Made In China

November 25, 2008 at 10:31 pm | Posted in Travel | 1 Comment
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Stress Test    

We started our third day in Beijing with a vistit to Lenovo, the Chinese company that bought IBM’s PC division several years ago. It was an interesting trip, which included a walk through their corporate training center and was capped with a tour through their product display room. As a Product Manager, this last part was particuarly interesting; I’m not quite sure that I could generate the same excitement from a crowd with an electrical switchboard reveal.

We also got to take a look at some of their upcoming products; take a look at the wall below. It’s meant to represent the different market segments they are targeting with their products. You’ll see business men, mothers, etc. Then take a look a the picture meant to reperesent “gamers.” Yeah. The only guy sporting dreadlocks and a five-o-clock shadow. Even the Chinese have no respect for my hobby.




Finally, we got a demonstration of one of their new products meant to compete with Panasonic’s “Toughbook” line. Here’s a tip: if you are going to ask one of the giant Americans to jump up and down on your laptop to show how tough it is, maybe don’t do it on a tile floor. Yes. We broke the Lenovo headquarters. So sorries.

A Fragrant Bouqet

Next up was a trip to a local Chinese winery named Dragon Seal. The fact that they kept referring to it as a wine factory instead of a vineyard should have prepared us for what was to come next. They too walked us through a tour area meant to display their great history making wine. Allow me to boil it down for you: in the early 1900’s there was a French guy with a church who made small batches of wine. Sometime in the 1950’s, the government took over the winery and began producing bottles en masse.

Choosing quantity over quality has led to, predictably, some unpleasant side effects. These days they produce a few blends of wines. The first batch they offered us seemed to be a rather tasty blend of vinegar and fruit punch. The second? Motor oil and dirt. Had to be.

I witnessed a classmate purchasing three bottles to take home. Why?They’re for my family. Did they…did they abuse you?


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