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UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES WUERZBURG - SCHWEINFURT

Internship Report

SynFront Consulting Ltd. October, 2003 March, 2004

by Wilhelm Kistner Major: Business Engeneering SID: 4300060

Date: March 31th 2004

Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .............................................................................................................................................4 I. II. CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF ACTIVITIES ....................................................................................................5 THE COMPANY ...................................................................................................................................................7 WHY SYNFRONT CONSULTING? .....................................................................................................................................7 COMPANYS OBJECTIVE ..................................................................................................................................................7 CORE COMPETENCES .......................................................................................................................................................7 SERIVCES ........................................................................................................................................................................8 COMPANY LOCATION......................................................................................................................................................9 III. FIELDS OF ACTIVITIES ..................................................................................................................................10

CULTURAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GERMANS AND CHINESE ......................................................................................10 ORGANIZING A PROFESSIONAL EVENT CHINA LUNCH.............................................................................................10 COMPUTING ..................................................................................................................................................................11 SEMINAR RATING SOFTWARE .......................................................................................................................................11 PARTICIPATING IN EVENTS AND BUSINESS MEETINGS ....................................................................................................11 SELLING USED EQUIPMENT TO EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES AND CHINA................................................................11 PFANDBRIEF INVESTOR CONFERENCE, BEIJING, 12TH OF FEBRUARY 2004 ....................................................................12 SUPPORTING WITH OPERATIONAL DAILY BUSINESS .......................................................................................................14 IV. THEORETICAL PROGRESS AND GAINED EXPERIENCE ......................................................................14

COMPANY AND CORPORATE CULTURE ..........................................................................................................................14 BUSINESS AREA ............................................................................................................................................................14 TEAM WORK .................................................................................................................................................................17 NETWORKING ...............................................................................................................................................................17 COMPUTING ..................................................................................................................................................................17 CONSULTING SKILLS .....................................................................................................................................................18 V. PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT...................................................................................................................18 COMMUNICATION SKILLS .............................................................................................................................................18 SELF CONFIDENCE ........................................................................................................................................................19 LANGUAGE ...................................................................................................................................................................19 PRACTICE ......................................................................................................................................................................19 VI. COUNTRY AND PEOPLE .................................................................................................................................19

BACKGROUND ..............................................................................................................................................................19 GENERAL INFORMATION ...............................................................................................................................................19 VISITED CITIES TIANJIN .............................................................................................................................................20 VISITED CITIES BEIJING .............................................................................................................................................21 VISITED CITIES CHENGDU ..........................................................................................................................................23 VISITED CITIES SHANGHAI .........................................................................................................................................24 CHINESE CULTURE........................................................................................................................................................25 TABOOS IN CHINA .........................................................................................................................................................26 VII. CONCLUSION.....................................................................................................................................................26 VIII. BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................................................................................................................27 IX. APPENDIX ...........................................................................................................................................................28

INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION CULTURAL DIFFERENCES II ...............................................................................28 INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION CULTURAL DIFFERENCES II ...............................................................................29 CHINAS FAST DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS ......................................................................................30 CHECKLIST: CHINA ABC ..............................................................................................................................................31

Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

TABLE OF FIGURES
Figure 1: View of Wehrheim............................................................................................................................................9 Figure 2: Foreign Direct Investments to China, 2002 (FDI) .......................................................................................15 Figure 3: Share Market in China ..................................................................................................................................16 Figure 4: China and its neighbors .................................................................................................................................20

Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

Acknowledgements
Herewith I would like to thank Ms Wei Hong the manager of SynFront Consulting the company I have worked during my second internship for for giving me the great chance of getting hands on experience in working in a consulting company in Germany as well as in China. Especially I would like to thank her for the deep insight into Chinese culture I got during the time I spent as an intern in her company. I gratefully appreciate her strong confidence and hard work. I believe very strong her business to prosper as the economy does nowadays in China and wish Wei Hong all the best for her personal future! My deep thankfulness goes to my team colleagues Ms Yue Wang and Ms Man Si Ho. During the whole internship, I not only could rely on their helping hand but also found very true friends, who are warmly welcomed to my home any time! I wish Yue Wang and Man Si Ho good success in finding an occupation appropriate to their interests and all the best for their future! Finally yet importantly, my grate thankfulness goes to Mr Aoshi Chen, the manager of SynFront Consulting in Tianjin Office (China). His wise advises based on years long working experience always proposed the right direction to me. I also thank Aoshi Chen for his open-mindedness and wish his all enterprises to have a good success!

Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

I.

Chronological list of activities


Project Business Partner Duration
1 week - Chinese residents in Germany May Flower Restaurant, Frankfurt

Activities / Events
Market analysis Cultural Differences between Germans and Chinese China Lunch October 17th 2004 10 participants

Applied skills / experience


Establishing contact Gaining intercultural knowledge Improving communication skills Address research proceeding telephone calls with financial institutions and media Improving communication skills writing Invitations, confirmations and bills (English and German) preparing name cards coordinating the schedule networking Same as above, plus... preparing a website especially for China Lunch, incl. online Registration, www.linkchina.de/ChinaLunch using Genesis Data Base for writing merge mails coordinating food delivery, visual equipment, space availability and schedule maintaining companys website, using Dreamweaver MX, Photoshop 6.0 maintaining diverse data like customers contacts and project documentation using Database Genesis World 3.0 Picture processing, using Adobe Photoshop 6.0 preparing name cards and speakers signs maintaining participants list preparing and evaluating questionnaire video recording, making a seminar DVD using Video Studio 7.0 getting insight into rating software networking getting in touch with Chinese Culture 5

3 weeks

China Lunch November 28th, 2004 50 participants

4 weeks

KPMG, Frankfurt

Computing

Continuous Instructors: Wei Hong Aoshi Chen 1 week Dr. Oliver Everling Everling Advisory Services

Seminar Rating Software November 25th, 2004 80 participants

Participating in Events:

Continuous Association of Chinese IT

Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

Experts, - IT Conference, Frankfurt Chinese State owned - Shanghai-Pudong Recruitcompanies, ment Event, Frankfurt Deutsche Bank Business - Business Angels Venture, Angels Venture Ltd.; Mannheim Guangzou local government - Guangzou tourism and tourist agencies; promotion, Frankfurt German-Chinese economic - The securities marked of association PRC, Duesseldorf Participating in Business Continuous Sireo Real Estate Asset Meetings Management Ltd., Frankfurt; C.D.F. Litterst, Offenburg; Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, Heidelberg CCPIT, Chengdu The Pfandbrief Investor 6 weeks VDH Association of German Conference Mortgage Banks February 12th 2004, Grand Hyatt Beijing Hotel, Beijing

deepening the knowledge about Chinese Economy and Regulations observing how professional events are organized to apply that knowledge for conferences and events organized by SynFront Consulting networking improving communication skills while meeting with people working in different business area from different countries

observing the negotiation process and behavior of business partners improving communication skills networking learning about customers business coordinating the conference location, audio and visual equipment preparing a website especially for the conference, incl. online Registration, www.linkchina.de/vdh (English and Chinese) preparing an Access Database for sending mail merge letters reporting of the project status to business partners researching for companies and their business areas coordinating meetings collecting documentations setting up a website www.linkchina.de/warehouse contacting potential buyers providing necessary information to potential buyers Email correspondence with clients Writing proposals, invoices, etc. Coordinating schedules Arranging meetings Preparing presentations, documentation, etc. for various projects Writing rating reports for the magazine China Contact 6

Looking for potential Continuous Sireo Real Estate Asset buyers in China and Russia Management Ltd., Frankfurt; for an used warehouse SSI Schaefer, Neukirchen Siemens Dematic Inc. Support with operational Continuous Clients of SynFront daily business Consulting -

Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

II.

The Company

Why SynFront Consulting?


