« April 2008 | Main | June 2008 »

May 29, 2008

Our Adventure

This is a combined blog entry for Bryn, Shannon and Laura;

Today we went to a karaoke bar that looked like a 5 Star Hotel! Each room was a private suite with a server and flat screen TV's for people to choose songs to sing at will. It was bizarre!! We had a really good time with everyone and enjoyed the chance to try a popular China activity.

The three of us decided to leave a little earlier then the rest of the group and explored. We spotted a busy side market and went in. The smells, sounds, and visuals were indescribable. We watched a vendor make huge bread rolls and flatten them out onto a grill. He painted them with butter, green onions, and garlic and it looked to good to pass up. We watched how much money other patrons were giving and we gave the cashier 4 yuan for a bag of this bread. We went further into the open market and saw people buying their meals for the night, playing games, and chatting with neighbors.

We went down into a neighborhood where we saw some younger boys around 6 to 7 playing games and we tried to get them to take pictures with us. They giggled and pushed each other closer until finally one of their moms got them all together to get in a picture. We said our thank yous and continued our walk when the same boys followed us on their bikes. As they sped by we chased after them and raced down the open street (I think they were surprised at how long we could stay with them). They laughed and laughed and we couldn't believe what had just happened.

We all agreed that after that moment we finally felt like we were in China. Three girls alone in Tianjin, no translator, no guide, but making friends with one another and the locals all while sharing a bag of delicious bread. By far, one of the most rewarding experiences of the trip.

Book of Changes

I found it very interesting that our lecture about Management Theory and Methodology was all about Chinese religion and culture. I love learning about those things, don't get me wrong, and I see how they apply to business, but I still wasn't expecting it to be that in depth. I know a lot of people found it hard to understand the lecture, but I found it very interesting and insightful. The Chinese people base the choice made in a vague decision on something called Taoism which is explained in the Book of Changes. The Taoists believe in 64 iterations of 6 lines each containing both the female and male characters. For example, 6 solid lines means all male, and 6 broken lines means all female. The Taoist believe includes all iterations in between all male and all female. From these iterations, a sequence of characters is made, and they can predict the outcome of an event. (In theory, anyways).

I'm reading a book right now called Mere Christianity, by C. S. Lewis, and in it he describes how we came to believe what we do. Whether it's Christianity, Taoism, Buddhism, or Atheism, we believe what we do because we were told one way or the other at some point in our lives. We may have no physical proof, or first-hand proof of what it is that we believe, but we do believe it. There is no logic behind our belief, no concrete evidence, necessarily. It floors me that Taoists believe what they do, but that is what they believe because it is the tradition that they were taught.

Trying new things

This has been a busy and fast second week of our trip. I cannot believe how many new experiences I have had the opportunity to try. I have now tried duck, dog, turtle and a wide array of different Chinese food that I am unsure what it is called. I enjoy the style of eating meals here. Laura and I were talking at dinner this evening about how convenient a circular table with a rotating glass center is. It is easy to think that Chinese people can be rude in some aspects, but I think they are right on the money when it comes to eating. I still have not mastered the art of chopsticks, so eating takes me a little longer than usual. I am also amazed at how much the Chinese students (males especially) can eat. This evening at dinner, Erik from Hong Kong, was still eating 15 minutes after the rest of us were finished. It amazes me that they can stay so thin after eating mostly carbs.

Today Jen, Meghan and I had a first-hand experience of being a bike passenger. We were trying to get to the other side of campus and had minimal time to accomplish our task. We met up with some students from our class and they were willing to "drive" us part way to the other side of campus (not a small feat by any means). We felt bad that we were all heavier than they are used to escorting people, but it was fun! Jen fell off the bike before we even started to go, we wished we could have had a picutre of that! The low quality of their bicycles also suprises me, I have not seen many shiny or new bikes. Another thing I noticed is that very few have bikes with gears, which explains why many of the riders go at a leisurely pace. We also saw our first car-bike accidnet yesterday while driving by in the taxi. It appeared as though no one was hurt, which was quite a relief.

To absorb the culture even more, my goal is to learn a new word each day. Today the word of the day was breakfast, don't ask me how to spell it, all I know is that it rhymes with thousand. In addition to the things already mentioned, this week I went for my first run outside (inhaling smog cannot be good for the health), played soccer wtih Chinese studets, and attended a Chinese engligh business class; no wonder I am so exhausted.
I am very excited to go to Beijing tomorrow, I think we are all looking forward to a change of pace.

Language and Globalization

Thanks Morgan sending this link Blog at NYTimes.

May 28, 2008

Lines

I am a person who likes order, feels that everyone needs to takes turns, and that things should be fair and equal. Well, this thing about Chinese’s people not believing in lines is driving me crazy. A few of us were at McDonald's the other night (we needed a break from noodles and rice), we waited in line as it was quite busy but soon realized we had not moved any closer in about ten minutes, everyone was budging in front of us. So we decided to stand our ground, put our elbows out and not let anyone past, well these people bumped into us and just went around. At first we though it could have been that we stood out and were being taken advantage of, but we shortly realized that people were walking in the door and moving straight to the front of the line. Unless you state your place and budge in front of those budging in front of you you’ll never get any food, you have to fight for your food and also fight to eat it as chop sticks are not the easiest utensil to use.

Buying Snacks- Branding and logos!

Today was a wonderful day! It started out with a very interesting lecture about Chinese Business Methodology and Philosophy. Then we went to a business that produced batteries for cell phones, bikes, and many other products. After we got back from the business we all headed our separate ways. Some girls went shopping at the mall near Nankai's East Gate, Andrea and Bryn and all the guys went to play soccer with the Chinese boys. Laura and I went to the hair salon to get my hair cut (after Laura cut her hair, I had to get my hair cut too!!! It was way to cute, to pass up the opportunity!) I usually get nervous when anyone cuts my hair and ironically, I wasn't nervous at all! And it turned out cute!! I definitely stepped out of my box doing that!

After, my hair was finished, Laura and I went to watch the other students play soccer. We watched them play for about an hour and then Laura, Andrea, me, and Leon went to meet some of the girl Chinese students to go to one of their lectures. On the way there, we decided to pick up a snack because we knew we wouldn't be eating supper until late. Every time we walk into a convenient store we have to pick out things by the pictures, and/or logos. One of my favorite drinks here is their orange juice, so I grabbed my orange juice and went to the counter to pay. Laura noticed a Hershey's candy bar with mint leaves on it, so I said I would try it. After we bought our snacks, we proceeded to go to the Nankai Business school to meet the Chinese Students. The class we attended was called, "Business in English," or something similar. It was basically a business class taught in English about American brands. It was very interesting. So once we introduced ourselves with the professor and other students we sat down. I opened my candy bar and broke off a piece, the inside green part was more sea green than usual minty flavored candy were. So I asked the Chinese student what kind of flavor chocolate I bought. She told me it was green tea chocolate flavoring. I laughed and smiled and shared my snack with Laura and Andrea. In class, the students were learning about brands and logos and it made me think about and realize even more how much we American students rely on the logos to pick out different things to buy. And sometimes, we are not even right. Because, I could have sworn those green leaves looked like mint leaves. Being in China, I try to look for logos that I am familiar with, such as: Nestle, Hershey's, Dove, McDonald's, and etc. I know I can trust this brand because I am use to it. And this was the same concept the Chinese professor was teaching to the Chinese Students. It really put into perspective how important marketing brands and logos are.

Cho

Last night a few of us were taking a stroll and eating ice cream from mcdonald’s (or macdon’s). We talked about how the American and Chinese cultures contradict themselves; they are not what they perceive to be. America has a very individualistic culture, we only think about ourselves. We are not team players, we only think about making our life better, getting ahead. However, we are very generous and courteous, and always say please and thank you. If I bump into someone, even if it was my fault, I say excuse me. We wait in lines, take turns, and let people in front of us on a busy highway. China is just the opposite. They are seen as a very collectivistic culture. They do everything in groups, and work well in teams. On the other hand, lines do not exist. There is just a crowd at the front with everyone trying to get there. Although, I think I’m becoming quite a good budger. Lanes on the street do not matter, people just go, honking to warn others they are moving. When walking down the street, no one moves out of the way or says excuse me/ sorry. The man at Carrafour who dropped the liter of pop on my foot did not seem to care even when I yelled “ow.? They find it weird when we say thank you for something, because it is not the custom here. But in America people would think it was rude or insulting if people did not say thanks for everything. I find this contradiction of cultures very interesting. Then, we saw about 30-40 middle aged people working out in a bike lot. They had music blaring and were doing a dance in sync. It looked like a cross between the hokey pokey and aerobics. It was so cool, I tried to get pictures but they didn’t turn out very well.
I met the cutest girl in class today named Cho. She asked me write my name so she could pronounce it better. When she saw that I was writing with my left hand she did the same thing and asked if had been using the wrong one. I said no, I’m just the weird one that’s left-handed, and most people are right-handed (it can be tough living in a right-handed world). Cho said that people in China write with their right hand and eat with their left hand, like me, at which point I immediately felt cooler.
Shannon

Suburbs

The other day we were discussing the social differences between Chinese and American culture. I talked to girl named Jennifer, who speaks perfect English. We went off on a tangent, talking about tv shows and bonded over Desperate Housewives. She had never seen a street like that before and wondered if all of us live like that in the states. I told her about a great place I live in Minnesota, called the suburbs, or suburbia. In the city we have mostly apartment buildings like they do here in Tianjin, but on the outskirts of the city, between the rural area, many of the towns somewhat resemble Wisteria Lane. Of course it’s not as pretty as it looks on tv, but we have the wide streets, big green lawns, and 1, 2, or three story houses in communities with about 50,000 to 60,000 people (in my area). Most of them have reputations, rich or poor, good or bad. But no matter what we joke with each other about which one is cooler, our own always being number one. Then we moved on and gossiped about the characters and all the drama that is happening, until the teacher came back and we had to sit down.
Shannon

A good start to a busy day

Today’s lecture has been the most interesting thus far. Dr. Qi Anbang discussed Chinese Management philosophy and methodology; it blew me away. The idea that their philosophy behind business could be so different then our own was extremely interesting. The use the ying and yang to guide them through the decisions they make and account for the results. In the beginning he reminded me of the Greek Father from the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. He went into the meaning behind the word management and it sounded a lot like "the word arachnophobia come from the Greek root word arachnid meaning spider..." He was very detailed in explaining the meaning behind the Chinese characters that make up management.

Lets see if I can explain this correctly. There are 2 main characters that create the word "management" one character means officer or governor, the other means the work of the governor or officer. Then those two characters are broken down. The first character governor or officer has three meanings (upper, middle, lower). The upper=motivation, the middle=power, the lower=decision and communication. For the second character there are only two parts (left and right). The left=jade and the right=inside. Dr. Qi explained this to mean to find the jade you must look inside, to do this you must break the rock that holds the jade to see it. Its much more complex then the English meaning, but it is fascinating to look at business through another culture.

The ying yang was very cool. I have only learned about it once before in high school in a world's religion class, but here they don’t consider it a religion, it just is that way. It is basically a belief in dichotomies and everything has an equal resistance, the sun and the moon, male and female, good and bad. For Chinese people, they try to remain in the middle and stay as neutral as possible to balance the two sides. I wont go into much more detail on how the 2 sides can be broken down because that needs visuals to explain anything.

Today will be busy, but full of fun! We are going to a battery factory at 2pm and as soon as we get back we are playing soccer with the Chinese students. I am especially excited because I am a fan of the sport and have played all of my life. I am also excited to play because the Chinese boys never play with girls (they have only played with one other, but she was also foreign). Girls here don't play soccer they play badminton or table tennis. It should be interesting.

More Later!
Bryn

TEDA, etc.

Wes and I have been whittling down our paper topics, we decided on one Monday: architecture. So it was awesome to go to TEDA and see stuff. Don't want to disclose too much though -- I'm sure everyone will be clamoring to read it. When we told the Chinese students about our trip they knew all about the place and dreaded the bus ride for us. It probably would have been much worse if we were familiar with the terrain, but, being new to the area it was fun to look around.

I thought it was very strange that all the buildings seemed empty. Also eerie was the football stadium --dusty, and seemed to contribute to the feeling of emptiness in the town. The place was cool, the park was great and the suspension bridge was neat. Wes had a good time by himself at the pond, and Stacy had fun touching the public refuse bin.

The school construction projects should help, and the condos are very nice-looking and appealing. It was a cool place to visit, and I hope the economic expansion project picks up and people start to utilize the cool attractions in the special economic development zone.

Monday-Tuesday

Monday we were all pretty tired from such a busy weekend, and went to Nankai for our first lecture which was interesting, and had a focus on the Chinese economic transition/upgrade. This was cool to learn some of the things about how ebay and other companies can be so successful in a certain area and fail when introduced into a new culture without doing enough necessary research. This was not something I had learned about last semester in consumer behavior, however i have never got the true reasoning behind internationalization failing in the eyes of the introductory culture, and why their culture rejected it. After class we went on some business visits to a steel manufacturing plant which was very nice, and the upkeep of the buildings/machinery was above anything we've seen thus far. We saw mounds of recycled metals that were compacted into 6,000 pound cubes for shipment to another plant where they would be melted down into long sheets, then sent back for cutting/selling to consumers.

