Spanish youth's new chapter of life in China

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-14 09:37:12|Editor: Chengcheng
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BEIJING, July 14 (Xinhua) -- 28-year-old Spanish Alibaba associate Diego Garcia was among the welcoming crowd when former Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto visited China's e-commerce giant Alibaba in September 2017.

Inspired by the prospect of closer e-commerce ties between China and Mexico, Garcia decided to give the position at the tech giant a shot.

Several weeks later, Garcia was sent to Mexico City as one of Alibaba's global initiative associates. There he held training sessions for small and medium enterprises to trade globally through Alibaba's online platform and develop senior management.

"It was a life-changing project," said Garcia. "I am happy that I can help and influence people."

Before he came to China, Garcia worked for an international corporation in London. The respectable position and decent salary should have kept him content, but after a few years, Garcia finally decided to make a change.

"I stopped learning and due to the company and market's maturity it was harder to promote change and deliver new business models," said Garcia.

Looking for a place full of growth and innovation, Garcia turned his eyes to China, the world's second-largest economy.

However, his decision to move to China baffled most of his friends.

"In my hometown in the Canary Islands, most people appreciate being able to live surrounded by the beach, ocean, and sunshine. The idea of moving to China and learning a new language, culture, and way of doing business sounded quite unappealing to many of them," said Garcia.

After his arrival in China in 2015, Garcia began his MBA studies in China Europe International Business School in Shanghai. There he formed valuable friendships with many of his Chinese classmates and enthusiastically absorbed new ideas.

Two years later, Garcia joined Alibaba's global leadership academy and took a business trip to the e-commerce giant's Rural Taobao station in Anhui province. There he met many villagers whose lives were changed by e-commerce, including an old man who bought a satellite phone on Taobao to look after his cattle.

He was also impressed by the hospitality of the local people.

"Every time we arrived at a new Taobao station, the local people filled our pockets with fresh berries and offered us tea. The whole village was very friendly," said Garcia.

As Garcia had more chances to work with Chinese colleagues and clients in Alibaba, their flexible way of doing business impressed him as well.

"As long as the common goal is be achieved, we can find different ways to accomplish that goal. Take my involvement in the Mexico project for example, a similar opportunity for new employees does not come by very often in many European companies," said Garcia.

Garcia also noticed the flexible interaction between government and business in China.

"While the law-making process in Europe attempts to first regulate everything and then let the reality fit the law, the Chinese government leaves enough room for new industries to grow and then works out a set of rules together with them," said Garcia.

Last year, accompanied by Garcia, his parents visited the city of Hangzhou, whose natural beauty and history left them with many happy memories. More than that, it was also the city where Garcia saw his dream turn into reality step by step.

"Sometimes I do miss the life in the Canary Islands, where you can sail a boat and escape the world. But as a young man, I am still in the middle of learning and creating something new," said Garcia.