The world economy is struggling. The growth rates in Western European countries commute around zero. The unemployment rates for people with university degrees in Germany are today as high as never before. In contrast, the markets in Asian countries are booming. Almost every big company tries to get a foot into the Asian market. The main scope of their activities is China with its more than one billion population, ongoing economic reforms and spectacular growth rates. Many experts predict China to have the fastest developing economy during the next decades. Joining the WTO and continuous opening of Chinese market to foreign investors built up the stable ground for taking off. Since 1984 China has experienced a stable rising of exports. In 2002 the FDI Foreign direct investments to China have reached their highest level as well. However, not only this reasons induced me to apply for an internship focused on China. More than 4000 years of History, which profoundly formed the Chinese culture with its unique customs, architecture and lifestyle crucially contributed to attracting my interests in China. From one of my Chinese fellow students I learned to know about SynFront Consulting a German Chinese consulting Company located near Frankfurt. SynFront promotes the cooperation between China and Germany and focuses its activities on the capital market. Based on its intercultural competence and rich experience in doing business in both countries SynFront Consulting offered me a unique opportunity to get in close contact with different cultures and be actively involved in main activities of a consulting company. The first part of the internship I had done in the head office of SynFront in Wehrheim near Frankfurt. The second part included a two-month staying in China Office in Tianjin. Our team consisted of two executives and four employees: Ms Wei Hong the manager of the company, Mr. Aoshi Chen manager of the Tianjin branch in China, Ms. Patrizia Herberg intercultural trainer, Ms. Man (Si) Ho a postgraduate student from Macau, Ms. Yue Wang international student currently studying in Bremen and myself. Since the Chinese employees hardly spoke German, the internal communication had to proceed in English. Anyway, it was a very good opportunity to improve my English speaking skills during that time because furthermore my Chinese colleagues and I lived together in a flat-sharing community during the time of the internship.

Companys objective
All the big companies currently notice the economical growing potential in China. On the other hand, Germany plays the most important economical role in Europe. The main purpose of SynFront is therefore to build up the bridge between China and Germany by strengthening the economic and cultural relationship between the two countries and improving these two countries business cooperation.

Core competences
After several years of operations, SynFront Consulting developed strengths in many business areas: o Managers and employees of the company have working experience in China as well as in Germany. Furthermore they have completed their postgraduate studies in Germany. Consequently, they have rich working and cultural experience in both countries. o Executives and staff of the company are fluent in German, Mardarine and English and have professional knowledge of Financial Markets and project management. 7

Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

o SynFront Consulting has built up a wide business network in China and Germany; accordingly it can provide first hand professional information and service for its clients.

Serivces
v Marketing analysis The core customers of SynFront Consulting are operating in the area of investment banking, credit rating and funds management. SynFront supports its clients by observing the high potential financial areas and developing branches/businesses in China with its professional competence. Beside the financial analysis SynFront furthermore provides market analysis in various areas depending on customers demands. v Conferences/ Seminars As mentioned before, the main target of SynFront is to encourage the cooperation between German and Chinese companies. In order to improve German companies image and popularity the efficient method of presenting its business in conferences, seminars and road shows is very often used to meet that target. SynFront Consulting gained a profound knowledge in organizing those professional events during the four years of operations. v (Individual) business trips to China and Germany Many people have heard a lot about China from different channels (newspaper, TV) and would like to explore Chinese market and culture at their own. In most cases the lack of language knowledge represents a difficulty hardly to overcome. In such cases SynFront Consulting supports the business partners by arranging individual business trips to China as well as to Germany. The service includes visiting and communicating with potential business partners, associations, government departments and financial partners. Furthermore, clients is also given the chance to attend various events and exhibitions and improve their intercultural knowledge while being advised by companys professional guides. Hence, clients not only can observe the chances and risks of Chinese market, but also can have a close insight into culture, an experience which is indispensable while doing business in China. v Intercultural training with intensive experience Many conflicts and misunderstandings between managers and employees in multicultural companies arise because of cultural differences and ignorance. In some cases this even endangers companys longterm success. Hence, SynFront Consulting provides intercultural training for companies that would like to extend their business to China. The training is not only about Chinese etiquette, but much more gives a deep understanding of the new culture and especially the behavior of Chinese business partners, colleagues, friends, etc. As a result, Companies can apply efficient ways to deal with Chinese executives and employees. v Chinese website Currently, the Internet presence represents an efficient way of marketing for companies due to increasing Internet utilization. While doing business in China it is indispensable for German companies to have a website in Chinese. SynFront Consulting provides the service of translating and maintaining its customers websites respectively.

Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

v Professional translation, negotiation Last but not least, translating seminar materials, customers names, proposals, etc. and negotiating also belongs to the service offered by SynFront Consulting. More information about the companys business activities and projects can be found on the website: www.linkchina.de

Company Location
Since a consulting companys activities are moreless not attached to a certain place SynFront Consulting decided to settle is a town Wehrheim near Frankfurt instead of having an office directly in the city. Wehrheim was first noticed by Emperor Kaiser Heinrich the third in 1046. Originally named Wirena that town was a present to his wife. The area of Wehrheim covers as much as 38.38 square kilometres. The districts Wehrheim, Obemhain, Pfafferwiesach and Friedrichsthal all belong to one community. Located near the Roemerkastell Wehrheim is populated by about 10 thousand people mostly working in the area near Frankfurt.

Figure 1: View of Wehrheim

As well as many other towns in Germany, Wehrheim has a beautiful view. Although it is a small town, there are still one primary and one special school, four kindergartens, four banks, post office, a clinic, pharmaceutics and a supermarket.1

www.wehrheim-taunus.de

Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

III.

Fields of activities

Cultural Differences between Germans and Chinese


During the first weeks of my internship at SynFront Consulting we began to carry out an opinion poll on cultural differences between Chinese and Germans. Since intercultural training indispensably belongs to our companys business the results of that analysis could be very important for the content of the training. First of all we developed a questionnaire for the opinion poll including questions on family, work and social life of the Chinese in Germany. In the next stage we began to ask that questions in every possible occasion anytime we met a Chinese. Finally, around 30 people participated in our opinion poll. Enough for seeing a clear trend. Those people could speak well German and had a stable working place were basically very satisfied with the life in Germany and could furthermore get along with locals. The other group of people, mostly consisting of older people, couldnt deal especially with German culture. They were not happy with the life here and would like to go back to China if they had the chance. Most of the families came to Germany in order to afford their children a good education in a western country and improve their future prospects in China. Working on this project I got in touch with Chinese living in Germany. That project gave me furthermore the chance to improve my communication skills as well as to build up a network.

Organizing a professional event China Lunch


In order to link together companies who intend to do business in China and to improve the popularity of SynFront consulting Ms Wei Hong decided to organize a social event named China Lunch, which would take place regularly. The name China Lunch is chosen since the participants are offered Chinese food following by a presentation from an expert in Chinese Capital market. The aim of China-Lunch is to encourage the dialog among the actors in the German-Chinese marketplace. Especially decision makers had been invited to that activity to find their way to each other in order to exchange their experiences. The success of this marketing activity has been guaranteed by following: SynFront paid a very high attention to tackle the potential participants individually. First, we called a company operating in financial area and asked for a contact person who is responsible for business activities in Asia, particularly in China. After a short introduction of our company and China Lunch, the interested person would receive a personalized invitation. Carrying out these tasks I gratefully improved my communication skills. Especially calling unknown people and offering those participating in our event, which is not free of charge, required a thorough preparation. Before starting to call the companies, I read some instructions how to deal with different communication partners and practiced a telephone conversation with my colleagues. Beside the single description of our company and the event, we also tried to learn to know about the companys activities in China, their interests and needs, their plans about doing business in China. At this point, I have to commit that during the calling process I learned a lot how to lead telephone conversations and how to introduce the company and myself. I noticed that it was very difficult to convince people to attend our meeting. Finally only one company out of 100 we called came to our China Lunch. Most participants were people who had already gotten in touch with our company before. These days I learned to value the importance of a wide network, especially for a consulting company! Further to the described activities the organization of China Lunch gave me an insight of all the tasks related to preparation of such events: - preparing the layout for the name cards - arranging the location and food - writing confirmation letters - writing and sending the bills - reporting: www.linkchina.de/ChinaLunch Up to now, we have already organized two events. Both had been a big success! Therefore, SynFront will continue to hold this important event in Frankfurt regularly! 10

Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

Computing
During the first weeks working for SynFront I had to get familiar with several Software the company used in the everyday business: - Macromedia Dreamweaver MX for maintaining companys website - Database Genesis World for maintaining diverse data from customers contacts to project documentation - Adobe Photoshop, a picture processing software From the first day on, I have been responsible for maintaining the corporate website and the customer database. I carried these tasks out with great interest in order to learn as much as possible. In my opinion nowadays such computing skills are very important, since the internet is widely considered as an indispensable communication tool. In order to deepen my knowledge in designing websites I furthermore set up my individual website, which can be visited at www.kistnerweb.com

Seminar Rating Software


This project has taken place in Berlin in November, 2003. I was asked to assist a partner and shareholder of our company, Dr. Oliver Everling manager and owner of Everling Advisory Services to organize a Seminar Rating Software. Even though my tasks were limited to some basic jobs like preparing name cards, maintaining the registration list, prepare and evaluate a questionnaire, taking pictures and cutting a movie during the seminar I could get a close insight into the whole process of organizing such kind of activity. Furthermore I deepened my understanding of Rating issues, a completely new topic to me that time and got to know a lot of interesting people respectively.