The next stop was a toyota plant that manufactured the trimmings and seats for many of the local toyota car factories. The technology was more advanced than expected, and the wages were shockingly low in comparison to our own, averaging only about 2,000 yuan per month. I feel that even after you calculate the lower cost of living average here that there money supply/average pay that we have seen is much lower than ours.
After our trips were done we split off for dinner, and I headed with a group off in search of the Amercian Grill we had set out for on sunday (but never found). Hank's as it turns out does exist, and was really amazing food. We chatted with Hank himself, and the owner of a rare American biker bar that we plan to go to at some point in time to determine if there is any common simularities/differences than those of our own back home. Although the Chinese culture is fascinating, it was good for just an hour to chat in english with a few Americans who were working as entrepreneurs here in China. The amazing part was to find out that they do not speak fluent Chinese and are still successful and have been in business for over 5 years.
Tuesday we toured the TEDA (development/business district) of Tianjin, which was a 1.5 hour bus ride. We toured ACS and Coca-cola which were both pretty interesting. ACS is a technology support company that supports such names as motorola, sprint, as well as a few dozen others. Coca-cola was very fun to see as we watched thousands of bottles go from empty to full in a matter of minutes. The technology/machinery involved in their process was so advanced only a few dozen employees were needed on the floor to produce over 500 bottels per minute between their 4 or 5 bottling machines. We also had the opportunity to see how the business district is so much more quiet and peaceful (at least during the day while all the city is working) due to their higher average pay, they have a much higher percentage of people that work a common 9-5 making the city during the day/week seem like a large beautiful ghost town. We got to eat at a school connected with Nankai which was interesting to see the difference in bulding quality/expense (much higher here than at Nankai). We strolled through a slculpture garden/park of some sort which gave a great view of the area and an opportunity to walk off some of the lunch! For dinner we wandered back to the Korean resturant next door and once again had an amazing feast of seafoods, rices, sushi, and multiple different meats all prepared right at our table for only about 7 dollars a piece. This kind of meal would cost upwards of 20 easily back in Minnesota, and could only be found at a hand full of places.

May 27, 2008

Handicap Children

The conversation on the bus ride home from TEDA was a very serious, sad, and disappointing. However, I am very thankful to have been told the truth and been given answers to questions I had been speculating on. There are no accomodations for disabled people and there has not been a single disabled person seen. With this, I had much speculation on how births of children with disabilities were handled. I became more curious as I thought about the implications of the one-child birth policy enacted by the Chinese government in the early 1980's. Dr. Li shed some light on the situation, answering many questions and shedding some light on the dark side of the Chinese culture. It is very saddening to think that many births of handicap children are disposed of and left on the streets. It is difficult to understand why a parent would do this, but there must be reasons. I find this very interesting, and see this cultural difference in the treatment of individuals with disabilities to be a great topic for a cultural difference paper.

Variety of Foods

After a week in China, we have been exposed to a variety of foods that are unusual or out of the norm for us to see on a menu. Many of the students have tried these new foods with an open mind and as an opportunity to experience the Chinese culture even more. Others have been somewhat hesitant and reserved as they cannot get over what it is they might actually be eating. I for one have tried most of the unusual foods that have been put infront of me. Some of the items that I have consumed, despite feeling very hesitant about and a moral pull against doing so, have been: Duck tongue, Duck egg, Dog, Chicken heart, and Cow tongue. Others might feel octupus is strange, but that is served regularly in the US. Other things that have been on the menues, but I have yet to try are Turtle and snake. I have a morbid fear of snakes, but maybe by eating one I can get over this fear. Another chinese food that I have seen in the markets, but have yet to see on the menues is Bullfrog. Looking at the appearance of a Bullfrog on the outside might make this the most difficult to eat. Although many people have said that frog legs are very tasty. I really enjoy the opportunity of trying new and different foods, despite having a puppy back home. Sorry buddy.

Visiting companies

We visited several companies in China. Some of them were manufacturing plants. One of them was a car seat, and head linear manufacturing plant. The other was a stainless steel plant. I admired the working conditions, but they were not particularly interesting to me. We also visited a coca-cola bottling center. With coca-cola's bottling process highly automatic using machines, I don't think being in China gives them much of a labor advantage. The other company that we visited was ACS, an fortune 500 company from the US. After learning about their work nature, I raised the question whether work productive or satisfaction falls because the empolyess from China get pay significantly less than those in the States doing the same job.

Selecting Brand Names That Shanghai Esteems

Source http://www.fas.usda.gov/info/agexporter/1997/July%201997/selectin.html

Selecting Brand Names That Shanghai Esteems

By Alcinda Hatfield

China may be famous for its teas, ceramics and ancient medicines, but not for its brands. Until recently, producers invested little effort to develop a name or product image.

A brand creates a differentiated image that surrounds a company and its products. This image affects the way customers feel about a product, the "brand personality" they prefer and how they experience a product. The best brand images totally engage the consumer and prompt an automatic purchase response.

Today, Chinese manufacturers and retailers sell branded products as if they were bulk items, assuming that products will sell themselves based on their merit and consumer need. But as competition and disposable income increase, effective branding will be the difference between success and failure in China.

East Meets West

Potential exporters must understand cultural characteristics when considering brand management in the Chinese market. Because the Chinese continue to favor names that convey goodness, luck, happiness, long life, prosperity or historical significance, it is sometimes difficult to translate a Western brand name into Chinese.

The Coca-Cola Company took 11 years to make a profit, in part due to an ill-advised brand name, after it came back to China in 1979. Today, Coke dominates the vast soft drink market across the Chinese continent, after creating an improved name meaning "delicious, enjoyable and makes you happy."

PepsiCo, Inc., came up with "everything makes you happy" to capture market share for Pepsi.

The Keebler Company found a phonetically similar name meaning magic treasure. Chinese consumers associate the Keebler elf with the brand name as do others around the globe.

The Hershey Foods Corp. found that "good times" was better received than "good thoughts." Again, the success of these brand names indicates that the underlying meaning of a product name is important to local consumers.

A Taiwan noodle manufacturer capitalized on its "master chef" name, while countless companies use "dragon" in their brands as this connotes prosperity and a sense of imperialism to the Chinese consumer.

In the world's expanding urban marketplace, businesses must effectively design brand names that convey appealing images to which consumers can relate. Because China remains an enigma to many Westerners, identifying such images and then successfully marrying them to a particular product brand is far from easy.

For some Western food products, only a phonetically similar Chinese name, often with no meaning, identifies the product for the consumer. But that is better than nothing. Before the new Chinese labeling standard went into effect in September 1996, many imported food products were labeled exclusively in the country of origin's language. At least now more labels are in Chinese, but this is only a first step.

Effective branding means more than Chinese character labeling. A brand image manifests itself in many ways: a memorable brand name and logo, attention-getting packaging, attractive advertising, brand communications and a well-designed, contemporary retail environment.

Market Trend: From Bulk to High Value

Positioning and marketing are relatively new concepts in China. Ten years ago, the typical Chinese diet consisted of rice, vegetables and pork. As a result, most of China's agricultural imports were bulk commodities. But with the rise in value-added imports, brand names and marketing should not be overlooked.

Modern brands require integrated branding programs in which advertising, sponsorships, retail spaces, promotions, consumer education and other marketing tools are combined. Consumers may try a product once out of curiosity, but successful marketing ensures repeat purchases as competition grows.

Exporters should never assume that local traders have a marketing plan for introducing new products. Chinese brands rarely use an integrated, holistic communications approach. Local retailers may not even be sure what a product is or to whom it should be targeted.

One supermarket, unfamiliar with the product, put a German children's cereal brand in the pet foods section because it had cartoons of animals on the box.

Almond sales illustrate another example of the need for better branding. The retail market has over 80 different brands of almonds. None has more than 5 percent of the market. After consumer focus group sessions in China, the Almond Board of California learned that some local consumers had no concept of California almonds. They associated all almonds with the smaller Chinese bitter almond used for medicinal purposes.

While the attributes of California almonds are well known by the trade, the average Chinese consumer has yet to recognize their value and uses.

Brand Recognition on the Rise

Though possibly unaware of a particular product or brand, the Chinese shopper quickly discerns value and quality in products. Thanks to increasing Westernization, higher education and greater incomes, brand recognition is on the rise. In supermarkets, consumers read product contents and compare quality and prices.

A recent 31-city survey indicated that 70 percent of the top performing foods in China were local brands. However, this figure underestimates the tremendous influx and popularity of Taiwan-packaged food and, to a lesser extent, Western imports.

Because many Western imports and Taiwan brands have only regional distribution, they cannot compete in a nationwide survey. Additionally, Western imports face higher tariffs and transport charges, thus restricting their appeal to the wealthier coastal cities and Beijing.

China's lack of infrastructure and countrywide distribution channels hampers national campaigns for many imported brands. Also, cultural preferences, eating habits and language can be substantially different from region to region within China, thereby inhibiting national promotion efforts.

"Little Emperors" Wield Economic Clout

Sustained economic growth means today's children will become a lot wealthier than previous generations. As the first generation in China brought up in a consumer society, these children are far more receptive to advertising and brand image than their parents.

China's one-child policy means children exert a strong influence over household purchasing decisions. This "Little Emperor" phenomenon, in which one child receives the undivided attention of two working parents along with two sets of grandparents and possibly several aunts and uncles, is a driving factor in the growth of new industries in China.

Over 350 million children hold a large stake in the consumer market. Toys, clothing, food and drink are obvious growing sectors. Many multinational companies now target their marketing campaigns to children. Besides advertising, sports sponsorships and youth-oriented promotions are potent ways to foster brand loyalty within this receptive audience.

Copycats Threaten Quality Image

Brand name imitations proliferate throughout China. High-value food products are not as prone to copycats as other products, but locally grown fruits in wet markets are sometimes labeled as name brands or imported goods from Japan, the United States, the Philippines and Thailand. This can be extremely damaging for imported products since consumers often don=t know the difference between the genuine article and fakes. Bad first impressions are not easily forgotten.

Chinese handlers or importers have mixed high-quality California almonds with lower quality almonds to keep prices competitive in the market. Other wholesalers have re-packed Australian almonds in California cartons. Such practices taint the quality image of a branded product.

Future Trends and Globalization

Today, the Chinese government actively promotes local brands by endorsing articles and reviews in newspapers and by organizing surveys to gauge consumer behavior. In addition, more young managers are emulating the management techniques that have made foreign brands famous in China. But time will tell of the success of such developments as domestic companies face greater competition from improved distribution systems and sophisticated marketing practices of rising joint-venture and multi-national food product companies.

While regional and cultural preferences for foods, fashion and entertainment are still very important in China, lifestyles and trends are beginning to mirror global trends. As a result, U.S. food exporters must remain flexible, adapt to the Chinese way of doing business and establish a strong brand image that transcends current market obstacles and ensures future success.

Alcinda Hatfield is a marketing specialist with the Foreign Agricultural Service's Agricultural Trade Office in Shanghai, China. Tel. (011-86-21) 6279-8622; Fax (011-86-21) 6279-8336. Homepage: http://www.atoshanghai.org/ Email: atos@public.sta.net.cn

Western Names in China

Source: http://www.china-biz-leaders.com/How_To_Translate_Business_Names_into_Chinese.htm

Executive Summary

For an international company serious about the China market, it is imperative to have its business names (including its corporate name, brand names, and product names) translated into proper Chinese. The majority of the Chinese people do NOT read English and the Chinese translation is the only reference they have to address a western firm's corporate/brand/product identity. Also, as some recent legal cases demontrated, having a registered Chinese name can help a foreign company to guard against potential Chinese copycats from infringing upon its intellectual property rights. Furthermore, the lack of an official Chinese name can "force" some Chinese to start using an unofficial translation, which can damage a company's brand image. For example, the characters used in an unofficial translation for the name of a major western high-tech company actually mean ancient dogs!

In this report, we systematically analyzed the challenges associated with developing effective Chinese translations of western business names (both from a linguistic and cultural perspective). We also discussed the most prevalent translation methods, for example, pronunciation based, literal, and function based approaches. Based on our experience in helping western firms (particularly consumer companies) to set up businesses in China, we then explained a step-by-step process that would help a western company to create powerful Chinese business names such as "Benchi" (Mercedes-Benz) and "Kekou Kele" (Coca Cola).

In the appendix of this report, we also listed more than a dozen examples of highly effective Chinese translations of international business names . This appendix includes the original names in English/other western languages, the Chinese translations (in characters), the pronunciation of the Chinese translations, and the meanings of the Chinese characters used in the translations.

