Today we had two company visits and they were very informative as well as eye-opening. First, we went to the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (AmCham). This company is a group that helps out American businessmen and women in China. The presentation we received had information on the business environment in China and how things are conducted on this side of the world. It was interesting to see the amount of influence the government plays in business as well as how companies interact with other companies. We also received plenty of information on the economic growth and prosperity period that China is undergoing. China’s GDP has been been rapidly growing over the years but as of recently, growth has hit a bump and is slowing down. China made the jump from developing country to developed country quickly, but this made it hard for China to keep growing because at a certain point there was no more room for growth. We also talked briefly about the credit system and how it is a staple of the United States. In China, they don’t have a program exactly the same but a similar program is not popular and is state-run. That’s why most of the country pays with WeChat because the credit culture has not expanded to this part of the world.
After our visit with AmCham, we went to lunch. At these lunches, they are all relatively the same and I have mentioned this in my blog post before. I don’t know if I am getting more hungry as this trip moves on, but the food is getting better and I am eating more everyday. Being a picky eater was hard but this trip really forced be out of my comfort zone, which has left me with some mixed feelings. Although I have been bold with my food choices here, the tastes are too different. I am ready to go back home and eat some salty, savory food. It just shows how much different the food culture is between the two nations.
Lastly, we visited the second company, Horiba. It is a Japanese technology firm that works in multiple industries and produces many different industrial technology products that are used in research facilities and universities. They are spread across five different industries: automobile test systems, process and environmental products, semiconductors, medical, and scientific products. They also have made strong contributions to the research and development of autonomous driving vehicles. Horiba is a leading tech research firm and it is nice to see that it is expanding physical, moving into the U.S., Germany, and China, of course. It also is expanding its brand by entering all of these new industries after some time. They use a step by step process to building their company and they have acquired a lot over the years.
After a presentation on what the firm does, we went and toured their R&D facility. This was very cool to see the behind the scenes of a research firm. As a business student, I feel like I couldn’t appreciate it as much as the engineers did, but nonetheless it was still interesting to see the research in motion. We also got to see a class 10000 clean room! For those of you who don’t know what this is, like me, it is basically a room with or less than 10000 particles/cubic foot in the room. It’s so that what they’re working on isn’t contaminated by particles or pollution in the air.
The two company visits were nice and I can’t wait to see what the last full day in Shanghai has to offer.