Monday, September 7, 2009

China Family Trip - PMI Chengdu Pictures

After my trip to Chengdu in August 2007 (lost luggage and really hot/humid weather), I said I wouldn't come in the summer again. This year, there was a solar conference in Chengdu during the first week of September so here I am. Summers are still hot and humid here; at least I have my own clothes this time.

I guess the solar conference is a pretty big deal. The lampposts along the Chengdu Airport Expressway had banners but the words were too small to read at speed. I puked near one of these lampposts during my last trip in March.

I saw a Bentley Continental on the way to work in Chengdu. Someone told me that it costs 3 million RMB, a lot more than in the US due to the 200% import tax.

A bus next to our car while driving to work. This is notable because we were driving the right way on a one-way street. It wasn't just buses, there were lots of other cars, trucks, scooters, and all sorts of vehicles going the wrong way.

This was the car we took to the solar conference. Since a lot of PMI employees and guests were going, we couldn't all fit in the two company cars. Professor Yan called some guy that hires out his car so we took this thing. It was a CNG (compressed natural gas) powered death trap. The driver drove like a maniac and there were no seat belts in the back. I recorded a 8 minute video (>500MB) that I need to figure out how to edit and upload later.

Apollo Solar house/booth outside the conference center. They're part of the company (or the other way around) that supplies PMI with some raw materials. I heard they were asked by the local government to make an extra effort at the conference and ended up spending a few million RMB's.

The solar conference was held at a newly build convention center. There are 9 exhibit halls and this conference only used one out of nine.

Sign outside the Holiday Inn used for registration. We registered then were asked to return our delegate badges. Evidently we had to pay and we didn't. Leon got to keep his VIP badge since he was still speaking at the CEO forum.

Chengdu TV interviewing one of our Swedish guests. I'm not sure if it was pre-arranged or they decided to interview all the white people. Also not sure if they though Leon was their translator but he got to translate anyway.

The CEO forum. The room was packed but I thought the entire thing was pretty lame. I heard only 1/2 the questions posed by the moderator but they seemed to be more political (praising the local government) than focused on entrepreneurship in the solar industry. I think Leon's question was why PMI came to the Shuangliu (Chengdu) area. Hmm, we're not located in the Shuangliu high-tech park and I'm pretty sure none of the audience gives a crap anyhow.

PMI's display. I think we wanted to show our customer's CIGS solar cells/module but ended up with just targets. I was sitting at the table resting and some Chinese guy came up to ask me questions... that didn't go very far.

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