Our last night in China

It’s our last night in China, and we’re all hanging out in the lobby of our hotel, reminiscing about the experiences we’ve had during the last two weeks. What an adventure! This trip has been life-changing.

Our group got a small gift for Dr. Rasheed to thank him for all he has done for us during the trip.

Another long and event-filled day is gone, and in less than 6 hours we will begin our journey back home.

Today began with a lesson on opportunities and challenges for multinationals, focusing on the keys to conducting business in China and government influence in business dealings. Our presenter, Mr. Kai-Fu Lee is a China UTA EMBA student. His range of experience includes working for the Ministry of Finance, China Unicom (state-owned enterprise), and Citigroup.

Mr. Lee provided a variety of information regarding business conduct and governance of city versus rural residents.

Interesting facts:
1. Rural residents are not subject to taxation.
2. Purchasing an iPhone in China is equivalent to one month’s salary for most residents.
3. Approximately half of a Chinese person’s life savings will be spent on his or her last 20 days in the hospital.
4. The 900 million rural residents will gradually move to cities and take jobs in manufacturing and IT at a projected rate of 20-30 million per year.
5. As has been stressed throughout our EMBA program, relationships are required at all levels, as the culture is built on trust, “face”, and mutual respect.

After the lecture, we were free to explore. Most of the group headed back to the silk market for last-minute gifts. Comical comments by some of the market employees regarding our negotiating abilities: “Why you so tough lady?! … I make no money at your offer prices!”

Afterward, some headed back to the hotel to pack while the others fit in some sightseeing at the Palace of Heaven. The architecture was beautiful: bright blue glazed tiles painted with glittering gold dragons was a visual feast made complete by lush, green landscaping, and tree-dotted paths.

The Palace of Heaven was spectacular.

Afterward, we took the subway back to the hotel (easy to navigate and inexpensive) and then hit the pavement again to have dinner and check out the sites on the nearby pedestrian walk.

One of the side streets held a hidden gem that held what I feel displays the spirit of Beijing…crowds of people shopping, chatting, sharing street food, and enjoying the comfort of constant activity.

Last-minute shopping and bargaining in the market.

Portable shopping sustenance on display in the market.

At last, we all reconvened back at the hotel for one last hurrah and to face the dreaded task of packing.

To say it was an amazing trip is an understatement. Homeward bound we go to share our knowledge, apply it to our careers, and hug our loved ones who have supported is through this journey. :)

In the morning we head to the airport to return to Texas!

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