I had three reasons when I was applying for this class: know more about Chinese market from a professional perspective, learn about possible future career in China, and travel with American students to share their view points. Now the class has come to an end, and I believe I have made some achievements on all of the three targets. In the following essay, I will discuss about what I learned from this class on these three topics in detail.
Chinese Market: a Chinese Dream
“China isn’t cheap. It’s good.” This is quoted from the presentation of Rob Daley, co-founder of 4Moms, who is also a McIntire alumnus. “Made in China” used to give people an impression of “cheap” and “comparatively low quality”. The products made were also considered to be at the lower end, such as toys and textiles. However, as Rob said, after we visited the companies and factories in Shenzhen, we know the scenario is shifting.
Kin Yat: From Toys to Robots
Sichuan is the hometown of pandas. They have become mascot and symbol of Sichuan province and Chengdu, the provincial capital. Actually Chengdu people believe they live their lives just like pandas do: leisure and relaxed.
During our company visit with ImagineX, a Hong Kong based company providing entry strategies to Greater China for foreign brands, we toured a high-end shopping mall called IFS in downtown Chengdu. Not surprisingly, we found a panda statue on the building, but we were surprised how big it is.
Youlian (友联) is a family owned spice company. It primarily focuses on spices used for Sichuan dishes, which is a very niche market. However, the competition is still fierce: there are around 200 companies making spice specified for Sichuan food, while the biggest player only has 100M annual revenue of a 1.5B Market. Although Youlian is also a big player, it only has 50M revenue annually, which is a small market share. Thus it is essential for Youlian to differentiate its products to achieve greater competitive advantage and increase its market share.
Beijing is the capital of China. It has been China’s capital for 500 years already from 1400s to 1900s, from the third emperor of Ming Dynasty, Zhu Di, till the last emperor of Qing Dynasty, Pu Yi, who was also the last emperor of China. As results, magnificent palaces, temples, altars and other historical and cultural relics were preserved in Beijing. We were excited visiting all these relics. I also got a chance to be the tour guide for our group.
Sorry for the delayed post. The class really takes much more effort and time than I expected before departure. We are having full schedule every day from 9am to 10pm, including activities of company visits, sight-seeing and alumni networking. The internet connection here in China is also a little tricky, which takes quite a lot of effort to log on WordPress.
Greetings, dear classmates, friends, alumni, parents, faculty members and other blog visitors! This is Dian Zhang 张典. I am a rising fourth-year McIntire student. It is my greatest honor to serve as the GCI Student Coordinator for COMM 4394: Market Insights in China, especially as an international student from China. This gives me the best opportunity to introduce my homeland to my US classmates and build up the global perspective together. I will use my knowlegde, language ability and my greatest effort to help everyone get the best experience out of this course. In the following May Term, I will keep recording the lessons we learn, the experience we enjoy and the memory we share under the lead of Prof. Maxham through blog posts and photos.