Russian businessman witnesses decade of rapid development of China
After a day's work, Mikhail Karpechenko finally had time to sit at his desk and open a history book.
"I love Chinese history, but today's China fascinates me even more," said Karpechenko, a representative of Russia-based enterprises in China, who has lived in China for 13 years.
The reform and opening-up policy has greatly improved people's lives. In particular, the past decade has been a period of rapid development for the country, and I have the honor of being a participant and witness to that history, he said.
"Amazing" was Karpechenko's first impression of China in 2009 when he visited the city of Mudanjiang in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. He had just graduated from college, and was keen to explore the unknown.
"There were already so many tall buildings and beautiful places," he said, recalling his first trip to China. "I soon made up my mind to live here."
Karpechenko moved to the city of Mudanjiang and worked for an online store that sold wedding dresses, shoes and electronic goods to Russia.
In 2011, he left for the city of Harbin, the provincial capital, still engaging in e-commerce, but in a different area. He said he helped a travel company in Harbin do marketing in Russia to attract more Russian tourists to China.
In 2016, he climbed aboard the bandwagon of the booming internet industry, moving to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.
"I remember when I first came to China, online shopping was not as popular as it is now," he said. "Now, however, online shopping platforms have enriched the choices of the consumers."
"It used to be a hassle to get online payments enabled, especially for foreigners, as there were a lot of forms to fill out," he said, adding that now it only takes a few minutes to complete the registration process.
Karpechenko said he finds life in China increasingly convenient. "With the rise of a cashless society, digital payment has reshaped people's shopping habits. Also, the country's burgeoning food delivery industry has made everything so much easier."
In 2017, he went back to Heilongjiang, where he met new opportunities. "Many Russian companies want me to help them find clients or partners in China," he said.
Karpechenko now works on the procurement and delivery of goods for Russian firms.
"Chinese products are of reliable quality and well received among the Russian consumers," he said. "I have seen the vigor and vitality of the country, and I'm even more excited about its future development."