Participating in events and business meetings


As far as I was given a chance I participated in professional events and business meetings. In most cases my tasks consisted of observing the organization process in order to apply that knowledge to events and meetings organized by our company later. Furthermore I had the great opportunity to establish contacts with business people that could be very suitable for my future career as well as for the companys business. Last but not least those meetings provided a unique opportunity to acquire professional knowledge of financial matters and personally keep in touch with companys customers.

Selling used equipment to eastern European countries and China


At the very beginning of my internship the company had signed a contract to sell a used warehouse. Since that warehouse was built about 20 years ago the equipment inside was not suitable for companies in Germany or western European counties. We therefore decided to look for potential buyers in China and Russia. We decided first to contact persons in both counties we already knew personally in order not to cause high expenses on advertisement. My tasks in that project included contacting responsible persons from companies, which were involved in building the warehouse, providing necessary information to potential buyers, arranging meetings and visits of the warehouse, setting up a website for the warehouse in different languages and reporting the progress of the selling to our contractor. I noticed that this process is really complicated. Since most of the people who managed the project 20 years ago have already retired it is very difficult to find all the documentation about the warehouse and all the equipment inside. Furthermore the shipping of the warehouse to China or Russia is a process which requires close cooperation of several parties. Anyway being involved in that project I gained valuable experience in dealing with international companies and people.

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Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

Pfandbrief Investor Conference, Beijing, 12th of February 2004


The Pfandbrief Investor Conference organized in cooperating with VDH (Association of German Mortgage Banks) aimed to introduce the German Pfandbrief to Chinese Investors was by no means the most important project; SynFront Consulting had worked on for the period of time I stayed in the company. In very close cooperation with the Association of German Mortgage Banks SynFront Consulting was in charge to organize the conference on a very high level: The conference location was a five star Grand Hyatt Beijing Hotel Participants were mostly managers from banks and financial institutions The speakers came from famous German Investment Banks and Rating Companies The promoted product Pfandbrief stands for a very secure investment form which was originally found in Germany

In order to guarantee the success of this important event our team went for two months to SynFront Office in Tianjin (China) to proceed with the organization of the conference. At that moment, the tasks I could carry out were limited due to my disability of Chinese language. My Chinese colleagues contacted the potential participants and faxed information in Chinese from now on. I was responsible for maintaining the webpage for the conference: www.linkchina.de/vdh Furthermore I kept in close contact with the Grand Hyatt Beijing Hotel to ensure the smooth flow function of the conference. The whole project can be divided into several steps including pre-conference or preparation phase, the conference phase and after-conference phase. The according activities can generally be described as following Pre-conference Phase Timescale: 12.10.2003 12.26.2003 12.26.2003 01.15.2004 Activity: Accumulation of potential participants Data, Web research, introducing the conference programme via phone calls, faxes, collecting the data using Excel, meeting arrangements with the Grand Hyatt Hotel the conference location Translating the documentation for the Pfandbrief Conference into Chinese, Preparing the website for the conference, uploading all the relevant information. Further arrangements with the Grand Hyatt Beijing Hotel Sending tentative invitations to participants via fax Meeting arrangements with printing companies, Designing the layouts for mail invitations and conference documentation Spring Festival Break, Printing the invitations Sending the invitations to potential participants via mail, updating the website, Maintaining participants data in Access database, Reporting to German business partners about the preparation status of the conference Translating power point presentations into Chinese Preparing gifts for participants Making name cards for participants, preparing conference documentation, arranging conference helping staff, inviting the press, transport of all the materials to conference location Preparing tourist information for the guest speakers and the visitors program

01.15.2004 01.15.2004 01.28.2004 02.08.2004

02.08.2004 11.02.2004

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Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

02.11.2004 02.12.2004 02.12.2004

02.13.2004 02.14.2004 02.16.2004 02.20.2004

Conference Phase Guest speakers transfer from the airport to hotel, presentation about Chinese culture and the capital market in China, business dinner. Set up of simultaneous translation, backdrop, registration table, LCD Projector, etc. Registering the participants, handing out conference documentation, headphones and gifts Changing the power point presentations and speakers name cards, observing the whole process VIPs Dinner Accompanying German Guests visit the Bar Street Accompanying to visit Beijing, Guest speakers airport transfer Past-Conference Phase Whole project reporting, updating conference website and database, analyzing the feedback

The following summary furthermore shows the problems we faced while organizing that event and the ways we solved that problems: Problems - Grand Hyatt forcing us to sign the contract and pay 80% of the price in advance - Basically we held the conference in the afternoon and needed therefore the room only for half of the day. The hotel forced our company to pay the whole day rent, by saying that other company wants to hold a meeting in the morning. - printing company which printed the invitations, made a mistake by printing the red color too dark, which means in China death - the invitations have been printed too late - time urgency Solutions - paying only 50% of the price in advance - We took the risk and did not pay the whole day rental and played with the time, because we did not trust the hotel. Finally there was no other company to hold a meeting in the morning - print the whole sample again - sending tentative invitations via faxes in advance - finding the most efficient ways of working, e.g. using access data base and mail merge to quickly confirm the registrations, - working overtime and on weekends (management took this as granted, better to tell the employees in advance about longer working hours) - focusing on what I can do better than the others, and do everything I can in order to save other colleagues time - better not after the conference, but during the whole process continuously recording the problems

- language barriers: communication in Chinese, designing website in Chinese, etc. - reporting about the difficulties and problems of the process

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Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

Supporting with operational daily business


During the time of the internship I was continuously assigned with daily tasks. Those included coordinating schedules, proceeding phone calls, corresponding with customers and business partners, writing reports, proposals, invoices, arranging meetings, preparing presentations and documentation for various projects.

IV.

Theoretical progress and gained experience

Company and corporate culture


Within the first weeks of the internship Ms Wei Hong gave me a wide overview of companys activities, introduced the corporate culture, the working and lifestyle of the team. SynFront Consulting formed in April of 2000 as a partnership, has been transformed into SynFront Consulting Ltd. in August of 2000. The name SynFront is based on the old Chinese wisdom: The water cleaves its way depending on the ground flowing through. A manager succeeds on the challenges faced ahead.2 If German Companies would like to enter the Chinese market, they have to adapt to local circumstances. SynFront helps to find the most appropriate strategy combining its professional and intercultural competence with its customers strengths. The outcome is a Synergy effect - a win-win situation, which both parties are profiting out of. In the everyday life, I learned to know the importance of implementing this corporate philosophy. Hence, creating a customer oriented working style indispensably belongs to my everyday tasks since. Practically that means - tackle the customers differently - passion towards some difficult customers - long working hours - adaptability and flexibility in dealing with Chinese business partners

Business area
SynFront Consulting is focusing its consulting services in the area of capital market, a sector which has experienced dynamic growth since China joined the WTO. On the 10th of November 2001 China officially has been accepted as the 143 member of the World Trade Organization which symbolized the final point of 15 year long negotiations. The agreements between the WTO and Peoples Republic of China cover a multiplicity of economic sectors. In the following I would like describe some reforms in the financial area. After ratification of WTO foreign financial institutions have been able to do business in foreign currency which hasnt been allowed at all before. From the accession on business in Chinese currency (Yuan Renminbi RMB) has only been allowed in the cities of Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin and Dalian. One year after accession foreign financial institutions have been able to do business in Chinese currency in Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Qingdao, Nanjing and Wuhan, two years after accession in Jinan, Fuzhou, Chengdu and Chongqing, three years after accession in Kunming, Beijing and Xiamen, four years after accession in Shantou, Ningbo, Shenyang and Xian. Five years after accession all geographical restriction will have been removed. Foreign financial institutions will be able to do business in China from December 11, 2006 by accomplishing following requirements: - On foundation a subsidiary or a financing company total asset has to exceed USD 10 Billions at the end of the year prior to application.

