Working in the mainland. Are you sure?

By Alex YEUNG

Lots of people have prejudices against working in the mainland. However, my internship experience of working there has broadened my horizon and allowed me to witness the tremendous improvement of the mainland in recent years, especially in the Fintech industry.

My experience of working in Beijing was phenomenal. Baidu, which is one of the largest internet companies worldwide, has an extremely flexible working culture. No clocking in, no suits required, and no management hierarchy. Managers are working with you in the same open office area rather than having their own rooms. What’s more, employees are welcome to go to the sleeping room to take a nap, and there are even massage chairs for you to relax! In this summer internship, I was assigned to the Public Relations Department, and worked with a team responsible for leading tour visits and executing different public projects to promote the corporate image. The most unforgettable experience during my internship was a public event called “AI & Art Night”, which was about revealing the latest AI technology developed by Baidu. It could compose associated melodies by analyzing the mood and tone of different artworks. Not only did I learn how to organize and work with the team to make the event possible, but the mind-blowing technology had also made me realized the huge leap made by mainland tech companies.

This great experience in Beijing has pushed me to apply for the internship in Shanghai next year. I got a chance to work at the Corporate Banking Department in the Bank of China, and the internship was insightful. I gained a lot of knowledge about operational practices and the mainland compliance in cash flow management.

Other than the working experience, the biggest takeaway of working in mainland is realizing how mature the mobile payment in the mainland is. Nearly all my daily transactions can be done by using my Alipay or WeChat wallet. No matter if I am buying soft drinks from vending machines, paying taxi fee, ordering food, or even purchasing fruit from vendors in wet markets, mobile cashless transactions are ubiquitous. The rapid development of mobile payment in mainland makes me think over on how Hong Kong can move forward, and be more competitive in the field of fintech.