Hooray for Horiba (And AmCham)

For my second full day in Shanghai I had a packed day with two company visits to The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (Amcham) and Horiba. These two visits were up there with my visit with Huawei because of how informative the visit to AmCham was and how engineering oriented the visit to Horiba was.

AmCham is a company that provides business resources to American companies as a platform for the businesses to network in Shanghai. Our group was seated for a roundtable information session with open question and answer headed by Dan, a member of the government relations committee for the United States and Chris, a businessman from PNC bank. Even though I was mostly lost on the business side of things, I tried my best to keep up with the terms and questions thrown around. Both Chris and Dan were very knowledgable and were able to answer the wide variety of questions thrown at them by us. We talked about China’s economy, ambitions, supply chain trends, and business climate. It was also interesting and informative to talk to Dan and Chris about China’s current trade war with the United States heating up. In some ways it was nice that of all the times for the US President to stir things up it would be when we were there. What really stuck with me from the visit was China’s economic growth and further increasing presence on the world stage. By 2030, China will be one of the leading forces in the global economy even more than it is now. However, a growing problem facing the country is that because the government uses tax money from corporations to fund the infrastructure, there is a fear that the local government will not be able to pay off debt. Also there are going to be future repercussions in China’s future from how it was able to sail smoothly through the recession of 2008.

Though most of the company visits catered somewhat to engineering, Horiba was the first visit that was completely engineering focused and where I didn’t need to struggle to keep up with the conversation. At Horiba when we first walked in we had to wear foot covers so that’s when I knew this visit was gonna be the real deal. We had the CEO of the company present during our information session and question and answer which shows how much they valued us visiting. Horiba specializes in measurement and analysis technologies across the automotive field, semiconductor field, medical diagnostic field, scientific field, and processes and environmental technologies fields. What is really interesting to me because they build all of their tech and sensors for their tech by themselves to ensure quality assurance. It is really nice to hear that a company does not really advertise because they know that they are the best in the field and produce quality products for the industry because that shows the Horiba is not as much focused on the money but their craft, and the money just flows naturally. The tour of the assembly plants was nice because it shows how for some products it doesn’t need to be a bunch of workers mass producing technology, on the contrary in one room there were just two people, one who assembled this high grade piece of medical equipment, and another who tested it out. This showed me how personal engineering can be. In addition, even though the Shanghai is one of the biggest facilities Horiba has there were only around 200 employees. Though Huawei was definitely much more flashy, both these company visits had me leaving knowing important information about both business and engineering.

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