Almost Two Weeks
I cannot believe it has only been a full two weeks since we have returned from the trip. It seems like it’s been a month at least. Having been thrown back into school it almost seemed like we didn’t have a spring break at all!
One problem that plagues me still is the jet lag. I never thought I would find myself saying this, but I truly do miss Hong Kong! Being in a new country with the freedom of being able to explore the different cuisines, places and more was so much fun. My classmates and I were able to gain a new and better understanding of commerce in HK and China. But in the process saw what a lively city Hong Kong was.
One thing I miss is how easily accessible everything was through the MTR. A word of advice for prospective LINC students is to truly get yourself out of your comfort zone when you visit your respective country, because only by doing so will you really experience what that country has to offer. I don’t know when I will be back in Hong Kong, but I do know I will never forget my journey this spring break. I hope everyone had an amazing spring break as well!
Can’t believe we’re back at USC already! It’s been a fun trip in Hong Kong and Dongguan! I just finished giving gifts to my friends and I told them about the trip, including how awesome the food was, how only the Americans were screaming and raising their hands on rides in Hong Kong Disneyland, the foot massage and shopping on Ladies’ Street. It was a fun trip and I loved meeting new people on this trip!
10 Take Away Points from LINC Hong Kong 2014
1. Hong Kong and Mainland China are drastically different in cultural attitudes, business strategy and social relations.
2. Dongguan is composed of several elements relating to labor intensive factories (Fujikon & Lee & Man Holdings), technology-based plants (Lee & Man paper Manufacturing), and even luxury resorts and golf courses (Mission Hills).
3. Understanding cultural differences are VITAL for business communication and success.
4. Ronnie Chan is “The Man”— USC Marshall Alumni & Trustee has completely revamped Chinese Real Estate Development through his leadership as the Chairman of Hang Lung Properties
5. Ronnie Chan’s Advice— never stop working, China and America must continue to work together as China progresses, to really understand a culture or country you must experience it.
5. The standard of living in China is improving and China is a country in transition— workers in labor intensive factories are competing for jobs and are considered lucky to have those jobs.
6. Chinese traditions are especially important to business relations such as how to accept a business card, how to present gifts, how to appropriately say thank you, and even how to participate at Chinese dinners.
7. Street life in China and Hong Kong is very much alive, highly populated, and unique to Chinese culture.
8. The pollution in China holds threats not only to Chinese residents and environmentalists but also pose threats to Chinese business production.
9. Many Chinese businesses are strategizing ways to limit pollution output and attempting to be “more green.”
10. Keep your eyes open, but even more importantly… keep your MIND open.
Last Day Adventure
This week came to a close at a quicker pace than anyone had expected. Today was the only free day we had and to take advantage of it. My friends and I went to get some dim sum! A necessity in Hong Kong right? We had shu mai, shrimp dumplings, baked bbq bun, xiao long bao nd so much more. The dim sum in HK doesn’t compare to establishments in Monterey Park and such.
Afterwards we went to a Macau Cafe where we tried baby pigeon and Portuguese egg tarts, one of which was fantastic! The pigeon tasted like chicken, but lacked the juiciness.
Then we went shopping at the Ladies Market in Mong Kok where we finally got the opportunity to haggle and buy some gifts for friends and family back at home! After a long and busy day I can’t say I won’t miss Hong Kong. I definitely plan on being back one day but before that happens it’s time for me to see more of what the world has to offer. On that note I hope you all had a fantastic Spring Break!
Free day: We went to a dim sum restaurant the tour guide William introduced us to, and somehow ordered through a combo of my guessing the menu from simplified to traditional Chinese and Google images. We visited McCafe, which was really like Starbucks. Starbucks was the same as in the US, and KFC was like McDonald’s. Then we visited a mall and went to Hui Lau Shan for some dessert. Ladies’ Street was fun and full of shops. It’s been a fun trip.
Update from Hong Kong!
It’s been a while but so much has happened since I last blogged! Hong Kong and China have been such eye opening experiences that have changed the way I viewed business from many different aspects. Here are a few things I’ve picked up from each day:
Day 1: Hung Lung Properties (The Summit)- The real estate industry in Hong Kong is extremely impressive and equally as expensive. The Hong Kong market is one that rivals even the priciest neighborhoods in Los Angeles.
