We were finally able to catch up on some much needed rest last night. After having our usual morning banquet, we drove to the headquarters of Haier to speak with some of the managers about the effects that the increase in the price of steel has had on their product. We also enjoyed an extensive tour around three levels of Haier’s products on display and a stirring, dramatic movie about the development of the company. Next we had the opportunity to ask some questions to a number of higher Haier employees – we mostly learned about the supply chain and Haier’s plans to expand into the global market.
This ties directly in with our case study and final presentation in Shanghai in a week. We will be exploring the effects of, “What happens when 135 million Chinese people want a refrigerator?” For instance, what are the economic and social implications of this huge increase in demand for steal? Haier is the world’s fourth largest white goods manufacturer and one of China’s Top 100 IT companies.
When we returned to the hotel Rachael and I immediately went for a run, along with Tash, Ricky, and Benji, who decided to join us for another jaunt along the waterfront. Immediately following our run, we raced to the showers and then off to dinner at a fancy Korean (Qingdao is on a peninsular jutting out close to Korea) barbeque restaurant, which connected to our hotel, the four star Grand Regency. This was a pleasant change of pace for all of us, considering every day has been the same food since we first arrived in China. We invited a few of the Haier employees to join us for dinner as a means of thanking them for their time.
Later that evening we went out with our new-found friends from Haier and explored some of the city. It was nice to have some locals show us around. After doing a little shopping, lighting candle lanterns in the sky, and lots of walking, we parted ways. Ricky, Dan, Benji, Rach, Tash and I decided to walk back to our hotel about a mile away. On our way back Benji was having “drummer withdrawals.” He is a drummer for a band in Sweden and thought it would be fun to go to a night club, pretend it was his 25th birthday, and somehow manage to be asked to play the drums. So next thing we know, we are sitting at Club New York in Qing Dao rocking out to Benji playing the drums on stage.