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Global Marketing

China Reflection

During my life I have never had a strong desire to visit China, however, I’m extremely grateful for the experience I had with this entire group. As my first international trip I can say that I loved every moment. We visited some of the most famous tourist destinations, while also learning about Chinese culture and their corporate business environment.

Overall, this experience has taught me that no matter what nationality or culture you belong to, we are all humans with similar desires. This seems like a simple concept, however, it is very easy to feel isolated in your own country and culture –forgetting that there are other people in different nations trying to live their lives as well. But, because we do not see these people every day or care enough to listen to the news on a regular basis we can forget about them and only think of ourselves. We may have different political views and approach situations differently, but we all want to survive, feel accepted, and live comfortably.

Throughout the entire trip, we often heard that the relationship between the United States and China is vital to the world. I understand this because things as we know it are becoming more and more global, especially when it comes to businesses. I do believe this relationship is important, however, it seems overdramatized. After observing China for the brief two weeks we visited, I noticed a lot of progress but also a lot of need for change. No doubt that their economy is one of the strongest in the world, however, they do face a lot of challenges.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was the visit to the Shanghai Stock Exchange and not only because the entire building was covered in fenestra’s but because I personally love investing in the stock market. I’ve never had a tour guide be so honest about some of the more ethically questionably aspects of their business environment. Additionally, I enjoyed the student summit because of the new friendships that I formed in the classroom activities. It was interesting to understand the Chinese students’ viewpoints and compare them to my own. Despite this, I did find most of the summit somewhat useless. It seemed like one big photo shoot.

I’m so grateful for this cultural experience and especially to have had the opportunity to travel with such a good group of students and professors from Chapman. After being home for almost a month, I’m more appreciative of the life I live in the United States and the opportunities that have been given to me. I cannot wait to travel the world more and gain a more wordily view.

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Global Marketing

U.S. & China Student Summit

Throughout the entire course, many professionals said that the most important relationship in the world is between the United States and China, at least for the next 100 years. The objective of this world summit was to bridge the various differences between the two nations through the youth. Personally, I felt as if the summit was one big photo shoot; rather than actually helping build relations for each nation it merely was a staged event. The speakers and facilitators stated a lot of buzz words that held very little meaning or action to further the Summit’s objective. However, I did find some of the facilitator activities to be beneficial in making friends with the Chinese students and learning more about their world-views.

My favorite activities during the classroom exercises included the Leadership and Cultural Intelligence discussions. During these activities, my classroom held a very stimulating conversation about the varying views and revealed some distinct differences in thought between a “typical” American and Chinese student. Nonetheless, I found that each of us could learn a lot from these differing perspectives.

As we discussed leadership, whether this is in an academic or business environment, I noticed clear distinctions in what a Chinese student values and what an American student values in a leader. At first, the Chinese students in my small group described a good leader as one who can “conquer” over the rest. Where as the Americans in my group, including myself, described a good leader as one who can motivate and inspire others. As we have learned in our classes before traveling to China, the Chinese culture values a hierarchical structure rather than an egalitarian structure, which is more prevalent in American culture. The purpose of this exercise was to achieve cultural intelligence, which is the ability to thrive and understand multiple cultural perspectives pertaining to a single issue. Additionally, we found some similarities in qualities that we both desired in leaders, but overall it was interesting to try to understand their perspective. I found this to be the most stimulating conversation between the Chinese and American students. It allowed for us to discuss corporate structures, family dynamics, social norms, and education in each other’s cultures.

Overall, the summit was a failure but it was interesting to observe the cultural differences and discuss with the Chinese students on a more personal level. I look forward to keeping in touch with a few of them from my class.

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Global Marketing

H.S.B.C Shanghai

In 1865, HSBC was originally founded as the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC). Currently, HSBC Holdings is a multinational service and banking corporation headquartered in London with over 6,600 locations worldwide. It is the world’s third largest bank in terms of assets.

As a student studying abroad in China it was amazing to gain an inside look at the banking industry in a foreign country, especially in a city that has some history for this particular financial institution, HSBC. Ironically, before traveling abroad I had heard of this bank because I used to have a high interest savings account with them. However, as I learned they are not in the business of servicing individuals but more focused on businesses and foreign investing. Particularly, it was interesting to learn that the biggest value HSBC offers for its clients is its international services.

Historically, HSBC has roots in Shanghai, however in 1955 they gave up their offices to the communist Chinese government while continuing operations through a lease agreement. The current Shanghai branch we had the opportunity to tour was established in 2007 as one of the first foreign banks to become fully incorporated in China. As a nation, China limited foreigner’s opportunities in the past, however, it has slowly relaxed certain regulations to allow foreign businesses to flourish. Nonetheless it is still difficult to gain market share, however, HSBC has become the largest foreign bank in China.

