Thursday 18 October 2012

China Visa for French

If you are a French and you need to apply for a tourist visa to China, you can apply from Hong Kong. These are the documents required to process your visa. Take a look and make sure you have everything so that you don't have to keep coming back and forth to process your visa. It will cost HKD 360.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Factory visit for Promotional Products in Yiwu

I visited Yiwu for a factory visit September 26th - September 28th. In the following post, I will give a brief summary of my trip.

After arriving, I first thought that I just landed in a different country. When you compare Yiwu with Zhuhai you can definitely say that Zhuhai is the cleaner city and more "Western". Furthermore, it seems that the people do not have that much money compared with most cities in the Guangdong Province.  But back to the factory....

When I was arriving at the factory, I was surprised to see that the company owner was hardly older than me, and at 22, I seemed to be one of the older people there.   This is quite different to the factories I can imagine in the West.  He seemed to be quite nice even if he did not speak English at all. Therefore all our communication was based on google translater and calls back to our office to chat with the merchandisers.

My business was to check the samples on Wednesday and make sure that they are sent away on Wednesday or Thursday to the clients. My boss basically wanted a set of European Eyes in the factory.  Being German, I know what quality products are and what can be acceptable products for sale in my home market.  This does not replace laboratory testing, but getting to factory means you can have a first hand view of product development and quality.

Unfortunately, the owner "told" me that he did not even have all the parts in the factory and that it will take until Thursday to finish everything.  Because of the fact there was not so much to check, except the weight and measures of the product, I used the time to have a closer look to the machines and the facilities of the factory.   It is always good to have a snoop around and see what the conditions are like and see the quality of other products on the production  lines...
Storage promotional products china

Assembly lines China
Assembly lines China

Chinese Factory Worker
On the second day it was exactly the same and I began to get mad because the excuses of the factory owner became worse and worse. I called up our office in Zhuhai and gave status report to the merchandising staff.   They were then able to take over negotiations and give the factory a good push.  Nevertheless, I had much work the whole day because it was quite hard to get answers from those guys.  In the end of the day at least a couple of components arrived and I could do some of the checking.

On the last day, I visited Yiwu- Fair to get some factory offers for other products. The Fair was the largest one, I have ever seen and it was quite impressive. Afterwards I went back to the factory to check the final product.

Because of a car accident on the way back, we were quite late and so I was in a hurry to check everything and catch my flight.   On the airport, I saw that my flight was delayed by an hour.   This happens quite a lot in China so I got back to Guangzhou airport quite late..

To sum it up, I can say that this trip was a great experience. Even if I did not like the city and the factory owner was not the most cooperative, I was glad that I had the opportunity to experience another side of China and Chinese Business.

No internship in China should be complete without spending some time in a factory....

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Going To The Hospital In Zhuhai

When living in Zhuhai it is important to know how to get to the hospital in case anything happens, and here you have a basic guide.  In Chinese hospitals you need a identification card which you can transfer money to and use for payment - sort of similar to the public transport cards in many major cities..
The hospital in Zhuhai is in the center of the city.  You can here see the main entrance to the hospital below.
Nice new building so on the outside everything looks good...
When coming inside there is a sign of what level you have to go, in this case foreigner has to go to level 5 to visit the VIP clinic.
Arriving the fifth floor and you are at the vip floor, here you just have to show your identification card and they will get you through to an English speaking doctor who will take you through the line and help you with your request. 
In our experience the service was friendly, efficient and fast.  Many people will use hospitals for GP style services and costs were overall reasonable for standard care.  Now you just have to go back at the same way to exit the building..

My Remote Internship Experience: At the Midpoint

An internship with a company is an important and valuable learning experience for any tertiary student out there. I had been looking forward...