that room including the secretary of state for China.
After we had visited Huawei, we went and had lunch in a Beijing shopping mall before we left for VIPKID. I was originally not as interested in VIPKID as Huawei, but as soon as we got there, I was intrigued. The company provides English lessons for Chinese children by means of online activities and teachers in the US. The company took advantage of a somewhat open market to catapult to success over the past five years after being founded in 2013. This surprised me since language classes are offered in the US, but not forced by parents. The cultural difference in China is for parents to make sure their students are the best, so on top of English classes in school, they take language classes out of school. They showed us the company in their headquarters on the top eight floors of a Beijing skyscraper. After they presented their company we asked about various aspects of the company such as how they get teachers, who signs up as teachers, and how the company deals with the time change. In the end, I got a good idea of how an international business works even with time changes and language differences.