27 May 2008: TEDA's ACS, Soccer, Coke

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Chen Wei is the Vice President of Affiliated Computer Services, Ltd. (ACS) www.acs-inc.com located in the Tianjin Economic Development Area (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TEDA or http://www.teda.gov.cn/cms/html/5/index.html if you would like to translate the Chinese) about an hour and half from our Hanting Hotel which is situated north of the west gate of Nankai University in Tianjin. She currently earns about $70,000 per year in this position while her entry-level employees earn about $3,800 to $5,500 per year depending upon their software or operations expertise. She referred to a “passive acceptance? (with respect to the pay disparity between team members from abroad (however, we could more than double [I estimate 217%] the figures above given the increased purchasing power in China). This acceptance is perhaps an example of the Chinese phrase of “eat the bitterness?--they are taught at a young age to suppress their emotions (McGregor 19).
She began her career journey many years ago when she was placed into the scientific tract at her secondary school. She learned “scientific English? and advanced math? In college and was placed into a state-owned enterprise that produced “fork lift trucks? (this was her assigned ‘work unit’); she had no choice as her school-teacher parents had no connections to counteract the centralized planning of the state. This enterprise then engaged in a joint venture with a company from Denmark. She had attempted a transfer to this joint venture, but again she was not allowed to exercise her will as the government controlled the “head counts.? She managed to be placed in a Coca Cola Joint Venture as a translator/secretary, then somehow spent 2 years in Denmark while her son remained behind with her parents. She worked (’99-’00) on an integrated platform for HR at the various locations of Motorola in China, India and England. In 1993, she had joined Motorola in China and stayed with them for 8 years. ACS had signed a contract with Motorola in 2002.
Her unit is a $2,000,000 cost center with 120 employees, 90% being university graduates at an average age of 27 years; her unit is evaluated on a cost per employee basis with additional employees approved by corporate in Dallas as business requires. Their business is growing significantly. Currently their business is split 50/50 between government and corporate businesses with 26% of revenues coming from Information Technology outsourcing (ITO) and 74% from Business Process outsourcing (BPO). Clients include the states of Texas and Iowa, the US Air Force (though the US branch handles that account due to security concerns), and many other large companies like GM Global (procurement and payments) who have disaggregated their business processes and information processes sufficiently to allow lower-cost outsourcing. She reported a meager 15% turnover rate to be significantly below that of India to which she claims to have a cost advantage; the Chinese government is really pushing to diversify from manufacturing into services and thus is doing much to facilitate these businesses.
They have 750 locations in 100 countries (including Bangalore, India as one of the 17 outsourcing branches) and 50,000 employees with around $6 billion in sales. Their sales and marketing function remains in the USA along other functions such as legal, facilities management, IT networks, HR, SBU’s, and leadership. In 2005, they acquired Mellon Consulting in the US thus adding a lot of HR services to their offerings. Her most challenging leadership challenge is managing their matrix structure, SBU’s and subsequent dual reporting, etc… Given that sales and marketing is in the US and does not call on Chinese companies AND given that Chinese companies are interested in ‘getting bigger and stronger’ as opposed to reducing costs like US companies, ACS does very little to no revenue-generating business in China as these companies have not taken the time to disaggregate their information or business processes sufficiently to outsource them. The only reason that a Chinese company might use the services of ACS is if ACS could help ‘make the Chinese firm bigger and stronger’ (even at greater expense). This local branch of ACS had 17,000 square feet, 150 cubicles, a conference room, a training room, 4 breakout rooms, and a cafeteria. The VP’s office had a Chinese phrase on the wall that read something along the lines of fresh breeze and breath, suggesting that if you take time to breath and appreciate the breeze that you will come up with fresh ideas (Dahui Li).

The Tianjin Economic Development Area was started on vacant land in 1984. It is now the core of the Bin Hai (Shore of the Sea) economic zone of 33 square kilometers. Tianjin has 600 years of history as the “harbor of the heavens (or emperor, who was the son of the heavens)?. The rivers were used as arteries of transport for years thus increasing Tianjin’s importance, along with its proximity to Beijing.

Lunch was at the cafeteria located at the Nankai University campus for first-year students. I sat with a couple workers: one who worked in Marketing for China Mobile and the other in something technical for Tianjin TV downtown. They had both graduated from the Tianjin Institute of Technology together. We talked about Chinese society, culture, communication styles, differences and similarities. They both seemed to prefer the American direct style of communication to the nuances of Chinese.

The conversation continued via cell phone text messaging as we moved onto the TEDA soccer stadium that was opened in 2004 after 2 years of construction. Tickets range from 50 RMB (6.9RNB/$) to 180 RMB for the RED VIP seats (red is a great color for the Chinese). It was reported that the seat colors randomly alternate between red, orange and grey so that if there aren’t a lot of people in the stadium as the camera pans, it will not be that obvious. Though there may be a few fights, fans aren’t that roudy. Beer is sold in paper cups only.

There was a lot of construction going on around the stadium. New buildings, roads, etc… I noticed a fair number of vacant, yet new, buildings as well. The sky there was bluer than hazy Tianjin. The streets were less dense (though those of Tianjin seemed to be less dense than Mysore or Banglore in January 2008).

We have observed no students with physical handicaps. According to Dahui Li, this is because they must pass a physical exam prior to being accepted into schools in China.

The Tianjin Coco-Cola Beverage Co., Ltd. Relies on the phrase “make yourself happy by making your mouth happy? as the loose translation of Chinese Coca Cola. Sprite translates to “snow jade? while Fanta translates to “scent reach? (per Dahui Li). Pepsi, on the other hand, translated to “hundred things? which sounds very close to a way that Chinese think about how to make a fortune in business. The plant has 300 people working the production line (100 per shift). There are two warehouses with one there and the other near our hotel in Tianjin. We observed the water treatment plant, the syrup mixing, the sugar dispensing, the movement, filling, and capping of glass and plastic bottles… Very little Diet Coke is present here. Apple soda is, however.

A Realm of Contrasts

I am constantly amazed at all the diversity and contrasts that exist in even just a brief glance around the city here. It seems like the basic nature of the Chinese here is just to contradict itself on many levels. There's one picture I've taken here that illustrates this contrast very well. The picture was taken during the first week we were here down on Golden Street (one of the main shopping areas). A large section of the photograph is dominated by a little shop for Daphne, which is a fairly well established company, one that wouldn't be associated with more of a developing company, but right next to this image is a roped together, wooden ladder. For me it shows how China is trying to imitate the more "established" or "developed" countries, but at the same time can't even provide for the basic technology such as a manufactured, metal ladder.

Photobucket

Once again, I am completely stunned by the sheer amount of contrasts that can be witnessed in such a simple activity as eating an evening meal. Tonight, a few of us went out to a restaurant that would have cost around $100 USD per person back home, but we only ended up paying an average of $15 per person. Just analyzing the atmosphere at this location the impression that it is very classy is created, an establishment where you felt you should be dressed in your most formal wear. Though this is how we felt, glancing around, what did we see? There were people dining at tables in shorts and polos, blue jeans and t-shirts, while the serving staff was decked out in suites and full length dresses.

Compared to some of the other meals we've had while here in China, $15 USD is quite expensive, but none of the other locations we’ve been to were quite like this one. Instead of looking over a menu, we went to a section of the building that was set aside for fish tanks and counters to pick out what we wanted from the creatures that were displayed. Many of the creatures were still alive, such as the turtle, frog, lobster, snake, and even little scorpions. The main reason we had ended up at this restaurant was because some of us really wanted to try turtle and snake, but we had to settle on only the turtle for tonight. Since we would have received a whole snake that had up until that point be alive, it would have taken too large of a chunk out of our wallets, even here in China. This meal will have to be the last of such for at least a little while just so I can make it the rest of the couple weeks with enough food, but it was well worth it for the experience.

book report

Hey everyone, this is Shannon using Bryn's blog. I haven't been able to get it to work so I'm starting from the beginning. For out trip I read One Billion Customers. It is about doing business in China, how to present yourself and what to do to be successful in a country of over one billion people. To do this you have to understand China's history. One of the reasons they have been able to modernize so quickly is becasue they integrate the past and the present. I thought it was interesting because the author uses companies strategies and talks about why they failed or succeeded. At the end of each chapter is a section called "The Little Red Book of Business," which summarizes key points in a truthful but witty tone. Here are some of my favorites. 1. To be truly powerful in China is to be able to aviod responsibility for your decisions. 2. China is modernizing, not westernizing. The country's goal is to modernize but retain their "essence," which they are still struggling to define. 3. Chinese negotiators are masters of making you feel you need them more than they need you. They will ask you for anything because you may be stupid enough to agree to it. Many are. 4. if you decide to sell your soul and succumb to China's coruption, get a good price and focus on charity work in your old age. 5. Senior party members in China seldom engage in direct coruption, preferring nepotism as the means to building family wealth. For the ruling elite, gathering family assets quietly is quietly accepted. 6. If you don't trust your CFO like your mother, give your mother the job. 7. Stress respect and equality with your Chinese partners and employees. Insults are never forgotten, and retribution is a certainty. Employees are looking for leaders. Choose capable strong minded mentors, not dictators or risk-averse bureaucrats, to run your business. 8. Persistence pays, patience pays, and understnad the fact that most Chinese gov't officials live in fear of being criticized for not upholding China's interests. 9. Relations beween the U.S. and China is somewhere between the Cold War and hot competition, they see each other as a future enemy. 10. The four most important - and troubling- words in a Chinese company are "Up to you, boss!"

The Market

Near our hotel is a market place with fresh fruit, meat, ice cream, and meat to buy. I have been through the market three times now and each time i become more comfortable in the atmosphere. The first time I went in there, it was a hot day and everything smelled odd. I was surprised that they leave the meat out without it being in a cooler. This market has many things American's wouldn't imagine could be sold. Things such as: chicken feet, chicken heads, chicken hearts, live fish (to eat), bullfrogs, and many more products that just sit out in the hot weather.

This market also has vendors throughout the store, if you like the food it would only cost 50 American cents to purchase. I tried Laura's meal today and I wasn't a fan. For eating cheap, I'll stick to my ramen. Tonight when Laura and I went to the market to buy her supper and banana's for me, it wasn't as appalling has it had been before. We are slowly becoming more comfortable with things we had never seen before. We may not eat the meat they have sitting out, but it is not as unusual as it was the first time we saw it.

Hanks Sports Bar and Grill/Bejiing

Although I have really enjoyed trying many new foods while in China, there is only so much Chinese, Korean, Japanese, etc. food that my stomach can handle and I really have been craving some greasy American food. :o) So yesterday Stacy and I went on a search for American Food...and fortunately we found a GREAT place that served "American" food the "American" way. It was called Hanks Sports Bar and Grill. I was able to have chicken strips and fries with BOTH honey mustard and RANCH! We were also able to meet Hank himself. He informed us that he was originally from Chicago, IL and came to China nine years ago. He used to own "The Upper Deck" (a story for another blog, but this is the place we looked for three nights ago that "didn't exsist"), however he was forced to shut it down by the Chinese government because it was getting too big. So he opened Hanks Sports Bar and Grill instead...He was also very helpful in telling us about some of the foreign bars around town, including one called Scooters. We're thinking about trying it out on Thursday?

This weekend we are going to Beijing which I am VERY pumped to explore and experience. I think (and hope) that it will have a much different feel than Tianjin because it's more cosmopolitan. I've really enjoyed being in Tianjin as it allows all of us to see a more realistic picture of China, but I think Bejing is going to be beautiful (minus the smog) with it's large skyline. I am very curious, however, to see if there is a larger number of people who can speak some English and if the toilits are still "squaters" (a term coined by the females on the trip) with no tissue. I guess we'll just have to wait and find out...

International Business

By Stacy Jorgenson

Today showed to be a fantastic day. We had a chance to visit a few international companies. I was really intrigued with the first organization we went to. I thought it was really interesting to hear the lady speak about her past experience. I am really interested in getting involved with international business in the future. Having the chance to understand how this business operates internationally allowed me to have a quick preview to what I may encounter one day. We then went to the Coca-Cola plant! We were able to see the bottling process, but we didn't get a chance to learn any about the business practice. Dahui also took some time today to explain to us how the government intervenes with the businesses.

The days have been long and hot here.... The humidity is starting to place some affect on me. I feel myself becoming lethargic early in the days. It is amazing that the individuals here all wear long sleeves and long pants. I don't understand how they can endure the heat!

Yesterday was yet another interesting culture clash. Meghan and I went to shop at Carrefour and at one point we needed the restroom. But due to the language difference I was unable to successfully ask for the bathroom. I used every word I could possibly think of to explain toilet; and I even pointed. At times it gets a little frustrating not being able to understand the language; but I think its events like this that assist with my personal growth. At times I think it is good for me to not have someone to continue and interpret for me. Although those who have dedicated their time to assisting us have been amazing. Reena is quite possibly the most generous person I have ever met! She is always there to assist us with questions.