(SUN TZU, The art of war, 500 b.C.)

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Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

On foundation a branch total asset has to exceed USD 20 Billions at the end of the year prior to application On foundation of a Chinese-Foreign capitalized bank or a Chinese-Foreign capitalized financing company total asset has to exceed USD 10 Billions at the end of the year prior to application The precondition to doing business in Chinese currency: at least three year long presence in the Peoples Republic of China and positive net operating profits respectively. 3

Those reforms in the financial area allow foreign institution to enter Chinese market little by little such creating a huge potential of business opportunities. Although a lot of criteria are constricting foreign institutions to enter Chinese Market, several banks could successfully begin to operate in mainland China. Right now the first Sino German Bausparkasse, a Joint Venture of Schwaebisch Hall and China Construction Bank began to operate in Tianjin. They offer Chinese private persons for the first time the building society savings (=Bausparen), a financial product which hasnt been known in China up to now. The ongoing reforms in the financial area have a deep impact on the stock market as well. In the year 2002 the foreign direct investments to China reached a highest value of USD 53 Billions. The trend is bullish.

Figure 2: Foreign Direct Investments to China, 2002 (FDI)

Before passing over to foreign investment to China a short overview of Chinese stock market should be given at this point.4 The Chinese stock market consists of several kinds of Shares:

- A-Shares
o Shares which can be traded only in on the stock exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen. Trading currency is RMB o International investors can only participate through QFII, which will be described later

3 4

Nicolas Schlotthauer The description of the Chinese Stock market is based on the presentation of Mr. Hannes A. Takack, Managing Director, Capmex Unternehmensberatung GmbH held on October 17th 2003; www.linkchina.de/ChinaLunch

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Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

- B-Shares
o o o o Face Value in RMB Those stocks are traded in Shanghai (USD) and in Shenzhen (Hong Kong Dollars) Only few companies issued B-Shares B-Shares are open for international investors

- H-Shares
o H-Shares are traded in Hong Kong (HK-Dollars) o Companies are registered in the Peoples Republic of China o Higher Governance/Disclosure requirements

- LP-Shares
o Legal Person (LP) Shares are owned by Securities Companies o LP-Shares have not been traded on stock exchange o This shares are traded only by one-to-one contacts

- Red Chips
o Companies which have been listed beyond Peoples Republic of China o Controlled by government agencies or government like institutions o Boomed in 1996 1997

- N-Shares
o Companies registered in PRC o CDRs and ADRs

Share category

Marketplace

4 A-Shares 4 B-Shares 4 H-Shares 4 Red-Chips 4 N-Shares


Figure 3: Share Market in China

4 Shanghai & Shenzhen

4 Hong Kong

4 International Stock
Exchanges (GDRs, ADRs)

The Chinese stock market which consists of different types of shares is furthermore characterized by different prices. A-Shares traded only in Chinese currency are mostly higher priced as B-Shares from the same company. Since the introduction of the Taiwan Model of Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (QFII) it became possible for foreigners to invest in A-Shares and Government Bonds as well as in B-Shares. QFII are aimed to boost up the liquidity of local stock exchanges. On the contrast 16

Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

the regulation of Qualified Domestic International Investors (QDII) encourages Chinese Investors possessing foreign currency accounts to invest in foreign securities. This model has been implemented in the beginning of 2004. But there are some restrictions for Qualified Foreign investors: - 10% Cap of QFII Investments into one single listed company - 20% Cap of all QFII Investments into one single listed company - Quota-Restrictions for Investments between USD 50 and 800 Billions - Domestic Bank has to be a Custodian - All Transactions have to proceed with national Securities companies - 1 to 3 Years lock-up period Although significant progress has been made by introducing QFII and QDFI to China many foreign investors are still struggling to get their foot into Chinese financial market. Anyway, SynFront Consulting is optimistic about the development of the Chinese financial sector and will strongly concentrate its activities on this area in the future.

Team work
Most of the time spent in SynFront Consulting I was involved in projects requiring intensive cooperation with my coworkers. This goes back to the fact that SynFronts main business activities are both Chinese and German market oriented which require intercultural understanding as well as language knowledge. Only the combination of the strengths of the team members could guarantee the high professionalism and quality of our work. I learned to know the importance of coordinating individual work of the team members in order to concentrate on the most important tasks first as well as to increase the efficiency of the team work.

Networking
I met reams of important and exciting individuals Chinese, German and other foreign individuals alike. I was also able to make a number of very good business contacts for the future, and currently hope to use some of those contacts to help me doing business for after I graduate. The job experience in and of itself was worthwhile, but I also gained a great deal through the friendships I was able to make, especially with my Chinese co-workers. They greatly helped my understanding of Chinese culture and language of course, and who continue to keep in touch with me today through E-mail.

Computing
One of my objectives towards the internship was to improve my computer skills and learn to efficiently deal with programmes and applications used in everyday business. During the first internship at SKF Linear Motion and while being involved in various team projects in the university I have already gained experience in using Word, Excel, Power Point, CAD, Video Studio and Visual Basic. However, I strongly believe the more computer programme one is familiar with, the better and faster one can carry out the daily office tasks. Hence, I strongly desired to learn to use new computer software, even though I am not going to apply for a job related to IT. As mentioned before, one of my tasks included maintaining companys website. Basically there is a variety of computer software on the market. For single individual it is very difficult to learn all the programmes and functions. Therefore, both, the individual and the company have to concentrate on the most suitable programmes for their activities as well as on most important functions. While getting in touch with that programmes I developed a strategy to accelerate the learning process. First of all I observed my boss working with the programmes and asked as much as possible about the functions required. Second I found some tutorials and help files quite assistant in learning particular functions because they are well structured 17

Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

and divided by topics. Last but not least the theoretical knowledge I got from books and tutorials had to be immediately implemented. For that reason I decided to set up my own website and used it for exercising. SynFront Consulting uses Adobe Photoshop 6.0 for graphics processing and Macromedia Dreamweaver MX for web designing. Besides working with Photoshop and Dreamweaver, I have also learned to use data base programmes like Genesis World and Microsoft access which proved to be indispensable in maintaining clients data as well as writing standard letter and merge documents. Furthermore this internship gave me a deep inside into problems which a company is facing in its everyday business. For example the mass of junk mails, viruses, hardware and software failures, data redundancies, data losses and a plenty more incidents can even endanger a small companys existence. Therefore I learned to manage that kind of obstacles by updating the antivirus software regularly, making backups of important data, and setting up the email check schedule and last but not least I ensured our team to exchange skills and latest information in order to improve the efficiency and quality of our work.

Consulting skills
The working life of a consultant requires a sound amount of self motivation, discipline, creativity and joy. One has to devote oneself to the work completely in order to provide best results to the customers. A consultant has the ability to find the problems and solve them accordingly. He is the one who can develop new ways of doing business by questioning what has been made in the past. During the internship I learned to take initiative to communicate and implement my ideas. I learned to work in a creative environment and to be open-minded towards everything new and uncertain. Only this way of working and living can guarantee a consultant prosperous and successful business. I learned to like the work of a consultant a lot, so I can imagine working in the consulting area later.

V.

Personality Development

Communication Skills
Although I am an very open-minded person in the very beginning of the internship I got easily nervous while talking to different customers on the phone and especially while establishing contact with Chinese people. I thought that because of the lack of Chinese language knowledge I will not be taken seriously. Therefore I avoided talking and expressing my feelings especially with my boss. It can also be said that I lacked the confidence. I made the improvement of the confidence to my personal goal. At the current stage I can say that I have learned to deal with superiors as well as to deal with customers. Especially I applied valuable skills in talking on the phone. Basic rules which should be carried out while talking now indispensably belong to my working stile: - friendly greeting when picking up the phone, - introducing the company and clearly pronounce my name - remembering the name of the counterpart and repeating it at least three times: o first time at the beginning of the talk o second in the middle to show respect to the counterpart o at last at the end of the conversation - The golden rule: Smiling! Even people cannot see your smile they hear it for sure! Right now I am still in the progress of learning to improve my communication skills, because I understand the importance of successful communication with different people, such as our superiors, subordinators, colleagues and customers. That can only be learned through practicing. Well developed communication skills are indispensable for my future career. They will heavily determine whether I can

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be a leader or a follower. Focusing on that will also be the goal in the next step of my study the degree thesis.

