Following a 12-hour overnight flight, our group of 14 students from all parts of Switzerland and five lecturers alighted from the aircraft in Hong Kong and immediately made their way to the Chinese border. We arrived at our luxury hotel in Shenzhen – an industrial city with a population of seven million – just a few hours later.
We were destined to come away with a wealth of information, ideas and new perspectives. We attended a number of presentations at Huawei's headquarters outlining the company, as well as its human resources, intellectual property rights and marketing. Huawei – a company relatively unknown in Europe – employs in excess of 140,000 staff worldwide and is one of the world's largest telecommunications suppliers. You can imagine how we felt not having been aware of this earlier!
Our study trip also involved interacting with the local culture: we visited typical Chinese restaurants, mixed with employees in the canteens and tried nibbling at chicken feet. After Shenzhen, our trip took us to Shanghai, which ranks amongst the world's biggest metropolises. We were struck by the city's breathtaking skyline and international atmosphere, which helped take our minds off its notorious airborne pollution. We were there to visit Huawei's research and development facility with its 18,000 engineers. To our amazement, we were taken around by Mr. Li Peng, the man in charge of the entire centre. At the weekend, we had the chance to work on our projects, as well as explore the city and its nightlife at our own pace.
The start of the new week found us making our final presentations in an impressive conference room, again in the presence of Mr. Li Peng. All in all, this study trip expanded our horizons with respect to cultural awareness and enabled us to experience urban life in modern-day China.
We would like to end this report by thanking Huawei and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts for facilitating this fascinating study trip. We would advise any student offered a place on a similar trip to China to seize the chance with both hands!
Eva Moosbrugger and Michael Germann
Huawei is a Chinese multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company. Founded in 1988, it has grown to become one of the world's leading suppliers of information technology and telecom solutions. Its product portfolio encompasses everything from DSL modems to mobile phone aerials and from conventional telephones to high-end smartphones. This year saw Huawei join Samsung and Apple as one of the top three mobile phone manufacturers worldwide.