We visited Donghua University today, a college famous for its engineering, business, and fashion schools. When we arrived, we were treated to another lecture on the smartphone industry. This time we learned about the big three tech companies in China – Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent (collectively known as BAT). Baidu is essentially the Chinese Google; it is a web services company that runs the most popular search engine in China. Alibaba is center of e-commerce in China. Starting in the mold of Ebay, Alibaba initially handled C2C transactions, but now it looks more like Amazon and connects vendors and retailers directly to consumers. Tencent created WeChat, the all-in-one smartphone app that allows consumers to text, call, make payments, as well as a plethora of other things.
Next, we took a tour of the campus. For the most part, it felt much like an American campus. There was lots of open space, and even a few outdoor soccer fields and basketball courts just open for students to use. For lunch, the tour group split up and each Donghua student was assigned to two Pitt students, and Angeline and I were paired with a student named Eva. She took us to the school’s cafeteria to show us what a typical student meal was like. It was very different from Pitt, everything was fresh and made right in front of you. I got rice, shrimp, and xi mi lu (a sweet milk tea). Bottom line, US schools really need to pick their game up when it comes to feeding their students, because if this were offered at market I wouldn’t finish each semester with an extra 50 swipes.