Today was the second lecture which was more interesting than the first one. Today I feel like we actually gained some valuable insight into the Chinese online culture. Websites and online services that we take for granted are present but seem not nearly as efficient here. For example, Amazon has a presence here, but it is eclipsed by 360buy.com. 360Buy.com will be offering doing an IPO fall in America and is expected to raise almost $5 Billion. Compared that to Googles $1.67 Billion in 2004 and you realize that this is a major player in online commerce.
Also interesting was that 53% of delivery costs here are attributed to the last mile of delivery. It is relatively easy to transport goods across the country, but once they get to the edge of the cities, large transport vehicles are required to stop and unload their goods and move them to smaller vehicles because semis and other large transport is not allowed into the inner city. This means that small drivers on electric bicycles are required to deliver things purchased online, instead of the standard UPS truck that we are used to in America.
After class today, we walked back to the hotel and stopped at a pastry shop. I cannot believe how cheap everything was there! I payed 4.5¥ for 3 pastries that would have cost me $5-7 in America, thats about 75¢! Lets just say I won't be having breakfast at the hotel anymore. Oh, and they were all hand made.
Later today we are going to tour a watchmaking company. Depending on how impressed I am by their quality I may be coming home with a new watch too! Everything here is so tempting that I have a hard time not feeling like I'm made of money. I'll be sure to update later if I do get one.