Shanghai friends and family, today was a very busy and exciting day. We had our first company visits and first experience negotiating in China.
Our first business visit was Canature. Canature is a local private company which dedicates themselves to manufacturing and R&D of water treatment systems. Their campus of 80,000 square meters consists of 9 factories, organic gardens and a zero discharge waste water system. The zero discharge waste water system is a 3 step system that purifies all waste water from toilets, kitchen, etc. Canature’s main businesses are water filters and water softeners. They export worldwide but 30,000 of their distributors are in China. Because the United States has a good filtration system already, most of their business to the United States comes from water softeners. Canature is a unique because unlike other companies, they are more focused on overall health. They truly care about their stakeholders and the environment.
Our second company visit was with Lenovo which is the top multinational corporation in China. We were able to walk through their facility and see the many assembly lines for various products. They make about 2 million computers a year and export 50% of them. We also were able to see how they packaged and shipped their computers to the world. It’s interesting to see the differences between the business culture back home and the culture in China.
After a day of meeting with businesses, we sharpened our bargaining skills at the knock off market. The Chinese market is located downstairs in the metro station. Each shop carries different brands from ray bands to custom suits. We were advised by Yen, our tour guide, to ask for 1/3 of the asking price. Confidence is key! It was fun to shop and pick up a few souvenirs for home. Everyday is something new and we are loving every second! Stay tuned for a new update tomorrow.