Here’s an update on the International Business Travel Course trip to China that I went on with a group of Argyros School students this past Spring semester.
Visit to a Local High School
When we were in Beijing, we had an opportunity to sit in a high school English class. The class was comparing
Romeo and Juliet
The Butterfly Lovers
, as both are famous tragic love stories. This class was extremely entertaining. The students had an assignment to create a presentation about both stories and one student summarized the plot as
. The students then reenacted scenes from both plays, which was entertaining to watch. This visit made me very appreciative because the Chinese students seemed to admire us American students. They also seemed to have a lot of anxiety to go to an American university. It was rewarding to ease their fears while also having the opportunity to learn from them.
Visit to HSBC Bank
organized a visit to
in Shanghai during this trip. HSBC has a large market share in Shanghai and Hong Kong. It was incredible to hear about how large they are internationally, although not all Americans are familiar with them. The most important fact that stuck with me following the discussion was the drastic difference in regulations in Shanghai and the United States. One of the speakers has just moved to the HSBC branch from America, so he was able to discuss his transition into
the market. He emphasized how much government control was omnipotent throughout China. The government is able to control and set rates utilizing much more power than in the U.S.
HSBC representatives also discussed their strength in working with international clients and managing their assets in multiple countries. Overall, this visit was extremely insightful to learn about the banking structure in Shanghai. It definitely spiked my interest in the industry and I will to apply what I learned to my International Finance Class in the upcoming Fall 2015 semester.
Visit to the Shanghai Stock Exchange
Finally, my favorite part of the trip was to the
Shanghai Stock Exchange
. We were able to visit the trading floor, but since everything is computerized now, the floor was more for show than actual trading. I was shocked to learn that the stock market in Shanghai basically ran on algorithms and it is not an efficient market.
We learned in our
class that an efficient market responds to new knowledge immediately, which the U.S. stock market is claimed to be efficient. However, the Shanghai market is inefficient and Chinese companies do not have to report everything. These companies are allowed to report only good news and leave the bad out.
This all relates back to what we learned in this course and what I had hoped to observe on this trip: the Chinese highly value the characteristic of Mian Xi, or not losing face. As a finance major, this visit was surreal because I was learning about a market that runs completely different from that of the US. It was also exciting to apply and observe a cultural characteristic in a business aspect. I was finally able to truly understanding the
and Mian Xi factor that our professors talked about so much prior to the trip.
Thank you so much for following me through these fun visits throughout Shanghai. Next, I will be talking about the last part of our trip, which was the long anticipated
U.S. China Summit