Shanghai: first impressions

“China Immigration Agency is watching you”, - that was my first memorable point, when I saw a big board with just three English words “China Immigration Agency” near Pudong International Airport in Shanghai. I heard a story about one Russian businessman. He got a business visa for 12 months. However, he spent in China 13 months, but by law had to do in only 12 months. As a result, Chinese Immigration Agency put him in jail for one additional month. So, it is better not to play with immigration agencies at all, especially in China, if you do not plan to get additional Chinese jail-experience.
First of all, I thank to my friends, who supported and sent messages to me on FB and Gmail. I am okay, really. I am not here to figure out who I am and where I am going. I am not going to live here all my live. I am not going to obtain Chinese citizenship, find a wife and have babies (actually, I don't like one-baby-born policy) :). I am quite clear with goals, which definitely I need to achieve in China. Mission for now: to understand China, people, business, culture: where it is now and where it will be in twenty years. German Chamber of Commerce, The Economist & McKinsey reports really help with this. And also some actions, which I've done last week and going to do next week.

Shanghai is not China. It is like Moscow in Russia or Paris in France. I think that Shanghai is a future China. This city ranked number three for the best places for shopping in Asia after Hong Kong and Singapore. At the same time, it is one of the most expensive cities in China (might be the most expensive in terms of living expenses). “If you want to experience real China you should to go out of Shanghai and travel one-two months around the country”, - said one Chinese friend from Jiaotong Business School.
Yeah, it's like New York - Shanghai in night, the Bund
Shaghai in night: the Bund
Shanghai is like a New York. Very modern. Free, but without an access to Facebook, Youtube, Google, Twitter & Blogger. However, they have their own “Facebook”, “Twitter” and “Google”. Basically, Chinese people copied this startups and make it for their own 1.4 billion Chinese world. Not bad. Shaghai is polluted city. I mean an air. The sky is never blue, it’s like a mix of grey and blue, when it’s sunny weather. In night it is a challenge to see the stars.
“In some fields Shanghai is even better than New York”, - one Chinese friend has said to me this. At least in case of safety and security I would agree. Now I live in his house. His Russian name is Volodya. He graduated from Beijing University and London School of Economics & Politics. He is Chinese, whom I met through Couchsurfing. Volodya knows Japanese, English, Russian and very fast in learning Korean language. He works for state company, which is a part of Chinese Central Bank. In my life I have met many people. Volodya is one of the most smartest & diplomatic persons, whom I have ever met. Just impressed.

People. The most interesting part of Shanghai. I will devoted my next post specifically for people in China. For the beginning I would say that Shanghai is different, because of many foreigners are here. It is number one destination place for people like me and also Asians. And people make a life in the city really competitive and busy.

Chinese language. It is not difficult. It has just very special alphabet. Usual alphabet contains of 30 characters, but Chinese alphabet has few thousand characters. So, first you have to learn just this kind of alphabet and life will become easier for you. :)

Believe me, the sky is not like that, but Expo building is nice)
Shaghai Expo Building. Sky is not like that, belive me

Networking. If most part of the world a lot of deals are resolved through communication & links, connections, in Shanghai everything is resolved based on communication & links, connections. It is "the must". Actually it is very easy to do networking in Shanghai. Today I was on salsa school anniversary meeting. Yesterday I was on Ukrainian party in Shanghai and met with Vice-Consul and other interesting people. On Tuesday I was on Shipping Expo, where met one Ukrainian women from my hometown Odessa. She works for shipping giant Maersk in Hamburg. On Wednesday I've been on Toastmasters Leadership Club meeting, where finally lost my phone. Last Sunday was really interesting, especially Shanghai Indicator event. There were people from HULT Business School (Spanish), some people from UK, the USA, Singapore, Hong Kong and China (Mainland). We worked in teams on real business cases with owners of companies. Our group found solutions for one Shanghai IT design company, which wants to open the branch in EU. Then we heard success stories of three young Chinese entrepreneurs, I have met with main responsible for TED China. 
Also I started to do some tutoring job (teach one chinese man english). And got four job-proposals in the fields of international trade, marketing, consulting and sales. So, now faced with a challenge of not an opportunity creation, but opportunity selection.

Thank you for your support!

With aim & passion,


  1. I'm really proud to know such a great human being as you! Wish you luck! :) I'm sure you'll success in all you projects!


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