American Chamber of Commerce

Today we visited two different companies AmCham and Horiba. The American Chamber of Commerce in China is shortened to AmCham because AmCham sounds cooler. AmCham is a company that helps other American companies do business in China because doing business here is much different than in the USA. In China, everything moves faster. Many American companies make the fatal mistake of trying to communicate their plans and actions back to the US, wait to receive the go ahead and then act. This is just too slow because by the time you have communicated back to the US, your competitors have already acted and gained a big advantage. Anyhow the presentation that the two delegates from the company gave was absolutely amazing. They were very knowledgeable and interesting people. I learned that it is complicated and hard to run a business like AmCham in China because the government in China is very opaque. You never know what they are going to do. This causes a lot of uncertainty and confusion for companies and being able to adapt and overcome this hurdle would allow a company to do well in China.

Horiba was the other company we visited in the afternoon. This was a visit that catered more towards the engineers in the group. Horiba makes many different mechanical products such as pH meters and they also test engines and turbines for cars. I couldn’t tell exactly what was going on but it sure looked complex. Unfortunately for Horiba, AmCham was a much more interesting company mainly because they deal with political and business problems where Horiba just deals with engineering problems, which is much less interesting to me. Both companies were impressive and I think that AmCham was even more impressive than Huawei.

After getting back to the hotel me and my friend John Christiano went back to the Bund. The Bund river flows through the center of Shanghai splitting into the East and West sides of the city. The skyline there is stunning and we were eager to walk around and explore. We ate at a very local family restaurant that I don’t even know the name of but the food we had was extremely yummy. For 60 yuan, about $9 USD, me and my friend ate like we were at a feast. We had delicious soup dumplings, kung pow chicken that really had a lot more kung than pow, salty beef with veggies and wonton veggie foods that were great. We ate until we couldn’t eat anymore and there was still food on the table. This may have been the best dinner on the trip so far. After dinner we walked the Bund which was lively even on a weekday. There were many people walking up and down the river with street vendors trying to sell us cheap little trinkets that nobody wanted to buy. The clouds were very low so it looked like the buildings went right up into the sky and then were lost. It was surreal. I can’t wait to go back tonight and explore again!

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