Recent Stanford MBA Grad Jason Jianyu Tu was born in 1989 in a small village 125 miles south of Xian--in what he termed a "sixth-tier city," meaning, "There's a very slim chance you can be successful." (See post one.) His parents, well aware of this, searched for ways out of this small village, and eventually found a path to Xian. (See post two.) The big city of Xian--although only a hop, skip and a jump away--was like a different planet, with buses and fast food and a really tough school. (See post three.) Jason gave up trying to do well in school, instead focusing his energy where his passions lay: guitar and blockbuster movies. (See post four.) While Jason's high school headmaster did not have high hopes that Jason would get a college degree, Jason jumped through hoop after hoop to get accepted to the University of Washington. His only problem? Funding. (See post five.) Thanks, however, to a mass e-mail marketing campaign, Jason found himself accepted to the University of Evansville in Indiana. (See post six.) He was thrilled...until he landed in what felt was the middle of nowhere. (See post seven.) As Jason was one of two Chinese people at the school, he was immediately the expert on anything and everything that had to do with China. (See post eight.) Not only that, but he was soon paired up with an American host family, something he looks back on as a very important part of his life. (See post nine.) Despite the warm welcome in Evansville, he decided he needed to move to a bigger place. (See post ten.) Upon graduating with a degree in Economics from Purdue University, however, Jason still had trouble finding a job. He was initially relieved to get a Research Fellowship at Toulouse School of Economics in France. (See post eleven.) The inefficiency of France drove him nuts. (See post twelve.) When his professor failed to grade an important exam, Jason realized he was in the wrong spot. (post thirteen.) After a two-year stint working in Hong Kong, Jason applied to Stanford MBA program--and was accepted. (post fourteen.) As part of the MBA program, he was charged with leading a group of students to China. (post fifteen.) Upon graduation, Jason decided to start his own company Mioying and join the ever-changing landscape of China (See post sixteen.) When asked about that landscape, he said that today's young people aren't that political, and not that concerned about the "speech issue." (post seventeen.)
Jason recommended the bookx Age of Ambition as the best way of describing China's current condition.
But when pressed he said he sees two major challenges facing China: law and order, and faith in something outside money.
“I think faith is the bigger problem. They have no trust. All they’re shooting for is a better quality of life. Money is the faith. But they are starting to recognize their problems. “
“There were a lot of incidents that happened in the last few years that went viral on the internet. For example a little girl in Zhongshang was in a market and was hit by a car. Everyone was so busy transferring their supplies –noone even sent her to the hospital. She was hit three times. Nobody noticed. A lot of media discussion started up on the internet about, ‘What’s wrong with this society?’ It’s just people don’t know the answer.
“Part of the problem of this is that people stopped believing that Communism is a religion. The government fails to communicate any message related to faith to the normal people, because people stopped believing in media. Once people stopped believing in media, you can’t communicate anything.”
Having said that Jason said that he’d noticed a kind of revival among young people to learn about old Chinese culture and traditions in an effort to regain some faith and some kind of moral guidelines. “I hope China can embrace more of the traditional values that have guided this society for thousands of years. Cause there are always laws and order, but not all the laws can cover everything. You have to have morals.”
(To Be Continued. Next: The Media is Not the Message.)