Weather Update

November 12, 2009 Leave a comment

Whoooey! It is going to be COLD in China during our trip.

The 10-Day forecast on didn’t have much to offer except temperatures in the 40s for highs and 20s for lows.  I guess I might still be buying that compactable down coat that can compress down to the size of its own pocket from Bushwhackers after all!

Categories: Business in China

Interesting Program | A Look at China’s Green Plan

October 22, 2009 Leave a comment

China hopes to quadruple their economy while only doubling their energy use.  This PBS documentary looks at a topic on the minds of every developing nation concerned with global pollution and its effects.  Highly recommended.

Categories: Business in China

Let’s Talk About the Weather

October 21, 2009 Leave a comment

I just checked Weather Channel to see how our Three Cities are looking for the trip.  It looks like the average range for October is around 60-70 degrees Farenheit.  So if we -15 or -20 degrees for mid-November, then it should be pretty comfortable. 

Beijing – High Oct.30th predicted to be 61F/Low 49F.
Hangzhou – High Oct.30th predicted to be 68F/Low 60F.
Dalian – High Oct.31st predicated to be 50F/Low 43F.

Categories: Business in China

Three Cities Wiki

October 21, 2009 Leave a comment

This is more of a reminder to myself to do research on the cities we’ll be visiting before we leave, but I thought I’d post it anyway.  This is just the beginning.  I’d like to collect more information beginning with the Wikis.

Categories: Business in China

The China Experience: The World Is Flat

October 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Finishd The World Is Flat last weekend.  An interesting read at times.  I think that being in the middle of the change or nearly on top of it my entire life (maybe Friedman being of the generation before mine), makes me sort of oblivious to the rapid change.  I have never been static.  I learn something new about technology every minute.  Perhaps for Friedman, the change was more abrupt?  (I do understand where he’s coming from, though.  He made most of the general population aware of the change.  This is a necessary thing to prepare for the change and everyone’s place in the “flat” world.)

A good personal example:  I have never been without a computer.  My first one was a Commodore 64.  I spent hours in my bedroom programming a little guy to dance.  Back then, this took more than a couple hundred lines of code for what seemed like one squat and kick from the guy as he moved back and forth across the blue screen.  He was very much a one-trick pony.  Ah, I miss those blue screens and pixelated characters sometimes.  (Gimp is fun to reminisce–and freely available.) Things are too “real”-looking now.  But I digress…

We got the Internet early as well in my home.  So, when you spend your formative years with the Internet, the shift doesn’t feel like such a monumental change, because the increments are constantly occurring.  I learned in chat rooms and user forums about advancing technology.  And it was advancing…like an army with swords of slashes (/) and semicolons (;) and tags <place image, color etc. info HERE>.  I was learning things on the Net from people all over the world and so it didn’t seem strange to find my company asking people from those same countries to work on projects for them.  Nothing seemed amiss or shift-y.  It just seemed like an awfully natural, logical progression; one of which I didn’t give a second thought.

I bought the book and the audiobook.  I thought about downloading it from iTunes, but it was an impulse buy from Barnes and Noble.  I wasn’t really even going to purchase the audio, because I had the book.  Sometimes I just want the CD in my hands, too.  That really hasn’t changed so much for me.  It feels like I purchased something real, not just bits of audio data.  You know?
That’s why I still buy all of these books required for all the China courses, too.  I still enjoy a tangible book, especially when it costs an arm and a leg.  At least someday, if the flat earth goes through a nuclear apocalypse, I can burn it to keep warm.

Categories: Business in China

The China Experience: Logistics

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Dean McNeil stated earlier that we needed our passports to apply for our Visas on October 1st to allow the time it takes for them to process.  Being that it was already September 28th, and the students hadn’t been instructed on where to get the Visa application or to whom we needed to deliver the passports, I emailed him immediately.  It was my understanding that someone would be coming up from Springfield (or Jana in Peoria) to collect our passports and assist us in filling out the Visa paperwork.  I was mistaken.  Now I’m trying to figure out this application and I hope that I’m doing it correctly!  I did email the person who will be processing our Visas with some questions.  I’m not even sure the complete name or contact info for any of our Chinese contacts and wish that we’d had more help in this arena.  It seems (again) a little bit unorganized and last-minute.

I had requested the new syllabus with updated flight information, but I’m not seeing it in the revised copy circa September 28th.  Wondering why the people flying back from Beijing on United are not included in the last item, as we wil NOT be flying back from Dalian and need ground transportation.  If it is indeed going to be set up for us, I would like to see it on the syllabus for reassurance.

Tickets are purchased, passport, Visa application (with Rachael’s help) and extra photo (came with passport, needed for Visa application; others may have to get new passport photos and at short notice) hopefully to be in to Jana in the Peoria office by October 1st.

Just be ready for a little frustration on the student end, everyone.  Previous cohorts didn’t even know until a month before the exact dates of the trip, so I still consider our cohort lucky.
EDIT: Rachael and Jana have stated that certain information on the Visa application will be filled out by the processors.  Regular Visas are what we are applying for (Question 1.9), and the processors have our Chinese contact information (Question 4.7-4.10).  Also, we need to submit our travel itinerary from TravNET or a copy of our E-Ticket as well as the Visa application materials.

Categories: Business in China

The China Experience: Reference Materials

September 11, 2009 1 comment

Purchased The World Is Flat back in May.  I have yet to crack it open, but MIS 525 has a lot of resources in regards to this work.  Chapter 2 actually includes some of the central ideas and the professor has posted a video about it on our BlackBoard.  Here is the Wiki:

Another required book for the UIS course is Revolutionary Wealth.  I haven’t ordered this yet, but hope to this weekend.  Here is the Wiki:

There are also additional books on the UIS list that are not required.  I’ll look into those next post.

I have purchased all of the following books for the “China Business 102” course offered at my workplace:

• De Mente, Boye Lafayette, Survival Chinese: How to Communicate without Fuss and Fear – Instantly, Tuttle Publishing, Boston, 2004

A review follows that concerned me.  I still bought the book, though.

• Strother, Stuart and Barbara Strother, Living Abroad in China. Moon Handbooks, Berkeley, CA, 2006, reference for planning a trip to or live in China.

• Seligman, Scott D., Chinese Business Etiquette: A Guide to Protocol, Manners, and Culture in the PRC, Warner Business Books, New York, 1999

• McGregor, James, One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China, Free Press, New York, 2005

• Pye, Lucian, Chinese Negotiating Styles, Quorum Books, Westport, CT, 1992  

The last is an expensive book.  New I think it costs around $90-100 and used I found it for $40 + $3.99 shipping.  The instructor says that it won’t be necessary for this module, but a subsequent one is focused mainly on negotiation.

I would also recommend Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.  My brother has a copy that I intend to borrow and read (finally!).

Categories: Business in China