Shanghai: Day Three

March 23, 2015

This morning we had the breakfast buffet again as we will everyday this week. After we got on the bus in our business professional attire and headed off to our first day of business meetings!

We went to the Shanghai American Center and visited the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. Our first meeting was with the CEO of AmCham and we learned about the business climate in Shanghai. There is a lot of potential for growth and the overwhelming response from American companies doing business here is that they are optimistic for the future and there is great profitability. E-commerce is the rising star within the business sector in Shanghai. We also learned that the real power in Shanghai lies with women. Women have gained more freedom since smartphones have become available and the things within their purse represent the business climate in Shanghai. In her purse you can find car keys, Starbucks, Visas for travel, movie tickets and entertainment, and a smartphone.

After this meeting we had lunch on our own in the center at Pizza Express – a nice little break from Chinese food for every meal haha.

After lunch we went to a panel made up of the US Foreign Agricultural Service, US Foreign Commercial Service, and US Consulate at the Shanghai Center. This gave us a little insight into how the US works with China with regard to many sectors from exporting food to Shanghai and spreading awareness of US food products like wine and dairy, to helping US businesses come to Shanghai, to spreading awareness and explaining US policy.

Next, the girls in our class went to a meeting with AmCham board member, Ning Lei. Ning Lei was born in China and raised by her grandmother, attended university in China under the chemical engineering major, went to the US for her MBA and ended up accidentally acquiring it in mechanical engineering. She has been working for Navistar ever since. Navistar does all of the diesel engines for school buses, Army trucks, Semi trucks, etc. She told us what it was like being a woman in a very male dominated career.

We then met up with the boys of our class at the Jade Buddha Temple. Where we saw the monks performing daily prayer, saw the famous white jade sitting buddha and the white jade reclining buddha, and went to another tea house for a free tasting.

We returned to the hotel for a quick break before our arranged dinner. At the beginning of the meeting we received a short speech from the CEO of a newly installed company that is working to further California businesses with Shanghai. Then we had an enormous selection of Chinese food for dinner.

After dinner we went on a boat cruise on the Huangpu River for an hour where we got to see all of the buildings in Pudong lit up alongside the water. It was a remarkable sight.

To finish off the day we went to the club Luce. The inside of Luce was designed to look like the movie Tron. Our group had our own couch and free champagne. Being an American has a lot of advantages for nightlife and we get comped a lot of free stuff! Unfortunately while here my phone got stolen out of my purse and now I am without a phone, here, in Shanghai… Apparently I don’t have a lot of luck. I may have to go pick up a Chinese good luck charm! Maybe that would help…

We called it a night after a couple hours and headed back to the hotel to get some sleep before the next days meetings!

I will post pictures later!

Keep following along with my journey here – 5 more days!

xoxo J