Self Confidence
Being involved in various projects which required close communication and cooperation with clients, business partners and colleagues I noticed that a certain degree of self confidence is indispensable to reach ones objective. One have always to deal with people human beings like myself who notice immediately whether I am sure in what I am trying to say and what Im doing. From the beginning on my boss helped me to develop my self confidence by stating what I do right of wrong. I have worked hard on my personality development and can nowadays proudly represent SynFront Consulting in the public.

Language
As a consequence of living and working in one house with the colleagues my language skills have been greatly improved. According to the fact that my Chinese colleagues couldnt speak German and me neither Chinese English was the only language we could communicate with. Thus, after a couple of months, I noticed that I began even to think in English. Besides, I have also learnt a little bit Chinese, which often helped me to find ones way in China.

Practice
After three years of learning theoretical matters, doing six months internship was a good chance for me to implement what I have learnt and apply my knowledge in the practical everyday life. In school, I learned how to write business letters, invoices, application letters etc. I also learned a lot about project management and organization matters for business. During the internship, I really applied this knowledge when carrying out tasks and assignments. I wrote business E-mail to companies, applied my marketing knowledge to organize conferences and was finally motivated by knowing that the three years in the university found a solid theoretical background which I can always apply in my future career.

VI.

Country and people

Background
As mentioned above I completed a part of my Internship at SynFront Consulting in China. For the time of two months I had been involved in organizing the First Pfandbrief Conference in China. Since the China Branch of the company was located in Tianjin a city near Beijing I will describe later the management decided to meet all arrangements from that city in order to better use the synergies. As described in the previous part the first Sino German Bausparkasse has got the licence to sell building society savings contracts in Tianjin. SynFront Consulting has set up the Tianjin branch and is supporting that project now. The next part of my internship report is dedicated to describe the two unique months of staying and working in China. The content is made up of introducing the country and Chinese people, the cultural shock and my impression of China.

General Information
China is the largest country entirely in Asia. China is bordered by Russia, India, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Vietnam. Since 1998 Hong Kong City and since 1999 Macau are not longer bordering China but also 19

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belong to the Mainland. Both cities have currently the transitional status which will last until the year 2013. Beijing has been the capital of China during the time of Qing and Ming dynasties the last two Chinese dynasties and became the capital of the peoples Republic of China on October 1, 1949 again. This day is since celebrated as Chinese National Holiday. China covers about 9,596,960 square kilometres and is the fourth largest country in the world (after Russia, Canada, and the USA).

Figure 4: China and its neighbors5

China has the largest population of any country in the world. The population of China is about 1,3 billion. China is divided into 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, and 4 municipalities. China's climate ranges from desert to tropical to sub arctic. The major rivers in China are the Yangtse River, the Yellow River, and the Pearl River. The highest mountain range in the world, the Himalayas, borders China. Other major mountain ranges in China are the Ch'ang-pai Mountains, theTsinling Mountains, and the Nan range. The highest point in China is Mount Everest (8,850 m tall), in the Himalayas. The lowest point in China is Turpan Pendi (the Turpan Depression), 154 meters below sea level. It is located in northwestern China.6

Visited Cities Tianjin7


As noticed above, SynFront Consutling has an office in Tianjin. Hence myself and the team spend the most time in this city. Tianjin, one of the four municipalities directly under the Central Government in China, is located in the northeast of the North China Plain and is the closest seaport to Beijing. The city is one of the biggest industrial and port cities in China and it is also known as "the diamond of the Bohai Gulf". Tianjin covers an area of 11,000 square kilometers (4,200 square miles) and has a population in excess of 10 million people. Tianjin lies in a temperate zone and it enjoys four distinct seasons a year. The average yearly temperature is only 13 C with hot summers (in July the temperature can be higher than 26 C) and freezing temperatures in January. The best periods to visit Tianjin are spring and autumn when pleasant temperatures can be expected.

5 6

CIA, http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ch.html All about China, http://www.enchantedlearning.com/asia/china 7 Travel China Guide; http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/tianjin/

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Tianjin has a long and illustrious history, from an ordinary fishing village to the most important trade centre in Northern China. Tianjin was considered to be one of China's most important military fortresses in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) due to its particular geographic location as access point to Beijing, the national capital. Its name "Tianjin" was graciously bestowed by the Emperor Zhudi in the early years of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). Tianjin means "the place where the emperor crossed the river". In 1860, after the First Opium War, Tianjin was further expanded to become the second largest business and communications center in the country. By the end of the 19th century, it had grown into a bustling center for international commerce. Tianjins location in the middle of North Chinas gold coast was a natural setting to be developed as a trading port. Today Tianjin has China's largest container wharf and ships from every country of the world use its facilities. Major domestic and international airlines serve the coastal international airport. Tianjin also is a very important railway junction terminal for the two main lines: Tianjin to Shandong and Tianjin to Shanghai. A nice and relaxing way to travel along the gold coast is by train. Food in Tianjin is quite different from other regions in China. The famous Tianjin-style braised creamed cabbage (steamed stuffed buns called "goubuli") are definitely worth a try. Fish and seafood are also very common. In the Chinese custom, fish is brought live to your table before being prepared according to your taste in either a local or a more cosmopolitan style. A discussion with the waiter on how to cook the meal is one of the pleasures of eating in China. From my point of view Tianjin is quite left behind the other major cities like Beijing, or Shanghai. First I found the traffic in Tianjin chaotically since there were a lot of pedestrians and bicycles rushing on the roads together with all the cars, which didnt stop honking in order to get through that mass. After a while staying in Tianjin I stopped to pay attention to that and had just flown with the traffic like all the others.

Visited Cities Beijing8


Since the Pfandbrief Conference had been held in Beijing I also spend a plenty of time in that city. As generally known Beijing is the hosting city of Olympic Games of 2008. One can notice that Chinese government is doing its best to keep the city clean as well as safe. I even found scavengers at 3 o clock in the night working what really astonished me. Anyway I could see the effect of the hard preparation to the Olympic Games. The whole city is in dynamical growing stage. Here and there you can find skyscrapers being build, a phenomenon hardly being noticed in Germany. As the capital of the People's Republic of China, Beijing is the nation's political, economic, cultural and educational centre as well as being the most important centre in China for international trade and communications. It has been the heart and soul of politics and society throughout its long history. By the time of the Warring States Period (476 BC - 221 BC), it was serving as the capital of the Yan Kingdom. Because of its role in the life and growth of China, there is an unequalled wealth available for travellers to discover as you explore Beijing's ancient past and enjoy its exciting 21st Century world. In 2008 when Beijing hosts the Olympic Games, Beijing will show the world something so special that everyone will be awestruck by Beijing's latest accomplishments combined with its ancient history. The magnificent Forbidden City is the worlds largest and best-preserved imperial palace complex. Surrounded by a moat that is six meters deep and a ten-meter high wall are 9,999 rooms - just one room short of the number that ancient Chinese believed represented divine perfection. Once having entered the Forbidden City, visitors are transported to a spacious world of great luxury that had a culture of its own. For five centuries, this palace functioned as the administrative centre of the country
8

Travel China Guide; http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/beijing.htm

