There is nothing you can do to prepare yourself when you arrive at one of the most populated cities of the world (about 20 million) and not be amazed. Stepping out of the plane one is marveled with a state of the art airport. As you rush out you can see Beijing’s massive infrastructure with clashing contrast from ultra modern to minimalist functional buildings and some scattered old time structures.
As the group finds its way to the hotel some early arrivers have already enjoyed some of the marvels the city has to offer. My arrival group, lead by Kelly a local student, adventured to Ho Hai (the back lake) and was delighted with what seemed an endless parade of traditional dishes. Personally, as a mexican, I found the Chinese dining experience amazing not only because it reminded me of the hours long dinners but because you get to try dozens of unique dishes with friends. The best part of this incredible culinary experience was that it would be repeated over and over, including our first official group dinner.
Our first business meeting day kicked off with visits to PWC and VMware. In the group’s opinion this was a great way to start the trip as our hosts gave us a candid insight on business tax, audit, investment and development opportunities and challenges in China. One of the most memorable quotes was “In China everything is difficult but everything is possible”.
The second day was also very insightful. We got a glance of the real state market in China from UBS. This topic was particularly interesting as the news in the US is all about the Chinese real state bubble and as in most cases in China not everything is black or white but an array of gray shades. The second visit was to our first local public company, Bitauto. This was extremely interesting as the auto market has only been developing for the past 15 years. If one pays attention to the cars in the city, you can realize that most cars are new. This allows for a great opportunity in new cars, but also used cars as today that market is in its infancy.
I look forward to the next days visits and continuing to write about this experience.
My new ingredient micro blog: black goat, duck tongue, bull frog, pork blood, duck tripe, ox stomach, and fake black label whiskey