Day 2: Fujikon- The lasting impression I had was the way I perceived workers in China. I learned that the way we view the “poor conditions” of the workers is not the same way they view them there. People in China compete for these jobs and they are well respected.
Day 3: Lee & Man Paper/Handbag Manufacturing Ltd.- The scale of the automatized operation was fascinating. The factories did not require much man power, but rather had huge pieces of equipment doing most of the work. It was interesting to learn about the difference between machine and manual labor. Afterwards at the handbag headquarters we learned that it only required 2 minutes to create handbags consumers pay upwards of $1000s on. Just makes you really take things into perspective and see what someone is really paying for.
Day 4: Mission Hills- Before coming I’ve constantly heard that China will change in the blink of an eye and Mission Hills is testament to that. They built a resort consisting of 5 golf courses on lands that used to be wasteland. HKUST Networking Event- meeting other business majors from a different country allowed us to connect with new friends and learn more about their experiences in learning, interning and working in Hong Kong.
Day 5: Lee Kum Kee- They organized a cooking competition for us which pitted 8 teams of 4 against each other in the effort to see who could make the best fried rice. Unfortunately, I cannot say I was victorious. Ronnie Chan- Mr. Chan, a real estate mogul, is a successful USC trustee who gave us a true insight on life and business as a whole. He was real with us and told us the importance of family as well as hard work and finding something we are passionate about. He helped me realize how USC was truly a world class institution.
Overall this trip has provided each and every one of my classmates with the ability to not look at things as Americans, but to have a global perspective. Until next time, fight on!
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Over the past three days, LINC Hong Kong 2014 has been fortunate enough to partake in several company tours, Chinese banquets, and we even met fellow business students at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology.
After crossing the border into mainland China, going through customs and entering Dongguan, we had our first company visit at Fujikon on Tuesday. Fujikon introduced us to an OEM/ODM Business— Original Equipment Manufacturer/Original Design Manufacturer. Fujikon manufacturers and sells audio equipment to well-known brands and international customers.
We continued company visits on Wednesday morning beginning with Lee & Man Paper Manufacturing Ltd. Lee & Man Paper is the second-largest paper manufacturer in the world, and the largest in China. In the afternoon we visited Lee & Man Holdings, which is specific to designer handbag manufacturing. From these two companies, we learned how the labor costs in China are affecting plant development and labor intensity.
Before leaving Dongguan, we made our last company visit to Mission Hills Golf Courses. Mission Hills holds the Guiness World Record for largest golf course in the world and showed LINC HK 2014 the extraordinary growth of luxury goods in mainland China. USC was also able to add its own touch to Mission Hills by planting a LINC HK 2014 tree at the end of our visit.
Lastly on Thursday, we visited the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology where we met Chinese students studying Global Business. This was, by far my most favorite part of the trip so far as we were able to converse and relate to so many of the students studying business in Hong Kong. Everyone enjoyed each others company and it was absolutely incredible how fluent they all were in English. Conversation was effortless as students laughed and discussed everything from Hong Kong nightlife to Pokemon to the misery of midterms.
Only one more day of business left in Hong Kong!!!!
On the second day in Hong Kong we visited Hang Lung Properties and were able to take pictures from very high up. Then we visited Disney, which was awesome. Space Mountain, Runaway Mine Cars (in Grizzly Gulch) and RC Racer (in Toy Story Playland) were the best rides. The hotel has an amazing breakfast which I especially love since I haven’t had Asian food in months. Today we visited Fujikon in Dongguan (what we learned is confidential) and went to get foot massages. Dongguan is obviously more polluted and less developed than Hong Kong. The air smelled like gas and some areas were a bit rundown. There were also beggars around. The foot massages were interesting (I’ve never had one in which they swab your ears before) and some of the foot masseurs asked some groups to introduce them to American men. The masseurs in my room were pretty quiet, probably because we only had Asian Americans in my room. The food for dinner was nice and it was interesting to get people to try the duck (which was not cooked as well as it could have been).
After a 14.5 hour plane ride… here are some photos of our first night in Hong Kong!