Now that I have got my first week out of the way I really feel that I need to start to do the work that I came here for. I really want to learn about business on a first hand basis and this week is pretty pack with meetings, projects, and activities. Thursday Bonnie wants me to come with them to a meeting that they have with Gionee and Friday she wants me to come to a meeting with Philips electronics. Gionee is a medium size telecom company that is based in Shenzhen, China. They do telecom for China and Cube2 is designing a touchscreen sliding phones for them. Philips is a European electronics company and Cube2 is just having a meeting to try to start a partnership with them.
Well the realization hit me that work is tough. Trying to make a PowerPoint presentation about the company that I have just joined a week ago is not an easy task. I do not know exactly what Bonnie wants to say about her company? On top of that now I have a new project of copying 200 pages worth of email addresses onto a word document. I wrote a company profile last week so we can send mass email to all of the companies, giving our information and services… Sounds like fun?
Tonight was the first time I really enjoyed the food here. As a group the program took us to a Hot Pot. Hot Pot is a pot seasoned flavored water that you cook your food in to eat. We got a bunch of raw food, such as beef, shrimp, dumplings, noodles, and various vegetables and cooked them into the pot. It was pretty good and a fun way to eat. Being a week here and not really enjoying the food started to discourage me a lot. After this experience I am ready to start giving Chinese food another chance.
Midway through the week and tomorrow is when we are going to mainland China. These last couple of days I have had to go the Chinese visa office to get a visa for mainland China. It has not been easy. So I went down to the office early Tuesday morning and filled out the paperwork. Since I need my visa for tomorrow I had to get it rushed. The cost for the visa is about 1350 Hong Kong dollars, which is about $200 US. The rush fee was only like $250 HK and the visa cost about $1100 HK. This visa only allows me to enter the country of China twice before I have to get another one. I think they make it so expensive for Americans because of all the strict immigration laws the US has on the Chinese. Europeans and other Asians come and go through China for about $50 US to $100 US. Lucky for the USA, we get the most expensive treatment. Well at least I get to make it over to mainland during my stay in Southeast Asia.
Shenzhen was today and we were pretty much there all day. It only took about an hour to get there and the big tall buildings, mass amounts of people, and expensive lifestyle made it have a similar feel to Hong Kong. The main difference to me is that it felt like there was more dense population. For example after the meeting we went into the metro and there was a ridiculous amount of people trying to push their way onto the train. Being a little claustrophobic it made me uncomfortable.
As goes for the meeting I felt like it went well. The problem I had was that I couldn’t understand anything that they were saying due everybody speaking mandarin Chinese. The main topic of the meeting was just about the products that we were designing for them and whether or not they liked them. They picked the ideas that they liked, gave suggestions and we went on our way.
After the meeting something interesting happened to me. On the way home we stopped by a shopping mall to eat and during our wait I decided to go the restroom. Well as I entered the restroom I decided to go into the stall. When I looked into the stall I found that the toilet was put into the ground and there was no toilet paper. Once I witnessed this I then proceed to turn around and walk out immediately. Later I found out the due to the huge population and amounts of people that use the public restrooms, they decided that it would be cleaner for people to “squat” and bring their own toilet paper. I can tell you that this business is not my style and I want nothing to do with that.
In Shenzhen I had a good, even with the whole bathroom thing. You can tell that mainland feels a little different from Hong Kong, just by the way people act and amounts of people Chinese people there are. Also, experiencing my first real meeting was exciting. I can’t wait for Philips tomorrow.
6/24/11 – 6/26/11
Just before we head out to meet with Philips I think Bonnie and I have a good understanding of what she wants to say in the Philips presentation. The meeting was with the design director and sourcing specialist to determine whether Philips and Cube2 can work on projects together in the near future. The meeting was very interesting because I learned a lot about the company as well as what big companies like Philips want from their partnerships. I believe that Philips wants to use us in helping them design products. The only thing is that they are very specific in what they want and what Cube2 has done in the past is design products for companies that are not exactly sure what they want. For example, a company came to Cube2 and asks them to design a battery charger for their technology; something that consumers would want to buy. Cube2 went out and did market research, strategize the brand, and designed the product for them. The thing with Philips is that they have their own teams for research and strategy so all they want are designers. As of right now they are just in contact of possibly doing business in the future. To me this is really interesting and I enjoyed listening to this presentation.
Furthermore, the week was over and Saturday was another sponsored event. They took us tea tasting and site seeing. We sat there for about hour learning about the difference between green, black, red and some other teas. After we ate vegetarian dim sum. I am going to give this event a letter grade of C. I did not enjoy it. I have never had so much tea in my life. I personally do not drink that much tea so you can say “it is not my cup of tea…” ok bad joke. Also, I am not a vegetarian so I did not really enjoy the dim sum. The best part for me was exploring the Hong Kong Park; which is the place where the tea tasting place was located. We took lots of funny pictures and got to see a lot of the architecture.
I noticed that the government really spends a lot of money on the public recreational areas. From what I hear is due to the Hong Kong government not having any military expenses they have a huge excess of money. Apparently, each year after taxes they give their citizens about $6000 HK. Sounds like a good deal.
After the whole tea/ veggie experience we went to the Avenue of the Stars. It’s kind of like the Hollywood walk of Fame. That was fun to see because I only knew like 2 stars on the whole walk (Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan). Overall it was a fun weekend, and now I am ready to start the next one.