Last night was quite possibly the best meal I have had since I have gotten here! We finally found an American bar and grill! Hank's Bar and Grill was the savior. Morgan, Meghan, Wes and I got dropped off and wandered around for awhile looking for the restaurant. I was once again feeling discouraged that this restaurant did not exist. But we found it! The menu was written completely in English! There was a group of business men sitting behind us that were drunk and hooting and hollering! I felt as though I was at home! We then got the chance to meet Hank! He is originally from Chicago and found himself out here. I think it is a brilliant idea to open up an American restaurant here just as the Chinese open Chinese restaurants back in the states. Once the Olympics take place I forsee Hank's place filling up!

Once again another day in China... I miss everyone so much from back home.... I continue to call home, so SORRY Moms for calling all time. I am happy that everyone here is continuing to get along! I know a few weeks from here I will be missing all these individuals... I am happy though that some of the girls will be close to my house once I get home!!

May 26, 2008

Lazy Sunday

Yesterday we had a lot of fun; I don’t know if anyone heard, but, I bowled a 211. The combination of imbibing at Golden Hans (a German-themed, Chilean-style, Chinese food restaurant) and taking my shirt off while bowling probably had a lot to do with it.
Today it was extremely hot, somewhere around 96 degrees. It drove me to get a new haircut. Leon helped me out and told the guy how short to cut it. Hopefully when we go for our business visit tomorrow the forecast is correct at 84.

Today we visited a stainless steel processing facility and a vehicle seat manufacturer. The seat manufacturer, TJ-Kahuo Automobile Decoration Company, gave us hats and some literature about their facility. They manufacture directly for Toyota --from the size of the headliners and trunk liners, Corollas and smaller. The place was very cool; they manufactured the foam from a combination of chemicals out of a bunch of barrels. Tomorrow we visit the Tianjin Economic Development Area and the Coca-Cola Company.
We went to a very cool bar last night and a wonderful American restaurant this evening. It was named Hank's, and is run by Hank, from the looks of it an ex-marine who moved here to start his own business. Wes and I almost missed class this morning, we have been relying on other people to wake us up this trip so far, but no one did today until 10 minutes before class. It worked out though, Leon got us up and we got there only 2 minutes after 9:30. We have made arrangements for tomorrow morning.

morgan

Alibaba-A bar with extreme cultural diversity

Blog by Laura Finstrom

Last night after much confusion with the chinese taxi drivers due to the language barrier we ended up at this bar called Alibaba. The bar was the most amazing place I have ever been because it was like the cultural center of the world. At first galnce it was not that amazing though because it looked pretty shady. The bar was located waling disatnce from campus but is was down a dark alley. To get inside we Entered a a dor into a pitch black entry way and then through a door that was made of a mexican looking blanket hung up like a curtain. I guess the old saying is true. "You can't read a book by it's cover."

Once inside and after dinner I had the opportunity to sit at a table and had conversations with an Iranian, Canadian, and a Turkish man. I leaned over to tell Wes (another American student) how amazing it was that I was talking at a table with so many countries being represented. Wes said and look I am sitting at a table with Americans, Chinese, and German students. The reason the bar was full of foriegners was because there was a youth hostile across the street from the bar. Also the foriegn exchange students staying at Nankai University like to hang out at this because it served American style food. After the experience last night I have developed a bug to travel and see the rest of this great world. My eyes are being opened so much to the diversification of the human population. I think it this is because I also got to talk with a guy from Iraq last night about the war. Just to think that an American can have decent conversation with an Iraqi in a bar in China and then in Iraq they are killing each other is mind boggling to me. It seems I am learning how politicians rule the world. They make many decisions that may not be and are usually not supported by their own people. It is just so neat to experience it first hand. I think experience is the best teacher so I am learning everything my brain can soak in.

Boy Girl Relationships

With being here and going shopping over the weekend I noticed a few things about couples here in China. One, the guy always holds the purse. Everywhere u looked there was men holding handbags. When they were walking down the street, looking at things in stores, they held them the whole time. Nothing like what American boys feel about holding their girlfriends purse. Another thing i noticed was that couples also wore the same shirts when they went out. THere were multple stores that sold the same shirt of somewhat the same for the girl and the guy. I think it is so cute. I bought me and my boyfriend a set, but i don't think he will ever wear it. We asked the chinese students about it and they said it is a very common thing for couples to where the same thing. ANother thing is that casual dating is not very common here and alot of people only date one person and marry them. SO not like the states at all. I wonder what it would be like if dated the first person we dated??? But thats it for now, keep u posted on how things r in China!

"Make Big, Then Make Strong" -The Chinese Mindset

Since I haven't mentioned it yet, I feel a need to bring up the environment as it is here in Tianjin. Gazing around at our surroundings help to give you a brief glimpse into the mind of the people here. The first thing we noticed upon entering Tianjin, even though it was 2AM here when we did, was the smog. The viewing distance is greatly reduced compared to what it would be elsewhere, even from the Tianjin TV Tower we could only see about a tenth as far as we should have been able to. After the smog, the next aspect that snags your attention is the sheer amount of construction going on. It seems that almost every other building is hidden by scaffolding, which in a city of 10 million people, is quite an undertaking. Are the Chinese eager to impress the world as the spotlight shines on them for the Olympics? Is this just the beginning of things to come? Will the development of environmental policies catch up with the physical expansion, or is he need for industrial growth too ingrained into the Chinese psyche?

It's been a few days since I've written an entry and we have a breather for the evening, I'll include a brief rundown of what's happened. A large group of us went to a restaurant called Golden Hans (where I ate chicken heart for the first time and tried quite a few other things) on Saturday night, before which a few of us had a basketball game with some of the Chinese students. Due to the Golden Hans having such a good deal for beverages during noon to 3PM, a handful of us decided to head back for lunch the day after. Then we proceeded to meet up with some of our classmates for bowling (the bowling alley is located on the same floor of the building that the Golden Hans is in). Dinner that night was quite eventful because we set off in search of a restaurant in five different taxis, only later finding out that the place we were searching for no longer exists. After a lot of calling around between the Chinese students we've met, we joined a small group of Chinese students and one German student. Since the place we had originally head to was not in business, and everyone was fairly indecisive on what else to do, Mario (the German student) brought us to an international bar and restaurant known as Alibaba's. That was last night and many of us were out late. So much could be written about that location, but I leave the floor open to some of my classmates who requested the privilege of sharing that experience.

Besides having our first technical lecture today on basic Chinese economics, today was also the first day that we were able to take a tour of some businesses located in China. We visited two separate companies, both leaning heavily toward the manufacturing end of things. The first company was a factory that built the interior parts for Toyota cars, such as the seats and lining. The second we visited was a steel processing company that dealt with just the hair thin sheets used in finished products such as elevators. The working environments in both companies was extremely different. In the first factory, things were very mechanistic and very uniform, even down to everyone wearing the same outfits in the factory. The thing that really struck me as interesting about this company is that they only had a production forecast of 30 minutes. Compared to this, the second company was much more casual and open. There were a lot fewer workers than the first and there wasn't the constant, busy energy as had been evident in the parts factory.

Compared to some of the other days we've had here, the rest of today was relatively uneventful. We broke up into smaller groups as dinner time approached, each of us setting off in hunt of different substances. I ended up attached to the group that settled on just getting a variety of sushi and heading back to our hotel so we could begin work on the papers we have a week to write. The next couple days should prove fairly eventful with a trip to an economic development area tomorrow and a soccer game with some of the Chinese students on Wednesday. I'm definitely looking forward to the remainder of our time here.

business visits and massages

We had our first two business visits today. It was also the hottest day we've had thus far. We visited a seat manufacturer for Toyota and a steel plant. Neither were air conditioned, and I think if I had to work there for 8 hours I would have passed out. We found out that the Toyota factory offers complete healthcare, though, for their employees, and the best benefits package compared to all similar companies. Neither of the companies we visited reminded me of my idea of a sweat shop, and the working conditions were fairly good for that kind of position. If the company was in the United States, I don't think the working conditions would change much, except maybe offer air conditioning for their buildings. The floors were clean, their uniforms were fairly new, and their spirits seemed to be high. Even though labor may be cheap, they get paid fairly well for the kind of job they are doing. Most of the employees at the Toyota company were high school graduates but never went to college, and I did not ask that question at the other company.

Yesterday 7 of us went and got massages at a spa down the road. We did not have a translator with us, so that was an experience. We were pretty sure they were talking and laughing about us the whole time, but it was fun anyways. All of our feet were really tired from walking around all day, but the massage was mostly on our feet and legs and felt amazing!! I will probably go back and get another before we head home to the States.

A glimpse into Chinese business

Today we had our first lecture by a Nankai professor, she taught us about some aspects of the Chinese economy. The most interesting part of her lecture was about the failure of Chinese eBay. It is amazing how those involved in flattening the world can be so oblivious to major cultural differences. For instance, the Chinese service called Taobao has proven to be prosperous whereas marketers from eBay were unable to sustain business in the same country. One difference is the relationship between the buyer and seller and the lack of trust the Chinese people have for one other. Because of this difference, they feel the need to have face-to-face or some type of contact prior to a sale. eBay does not have such a service available, so that was one cultural barrier that stood out.
Another difference is the color of the website, colors mean a great deal the Chinese people, they highly enjoy bright colors. The English version of eBay is seen as cold and boring because o the lack of color. The final difference she emphasized is that Taobao makes it easier for people to shop by category such as in a department store for mens, womens and childrens items.

It really made me think about how nieve Americans (among other cultures) can be about other cultures' behaviors. We think that what is good for us will be good for everyone, which is definitely not the truth. I think it will be increasingly important to have people who specialize in the changing behaviors of various cultures. This is especially true for multinational organizations for someone to provide imput as to what is important in each society.

Also today we toured the a branch of the Toyota company, the branch that manufactures seats and the interior roof pieces for Chinese Toyota vehicles. This was a neat experience learning about their shiftwork, turnover rates and people employed. It was difficult not being able to ask questions while touring the plant, but just to witness the process was interesting.

Hanging with the students

So after basketball on saturday the students were still anxious to hang out with us which was cool because I have learned the most from talking with them. I have been pushing for situations where we can interact with them individually and as one big multicultural group. We took Angel, Pass, June, and John to the Golden Hans which is a really cool buffet next to the bowling alley and pool hall. It is fun and incredibly helpful in learning their culture to take them out and interact outside the classroom. Not ony do i have all sorts of questions but they usually follow up with similar questions to those i ask. This is fun for both sides and i think this is why they have been around and apt to doing things with us. The free time outside the classroom and trips is like the tutoring center for what we have learned in lecture, where we address any unknown gray areas to the students for rephrasing or clarity.

Also the students have shown us a lot about their youth culture in our age group, and it is interesting to learn how different some areas are and how similar others are. LIke for example a lot of the students have mentioned computer games world warcraft, and counter strike, and things like that that are commonly played in the dorms. Also Pass is extremely good at basketball, which was interesting to see them so eager to test their skills on john. I have found that snowboarding is very uncommon and so is the bowling and pool, some of the common things that I do back in the states. Also the dating seems to be different in that it is very uncommon to have multiple ex-girlfriends where as in the states it is not uncommon to have 5-10 ex girlfriends. This just shows a higher committment level in their relationships which is how Lu made it sound to be.
After the Golden Hans we brought some of the students back to our room to hang out and tought them some common American card games in return for them teaching us a common chinese game at the resturant. Their number game was similar to our high-low version with some slight variations. One thing i found very interesting was that the students that live in the dorms on campus have a kerfew, and are locked out if they are not back by 11:00 pm during the week, and 11:30 on the weekends. This lack of freedom was something i found very undesireable, and spoke with Lu on how there are less boundries for us for such things.
Sunday we met up with the chinese students again, and also met Eric, who is an exchange student from HongKong going to Nankai for a semester. We had lunch and beer with them at the Golden Hans again, and just talked for a few hours. Then we took them bowling which was very interesting to find out that most of the students from the Tianjin area have only bowled a few times, while Eric from HongKong bowls on a fairly regular basis. This difference in area/culuture within China shows that the more traveling we do and people we meet, the better understanding we will have of the culture variations. We then rested for a while before meeting up with them again for dinner, which started by a 20 minute 5-cab adventure across town. We got lost and never found the resturant we were looking for and ended up at Alibabba's bar and grill. It was an extremely interesting place due to the different backgrounds of people that go there. It seems to be a multicultural hot-spot, and i met people from Venezuela, Sadi-arabia, Spain, Brazil and Africa. It was very neat to communicate with so many different people from all over the world. Also a German exchange student named mario was there with the chinese students we went with. The amount of information gained from being with all these different people just for a few hours is incredible, and i feel would be very difficult if not impossible to teach in a classroom.

May 25, 2008

Driving, Biking, or Walking...it's all nuts!

