23. - 24.03.2016

 Shanghai, Wednesday March, 23rd, 2016


The day started with a morning call at 6:30 a.m. After everyone enjoyed their last breakfast in the hotel, we left around 8:00 a.m. Our bus was already waiting to bring us to Xi’an airport. Even though it was quite early, Professor Zhang Li stopped by our hotel to wish us farewell. Thanks Professor Zhang and all Chinese students for having us in Xi’an!



Prof. Dr. Zhang Li checking the luggage before leaving



Our guide, Lukas


After a roughly 2 hour’s flight again with China Eastern Airlines and a delicious rice meal onboard, we arrived at our next station – Shanghai. At the airport our guide was already waiting for us.


And what a surprise – our Shanghainese guide Lukas was fluent in German. During the bus ride, Lukas already introduced us to some facts about Shanghai (e.g. the catastrophic traffic and did you know that buying a flat in Shanghai means you own it only for 70 years?) and pointed out places to see along the way. We already got a glimpse of Shanghai’s famous skyscrapers and of course everyone was grabbing for their cameras as soon as we could see the huge towers on the horizon.



Yu Garden

After around 60 min, at 3:00 p.m., we arrived at our hotel, the Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden. The hotel was very classy with huge rooms and some were even lucky enough to have a view over Lujiazui, the new financial district in Shanghai with the famous skyscrapers Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center and the Shanghai Tower.


Luckily, we had a free schedule for the rest of the day and were able to start exploring this impressive city. Shanghai was quite a contrast to Xi’an, modern and very busy with more than 24 mill. inhabitants. Many of us decided to go, in small groups, to Yu Garden or the surrounding Old City with many little shops. Yu Garden, which is an extensive Chinese garden, was only a very short walk away from our hotel. During our bus ride, Lukas offered to give a guided tour through Shanghai after sunset. Most of us took that opportunity and therefore, we were back in our bus at 6 p.m.


The first stop of our city tour was the Jin Mao Tower. At 420,5 m it is currently the 18th tallest building in the world. The elevator took us in 45 seconds to the observation deck on the 88th (!) floor. From the so-called Skywalk we had an incredible panoramic view of Shanghai and its lights from 340 m above the ground.


The second stop of our tour was at the famous Bund. The Bund is a MUST in all visits to Shanghai and offers the characteristic view over Shanghai’s skyscrapers in Lujiazui across the Huangpu river. Despite the cold wind, everyone was impressed by the amazing view and posed for some pictures.



Skyline Pudong seen from The Bund


Our next stop took us to Nanjing Road, a nearly 6 km long shopping street.




Nanjing Road


Last but not least, we went to the former French Concession of Shanghai, a cozy district within the busy city with many restaurants. Our guide Lukas explained the district is very popular amongst couples and one could easily feel like being somewhere in Europe while walking down the small alleys.  After nearly four hours of exploring the city, we were all cold and hungry. Our bus driver took us back to the hotel and before going back to our rooms, we crushed into a nearby Family Mart, a very common little supermarket, and stocked up on snacks and drinks. All in all, we had a very impressive first day in this buzzing metropole.



We love Shanghai too!



Shanghai, Thursday March 24th, 2016


At 9 a.m. we started by bus on our first company visit in Shanghai. During the drive Lisa gave a short introduction about the German company Siemens, which entered the Chinese market quite early in the 19th century. At Siemens Real Estate (SRE) we were warmly welcomed and had the pleasure to listen to three different presentations. Mr. Ralf Distler, Head of Communications, held the first presentation and introduced us into the company history and portfolio. Furthermore he gave us some insights about life in China.



Our Group at SIEMENS Shanghai


His colleague Cindy Xiang, Head of Location Management Unit Offices China, presented us some daily routines in managing the Chinese office portfolio of SRE, which includes 92 office locations with an area of 226,113 m². Most of the locations are rented to other Siemens Business Units but also other international companies are customers. Therefore customer orientation is very important for SRE and they work closely together with customers to improve working conditions and optimize capacity. Besides that, global Siemens standards for office design are considered.



Model of Siemens Real Estate Site Shanghai





Lukas Funk, CEO of DBEST Beijing Facility Technology Management Co., Ltd. was the last speaker of our Siemens visit. He started with an introduction to the different challenges global companies face in China. Two examples are the huge gap between rich and poor and the air pollution in China. Seven out of the ten most polluted cities in the world are in China. For Siemens and their partner DBEST this is an opportunity and a risk at the same time. After the introduction Mr. Funk explained the partnership of Siemens and the company Bilfinger in more detail. DBEST (Beijing) Facility Technology Management Co., Ltd. is a joint venture founded by Bilfinger HSG International Facility Management GmbH, Beijing International Technology Cooperation Center (BITCC) and Siemens Ltd., China. It was formally established in 2014 with headquarters in the Chaoyang District, Beijing and a branch in the Yangpu District, Shanghai. The overall slogan and company mission is “We make your business work”.



Susan explaining the campus



Finally Susan, Location Manager SCS, introduced us to the campus and explained the technical features developed by Siemens. Before we went to the second company visit in the afternoon we had lunch in the guest canteen. Overall it was a pleasure for us to get so many insights how to enter the Chinese market as a European company and to live in Shanghai as a non-local.



After a 1.5 hour bus ride we reached the Evonik site outside of Shanghai city center. On the ride Sandra gave some insights about the company and their history in China. After a short bio break Mr. Sam Yu held a company presentation to give a high level overview about the Portfolio and workforce of Evonik China. After his explanation we visited the showroom for Plexiglas® and other products of the company.



Students during the lab tour


A huge variety of products that are used in our everyday life are produced by Evonik. The second part of our visit was a tour in the technical center and physical laboratories of the Evonik site. Our guides showed us around the technical center to the final testing of the products. Here the customers get an idea about how to work with the material they order. The expertise helps the customers to develop new ideas in cooperation with Evonik. We also got an insight in the physical labs and the machines that are used to test the physical characteristics of the materials. The machine that can measure the bulk density of solid products was very interesting. This makes it easier for chemical companies to specify their products.


After a long bus ride with traffic jams in Shanghai we reached our hotel and enjoyed a free evening. Different small groups went to the traditional market right next to our hotel to have dinner in the Chinese Food Court and shared lots of different types of food. After dinner a big group went to the Bar Rouge. The bar had a great view at the Skyline of Shanghai. When we arrived the bar was nearly empty. There are lots of lounges and we could sit in one but only for one drink because later there will be a minimum spending level, that we cannot afford. After a cocktail we planned on leaving the club until we realized that it was Lady’s Night with drinks for free. After hours of dancing we collapsed in our beds after a day full of expressions and information. It was a great first day in Shanghai.