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as well as being the pleasure home of the emperors and empresses who were served by thousands of people. Walking along the corridors and through various rooms it becomes easy to understand the impact of the rulers who lived here and their isolation from the rest of Chinese life. Regardless of how much history you have read, or movies featuring the Forbidden City you have seen, the place itself is not to be missed by any Beijing visitor. (Self-guided audio tour tapes are available in several languages at the entrance.) For a peaceful and interesting stroll, visit one of Beijings many beautiful parks, such as Beihai Park, which was probably built by the Great Khan centuries earlier than the Forbidden City. This park was enjoyed by the various rulers of China for hundreds of years and features pavilions, architecturally interesting walkways, the 27-meter-long (about 88 feet) Nine Dragon Screen (built to scare off evil spirits), a jar that is the last remnant of the Khan's court that had been there, the Five Dragon Pavilion dating from the mid 1600's, and a large lake with an island in the middle. Another park that is a definite "must see" is the Summer Palace, a famous classic imperial garden with breathtaking beauty. Bold and generously designed, the northern gardens skillfully blend into the exquisite delicacy of the southern gardens. The Summer Palace holds a special place in the history of Chinese gardens. These are only two of the many majestic gardens in Beijing. Sometimes, you can find exceptional gardens within or surrounding Beijing's many ancient temples. Beijing has many beautiful temples that at one time served as the focus for religious life. Temple of Heaven is the largest group of structures in the country dedicated to rituals that pay homage to heaven. This temple was built specifically for the worship of heaven and prayers for good harvests during the time of the Ming and Qing dynasties. There are two amazing acoustical spots here. On the top of the tri-leveled round altar (originally built in the 1500's) there is a spot where your words reverberate around you. You can easily imagine the power that temporal rulers felt as their prayers for abundance echoed as if they issued down from the heavens. The other is at the Echo Wall that partially encloses a circular courtyard that is 65 meters (213 feet) in diameter. Words whispered at one end travel along the wall and can be heard clearly by someone listening at the other end. The entire temple complex is a treasure of ancient Chinese architectural design and art. Symbolic shape combinations (the temples are round on square bases signifying heaven and earth) and various mystical numbers are the basis for much of the design work. The temple structures themselves are stunning works of art. All of this and more is set in the midst of a beautiful park. There are many other fascinating temples in Beijing, among which are: the Yunju Temple, which houses the most stone inscriptions of Buddhist scriptures in the world, the White Cloud Taoist Temple, which is one of the oldest and still the most active of Taoist temples in Beijing, and the Temple of Confucius. Visiting these temples can help elucidate three primary philosophies that formed the basis for early Chinese life and culture. For example, much of traditional Chinese medicine's principles and theories were derived from the work of Taoist doctors and masters. The largest city central square in the world, the solemn and respectful Tiananmen Square is not only the symbol of Beijing but also the symbol of China. This immense courtyard is the site of many historic events. The square is surrounded by a variety of significant edifices: Chinese Revolution History Museum, Mao Mausoleum, Great Hall of the People, the elegant and beautiful Tiananmen (Heavenly Peace Gate), and Qianmen (Front Gate). The daily flag ceremony at the square, performed at sunrise and sunset each day, is most exceptional and well-worth making time to view. The Great Wall is one of the eight wonders of the world and is the only man-made structure that is visible from the moon. This immense wall was built to keep out invaders as well as to retain the inhabitants. It spans five provinces (6,700 kilometers, or 2,587 miles) from Shanhaiguan Pass in the east to Jiayuguan Pass in the west. Like a gigantic dragon, it winds up and down across deserts, grasslands and mountains. Just outside Beijing, it is possible to climb a section of the Great Wall and enjoy a splendid panoramic view that you will remember for the rest of your life. 22

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Other famous Beijing attractions include the Ming Tombs, the burial site of 13 ancient emperors; the Drum Tower built in the 1400's; Tiantan Park with its excellent Ming architectures; Fragrant Hills Park; the Ancient Observatory that dates back to the days of Kublai Khan; The Silk Market; Botanical Gardens; the Indian-designed Temple of Azure Clouds and many, many more wondrous places. Any reader of the classic The Dream of Red Mansions will want to visit Prince Gong's Mansion of the 18th Century, which is purported to be the model for mansion in the novel. How can one city boast so many phenomenal places? Beijing's long and illustrious history starts approximately 500,000 years ago. It is here that the ancestors of modern Homo sapiens, Peking men, lived in caves. Records show that Beijing has been an inhabited city for more than three thousand years and has lived through invasions, devastating fires, dynasties, warlords, Anglo-French troops and has emerged each time as a strong and vibrant city. For more than 800 years, Beijing was a capital city from the Yuan Dynasty to the Ming and Qing dynasties. Thirty-four emperors have lived and ruled in Beijing and it has been an important trading city from earliest days. Although now Beijing is modern, fashionable and full of 21st Century vitality, you can experience authentic Beijing life and become acquainted with "old Beijing" by exploring many tea houses, temple fares, Beijing's Hutong and Courtyard and enjoy the Peking Opera. Adding these to your Beijing tour, you will leave feeling in your heart a special appreciation for this ancient city that has truly seen it all and tells its story with matchless grace and beauty. Beijing is close to Tianjin Municipality and is partially surrounded by Hebei Province. Beijing covers a total area of more than 16,800 square kilometers (6,487 square miles) and has a population of 13.82 million people. Beijing's climate is a semi-humid, continental climate with an average temperature of 12 C. It's rainy season, which brings most of its nearly 600 millimeters of rain, starts in July and ends in August. Beijing summers are very hot and rainy while winters in Beijing are dry, cold, and snowy. The short spring season is temperate and autumn is clear and clean. Beijing is at its best in late spring and autumn, particularly during the months of May, September, and October when people can enjoy bright sunlight and blue skies. All in all I can conclude that I liked Beijing best of all visited places.

Visited Cities Chengdu9


During the time of Chinese Spring Festival which had found place on January 21st this year every year it takes place on different day due to the Chinese Lunar Calendar I was given the chance to join the Spring Festival with the Chinese family thanks to Wei Hong and Yue Wang who are locals to Chengdu. Chengdu, populated by some 10 million people, is located in the hinterland of China's Sichuan province. Qinghai, Gansu, Shaanxi, Hubei, Hunan, Guizhou, and Yunnan Provinces and Tibet Autonomous Region are neighbouring Sichuan Province. Chengdu is covering an area of some 12,300 sq km Chengdu history goes back to the year 316 BC during the late Warring State Period. As the Dujiangyan dam and irrigation system was put in place, Chengdu boasts a 2300 year history. In Eastern Han dynasty, the city was called Jincheng (Brocade City). By Tang dynasty (618-907 AD), it was considered a cornerstone of Chinese society

Travel China Guide; http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/chengdu.htm

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Chengdu lies in subtropical humid climate with free-frost period of about 337 days and average rainfall of 900-1,300mm per year, annual average humidity is 82%, and the sunshine ratio of 28%. Average Temperatures range between 15.5 C -16.5 C. Average rainfall of 900-1,300mm annually is expected respectively. Chengdu is famous for its spicy Sichuan foods one who visits Chengdu indispensably should learn to know the famous hot pot. To local highlights furthermore belong the giant panda and golden monkey, Chuanxiu (embroidery), bamboo ware and various kinds of tea. Due to very mild climate and nourishing soils, which can be harvested up to three times a year Chengdunese people have been blessed with reach crops from the time immemorial. One can feel the relaxing atmosphere of Chengdu by walking through traditional streets of downtown.

Visited Cities Shanghai10


One of the highlights of my China trip was undoubtedly the visit to Shanghai city. It is said that Cian is China of yesterday, Beijing - China of today and Shanghai is China of tomorrow. When the plane was landing I could have a view of that huge city consisting mostly of skyscrapers which stand close to each other. In Shanghai my boss took me to meetings with Shanghai, called "Hu" for short, is a bustling metropolis located at the mouth of the Yangtze River. Connected with Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces in the west, the city is exposed to the East China Sea in the east. With a total area of 6,341 square kilometers (about 2,448 square miles) and a population of more than 13 million, Shanghai takes its place among the worlds biggest, most booming urban areas. Shanghai also enjoys a delightful climate with four distinct seasons. Annual temperatures average 16 C and annual rainfall averages 1200 millimeters. However, spring and autumn, with their moderate temperate, are the best times to visit Shanghai. While the city epitomizes modern, urban China, its history is one of its most intriguing features. In particular, in the 1930s and 40s, Shanghai was a paradise for adventurers. Tycoons, millionaires, knights-errant and great beauties came to this attractive city to realize their dreams, and countless moving stories, both sad and joyful, were played out here. Because of its open to foreigners and its coastal location, Shanghai is endowed with rich tourist attractions related to its long and complicated history. Many buildings, constructed in various foreign styles, are well preserved in the Bund area, and western tourists will feel a sense of familiarity when strolling around the long street, which resembles those in European cities. This blending of eastern and western styles has given the Bund a reputation as a "World's Fair of Architecture." Many buildings from the 1920s and 1930s have also survived in the Old City section of Shanghai. A visit to the Old City is easily combined with a stop at Yuyuan Garden, a well-restored Suzhou-style garden created during the Ming Dynasty. The garden is immensely popular with local residents and visiting Chinese. In addition, Jade Buddha Temple, located in northwest Shanghai, is the most popular Buddhist temple in this city, drawing both worshippers and tourists. It is famous for two jade Buddha statues, one of which is reclining and the other seated. Shanghai is well known both at home and from abroad not only as prosperous metropolis with rich cultural resources, but also for a number of new tourist attractions that have been developed in recent years. Standing on a boat on the Huangpu River, one can enjoy a panoramic view of the river and city skyline. The river sparkles with giant ships sailing busily by; the banks are filled with skyscrapers of
10