I traveled to other countries before such as England, Ireland, Scotland, Mexico, and Canada, but I have never seen any streets look like they do here in Tianjin. In every major city the driving seems to be fast and some may choose to not follow the rules and regulations put in place for our safety, but China doesn't seem to have any driving laws. Cars just swerve in and out of traffic as they please and if there isn't enough room on the road...they hit the sidewalk. Even the designated bike lanes are filled with cars. The other new element in China are the bikes. It is like playing a giant game of frogger, just hoping to make it across the street in one piece. There are just so many people here that every mode of tranportation needs to be used. I'm kind of surprised that I have not seen a real bad accident yet. I have seen a car back into a post while driving on the sidewalk, but that is about it. Walking down the streets of Tianjin is filled with quick sprints and close calls, but I think I'm finally starting to get used to it.

Celebrities and Independence

We spent the entire day Saturday shopping, for most women this would be heaven as there were shoes and handbags for miles, except for the fact we were the only two tall blonde's in the entire mall. Golden Street, which literally is streets of shops, is just like your average mall you’d see in America; it has food courts, designer shops, departments stores, and is crazy busy. The main difference isn’t that we’re in China but that everyone has the same dark hair, but what did I expect, I’m in China!? As Cass and I walked around literally everyone stopped, stared, tapped their friends to make sure they saw us, and took a picture. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so uncomfortable being noticed, or ashamed of my physical features. Back home, if someone looked different I may look or even stare but I don’t think we would be so obvious in our gawking. We left Golden Street and went back to Asian Culture Street where the vendors all remembered us from three days earlier. It makes you realize how America really is a melting pot and to be proud of our difference as we could all almost be the same.

Sticking out like a total tourist with map and camera constantly in hand, luckily Rena (a very nice Chinese student) went shopping with us. I don’t know what we would do without her; she hails our taxi’s, orders for us in restaurants, and helps barter and pay for our new purchases. Although I love her and the assistance she is giving, it’s weird always having to rely on someone. I am very proud of my independence so having to ask for help to go to the bathroom or get water is starting to get irritating. Hopefully as we get more settled and used to the way of Chinese life I will be able to venture out and start taking care of myself again!

May 24, 2008

Giant Jogging

Yesterday I was really feeling the need to exercise. I have been eating all of this wonderful chinese food, which I will probably be getting tired of sometime soon, but for the time being I am loving it. I decided to go for a run through campus. I thought running down the crowded streets outside the hotel was out of the question, and thought that running at the school would allow me to get a chance to see more of the campus. Cassie also was feeling the urge to get out and run so she accompanied me. This is not your usual pair for jogging. I stand at 6' 8" and Cassie said she was about 6' 1". In China, WE ARE GIANTS! As a pair, we walked down the street towards the business school and grabbed the attention of many. It is an odd feeling to be so much taller than those around you. It was fun and exciting at first, but it has become somewhat of a bother having people stare at you and take your picture or know that they are talking about you. With this being the case, jogging in public probably wasn't the best idea!

The campus was very busy place for a Saturday. We later found out that the power was off in the dorms and this must have caused many of the students to be outside and active. We walked down the main street looking for a place that was a little quieter to begin our jog. We came to the conclusion that there was no such place. We jogged for about 30 minutes weaving down streets, dodging bikes, walkers, cars, construction as best we could. We were the sight to see for others. Two large americans running down the street, probably shaking the earth with each step. No matter where we ran, crowded or bare, people stopped and watched. We had bikers peddle to catch up, and then maintain their speed to look directly at us. The basketball court filled with students stopped as we ran past them. It was an unusual experience. Maybe with more time on campus, people will become familiar with seeing us and we won't be such a novelty to them anymore.

Sensory overload

China is heaven for girls who likes to shop. Yesterday was the first time I experience shop till you drop. The day started with me spending some quality alone(something we don't get alot here) at a restaurant for breakfast. Then, Laura and I went to a salon and got our hair cut. After that, it was time to shop. We went to a place called Golden Street, and literally there was shops every direction you look. Behind these those fancy glass doors, and little or no AC, were shoes, purses, clothes, and accessories. Some of the shops have two or three stores within the same street. I've never seen so many stores, people, and shoes, and purses(this is what I get for tagging along with the girls). We were at the center of attention the entire six-seven hours of time we spent there. Even though it was fun, my rods(those little things insides my eyes) need a rest for shoes, purses, and people in general. :)

Shopping Experience and Foot Massage!

Today was an awesome day! It was fun to have no time limits and explore the shopping of Tianjin. Starting at ten in the morning a group of us went to "Gold Street," which is well known for all the shopping. When we got there we started in the mall and I quickly knew I wanted to shop in the stores on the street. The malls here are more expensive and overwhelming.

Once we got to the streets I was in heaven. I could take my time and look through all the shops. The hardest part is not having our own independence with such a strong language barrier holding us back. By the end of the day I could somewhat communicate better, by signing and pointing. Once and awhile a Chinese that could speak English would say, "Can I help you." This is so helpful at times and it is so nice to talk to some people. The hardest part about being here without speaking Chinese is not being able to talk to anyone besides students on the trip.

Leon, Laura, and I ate at a noodle place, and I ordered rice. It kind of gets hard to keep eating ethnic food. I definitely crave American food once in awhile. For supper, I got a sandwich from the Paris baked goods store in the mall. It was so nice to have something, somewhat American. I do like the ethnic food but I need American food at least once a day.

After seven hours of shopping, Leon, Laura, Andrea, Jen, and me went to a place that gave massages. It was absolutely a girls dream come true. Six hours of shopping and then a massage!!! A 90 minute, amazing foot, leg, arm, and back massage for less than 20 US dollars!!!! I'll definitely be going back there!

Overall today was fun!

Center of Attention

Today I definitely felt like a minority. While at Golden St, which is a HUGE mall area, people kept staring at our group. It is hard because when they stare at me, I smile at them and they just keep on staring without a change in facial expression. I feel that everywhere we go we are being looked at, I think I was just expecting to see more Americans on this trip. It is a strange feeling being stared at, I suppose that I am just used to living in a place where it is not out of place to see someone from a different country or speak a different language.

The culture is very different, the language barrier is still the most frustrating aspect of being here in China. While I was buying shoes today the girl that helped me actually spoke a bit of english and it was a sigh of relief. It is amusing that they don't care if they match or not, their shoes definitely don't match their outfits a majority of the time. (Who am I, the fashion police?) I think as time goes by I am understanding their mannerisms better, I don't find myself saying sorry as often and I am getting more brave by the day at crossing the busy streets. Speaking of busy streets, we witnessed our first car accident today. The funniest part was that while driving on the sidewalk, the car backed into a street post! I am definitely feeling more comfortable here, I just wish I could have a better understanding of the language.

Buses in China

I have really enjoyed our time in China thus far, but I don't know what we'd do without the help of Chinese students like Rena and Lily, especially in some of the situations we have ended up in...Last night, for example, after eating at the Japanese place there were five of us that were trying to get home, but the taxi driver wouldn't let all of us get in. So Rena asked us if we felt comfortable taking the bus. We were up for an adventure...and so we said yes! The bus system here is organized chaos...we had no idea what was going on, yet everyone else seemed to know exactly what bus to get on and where to get off...

After talking with a couple people at the bus stop (Rena...not us) we found a bus that would bring us somewhat near our hotel. We jumped on and all the seats were taken so we stood holding on (at times we thought for dear life.) The best part of the ride was the lady that got so distracted by "the Americans" on the bus that she missed her stop and started yelling at the driver. Of course we couldn't understand, but after Rena finished laughing she informed us of why the lady was so upset.

Today, we also road the buses with Lily to the Ancient Culture Street and back. Again, people were taking random pictures of us and starring, but I really enjoyed both experiences. It was a little scary, though, when our bus driver decided to go into the bike lane because he was sick of waiting for the traffic light. Even though taxi's here are very cheap, the buses are significanly cheaper and at times I think faster because they are bigger and it seems as though when you're on streets in China, the biggest "thing" (whether is be car, bike, person, or bus) wins and gets to go first!

Stacy in China 2

I am going to attempt to use better English in this blog. My mom told me that I was writing terribly and at times I find myself speaking in broken English! I am trying hard to not speak in a limit of English words in order to help the Chinese students become more fluent! Today was another great day of shopping! I really enjoy the shopping here but to be honest I am beginning to get sick of it... I barter for everything at the little shops and even a few times in a mall area! I wonder if when I get home I will feel the need to barter the prices?

I am starting to feel a little annoyed by the amount of people of people who point and seem to talk about us! I have had a number of people take my picture and a few have even came up to me and asked for my picture. Now I understand how celebrities somewhat feel like!

Everyday seems to hold a new adventure! I am glad that our group gets along so well because it allows everything to flow easily... Although at times it is hard because we have a large group trying to get around this city! Last night we had a blast hanging out in Morg and Wes's room. Lu came and hung out with us. We danced for a little bit and he showed me this type of dance called popping. He found a video and showed me what the professionals look like. The Chinese students don't drink nearly as much as we do! I feel as though at all times we are searching for beer, only to find that they have only a few cold ones and have to sell us warm beer. I think a lot of us are becoming used to this whole warm beer. Although I am making us sound like we are all drunks... but I think we are just enjoying the new culture! Anyway, the Chinese do not seem to drink the volume that Americans do!

Today I felt a little homesick... Its hard to know that I just can't call home and hear my parents voices... One, its hard because we have opposite time zones, two, because I am out and about and don't have Morgs computer to call from and three, because I am trying to do this whole dependent thing... Hmmm that may not be working out so well yet. I can't imagine being in this country alone... I would never be able to get around. The Chinese students have been such a help! I am so thankful that Lily took us around shopping today. She is able to speak English and is a great translator! I am looking forward to our night tonight. We are planning to hang out with some Chinese students and go bowling! I hope they find us helpful in the development of their English.

I miss and love everyone at home and I am super excited to continue making memories with everyone on the trip!

Chinese Basketball

Today was an exciting experience for several of the guys in the group. Jun, one of the students that studies with us invited us to play basketball with his friends on campus. We arranged to meet him and some of his classmates today at the hotel lobby. He called Morgan, and asked if we would like to try a chinese pork pie. The pork pie is similar to the chinese version of a hamburger. We decided to eat lunch and then meet several other of Jun's classmates at the basketball court on campus to play some games.

We had scheduled to meet in the lobby at noon. Jun and his classmates John and Pas accompanied him with two bags of pork pies. The pies were similar to pulled pork with green peppers and onion. This was served on a bun that was similar to a hard english muffin and the sandwhich was very tasty. Each of us ate a couple and then we walked to the courts. On our way, we stopped by their dormitory so they could park their bikes and change to play basketball. We wanted to see what their dorms looked like, but he had to get permission from his teacher and today the power was out in their dorm and the teacher did not want us "big deal" americans seeing the facilities. Jun told us later that his dorm was the worst on campus.

Waiting for us at the park were several of his classmates and we began to play pick up. The students were very eager to see how tall I was and if I could dunk the basketball. I did to please them, but my legs were a little sore from the run I took this morning. After a couple of games several other classmates came and we were able to play a very lengthy series of games. The courts were outdoors, and there were about 5 full length courts that many students were occupying. The international paint lines were painted in and it was the first time that I had seen those up close and in person. The Chinese students were tenative to drive the basketball into me and put up a shot. They play a much more reckless style game, and my observation was they like to jump in the air to make a lot of their plays. It was not the style of basketball I play nor prefer to play, but it was very interesting watching several of the players. Some were fairly good, while others should not have been trying to play as I was concerned they were going to get hurt.

The teams were very well mixed between chinese and american students. We played several evenly contested games and were completely exhausted by the end. The dust from playing outside made us pretty filthy, and the heat was dehydrating. After the games the walk home was tough. We needed to stop and get some beverages ASAP, and looked for the closest refrigerated bottles of water... something that can be tough to come by.

What an experience this was. It once again shows us that language is not a barrier, we were able to play a universal game and not be able to speak to one another very well, but worked together as a unit and had success.

May 23, 2008

Paris Baguette

Last night when we arrived at the the hibachi it was full. Laura, Stacy and I went to scope out the food court. We contemplated some of the Chinese food, the KFC, and the Pizza Hut. Stacy and Laura got a chance to see how fancy/expensive the inside of the Pizza hut is here. We ended up stopping at Paris Baguette and I selected some delicious sausage pizza bread. We brought it back to the hibachi place and it had clear out enough to sit down. We didn't think we could bring the food to the other restaurant, but that is one cultural difference here. Jason said "of course" we could bring the pizza bread to the counter. We enjoyed a couple beers and had a good show with

the knife spinning. I ate one of everything once again, and had a little strange long fish filled with eggs. That was my least favorite. We hosted Lu along with the rest of the people on the trip in our room last night, someone else can get sticky floors tonight.

Wes and I met up with John and Adam and went to play basketball with some Nankai students on the other side of the campus. We had a good time and got very tired out. I'm sure the girls will say they are tired from shopping but I think this is a bit different. The power was out for the traffic signals today, presumable the same reason it was out at the University. They are doing some repairs on the school's power so our Chinese classmates do not have power in their dorms for the next day. Crossing the street this morning for a Gatorade proved exhilarating. Our friends bought us meat pies for lunch, the place proved to be very near our hotel. They told us they are essentially Chinese hamburgers, and they were very good. I will be visiting there for another pie sometime soon.

