Professor Yang Kun's lecture on service economy was very interesting. I found it odd that the United States is based on a service economy, but doesn't seem to adapt culturally as much as the Chinese do with international businesses. For example the McDonalds restaurant in China is considered a sit down restaurant and not the fast food chain as thought in America. I found it interesting that McDonalds could effectively market in China based on the color scheme. Red represents trust and yellow represents hunger so McDonalds is sending the message that people can eat at a highly trustworthy restaurant and satisfy their hunger. President Obama follows this idea of color scheme by wearing a red tie with his suit when delivering speeches to ensure that Americans can trust him. The popular KFC in China adapts to the exotic taste and flavor appeal of the Chinese by offering such items like the dragon twister and different egg/vegetable soups.
It was interesting to find out how some American ideas and businesses could survive in China while others were a failure. The Barbie doll for example was very popular in America, but once proposed in the Chinese market it was a fail. The Chinese culture didn't like the Barbie doll representation of a sexy female, because being sexy is thought to be private. To the Chinese the hello kitty doll was more fitting and also marketed at a lower cost. Starbucks tried to propose opening a store in the Forbidden City which came to be a major cultural fail. By placing a Starbucks store inside the Forbidden City it would essentially ruin the face of it, by demeaning the sacredness. IKEA is a success story in China by being interested in the Chinese culture and adapting its mission. IKEA uses values-based service by respecting the Chinese culture and society. These characteristics allow IKEA to be successful. Learning about the successes and failures of different American companies made me realize how important culture is in any business whether it be a well established business or a small family owned shop. Becoming familiar with different cultures is the key to success in running international business.