Day 17 – Shenzhen: BYD, Lenovo and leaving China

After more then two weeks of traveling through China mainland, our last day in this large country has arrived. At 7am everbody had to be checked out. Unfortunately not all of us got their laundry back which caused a dalay of  20min. Enough time to get a cup of coffee from Mc Dondalds to strengthen us for another busy day. The visits of the companies  ‘Build Your Dreams’ and Lenovo was sheduled for this day.

Arround 10am we arrived in front of the gate of BYD in Shenzhen. First of all, the company was introduced in a short speech where they clarified that BYD is more then just a car manufacturer. BYD embraces three businesses: IT, automobile and new energy. Everybody wanted to see the production plant but due to their strict rules we could not visit it. The disappointment was only short-lived because BYD showed up with a big surprise. We were given the unique opportunity to drive with the electric car e6. A strange feeling since there was absolutely no sound of engine. This proved us that China is also preparing their future, zero emission & zero noise.

After a short stopover at Mc Donalds, specialists from Lenovo showed us the production of the well-known  ThinkPad notebook. Hundreds of Chinese workers stood at the assembly line, doing not more then one or two actions, an engraving impression. Thanks to this, the picture of a simple and standardized notbook became its face. Now we know all the procedures behind it.

Another intersting day, packed with a lot of impressions reached its end. We left China mainland behind us as we crossed the border to Hong Kong.

Day 9 – Hangzhou: Visit to Haining City Lili Leather Garments Co. Ltd, Nicelink Home Furnishings Co. Ltd and Tannery

The day 9 was characterized by chinese midsize companies in the area of Hangzhou.

After a little delay in the morning we started the day by bus in direction to Haining City. The first company we visited was Haining City Lili Leather Garments Co. Ltd which manufactures and exports leatherwear. We were impressed to see the whole process of producing leather jackets of the company. We had the opportunity to see the different divisions starting with the designing of the clothes, followed by cutting, sewing, sticking and packaging. Afterwards we were able to see the final product produced for customers like H&M, Esprit, Geox, Pierre Cardin, Only and s’Oliver.

The second company we visited was Nicelink Home Furnishings Co. Ltd which produces and exports sofa covers. This company has also a very deep value chain, producing in-house excep the used leather. It was impressive to see the size of the production hall and the many engaged employees. Very hungry we ate close by the company in a Chinese restaurant. It was delicious.

Finally we were guided through a tannery where we were able to see the different steps of producing usable leather for jackets. The company puts emphasis on the cleaning of the chemical production liquid. They collect and transfer it to a central cleaning water station where most of the waste is being removed.

Day 7 – Shanghai: Shanghai VW (SVW); Artwell (Cashmere) and Wuzhen (Venice of China)

Ready for another long and interesting day around Shanghai we met early in the morning in the lobby and boarded the bus for heading to the first company visit of the day. After driving out of Shanghai for quite a while we arrived at the VW factory where we had the chance to have a look at one of the company’s high-quality production plants producing the brands VW and Skoda for the Chinese market. We had a quick instruction by a video-tap followed by a ride through the production and they showed us two of the three main production areas. It was fascinating to see all the robots working on the cars and especially the pure form of just-in-time production was impressive. Unfortunately it was kind of a standardised visit and it was not possible to ask detailed questions about VW in China.

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Day 11 – Chau Doc: It’s All About Rice



After getting up at 07.00 o’clock, we checked out the hotel and set off for a 4 hours bus ride. Our destination was Chau Doc, located close to the border of Cambodia. The region is known as the rice bowl of Vietnam.

On our way we stopped after 3 hours at a brick factory in a typical rural village of Vietnam. The bricks are produced in a very simple manner, mainly by hand, and are fired in small ovens heated by rice husk (the outer layer of the rice seed), which are a waste product of the regional rice production. Next to the brick factory we had a walk through a rice field. Rice and brick production are an integral part of the housing in this small village and one can very well see the interrelation and dependency for people and community. Signs of it, especially of the brick production, are seen in all streets and sideways between the houses. The process from clay to brick takes about three months and a brick in Vietnam can be sold for 700 Dong, approximately CHF 0.035. Continue reading

TWO CHINESE COMPANIES – ONE VERY BIG, ONE RATHER SMALL

Impressive production line at Galance's factory

Impressive production line at Galance's factory

First, the two representatives of Galanz took us to the showroom, where all their products are exhibited. Besides microwaves they also produce air conditioner, small kitchen products and white electronic goods. Then we listened to a presentation about company and its history.

This successful company was established in 1978, the same year as the Chinese reforms took place and even after a disastrous flood in 1994, it took them only 3 month to recover its production. Today, they follow the strategy of lowering cost by enlarging scale. The production works 24 hours a day (3 shifts) and has 40’000 employees. It is more than remarkable that every second microwave in the world is being produced by Galanz.

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