Pool & cultural differences

It is saturday morning, and me and the guys are meeting up with June one of the chinese students for a tour of the campus and some basketball. We have done so much already in just the first week, and yet we have 3 more to go. I am very interested in the cultural differences we have been introduced to, and are doing our first paper/project on. I have been taking any chances given to make friends with some of the chinese students in our class to hang out with them and get an idea of what their common habits/interests are. Lu came over to the hotel last night and hung out with our whole group, which was a great learning experience for us and for him. It is very difficult knowing none of the chinese language, but most of the students speak well enough to hold a conversation as long as you speak slow and eliminate large/complex words and slang.

We also were able to get Lu and Angel and i believe the other ones name is Mau, to go to play some pool at a bowling alley less than a mile away! This was interesting as well to see their different aspects of the game. The bumpers are extremely bouncy, and the tables are either 8' or 10' and the pockets are extremely small, probably 50% or so smaller. This along with the pool ques being very narrow with small pads on the tips made the game a lot more difficult and lengthy. The chinese students said they very rarely play pool, and most had only bowled once or twice in their life. Also during the ping pong and badmitten i noticed that most of them are very competitive, and i'm not sure if this is their cultural way or if they want to impress us. Either way it was very fun getting to do some active things with them and see how they perform athletically. They are all very fit/thin which could help explain why they are so agile, and athletic. I also had a discussion with laura on the reasoning behind their work ethic in regards to school/college. From what i have seen they are more apt to studying hard and pure diligence towards their studies while U.S. students are more laid back and tend to take the opportunity to attend college for granted. I believe it has to do with the availability/ability to attend for them wether it be due to financial, or educational reasoning. The dense population could also make it hard for everyone to attend, becuase surely they do not have enough colleges for all who desire the education. So the scarcity principle could be an explanation for their hard work ethic in school. Also many of the students i have spoken with want to come to America to study after their 4-year program here. This is sad because later on most go on to tell me they could never do it because it is way to expensive. A lot of the students seem very talented and smart but do not have the resources to study abroad.
Also the guides and assistants have been extremely helpful/generous. Rina and Jason have gone out of their way numerous times to maximize our experience while here. They took us to the Tianjin tower yesterday which was amazing, and to the museum which had an architectual design that was perhaps the most amazing structure i've seen on the trip. Also they went out of their way to take us to a hibachee resturant in one many massive malls they have here in Tianjin. The resturant was Japanese, and even though it was in the food court of the mall, was very good, and only about 6 or 7 dollars.

Chinese TV

I talked with Michael (sophomore at Nankai, Financial Management) today during badmitton and we discussed the media differences between China and the US. I aksed him if he had watched any American shows and he said he watched Desperate Housewives and Heroes. I also watch Heroes and we talked for a good half hour about the characters and plotlines, and how excited we were for season three. I also asked about movies in China and he said that they were very popular, but very expensive for a college student. To follow up I asked if they had any discounts or movie nights on campus like we do in Duluth, and he said no, but that having that kind of opportnity would be very beneficial to students on Nankai.

Sports and Taxis

Today we played Table Tennis (ping pong) and badminton with the Chinese students. We found out that even though Americans may be more active in the sporting lifestyle, the Chinese have skill and are very adept in what they like to play. Badminton and ping pong are two "sports" they enjoy playing in their free time, and both men and women can play them. One girl asked one of us what sports we were interested in, and an American girl responded "soccer, football, etc" and the Chinese girl was very surprised. She said those are sports for men and boys only. Women are treated as the weaker gender, which they typically are, but I am all for strong women. The US doesn't neccessarily stereotype women as the weaker sex anymore, but China definitely does.

Tongiht we took a taxi home from the restaurant we ate at. The taxi driver did not speak a lick of English, but he motioned that he understood some. I apparently said "ni hau" with a good accent, because he kept trying to talk to me in Chinese. Then he said something along the lines of "apparently all you know how to say is ni hau" but it was all in Chinese, so I nodded in agreement. It was an interesting cab ride, but even with all the traffic and almost no traffic laws, I feel more safe in a taxi here than in the states.

Food

As someone who is not the biggest fan of Chinese food, this past week has defiantly been an experience. I knew from the beginning I would have to suck it up and eat or starve but, I have actually enjoyed all the meals we have had. Our first dinner at Goubuli was almost a turn off with the duck tongue, shrimp with the head and all the legs, room temperature ribs, etc. but it has gotten a lot better since. Tonight we had dinner at a Japanese restaurant; it was the best meal to date. It is located in a Food Court in one of the malls on Golden Street. It is step up in a horse shoe shape with the grill in the middle where they cook our food. I actually feel this was the first meal we really ate together as we were able to see everyone and comment on all the mini conversations that were being carried on.

When ordering, if they ask if you’d like to add the sea food, don’t add it! Having a huge great meal, the only draw back was the three little gross baked black anchovy looking fish that were added as the ‘sea food’. I’m still shocked over the culture differences in what is considered a delicacy, like dog at the Korean restaurant, and what I would assume as sea food when ordering. I still have an open mind and would like to try everything at least once, but with a McDonalds or KFC on every street corner, I am proud to say I haven’t eaten there (yet) and that I am going to hold out as long as possible.

Blog 1: The beginning

The first few days in China have been awsome. The flight was a little long, but i guess what do u expect when u r traveling to the other side of the world. One of things that I find most fasinating and different from the states here is the traffic. I mean it is nuts here. With all the bikes, cars, and people it is like a battefield and yet there never seems to be an accident. I love looking out my window and just watching all the people. Being in the taxi is even better cause everytime is like being on a rollercoaster and u never know what it is going to be like. Also the signs telling drivers what not to do are hilarious. Too bad we didn' t have them in the states. The way they drive is just like how the feel about lines, they just crowd. There will be like 5 cars in what is suppose to be 3 lanes. Throw in hundreds of people on bikes and walking and u got some entertainment. Also, i have never heard horn honking so much. And i think that these people need to buy stock in DW40 cause the way the bikes sweak when they break is like nails on a chalkboard. But off to enjoy the wonderful world that is China. Later.

May 22, 2008

Korean influence and Numbers?

China is growing extremely fast, partly because of foreign investment. Over the past few days of touring around the city, we've observed many development project by Korean companies. Also Korean restaurant is very common in Tianjin. At these restaurants you could try food you'll never ever have a chance to have in the States.

I've been Chinese for as long as I could remember, but the supersitions in phone numbers and such still surprises me. The other day we were at the China mobile store where we could select our cell phone numbers. I was surprised how willing people are to spend more money on numbers that contain digits that are suposing good luck.

Our Syllabus

Download file

A Separate World

As I lay here and contemplate the mysteries of the universe, or rather just relax and quench my thirst a little, it really strikes me how unique China is from the United States, but at the same time there are so many similarities that I don't feel like I'm halfway around the world. During both yesterday and today in our introductory lectures given to us by Dr. Li, we have had the opportunity to converse with Chinese students that attend Nankai University. Our main topics of discussion so far have been about trying to understand how an individual in each culture acts. Needless to say, it will definitely take more than a month to absorb everything that could be said.

Except for the first day we arrived in China (we reached our final destination at Nankai University at 2AM local time in China, slept from about 4AM till 7:30AM, ate breakfast, and went on a mini tour of campus and the surrounding area and finished off the evening with a visit to a famous restaurant with a name that I believe is translated as "Little Dog Don't Care"), our schedules have been a little more routine. That first morning we stayed in a hotel that was on campus, and if you ask me later, I have quite a few stories about that place. Right after that we got moved to a hotel called the Hanting Express, which is just about a block or two from campus. That day was wrapped up with a trip to a major mall that has a Wal-mart equivalent known as "E Mart". I have to say that it was quite interesting traveling through a mall where most of the power was out so most of the shops were closed, except for "E Mart"

On both Wednesday and today we started off with breakfast in the hotel, headed to campus for a lecture, and then came back to the hotel for lunch. Compared to the food we had that first night, the meals served at the hotel were relatively mild on how exotic it was for us. Last night some people had already caved and were craving more American style food, so we went to Friday's. Yes, there is a Friday's in China. Everyone but me ordered either a hamburger or sandwich of some kind, whereas I hadn't cracked completely yes and went with the cajun shrimp and chicken pasta.

After lunch at the hotel, we went on a bus trip to a different part of the city. The main focus yesterday was the main downtown shopping area in Tianjin. We broke up into smaller groups and wandered around for about an hour and a half. There were shops everywhere and many different streets we could have veered off onto if we would have had the time. I won't go into the little details on here just because it would probably take me about a day to right all I saw during that little trip

Today, besides going on a short little trip on the Haihe River, we took a stroll through an area known as the cultural district. There was a lot of interesting architecture there, but the entire area was riddled with little shops of the sort that tourists search for. A wide range of items could be found there, and a lot of the students asked for extended time in the area beyond what we had been allotted.

Once again, I wish I could go into more detail, but I was start turning this into a novel. There is so much that has happened so far that I can't begin to imagine how it will be after an entire month here. Hopefully I will be able to put up another entry in the next few days and take another chunk out of the storage capacity for this website.

Stacy in China

Wow... that is one word that explains my experiences here! I am having such a great time! I have had the chance to try so many new things! A couple nights ago I tried duck tongue... which may explain why we went to eat at TGI Fridays for dinner the next day! I (corn studded) don't know though what I do without all of the people who are here! The group that we are with is super awesome, the individuals from the university are soo helpful and nice, and we have such a great professor! It is so crazy to get so close to everyone right away! I am so happy to have you all here!

Anyways, although I had may quick homesick motion I got over it really quick once I heard my moms voice. Some of the other great things that have happened are the lectures, the shopping and the people of the country. We have a had a chance to speak with Chinese students about all different types of things. It is amazing that we have so much in common. There are a lot of differences that exist between the two cultures of people but in the end we are all people and we all just want happiness. I am still so interested to learn more about their every day lives and what they want in their futures... I find that they are such kind and generous people and possibly the individuals of our country could take a page out of their book.

I sometimes forget that we are in China, which is sooo hard to do due to the differences. But one thing that will continue to remind me that we are in China is the language barrier. Very few people speak english here and the english they speak is very broken. It is kind of frustrating not being able to speak on my own!

I can't wait to see what the next few weeks bring me...!

God Bless and I miss all of you at home!

Dog...

Today was filled with new experiences. We walked around the Asian market, which was filled with unique items. But the most unique experience of the day was within the last hour. I ate dog at a Korean restaurant. Leon said it was wolf, but I cannot help but feel guilty about eating dog. I have a dog (sorry Harley)! The majority of us tried it., the spice was good but it was stringy and tasted like an animal (like deer meat or whatnot). I just narrowly managed to escape getting run over by several bikes within the past 5 minutes, but all else is well.

Korean Dinner

Tonight was a wonderful experience while visiting China! The group dinner at the Korean restaurant next to the Hotel added to the cultural experience of visiting China. Not only are we learning about the chinese culture, tonight we were exposed to some new cultural customs from Korea. This included the barbeque dinner style, the preparation of the meal and the pre-meal appetizers, to the selection of foods (dog included), to the after dinner treats. It really helps having such great guides in Jason and Reena. Reena has helped so much, as has Jason, in allowing us to get the most out of our time in Tianjin. Another cultural experience came when our group threw in some additional money expecting to tip the server, but when Reena said it was not necessary we decided to try and give the money to her to show our appreciation for her help that evening. She REFUSED diligently, saying that it was her "honor." This just shows how the chinese culture is much different than the one we come from.

After a few days in China

It is hard getting used to the air being so thick, so i have been battling a cold or something. I have seen some pretty amazing things between their architectual differences/similarities in design, and the complete lack of single housing units. Everything is an oversized apartment/condo complex. It is so cool traveling around and seeing these differing qualities in the design of a city. I like how colorful everything is, the food, the buildings, the clothing, its all very bright and vibrant with contrasting colors more noticable and regularly observable in their culture. I really enjoy the food, but i know that a lot of what we are being served is a more americanized version of the chinese customary food. Class is cool learning lots just talking with the students about common/differing interests and tendencies.

