Sorry it's been awhile since our last post. Anderson, work, and life in general have been keeping us all very busy!
We have a series of exciting posts from our guest blogger Alex Pugh (FEMBA 2015). He'll share his experience from the International Studies trip over spring break to Hong Kong!
But before we get started with Alex's adventures in Hong Kong, we'd just like to take a second to mention that our co-blogger Tim Hong is taking some time away from Anderson to take care of his health. We’d like to send him our best wishes for a speedy recovery and can’t wait to see him back on campus. Get well soon, Tim!
As always, please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.
Today we had a lecture from two incredibly successful and qualified business school lecturers from CUHK: Peter Yam and Ken Tse. Prof. Yam provided an important overview of the Chinese cultural and business landscape speaking from the experience of having worked for an American company, Schnieder Electric in China since markets first opened up in the 1980s.
One of the themes that reoccurred through out Prof. Yam’s lecture and was repeated by others was how little trust the Chinese have for their government, financial institutions and apparently each other. The cultural revolution and the events of the communist take over still echo loudly in most aspects of Chinese life, especially business.
China seems like a complex place to do business. Especially for companies from an established market like we have here in the West. That said, China seems sincere about modernizing its economy, infrastructure and society. So, there are a lot of opportunities for Western brands who are willing to get into the mind of the Chinese consumer.
Dr. Tse’s lecture was a brilliant example of that last point. He was assigned by his company to open a brand new port complex in Guangzhou that was designed to compete with the Port of Hong Kong based on price alone. What Dr. Tse did not realize at the time, was that a series of interrelationships between shippers and cargo transporters made switching costs very high. Further, shippers were concerned that the speed customs approvals in mainland China would cut into the cost benefit offered by his port. Eventually Dr. Tse hit on a government affairs strategy to work with the local customs and other government run authorities to help get all of the ports working processes into alignment. The Port of Guangzhou is now one of the largest in the world.
Monday evening we took the tram up to Victoria Peak to get an amazing view of Hong Kong’s downtown and water front. You really get a sense for how massive Hong Kong really is and what an unbelievable and unique urban environment it has become.