Mengwen Zhao

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On November 29, 2017, Mengwen Zhao commented on Can Protectionism Save Auto Jobs in the US? :

I agree that outsourcing the production is always a good way to reduce cost. But if that is the only purpose, then I will argue that outsourcing to countries other than China could be even better. My experience in several multinational companies in China taught me that the production cost in China nowadays is not cheap already. A lot of the multinational companies are now facing bottom line pressure in China because the cost is increasing year by year.

But the benefit for outsourcing in China, from my perspective, is bringing cost saving by being close to the market. China is a big market for Ford. By producing cars in China and selling them to Chinese market directly, a lot of transportation cost can be saved and Ford can also be more responsive to the market demand.

I also strongly agree with Grant. The manufacturing job loss is fundamentally not because of the threat from others countries, but because of the economic trend of US as well as the world. Similarly, China is also facing the problem of manufacturing job loss because of the economic restructure. So the solution to the job loss is to train people and make them more skillful in new kinds of jobs.

On November 29, 2017, Mengwen Zhao commented on Exporting Entertainment: Can CJ E&M Rely on the Chinese Market? :

This is an interesting article to me. The political conflicts impact the business so much. But it’s interesting that in 2016 and 2017 when I was in China, I still saw several Korean shows are quite popular in China. So I assume there is some smart way to broadcast Korean content in China. For instance, partnering with Chinese local companies to change the label of the Korean content.

The other take out for me is, in this globalized market, the public and private sectors are so integrated and impact each other. The government should be cautious when making policies and really consider the economic impact of the political decision. At the same time, the companies need to build close relationship with government, to lobby the government when necessary.

Overall, I still have positive attitude toward the global market. I believe different countries will build better and better mutual understanding and reduce conflict which leads to lose-lose situation.

I love Hydrogen car idea! I believe this will be a great move in car industry. My concern is, as Japan is a country with relatively small size, the impact of changing the fuel within the country is quite limited on the global warming issue. So it is important to implement this not only within the country, but more importantly, bringing this positive impact to the world. I think of two approaches: 1) Japanese car brands are big players in the world. So the car companies, such as Toronto, can play an important role by exporting hydrogen cars to other countries. 2) Japan is influential country in the world as it has developed economy and advanced technology. So Japanese government can also play an active role in promoting the idea in global conferences.

My another challenge is about the infrastructure for hydrogen car. It is known that one of the biggest challenge for electronic car is the lack of the infrastructure, namely, the electric car charging station. Many years passed since the launch of electric cars, but still the charging stations are not build in enough scale. How long will it take to have enough hydrogen stations?

But I still favor hydrogen cars over battery electric cars (to the comment of Minecraft), because the way to produce electricity varies. Not all electricity is clean energy as some of them are produced by burning coal. While hydrogen is the energy that exists in the air.

On November 29, 2017, Mengwen Zhao commented on Enjoy your morning espresso (while you still can). :

I agree that the climate change brought threat to the existing coffee plantation. While I also think the future for coffee business is still positive because the place which gets too warm might not be suitable for growing coffee trees, but then new places which are too cold now will become a good place for growing coffee trees. Besides, I believe the technology can solve the problem. For instance, the genetic modified coffee which adapts to new climate will be invented.

The impact of the global warming is quite easy to imagine, while your point about the concern for small farmers enlightened me a lot. It made me think of the social responsibility of companies, which of course at the end of day leads to economic benefit for companies. I agree Nestle should play a big role in helping farmers cope with this climate change. While besides making effort on improve the living condition of the farmers and making commitment about reducing carbon emission, I also think Nestle should take bolder steps by actively involving in developing new coffee species. As these big multinational companies normally have very strong research center, Nestle should invest in this long term research and development project to explore the opportunity of inventing new coffee species that can fight against changing climate.

From the essay, I learnt that one of the competitiveness of 3DP is in raw materials usage, as 3DP builds products by addition instead of subtraction. This is really to the point. I also recalled the usage of 3DP in consumer goods market. Traditionally, making molds for package is very costly and time consuming. While in recent years, the companies I worked for began to leverage 3DP to do the package prototype before we select a final package design. This enabled the brand managers and package engineers to explore more package options and do adjustment quickly before they go for the production of the mold, which always cost around half million dollars. I also think of consumer market for 3DP. The customization is the booming need for individual consumers. 3DP can make that happen by enabling every one to input own requirement and data and product staff he/she wants.

On November 26, 2017, Mengwen Zhao commented on GOOGLE GLASS: WEARABLE TECH IN THE WAREHOUSE :

I agree that Google glass needs much improvement in terms of battery life, and it needs more trials in more complex working environment.

I also agree Google glass will bring changes to warehouse, while I think it is just the interim step for warehouse transformation. I think of two dimensions for the management of the warehouse-information flow and product movement. Google glass can solve the first problem-how to get real-time information of each product in the warehouse quickly and accurately. But it is still dependent on human’s effort, which means workers need to move around in the warehouse and check information. I believe in the future, the robots and automation can completely replace this. Automation will combine two work together: collect information and move products.

Besides, I think google glass’s end goal will still be entering consumer market, especially when VR and AR is developed so fast nowadays. Google glass is the perfect intermediate to experience AR and VR for consumers’ daily life. I expect it will replace mobile phone to further simplify people’s communication.