5/22

The people feeling homesick suggested we go to TGI Friday's last night, so we did. We got a banquet room and overwhelmed the staff. The flair was tremendous, my favorite was the Marilyn Manson pin on the main waiter helping us. I got a sim card for my phone yesterday, so I called my house to say

hi. Yesterday Jason gave me Meghan's replacement name tag, and before I realized it, I had tactfully inserted the card in to the sheath. Proud of my work, I let her trade lanyards with me rather than take it out. This proved a bad idea, as her cord just broke as I was taking it off. Also, we walked around a big mall yesterday with Dahui. It was big and we all got thirsty walking around in the heat. Chinese people like to look at John though, so it was worth it for their entertainment. (now who's altruistic?) As we were walking around, we saw some interesting things, a house built of pottery, a ping pong UFO, and a cool t-shirt.
We went to Carrfour for beer last night and it was an intense experience picking out beer, waiting in line, and buying our goods. We are leaving for a boat tour in five minutes, it should be exciting as well.

morgan

May 21, 2008

First day of class in China

Today we had our first day of class at the beautiful new business school, it was build only three years ago. We met the Chinese students we will be studying with, all of them are very friendly. Some speak better English than others so some are hard to understand. We discussed cultural differences betweens Americans and Chinese students. Most Chinese students had never heard anything about the war in Iraq which is so interesting because for American students that is all we hear about. However, I did not know much about the conflicts between China and Tibet and that is the hot issue for the Chinese. We also discussed how Chinese people keep their emotions very hidden, they are reserved people. They have a very easy time reading Americans because we put every emotion on the table. Chinese people can read us Americans even when we don't say anything. The first day was very fun and I'm excited to see what the rest of the week brings!

Thoughts on China Thus Far...

China has been very interesting thus far. I have eaten some of the most unique things ever some of which include sea urchin, duck tongue, shrimp and sushi, some of which I liked and some of which I did not. Some of surprising things I have encountered about the Chinese culture are the following; the people are very friendly, the bathrooms are hard to get used to, bikes are the way to get around, and the city is surprisingly safe. I really enjoyed the lecture yesterday learning about the differences in culture and the way our culture deals with things differently then the Chinese. Also, I really enjoyed talking with the Chinese students and learning about their viewpoints on different world issues. I look forward to the next lectures! I had a great time yesterday touring some of the interesting areas of Tianjin, especially the rose garden. It provided some great laughs and photos. Thus far, I have really enjoyed the trip and look forward to what is to come...

Life in China

Tainjin has been interesting so far. Our first hotel was quite the experience, the first night Krissy and I decided that it would be better if we just pretended that we were at camp. Luckily, we were able to upgrade hotels and now we are all sleeping better. The people around here drive like crazy, I am surprised that there are not more accidents. I wish I had my cruiser bike here to ride, maybe one of these days I will rent a bike for a day, but I am also afraid that I will be crushed by a car/bus. I miss cold beverages, especially cold water. Everything here is warm (warm beer=not so satisfying). The weather is hot and sticky, you really cannot make it more than one day without a shower. We had our first lecture yesterday, it was fun to meet the Chinese students. We were able to talk with them about differnent cultural perspectives. I feel like a very ignorant American here since I do not know much of the language. I think it would take an eternity to understand all the Chinese characters. The food is good, I have been somewhat adventurous, I have tried duck tongue and duck egg. At one restaurant the other night I ordered bullfrog, but they never brought it out. The first couple of days I struggled with chopsticks, but now I am getting the hang of them. It is interesting being the minority too, people are always looking at us. My dad would be proud, I get up really early, I was up before 6am this morning so I do not waste the day. The only other things I miss besides cold beverages is cheese and being able to run outside.

The Journey and First Day

The NW flight from MSP to NRT used a relatively dated 747, while the flight from Narita to Beijing used a newer Airbus. While this choice probably had more to do with capacity and economic efficiencies, I couldn't help but to think that the higher growth routes in Asia were getting better equipment that the older planes of the US thus encouraging greater repeat business, perhaps. Though relatively expensive, the sashimi at the Narita Airport in Tokyo seemed more fresh and diverse than that of which I have eaten elsewhere. Having just arrived at the hotel, of whose name I am uncertain, at Nankai University in Tianjin, China after over 20 hours of traveling by air (17 of which were spent in the air) and 2.5 hours by bus, we checked into our rooms with almost everyone sharing a room. My initial impressions of China were of a new airport, a relatively expedient immigration/entry line with an adequate focus on customer service given the buttons to be used to rate your interaction with the younger agent. Jason, the chosen "English" name of the representative of Nankai University, lead us to the bus where the luggage space beneath the bus was inadequate, by US standards, thus necessitating the placement of luggage in the aisles and seats of the bus (a blockage of the aisles would have surely violated some US safety rule). The two and a half hour nonstop bus ride was somewhat uncomfortable given the bottle of water I drank immediately prior to our departure. The trip smelled like driving through Gary, Indiana as a child, prior to Clean Air Act Legislation(s) that began in the US in the 1970's. The campus was gated with a guard. The hotel had granite and marble in the lobby where the two female front desk workers slept on couches with blankets. The rooms were not very attractive with marked up walls, stained and ripped carpeting, and hard beds. At the request of my roommate, I had accompanied him, via taxi, to McDonalds to get some food. McDonalds seemed to be full of younger college students studying, primarily. I had a relatively dry fish sandwich which, in retrospect, probably provided me with more mercury than I may have wished to consume given the ubiquitous air pollution. We were up for breakfast a few hours later and off for a walk around campus. Though the hotel kept our passports, we were able to change money using the copy that I had brought with me. The group attempt to obtain cell phones and SIM cards failed our first day as no one had the passports required to get set up with service. We moved to a cleaner and more updated hotel later that afternoon outside of the University walls. Rooms lack any dressers, thus most students are placing their cloths on the floor or living out of their suitcases. Shopping at Emart was warm given the power outage. Dinner was at an established restaurant in town with lots of history. The service was abundant and the decor was fabulous. The food tasted good to me, though some students complained that it was unremarkable. The assistant dean of the Nainkai Business School joined us and gave us some history of the University as well as a brief introduction of the importance of table position at dinners and the expectations of toasting, etc. This was interesting and paralleled information garnered in the book on Chinese etiquette. Following this diverse meal, which included spicy duck tongue, we went home and most of us slept well given the length of the day and full stomachs.

Arriving in China

Woke up this morning at 5am because I am still not use to the time adjustment. It was bustling already outside our hotel room. At around 7am I tried to get some breakfast in the hotel but I could not understand the Chinese so I returned to my room to get ready for the day. Later that morning Leon brought me to a McDonald's down the street. I ordered an orange juice and a hashbrown. My hashbrown was only 60cents. On the the walk back I was almost taken out by a full size bus (like DTA size) because traffic does not yeild to the pedestrains, other cars, or bicylcers. It scary trying yo cross the street even if you do have the right away.

After returning from breakfast we took our first trip to the business school for lecture and to meet some Chinese students. The first lecture was given by Jason, the assistant director of International relations. He spoke to us about the area of Tianjin and how to get around. We found out there was a TGIFriday's restuarant. Which we ended up going to for dinner later tonight. Next Dahui Li spoke on the cultural differences between the Chinese and American cultures. I have learned about these differences in several of my business classes but it was very interesting to actually experience the differences.

After lectures in the morning we returned to our hotel for lunch. It was very a good lunch with American style chinese cuisine. The fruit salad had tomatoes in it. We had fluffy white rice, and different meat and veggie mixes to put on top. They served cold orange juice and milk, an opposite of what I heard the breakfast was like today. At breakfast it was hot orange juice and hot milk.

Lunch was good but the tour we took of Tianjin today was great. We all took a bus around town to tour the different parts of the city. The new parts are developing so fast that many buildings are under constructions. They are building huge high rising apartments for housing. On the sides of the street we saw many lower class farmers who came in from rural China waiting on the street for jobs. We also saw some working building sidewalks. From their our bus took us into the old Italian looking part of China. We stopped at a rose garden, like the one in Duluth. There were three couples getting married and group of people from Guam that were here in business. The brides were dressed very uniquely and different from brides in the US.

After the Rose Garden we hopped right back on the bus to check out a shopping center. The shopping was beautiful with a whole floor of shoes. There was a very wide variety in shoes sold, they were all colors of the rainbow with bows, polka dots, strips, and bling. It was really cool. We then stopped at starbucks to get coffee. I tried to order coffee and I ended up with blended cream. It was good and tasted like a vanilla malt. After the shopping mall we boarded the bus again to go to dinner at TGIF. It was exactly like the states. The food was really good. We had to take at taxi back to the hotel. The taxi drivers are crazy, we could have gotten in a accident any second. After the taxi ride back to hotel we walked to a local market called the Carrefour. The store was packed with people and to check out it took about 20 minute wait to get to the register. It seemed to be normal for everyone else to wait but we were impatient and extremely hot because there is no air conditioning in the store.

It was great day, full of many experience!!



So far...

The culture is so different from our own that it's almost hard to function, at least for me. I am so used to ignorant, rambling, rude, and individualistic Americans that it's hard to get used to a culture that treats bikers the same as people in cars, and houses millions of people per square mile in apartment buildings that almost touch the sky. So far we have made some friends with business school students at Nankai University, but we have taken especially to a girl named Rena, and I do not know how to spell her name. She comes with us when we go shopping, eating out, and to our lectures. She is extremely helpful, and we appreciate her willingness. We also met some people from Cameroun and Ghana in a rose garden today, they spoke French and English, so that was fun to get pictures with them. We ate at TGI Fridays for dinner, which was a cultural experience even though they serve American food because they do not have staples like Ranch Dressing. The Chinese people do not like Cheese, which is just going to kill me because cheese is my favorite food. It's all part of learning the culture, though, and I will learn to cope through my cheese cravings.

Tour of Tianjin

Today, Wednesday in Tianjin was very exciting. We had our first lecture and took a tour of Tianjin on a bus. It was interesting to see all of the tall skyscrapers and housing. It's also amazing how everyone drives and rides bikes around here, I'm constantly worrying that the people will get hit, however, I haven't seen that yet. And I hope I don't see that happen either!

Before we went on a tour we had a lecture, our first lecture was led by Dahui. We talked about the culture differences。 What made this lecture useful was the fact that we had Chinese students to talk to! It was neat to hear their perspectives about different topics. During this time we also got to know what Chinese people thought of American people an vise versa. The girl my group was talking to thought we were very collective, when we are definitely more individualistic.

After our first lecture we had lunch at the hotel, it was very good. It was similar to "American" Chinese food. One thing you will never find in China is cold milk, its warm, if they do have cold milk it’s usually chilled and taste vanilla like. It wasn't actually that bad (I just tasted it). After we ate we then went on our tour of Tianjin.

During our tour we went to the newer part of Tianjin, the buildings are amazing. Everywhere you go everything is being built of rebuilt, so there is construction everywhere. During this time we also stopped at two very fancy shopping malls, we didn't shop, just toured the location. This weekend we will go back and actually shop. On our tour we also stopped at a "People's Park" which in the US would be called a "public park" at this public park it was full of roses and fountains, it was gorgeous and so colorful. At this park we also saw 3-4 wedding parties. The dresses were amazing and the brides were beautiful!

After our tour we were dropped off at TGIF, we finally could have some American food!! This was my first full meal in 2 days. Ironically I always feel full, I've never been starving.

That is all I have for now, I'm tired and need to shower. It's been a busy, fun day!


tianjin's air pollution and culture shock.

China has been a fun experience so far. I've heard of the air pollution problems in Beijing, but I could of never imagined it being this bad. I have to say that I miss the blue sky during the day and bright stars during the night. I wonder if little kids who lived in the city of Tianjin have seen a blue sky and stars at night? Even-though, I am Chinese I still felt some shock. The driving is definitely different. The food is different. Moreover, we've heard the China's economy has been growing at an extraordinary rate. There is no way describe what we have seen in Tianjin with all the construction of new buildings.

Why China?

Well, after some complications in my first attempt to post about why I wanted to go to China, I am actually here in China posting. The reason that I really wanted to visit China was to get a new cultural experience and to visit a different part of the world. I am always so fascinated in visiting new places and being able to tell others about my time there. China has always struck interest out of me. As a kid, I only knew of it as a place where many of my posessions came from. As I got older, I read about it more, saw them in the Olympics, saw athletes come and play in the US, and as of late, have watched their economy grow at an astonishing rate. China was always a country that I was curious about, but never thought I would visit or have the opportunity to go. I saw this opportunity and took full advantage of it.

The other reason that I really wanted to visit a foreign country wit hschool is that I never had a study abroad experience. After the long travel, I am very happy to be here and to be experiencing this with everyone.

The book I read was The Spirit of Philosophy. The book discussed the many different religions that are practiced by the Chinese people practice. THe main being Buddhism. OThers that were common were Taoism, Cufuscism, and christianity. The book was very interesting in learning some of each religions beliefs. Very interesting for anyone looking to expand their knowledge on religions.

May 17, 2008

Scrambling

Well, I'm taking a short breather from running around and trying to get everything prepared to travel to China for a month, which the plane leaves tomorrow and I still have quite a bit left to do. I'm extremely excited to have an opportunity such as this and I think it will be a great experience. I will admit, I am a tad nervous since I don't really know what to expect, but it's nowhere near enough to hold me back. Hopefully I have everything squished into my bag that I will need, but if I don't, well, that's just part of the adventure I suppose.

