I’m back from the ‘Doing business in China’ MBA classes at Shanghai Tongji University. The classes were very interesting and helped me get a better understanding of this huge country. Food was good and incredibly cheap, while the landscape in Shanghai is simply stunning with huge contradictions. The Chinese cell phone market seems very very promising (as any market there, I guess) with already 800 million users. I think we’ll have to translate relevant parts of the Funambol Forge to Mandarin soon πŸ™‚

Of course I couldn’t resist taking the magnetic levitation train to the airport from Shanghai. Here is the video (the train goes only at 300km/h because it was too early. Later fares travel at 457Km/h).

I’m going to Shangai next month for the “Doing Business In” class in my MBA course. It’s going to be my first full immersion in Asia and I’m very happy. I’ll be spending some more days of vacation after the classes at Shangai’s Tongji Business School.

The Chinese consulate wants the confirmation of the hotel booking on official paper of the hotel (the printed email is not enough), so this morning I had to call China. Spelling my name on the phone was my first cultural experience. With “westerners” I end up using the NATO phonetic alphabet, with 100% success rate so far. Unfortunately the lady on the phone, who spoke very good English, didn’t know NATO phonetics (doh! why was this a surprise?) and the Fs were quite difficult for her to grasp. It’s going to be a very fun trip.

My professor of International Economics, Fabio Sdogati, is quite a character: he has a very effective teaching style and I really like to go to his lessons. Last night’s lesson was about exchange rates policies. He was showing a graph to demonstrate how exchange rates follow clear political decisions. His theory is that, at least in the mid-long term, the monetary markets are governed by politics, not by market rules. Answering a question about when to (dis)invest in currency that is about to [de|ap]preciate against another, he gave a small piece of advice:

don’t even try to buy/sell at the peaks. The rule is: buy, sell, regret!

In his roman accent it sounded great. I love him πŸ™‚