Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Shanghai Trip Day 2

We started the day off at the Oriental Pearl TV tower. We traveled up to the observation deck for a nice view of Shanghai. It is amazing how quickly this city has grown. There are so many sky scrapers. It's unreal.
Here's a shot of all the MBA students going to the tower.
This is the tallest building in China, the Jin Mao tower. It is 88 stories high. Several people have been arrested for climbing it and I could see why when we drove by. The outside of the tower has a multitude of handholds - it's like they built ladders running all the way up it. I would rate it at as a very long 5.6. It's a good thing Lance isn't coming to Shanghai because I don't think he could resist the climb.
Another shot of the pearl:
A view from the observation deck. This is what is known as "The Bund" it is where the British set up their financial center and is lined with historic buildings.
After the pearl we went to a nice hotel convention center to hear from some business leaders from the Shanghai community. A mergers and acquisitions lawyer taught us about the steps for US companies to acquire Chinese companies and the amount of regulation involved. A consultant spoke to us about mistakes he sees US businesses making in China and some of the reasons why US policies toward China are politicized and sometimes misguided. We then heard from a executive at Citicorp. His focus was on the banking industry and the differences between US and Chinese consumers. The Chinese are actually far better at saving their money than US citizens. They don't really use credit cards. A common theme that I am picking up from our speakers that is scary is that it appears that many of the US companies have goals to make the Chinese more like us - today Citi discussed how to get the Chinese more into debt through credit cards and yesterday at Coke when they mentioned that very few Chinese drink diet soda but Coke expects the market to grow in the future I couldn't help but feel like they are just waiting for the Chinese to get as fat as Americans from drinking regular Coke that they will have to switch to diet.

Our final speaker was another lawyer who spoke about the business client and more about M&A.

After classes a friend of mine and I went to a Chinese tailor shop and ordered some cloths. The prices are really cheap. Each suit cost about 500 RMB( $64). Custom dress shirts were 80 RMB($10). It remains to be seen if they will actually look decent.

This evening I wandered the streets for a while. I found a nice little Chinese BBQ place where I got some duck and rice and a drink from 18 RMB( $2.33).

The area the hotel is in is one of the swankiest shopping spots in China. All the stores are Prada and Louis Vittan. The prices are no cheaper than you could buy the stuff in the Galleria back in Houston.

Tomorrow we are visiting a university and have a lot of time on our own. It should be a good time to just explore the city.

1 comment:

LaRue said...

Wow Matt! What an adventure. Thank you for the detailed post. It all sounds great, except that part about trying to make the chinese more american. Crazy World. I have been looking up maps and stuff on the internet, so it is fun to see your pictures of what I have read about. Love you, Thanks again, Mom