Between 19 June and 5 July, the Santander staff mobility funding has enabled me to visit Shanghai and establish research collaboration with Associate Professor Yanqun He at Fudan University . According to the Times Higher Education, Fudan University is ranked between 81-90th in the World Reputation Rankings 2018 and 116th in the World University Rankings 2018.
Hence, having the opportunity to develop research collaboration with Fudan University and to work with Professor He represents a major achievement for me and BU. Another achievement is the development of a research topic that is topical, has a global appeal and will potentially generate environmental and social impact. That is, Professor He and I will investigate the green consumption behaviour in China and UK and the role/s of psychological distance in influencing this behaviour. Being able to work with Professor He who is a prolific marketing researcher and has published extensively in CABS 4* marketing journals.
Professor He has shared great insights into the editors’ mind-sets of several 4* journals and their rising expectations for the authors. I strongly believe that I can learn a great deal from Professor He and will serve as a great research mentor for me. The funding has provided me with the invaluable opportunity to experience the Shanghai city and its unique culture and cuisines (which is slightly different from other cities such as Suzhou, Hanzhou and Nanjing) and this represents a major highlight. A major cuisine that one must try when visiting Shanghai is the soup-filled dumpling.
Another major highlight is the unique opportunity to observe and learn the retail trends and practices in Shanghai. For instance, whilst the consumer adoption of mobile payment has been quite common in UK (a developed market), the adoption rate of such payment method is overwhelmingly prevalent in Shanghai, and possibly other cities of China (an emerging market). It is being used at retail stores of varied sizes (e.g. department stores and convenience stores) and of varied business types (e.g. fast-food and fresh food and vegetables). Because of the massive adoption of mobile payment by its residents, Shanghai is seemingly becoming a cashless society. Whilst the Shanghai retail landscape is expectedly occupied by many Western brands (e.g. Zara and H&M), it is equally successfully inhabited by Chinese local brands like Miniso (a variety store that is equivalent to Flying Tiger) and Yi Dian Dian (a bubble tea chain which is originated from Taiwan, https://www.hitouch.com/en/news-detail-2634.html).
There appears to be a very strong Starbucks craving and culture in Shanghai as it has shops on everywhere. Starbucks has even built a flagship store which is called Reserve Roastery to enable its customers to experience its unique coffee and other related products (e.g. artisan tea and bakery) and learn about its unique roasting process. In brief, I am grateful to have been awarded the Santander funding as it has enabled me to visit an amazing city and experience its unique cultures and cuisines, and moreover, to establish a fruitful research collaboration with a researcher that I inspire to work with.
Kokho Jason Sit