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.