China & the Sea of Circles

Amway China team members join in to pose for a group hand-heart at our farewell dinner in Guangzhou. This is a perfect gesture for this friendly group filled with so much passion and personality. Guangzhou, China, July 2017.
Amway China team members join in to pose for a group hand-heart at our farewell dinner in Guangzhou. This is a perfect gesture for this friendly group filled with so much passion and personality. Guangzhou, China, July 2017.

I just returned from a whirlwind trip to China where I spoke about the future of the Nutrilite brand. Once the plane hit the tarmac, we were off and running for nine days with scheduled events in Shanghai, Wuxi, Beijing and Guangzhou, punctuated only by travel days. I’ve been regularly visiting China since 1998 when I helped introduce Nutrilite into the market. Like my previous trips, positivity and passion about health and business flowed, but this time what I saw, what I experienced, was much more than I expected. In fact, I would say it was beyond amazing.

Talking with thousands, live-streaming to millions

Our first event was a rally in Shanghai with over 1,000 people in attendance. It was a memorable experience. Maybe it was rubbing elbows with people passionate about what they do, maybe it was the pervasive positive attitude as if friendliness were a cultural mindset. Likely, it was both – one part passion, one part positivity – and it was inspiring. The event was especially striking as millions of people all across China tuned in via live-streaming. From their online vantage point, they too were able to learn about healthy living, sustainable organic farming, the future of Nutrilite and more.

On the road to a sustainable future

When it comes to sustainable living, Shanghai and other big cities in China are certainly on the right path. The efforts of city planners to design more sustainable urban areas are beginning to pay off. These areas are flourishing, dotted with some of the most creative architecture I have seen, and streets so clean you could eat off of them!

Add government efforts to reduce air pollution, a clean energy initiative, especially solar and wind power, and efficient public transportation, and it all adds up to a better quality of city life. I find these developments exciting, and I eagerly follow the progress, cheering China all the way into a clean, sustainable future.

Amway Botanical Research Center

From Shanghai, we travelled to Wuxi, home to the Amway Botanical Research Center. Members of the media and six winners from a “lucky draw” contest in Shanghai joined me as we visited research laboratories, participated in a planting ceremony and had some great discussions with folks from Amway Research & Development on organic farming, science and the future. It has been only 18 months since I last visited the Center, yet the progress the scientists have made is quite exciting. It’s easy to see why we are leaders in phytonutrient research, but I’ll share more details on this visit in an upcoming blog.

A sea of circles in Beijing

Standing in front of a sparkling bullet train with Joel Van Kuiken, ready to travel from Wuxi to Beijing, China. Like the cities, the trains and train stations are incredibly clean and well maintained. High speed trains like this travel up to 300 kilometers per hour (186 mph), allowing us to make the 750-mile trip, with stops included, in less than 5 hours. It was quite fun to experience and, surprisingly, we were able to get quite a bit of work done and enjoy the scenery. July 2017.
Taking time for a quick photo with Amway PR team member Joel Van Kuiken before boarding our bullet train for Beijing. Thanks to Joel’s public relations expertise and travel savvy, it was easy to stay on track with our whirlwind schedule. Wuxi, China, July 2017.

Next up, we arrived in Beijing on a bullet train, a shining example of China’s efficient public transportation. Over 2,500 people attended this rally and, like the Shanghai rally, millions more watched via live-streaming.

As we drove off after the rally, an unusual sight caught my eye: many people were gathered in groups along the street. Kathy Tong, Director of Product Brand, explained that the groups are called “circles.” After a meeting, Amway leaders get together with their circles to discuss what they have learned. It reminds me of my days as a college student, meeting with others after a particularly invigorating lecture to discuss what we learned. The circles are a fabulous way to formalize this concept and get maximum learning from any meeting.

Creativity at work in Guangzhou

Posing with the group at the “U35” (under 35) event in Guangzhou, China. July 2017. Photo: Amway China.
Posing with the group at the “U35” (under 35) event in Guangzhou, China. The characters in the foreground state: Nutrilite Believe in the Power of Nature. July 2017. Photo: Amway China.

Our final stop was Guangzhou for a more intimate presentation. About 200 people, mostly under 35 years of age, attended this event. The enthusiasm here, a combination of youthful exuberance and high energy, was invigorating. At every turn, you could see creativity at work, including the Nutrilite sets the Chinese team created. I could have spent hours there by myself just taking it all in.

Returning home with a happy heart

Of all my visits to China, I would count this one as the best. The Amway China team did a phenomenal job, making each event memorable and welcoming me, once again, with an open heart. If you are interested, you can check out some of my photo highlights in Adventure Continues Album 2.

All told, thousands of people attended the various events in person and over 13 million people tuned in via live-streaming. I can’t wait to hear their stories as they continue to learn about optimal health and nutrition and experience for themselves the positive effects of the next generation of Nutrilite.

Wishing you much health and happiness!

Dr. Sam Signature



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3 thoughts on “China & the Sea of Circles”

  1. Sam,
    Great experience and thank you for making the effort…..Also, thank you for sharing…..Changes in PRC are phenomenal……I have a good friend in Chongqing and when I visited him in the 1980s everything was quite “Spartan”……We took two grand daughters to an International tennis tournament in Shanghai in 2010 moving on to Bejing and Xian and improvements were quite pleasant….Thank you and best wishes to you,

    PERGE !

  2. Thanks, Dr. Sam. I loved reading your blog about your China visit. It reinforces our belief that the business is building the largest friendship network in the world. Your dad has to be smiling down on you as you experience what is happening in China.
    Great being with you in CA. Proud of you and glad you are our friend. Pat Vaughan

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