During the presentation, I found the Q&A with the director to be interesting since he was an American working abroad. After traveling abroad on this trip, I’ve considered working abroad, especially as an Accounting major. There are so many opportunities for advancement for those who take positions outside of the United States because there’s so much to learn. Additionally it was fascinating to learn about the various services HSBC offers. It amazes me how strict the Chinese government regulates the banking industry. It comes as no surprise since these banks are operating in a communistic environment, nonetheless it seems that these regulations seek to limit foreign investment and incentives to conduct business within the country. The fact that businesses need four different bank accounts to save, receive, and pay cash domestically and abroad makes managing any business more complicated.

Through close observation of the business environment in China, it seems as if, as a nation, they are becoming increasingly free market based rather than communistic. I believe in the future, China will become more relaxed in its banking regulations, further allowing more foreign investment and businesses operating in China. This is the only way they can sustain their growth and achieve their goal of becoming a world power like the United States and others.

 

 

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Global Marketing

An American Brand in China

On our last day in Beijing a group of students led by Amy and May deiced to take the subway to a local market street. It was a small row of shops down a tight ally and to my surprise vehicles of all kinds are actually allowed to drive on this alleyway despite the massive crowds of people and tight corners. However, this long alley offered a variety of local shops and food places. We stopped off to get some shaved mango ice with fresh fruit and from there we kept walking through the numerous shops.

Toward the end of the street there was a small hotel and inside was a Starbucks. As apart of our assignment today we were told to analyze the similarities and differences in operations of American brands conducting business in China. In the United States, Starbucks is often placed strategically inside other businesses such as hotels and grocery stores. In terms of operations the Starbucks ran no differently from one in Orange. It was of similar size and held the same amount of staff; one employee took the orders while one barista fulfilled the orders. When placing my order I received great service, obviously there was a language barrier, but I received my coffee fairly quickly. Nonetheless there were a few differences I observed while ordering.

The differences I noticed are a result of cultural differences between China and the United States. For instance, the menu is similar, but offers additional items such as “dragon dumplings” with fruit and of course their tea offerings are more extensive. I believe, as a worldwide brand Starbucks will cater to all of its customers needs depending on the location. Additionally, in American culture we are often known for having large portions and our drink sizes are no exception. As a foreigner in China it’s surprising to see this difference first-hand, however, unlike other American brands Starbucks sold the same cup sizes as in the United States. I believe this merely comes down to having a worldwide standard size for a tall, grande, and venti cup. It simplifies manufacturing and distribution of cups to the various locations around the world. However, I noticed that cups offered for sale on the shelves such as the tumblers and mugs were smaller than those sold in America. Overall it was a fun free day exploring Beijing.

 

 

 

 

 

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Global Marketing

Finally Abroad…

As I’m sitting on the plane, I still can’t believe that I will soon be in China. I’ve never been outside the United States before, so I’m most excited to learn more about the differences between the Chinese culture and the American culture as well as the fundamentals of their business environment. I’m looking forward to getting outside of my comfort zone and trying new things. I hope to make new friends while abroad. I think it is very easy in the United States to get caught up in a little “bubble”, especially as a college student. Often times, I know I don’t keep up on world issues and I hope this experience will help me gain a more worldly view and attempt to appreciate another cultures perspective on issues that we may disagree upon.

China is often talked about in the news for various reasons, mainly their economic growth, but also regarding their pollution, and labor issues. In my high school economics course, we watched a documentary on China and what the effects of their recent transformation have had on their population and government. As a growing nation, they face a lot of the same issues the United States once faced earlier in our history. I think it will be fascinating to observe some of these challenges first-hand and compare them to the United States.

Furthermore, as a business major at Chapman University, China is discussed in various courses regarding similar issues. For example, in my Humanomics course, we explored questions of free-will and liberty in society, while comparing it to legal structures. In specific, we discussed public and private liberties versus economic liberties in a society. What rights do citizens have socially versus economically and how some of these are enforced by the legal system and others are enforced through social norms. I think this can relate back to China because, currently the nation is operating with a communistic government, which I believe, is engrained in their cultural social norms. However, it seems as if as a nation they are becoming more and more free-market based in terms of their economy.

Lastly, in terms of what we learned in our four class sessions for this course, Chinese culture is almost the exact opposite of American culture. However, I’m looking forward to studying some of these differences through the corporate and government visits. Some of these differences will be extremely apparent and others maybe more subtle. As my first international experience I have no idea what to expect, I’m slightly anxious but more excited than anything.