Travel China Guide; http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/shanghai.htm

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different styles. On the modern Pudong side of the river, the futuristic Oriental Pearl TV Tower, with a giddy height of 468 meters, stands as the world's third tallest TV tower, after the 553-meter CNN Tower in Toronto and the 535-meter Moscow TV Tower. It has already come to symbolize Shanghai and is honored as one of the ten best views in the city. The Jin Mao Mansion is another famous building in the Pudong New Area. Because of its brightly illuminated skyscrapers, Shanghai enjoys international fame as the "Pearl of the Orient". Shanghai is also a great destination for shoppers, and the best-known shopping street in China Nanjing Road - is located here. This exciting avenue is lined with well-known shops and department stores selling clothing, food and specialty goods. Shanghai is a paradise for gourmets, too. Here, visitors can enjoy a taste of all the different kinds of food in the world. Shanghainese cuisine, however, is a special hybrid. There are several famous old restaurants in Shanghai that are not to be missed.

Chinese Culture
Being closely involved into Chinese culture by living in a flat share community with my colleagues I got a deep insight into Chinese lifestyle and hands on experience in dealing with Chinese business partners. Although I learned a lot about Chinese culture in the university of applied sciences I still had to accept a cultural shock in the very beginning and especially at the time I came to China. First of all I had adapted to eating Chinese food with chopsticks which I found myself later to like a lot. In the beginning my major task was to organize my work because my Chinese boss overwhelmed me with different tasks all of which seemed to have highest priority. That time I learned to adapt the multitasking way of working, the only suitable way to complete all the assignments.11 But even greater cultural shock I had to accept in China. I expected to meet an undeveloped overcrowded country based on the media reports and books I read about the country. In fact first time I came to Beijing I was really surprised by the dynamic development of that city which goes back to the next Olympic Games which will be held in the city. During the first weeks I was also a bit shocked by the chaotical traffic because car drivers and pedestrians seemed not care about the traffic rules. But after one month staying in Tianjin I got used to it and didnt even notice the never ending honking. Going to China I expected my English language knowledge would be enough to communicate in China. But that proved to be a deep misapprehension. Although most Chinese studied English in the school they never had the chance to practice the language. Even the well educated university teachers hardly understand English. Consequently I found myself in a foreign country among people I couldnt communicate with. Anyway I quickly learned some basic Chinese like numbers, greetings, etc. some expressions which proved to be very helpful later. Chinese pay a lot of attention to social events and prefer to get together especially in restaurants. Even business partners pay a lot of attention to learn to know each other personally in a relaxing atmosphere. It is common in China that someone who invites the other to join the meal also pays the bill. To pay the bill separately is considered as impolite towards each other. Sometimes there is even a long discussion, because everyone wants to pay. In China people say: not those one is reach who have a lot but those who gives a lot. So, sometimes I even found people ordering too much dishes in order to show their respect to the guest. Once in Chengdu I joined a group of young people to go Karaoke TV (KTV) a place where the most of Chinese show their skills in singing. Chinese basically prefer KTV to a disco. Inside the KTV building one can find a lot of rooms designed for different group sizes. As the word KTV says there is a screen where the music clips are shown and the appropriate music is running in the background. One can choose a favorite song from the list offered not only Chinese but a lot of western songs as well. Once being invited to a Karaoke party I could not resist all the people asking me to sing. In order to show respect and to be polite I had sung two songs which proved to be not that bad than I expected and finally gave me respect as well. At that time I learned a lot about Chinese people, their behavior and how to deal with certain matters.
11

A short introduction on intercultural issues is given in the appendix

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Taboos in China
From my colleagues I learned that there are several things which one should avoid when dealing with Chinese. Dont give people presents like - Green cap especially for husband, which means that guys woman has a lover (from old stories) - A clock (song zhong = someone has died), especially on birthdays and for older people that means you wish someone to die. Watch is OK - A mirror, which means his or her appearance is not good enough - Comb, which means someone entering competition will loose (because of the same pronunciation as loosing = shuzi) Old paper is being sold in China as well as old metals. People are collecting these materials by shouting on the streets.

VII. Conclusion
This internship I have done in SynFront Consulting was an amazing experience, and I would truly recommend it for anyone who has an interest in improving their Chinese, learning about business in China, or meeting a wide variety of amazing people. Most aspects of the job were very positive, and the only complaint I had when I was there was the fact that the company was too under-staffed. While the working day was plenty lively and I enjoyed my challenging assignments, sometimes I felt a little overwhelmed, especially since I wasnt getting paid. However, the overall experience made all my work worthwhile, and I couldnt have received better experience, especially as an intern.

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VIII. Bibliography
Homepage of SynFront Consulting GmbH, www.linkchina.de CIA, http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ch.html All about China, http://www.enchantedlearning.com/asia/china Tourist Guidebook of China, Hunan Map Publishing House, 2002 Travel China Guide, http://www.travelchinaguide.com Wehrheim Taunus Homepage, www.wehrheim-taunus.de Kultur Schock China, Hanne Chen, Reise Know-How Verlag Peter Rump GmbH, 2. Auflage 1998

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IX.

Appendix

These texts had been written by me as an exam preparation in the course of Intercultural Communication which I took at the University of Applied Sciences, Schweinfut. That course had been held by Prof. Dr. DeMeuter

Intercultural Communication Cultural Differences II


During the course on Intercultural Communication I learned many fascinating facts about different cultures. Prof. Dr. G. De Meuter got the massage across that while dealing with people from other cultures one must be aware of different elements generated by cultural diversity which could influence business relationships between firms both on an individual and corporate level. In my opinion the main characteristic differences in behavior of people can be based on the education influenced either by an individualistic or a collectivistic culture. The members of an individualistic culture tend to join and belong to many groups, establishing a wide range of social relationships. Their attachments to these groups tend to be weak while the personal goals take precedence over group aims. Distinguishing marks of individualistic persons are also personal achievement, assertiveness, tending to distance, personal schedule and so on. The members of collectivistic cultures are less likely to join many groups but they generate a strong attachment to the family and work or school group. They make the group goals to their own. Therefore group success is foremost and individual success is discouraged. Collectivistic cultures are formed by a strong hierarchy. Further characteristics of thus cultures are interdependence, harmony in group interactions, body contact, group dances and so on. Furthermore cultures can be divided into high and low context. In low context cultures information must be provided explicitly, usually in words. People from such cultures are less aware of non-verbal cues, environment and situation. They lack well-developed networks and need detailed background information. The flow of information takes place sometimes on a very low level. This phenomenon can be often observed in Germany. In high context cultures most information is drawn from surroundings, so very little must be explicitly transferred. People from this cultures successfully use and read the body language. They take the environment, situation, gestures and mood all into account. In high context cultures information flows freely because extensive information networks are maintained. Finally I want to explain the main difference between high and low power cultures. This refers to the degree of inequality between more powerful and less powerful individuals. High-power-distance cultures are rigidly stratified. The bosses make up the elite, and the workers are the powerless who are expected to follow orders without questions. Lower-power-distance cultures support equality for all people. They value independence and do not seek obedience. Decisions have the input of all involved, and communication between everyone is encouraged.