Since there weren't enough books for everyone when they were getting passed out, I went to the library and got my hands on A Reader on China: An Introduction to China's history, culture, and civilization by Su Shuyang. There is definitely a lot of information packed into these pages, from some basic myths, such as how the planet was created, different geographic regions, and even some data on different philosophers and scientific advances. Overall, I thought it was a very interesting and worthwhile read.

Yeah China!!!

Wow, it's actually just sunk in that we leave tomorrow! As I'm packing up my stuff all the questions about what we’re going to be doing and all the things we are going to experience keep running through my mind. It's going to be two different extremes with the aftermath of the earthquake and the hype of the Olympics. We are so lucky to get this opportunity when so much of the worlds focus in on China. But, I’m going to miss my family and friends. I already know it’s going to be very difficult without talking to them every day. But still, I’m excited to see where this trip leads us!

The book I read was Chinese in Minnesota by Fuller. It described the Chinese population who migrated here and how many started their own businesses, laundry mats or Chinese restaurants. It was very interesting to read about how this group differed from those who went to California and worked on the railroads. This book opened my eyes to see how they were treated and the culture shock they overcame.

Excited

This trip has me excited to see a new country, anxious to experience new business practices that differ from those in the US, and nervous about how the Chinese population reacts to US visitors. I have been to Japan before, but I look forward to visiting another Asian country. From this trip I expect to learn about how business is conducted in a booming country. The economy of China is very different from that of the US, and I look forward to learning diverse business practices.

I read the book "China Shakes The World." This book details the past 10 years or so of China's business and economy. It opened my eyes to the risk of business ventures an the lengths the people in China will turn to in order to better their lives. It gave examples of one spouse from a family going abroad for 10 or more years at a time in order to make a living for their families. They travel out of China on freighters, illegally, and do not see their families for the whole time they are abroad. Others take out substantial loans in order to buy foreign businesses that have gone under. The labor is so much less expensive in China, that they companies take off again, even stronger than they were in the countries they came from. It has been within the last 10 years or so that China has really grown up and developed the booming cities we see today.

May 16, 2008

China, here we come!!!

So it is about two days before we take the flight out to China, and to be honest I am uber excited, but really nervous. I am kinda scared that I will get lost or hurt or sick or have my money stolen or something like that. My family is also really nervous, especaillly with the eartqauke that happened. I tell them everything will be fine, and they have nothing to worry about. I am wondering about what to pack and I have gone over everything in my head so many times I hope I don;t forget anything. I want to make this trip to get an idea of what the world is like. I have been sheltered in this MInnesota life, and want to experaince something so big and great, a life changing experiance and I think that this trip is it. I also think that it will help me in thr future in my career. With China becoming so powerful in the world market, I think it will be a perk to know first hand, how thier culture is and what it is like over there. The book I read was the Tao is Silent. Not gonna lie, it was kinda confusing. The Tao is something you beleive in, like a religion, but u don't proclaim it, u just know its there. Its all around at all times, and u know its there but u never see it. It is a faith in something so great, and never having doubt in its power, that never needs to be spoken of or proven or exclaimed. It is the Tao!!

See u guys soon

Jen K

Getting ready to Leave!

Soo... I leave in two days! Its hard to believe tomorrow I walk across the stage to receive my diploma but knowing I still have China to pass before I graduate! I am just finishing up all of my packing... Its so hard to decide what to pack for four weeks to a country I have never been to! I am soo excited to engage on the greatest adventure ever! In a sense I don't know what to expect... but that makes it so amazing. I am happy I have some good friends going and our professor is the greatest! My biggest fear right now is the whole flying thing. Poor Meghan and Morgan will have to witness my freak out as we are taking off... But I figure if I can fly to New Zealand I can fly to China. I am hoping that I will have the chance to reach everyone back home plenty! I hope I can figure out the cell phone thing...

I have been reading the book titled "Culture Shock." It is a book dedicated entirely to China and their culture. I have learned soo much from this book. The things provided in this book range from the history to how to use the bathroom. So I got a chance to get a quick glimpse into the history of China. I am happy to understand some of the past information because I think it will help me to understand the present. There is also a section in the book dedicated to the business world of China. I have a small understanding of what goes on in a business transaction. I am hoping that this information assists me when meeting with business professionals. I am looking forward to meeting business individuals and seeing if the book was true. I also enjoyed the portions of the book that provide background information on what to expect in a restaurant and at hotels. I am looking forward to finally putting this knowledge I have learned into real life!!

Pre-trip blog

Last weekend I went home for the day for Mother's Day to see my family before we leave, I only saw my extended family briefly but they are very excited about me going to China and all have their own input on the subject. My uncle, who works in the national defense sector, of course has to ridicule the communist in me. My grandpa was more concerned with the living conditions and the gross foods he has

seen in chain e-mails. And of course after the earthquake everyone was concerned with our proximity to Sichuan. I am agog at the opportunity to be in Asia at such a active time in the world spotlight-- Olympics, earthquake, Cyclone Nargis in Burma, and whatever else could happen in the next two days.
The book I have been working on is called The Coming Collapse of China by Gordon G. Chang, a Chinese American lawyer and author. The book is a little dated, having come out at the turn of the century, but still contains a plethora of information about the history of China. From Mao's Great Leap Forward to Tiananmen Square, Chang discusses the issues communism has bought to China. As for the title of the book, Chang sees major problems with the infrastructure of the government. He mainly discusses pitfalls between a free market economy and a control government. It gets relatively technical when he begins the discussion of the bankruptcy rules for State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and the big state controlled lending institutions.

May 15, 2008

Nerves

I am beginning to pack today and my nerves are starting to kick in. I'm having a hard time deciding exactly what I will need so I think I am just going to go by the seat of my pants...pack light and hope for the best. I'm also a little nervous about the recent earthquakes, but I was telling my mom I have never been in an earthquake or in China, so I’ll just be killing 2 birds with one stone...she didn't think that was very funny!
As for the book I read on China I wish it would have gone a little more into contemporary China. It was mostly on the history and information about the dynasties.

China: a wonderful place to study

I am very excited and a little nervous about this trip to China. Now that all of my finals are done I can really focus on the trip and start thinking about all the great experiences I will have over there. I'm nervous because being away from home for a month is quite a long time for me and also the earthquake that just killed 15,000 is kind of scary. I chose to study in China because every one I've spoke with says studying abroad is the greates experience. It will be so interesting to learn about China's business practices and how they differ from ours and how they are similar. The United States does so much business with China, it will really be a great learning experience that I can apply to my first job.

I read the book "What is Tao?" I learned it is actually pronounced "dow" and it is not an easy thing to describe. Taoism places great emphasis on the balance between our human awareness and our natural being, as an intregal part of the web of life. Tao kind of means "the way" it also refers to nature as in the sense of one's own true nature. There are many Taoist arts such as poetry, calligraphy, and movement arts.

China: Here We Come!

Like many of the other blogs say, I am extremely excited to study in China. I can't say that China has been the place I'd like to go abroad all my life, but when this opportunity came along, I found it hard to pass up.

I received a "China Travel Book" from a friend (thanks Stacy) and have been reading about all of the exciting things to do, sites to see, and food to eat since. Being a person who is not extremely adventurous and a very picky eater, the book (while exciting) also made me a bit nervous. However, I am going to really challenge myself (and all of you) to try new things. A couple things I would recommend bringing based on this book are the following: hand sanitizer, your own toilet paper, comfortable shoes and an open mind!

I am eager to get to know all of you and I'll see you Sunday at the airport. Also, congrats to everyone graduating on Saturday!

China Competing in the Global Economy

China Competing in the Global Economy was published in 2003. It covered many topics since the economic reforms over the past few decades. Consequent of the economic reform is the in fluxing of foreign direct investment. Moreover, with the recent induction into the World Trade Organization, China will only benefit with more rapid overall growth. However, the book claims, China need to address state own enterprises and banks. Although, millions of Chinese has been raised out of poverty, wage disparities still need to be addressed. This book also projected China's economic growth will slow down. Will it made a mistake.

May 14, 2008

Preparing for the trip of a lifetime

I am highly looking forward to studying in China because there is no better way to understand another culture than to be immersed in it. I think it will be interesting trying to learn a new language, explore new territory and be surrounded by a booming economy. The business aspect of the trip will also be great learning experience. As an MBA student, it is more important than ever to be aware of the growing trends of globalization. It will be exciting to be in a developing economy and see the economic trends there. I think it will open my mind to see the world in a different light. I think that a diverse workforce is becoming more common and that this experience will help put me in a diverse situation.

I was sitting by the lake this evening, watching the sunset and listening to the fish jump and the loons cry, and I couldn’t help but think about the change in pace that we are about to experience. It will be eye-opening to get a taste of life without environmental protection; it will be strange to experience the smog of the major metropolitan areas. I hope we are also able to travel outside the city so we can see the differences in the city life versus the life in the rural areas.

It will be a unique experience to pair up with Chinese students. I am curious about their motivation and tenure and how hard they had to work, and what sacrifices both them and their parents have had to make to get as far as they are today. I love to explore so being able to see the Great Wall of China will be a remarkable sight. I think that this experience will change how I view the world, and I am looking forward to every minute of it (except the airplane ride!)

THE CHANGING POPULATION OF CHINA

The book I read was called the Changing Population of China and it provided a great deal of stats dealing with the country. I was mostly interested in a few sections, those being the population policy, family-planning program, women in China and the education system.

POLICIES
The Population Policy and family planning program were interesting because I remember doing a report on the ‘Only One Child per Couple’ policy back in my freshman year of college. Since then, changes have occurred with these policies as they have moved from a demographic orientation to a more service orientated. As of 1995, China has been abiding by what is called an Integrated Approach to Family Planning with Development. The policy assesses population quantity, quality, age structure, sex composition and geographic distribution.

Many policies have been intact and are still used in China. The ‘Only One Child per Couple’ policy, began in 1979 and it wasn’t until 1984 that a loophole was created called “Opening a Small Hole? policy that allowed couples to have additional children under some circumstances. What is interesting is that the government grants a monthly stipend to single-child-certificate holders. A couple can actually receive five Yuan for a boy and six Yuan for a girl, as well as other benefits, up until the child turns 14 years of age. The population policy holds that it is meant to control the population quantity and improve the quality of life through improved physical health and education. There is also the Family-Planning Program that is designed to regulate and space the time between births in a family. If a couple fails to abide by the program, consequences such as losing the rights to purchase a flat, loss of subsidies for their children’s education, and denial of employment or promotion. A Fertility Policy is also intact that encourages late marriage, fewer but healthier births, ‘One Child per Couple’ policy, longer space between births, and the postponement of child bearing.

AGE and SEX STRUCTURES

There have been a plethora of articles and research as to why there are a surplus of boys and not as many girls in the population of China. The authors of the book came up with three hypotheses as to why this might be true:

1.Ultrasound-B technology is used to determine the sex of the child. It is suggested that females are aborted in hopes of the parents getting pregnant again to have a male so that family lineage can be secured.

2. Female births and adoptions are under-reported.

3. There is a higher mortality rate of female infants and children.

The authors tend to believe mostly in the first hypothesis, but there is not sufficient data to prove this hypothesis.


Interesting facts:
• The cost of getting married in China has increased to about ¥50,000 to ¥100,000.

• Higher education was free in China until 1994, then a number of universities decided to charge the students for a portion of their tuition bill.

• In 1997, all higher education students were expected to pay part of their tuition.

• According to the 1990 consensus, there were 204.885 million (18% of the population) illiterate people in China. The highest rates were found in southwest China. Adult literacy is above 90% in Tianjin.

• In 1982, about half of the female population was illiterate. In 1995, the female illiteracy rate decreased to a quarter of the population.

• There are 18 ethnic minorities in China. The majority of the population is Han nationality.

May 11, 2008

Beijing Welcome You

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v17-NopqFN0&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3jey88QwSE&feature=related

May 8, 2008

We are in the News

Read The Statesman

May 2, 2008

Why study in China?

I cant even wait to study in China because I want to discover why 75% of the goods I buy are labeled “Made in China.? Through understanding the meaning behind the label I will learn the true meaning of globalization. China is the leader for imported goods to the US and I want to explore the country where the goods originate from. I spent the last two years working at Talbots (women’s retail store). All of the merchandise we received within the store was purchased internationally. This sparked by interest in international business because I realized that all successful American corporations need to be thinking globally. I graduate next spring andI am sure my the corporattion I will be working will be involved in interantional operations.Also I want to learn how to do business with the Chinsese by understanding thier cultural values values and communcation patterns. I can't fully understand chinese business without getting to know the chinese people. So I am very excited to go sightseeing and travel around China. There are so many cool places to visit in the great cities we are visiting. It is going to be great opportunity to get a deeper understaning of a culture completely different from my own.

May 1, 2008

A site about Tianjin

http://english.enorth.com.cn/

Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2008 Tianjin

http://www.weforum.org/en/events/AnnualMeetingoftheNewChampions2008/index.htm

http://www.tj-summerdavos.cn/