As part of our study of the economic relationship between Virginia and China and different businesses that connect the two, we met with two business leaders in Shanghai. The first was Collegiate parent, Mr. James Xu (Vivian’s Dad), who runs a company that exports hardwood from Virginia and other parts of North America into China for furniture and other household uses. Hearing first hand about the business model as well as the challenges and opportunities was such a great learning experience.

Our second business model exploration began in Richmond with a visit to WestRock, the global packaging company whose consumer packaging is headquartered in Richmond. During that visit we learned about the Asia Pacific operations within the company, and during our visit to the Shanghai office we got see the business in action and hear from Mr John Huang, the head of sales for WestRock in China. He also shared his insights about how to best do business in China for an American-based company.