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Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

Intercultural Communication Cultural Differences II


Basing myself on the material from the course on Intercultural Communication I would like to describe some basic facts which must be considered by people doing business on the global marketplace. Firstly we can distinguish between relationship-focused (RF) and deal-focused (DF) markets. In RF cultures business people get done things through intricate networks of personal contacts. They prefer to deal with family, friends and persons or groups well known to them. They are uncomfortable doing business with strangers, especially strangers who also happen to be foreigners. In contrast, the DF cultures are relatively open to doing business with strangers. DF people prefer to build trust and rapport while the business discussions are proceeding. They tend to regard extended small talk and preliminaries as a waste of precious time. Before doing business with foreigners one must bear in mind whether the negotiating party comes from a polychronic or a monochronic culture. People from polychronic cultures have a tolerant attitude towards time. They rearrange their schedules frequently and keep their visitors often cooling their heels. They continually interrupt the meeting to take phone calls and receive unscheduled visitors. Monochronic people use to strictly follow the schedule. They dont like visitors to come late for an arranged meeting because this would disorder their plans. Often they dont receive the business partner who is too late even when the person has flown half-way around the world just for that meeting. Closely to the point described above we can compare linear-, multi- and reactive cultures. Linear active people are task-oriented, highly organized planners. They do one thing at a time, concentrate hard on that thing and do it within a scheduled timescale. Multiactive people are people-oriented loquacious interrelators. They do many things at once, often in an unplanned order and are therefore very flexible. Reactive people are introvert, respect-oriented listeners. After a concentrated listening and a decent period of silence they ask further questions on what has been said in order to clarify the speakers intent and aspirations. Reactive cultures like Japan are introvert, distrust a surfeit of words, and consequently are adept at non-verbal communication.

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Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

Chinas fast development environmental concerns


The flow of startling information from China helps us understand why our economy cannot take us where we want to go. Not only is China the worlds most populous country, with nearly 1.3 billion people, but since 1980 it has been the worlds fastest-growing economy expanding more than fourfold. Basing myself on the ideas covered in the course on Intercultural Communication and in the text Time to Rethink: Learning from China I would like to outline the obstacles confronting China today in its drive towards modernization. As incomes have climbed in China, so has consumption. Today China is concentrating their energies on increasing beef production. Raising beef consumption in China to that of the average American it would require the entire U.S. grain harvest to feed the cattle in feedlots. The same can be said about seafood consumption of China compared with that of Japan. If China were trying to raise the seafood consumption to that of the average Japanese it would need the entire world fish catch. Similarly, consider paper. As China modernizes, its paper consumption is rising. If annual paper use in China of 35 kg. per person were to climb to the U.S level of 342 kg., China would need more paper than the world currently produces. It is obvious that the western industrial development model is not viable for China, simply because there are not enough resources for it to work. Global land and water resources are not sufficient to satisfy the growing grain needs in China if it continues along the current economic development path. Nor will the existing fossil-fuel-based energy economy supply the needed energy, simply because world oil production is not projected to rise much above current levels in the years ahead. China also faces a formidable challenge in fashioning a development strategy simply because of the density of its population. Finally it is obvious that if the fossil-fuel-based, automobile-cantered, throwaway economy will not work for China, then it will not for India, for the developing countries and ultimately wont it work for the industrial economies either. China is showing that the world need a new economy an economy designed for the earth.

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Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

Checklist: China ABC12


Find here useful information and links about planning a trip to China, applying for a visa, etc. Visa Depending on the duration and purpose of the journey different kinds of visa are available to apply for. Each visa type has a code, the most frequent of which are: L - tourist visas, F - business visas, Z - work visas, and X - student visas. Tourist visas and business visas are the two options for foreign business travelers. Tourist visas are an ideal for short visits which can be extended up to three months, while business visas are flexible for business people who are looking to work over an extended period of time in China. Foreign business people will need a valid passport and visa in order to enter China. The visitors passport will be valid for at least six months from the requested date of entry into China and must have at least one unused visa pages. Entry visas are obtained from the local Chinese embassy or consulate, which will provide the application form. The consulates of the Peoples Republic of China in Germany are located in Bonn, Munich and Berlin the website is http://www.chinabotschaft.de Anyway, since the embassy requires the applicant personally to appear to pick up the visa it is more convenient for people living far away from those cities to authorize an agency for applying for a visa. As an example the Visum Centrale www.visum-centrale.de provides such service for a fair price. The necessary forms can also be downloaded from that website. A single-entry visa is valid for up to three months. Special 2- to 5- year multiple-entry visas are also available for foreign executives, investors, and professionals. More information about entry requirements can be obtained from local embassies or consulates of the People's Republic of China. The Immunization Card Immunizations are only required for entry into China for foreigners arriving from areas likely to be infected with yellow fever, such as certain African and South American countries. In addition, travelers are advised to bring photocopies of their current immunization records for polio and tetanus. Travelers to rural areas of China should take measures to protect themselves against hepatitis A. It is also very important to bring along any needed medication such as an anti-diarrhea agent. Business Cards Business visitors should bring along a generous supply of bilingual business cards. Quality business cards with careful indication of the individuals title are essential for instilling confidence in prospective Chinese business partners. Wardrobe Since northern and central China is particularly cold in winter, visitors will need to bring warm clothing during this period, including a good winter coat. In the summer, China can get very hot and humid, especially in the South. The challenge for business travelers to China in summer is to dress comfortably yet elegantly for meetings and socializing. Should weather conditions change unexpectedly, the department stores and hotel boutiques in major Chinese cities offer a wide range of clothing solutions, often at very competitive prices.
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Global Window China, http://www.anderson.ucla.edu:7777/research/globalwindow/china/index2.html

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Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

Time Zones and Differences Despite its size, China has only one time zone, referred to as "Beijing Time". This time zone is 8 hours earlier than Greenwich Mean Time. During the summer period of Daylight Savings, China is 6 hours ahead of Germany, 7 hours ahead respectively in winter. No time adjustments are made in China according to season or longitude. Hotels The hotel industry in China is well developed and offers a wide range of hotel categories, from three-star budget hotels to five-star ultra-deluxe hotels rivaling the best in the world. In China's major urban centers, finding the right lodging for the right type of voyage and budget is generally not a problem, although it is important to book in advance. Most business travelers will want to choose a four-star or five-star hotel that is run by a foreign chain or joint-venture and that is targeted to a business clientele. Among the best known names in the business category are Shangri-La, Hilton, Palace, Great Wall Sheraton, Holiday Inn, and China Hotel, Grand Hyatt Hotel. Before leaving for China, it is a good idea to check with several hotels and compare services, location, and prices. In addition to the recommendations of travel agents, friends and colleagues, local Chinese business contacts can also help find the right place to stay. Many hotels now take online reservations and sometimes offer special web discounts. Asia Travel: www.asiatravel.com China Hotel Guide: http://china-hotelguide.com Most four- and five-star hotels are designed with the comfort of the business traveler in mind and usually offer more services and facilities than traditional Chinese hotels, including more flexible reservation departments, a 24-hour reception desk, and better guest and fire safety standards. Many have 24-hour business centers providing a range of secretarial services. Some hotels also rent out simultaneous interpretation equipment designed for international meetings, but this service should be reserved in advance. Many business hotel operators are able to provide telephone service in English. The reception desk staff and hotel managers can usually help arrange any needed medical care or products. Porters can instruct the taxi where to go. Tips are not customary but will probably not be refused by porters or waiters. Laundry service is available in most hotels, usually through the floor attendant or housekeeping. The best hotels also offer one-day dry cleaning and pressing services, although the quality varies. Bilingual Notes Many foreign business travelers to China find it convenient to have a list of key phrases translated into Chinese, usually with phonetic transliteration. These notes can be used for "survival" information, such as hotel addresses and meeting address, as well as for specific business topics. Translators should be asked to keep these phrases short and simple and to indicate proper pronunciation to avoid misunderstandings and embarrassment Gifts Gift-giving is an integral part of doing business in China, and it is almost always worthwhile bringing along a few inexpensive, yet carefully chosen presents for business hosts.

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Internship Report, Wilhelm Kistner, SynFront Consulting Ltd.

Custom Restrictions There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency and valuables that can be brought into China for personal use. Tourists can also import up to 2 liters of alcoholic beverages and 600 cigarettes. The importation of drugs, firearms, and pornographic materials is strictly forbidden and severely punished. Electrical Plugs and Voltage Standard voltage in China is 220 volts, 50 cycles AC. A Few Key Phrases in Chinese Knowing a few key expressions in Chinese can help facilitate good will with business contacts and with service personnel. Emergency Services Emergency telephone numbers throughout China are: Police: 110 Fire: 119 Medical Emergency: 120

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