Triple Header: # 300, Foreigners Sleeping on Streets of China

Michael MicheliniBusiness, Culture, Ecommerce, Lifestyle, Living, Podcast, Sales, Travel0 Comments

Welcome to the much anticipated episode 300. I have been watching it approach on our show schedule and have been wondering what exactly to do for number 300. 

On top of that, I am turning 39 years old on Thursday April 2. So episode 300, and my birthday. 

From Chinese Quarantine. 

And Due to this Coronavirus pandemic, and the world changing so fast – we dove back into our import and export business and that then lead me to a project I had worked on from 2007 to 2009 – – a community buying platform to help SME buyers from around the world to purchase factory direct – AS ONE.

So it clicked, it is time to LAUNCH this Load Pipe dream of mine, into our amazing Global From Asia community, right in the midst of a truly historical time of a global pandemic and lockdown. 

We had an amazing webinar about this last week, and I recorded the highlights of it for this podcast. So enjoy and let me know what you think and apply for our closed beta – just let us know in the application form you heard from the podcast and we will prioritize your application.

Later in the show we bring on Russell Morgan, a business man I have known for seven years or so. He mentioned to me he had to sleep on the streets outside his own Guangzhou apartment complex, and then flew back to America – where he also was denied entry to the Guangzhou hotel airport and had to sleep on a bench in the airport. Really insane times, and he shares his story on the third part of this epic episode 300.

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Mike’s intro, quarantine birthday

    Welcome to episode 300. Not exactly what I had in mind for the world and my personal conditions and my birthday.

  • Introducing our new Factory Direct Group Buying Platform - Loadpipe

    Get the highlights and story behind

  • Russell’s Story of being locked out of his own apartment

    Sleeping on the gate’s doorstep next to the guards.

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Episode Length 53:39

Thank you all for listening in and helping us get to episode 300! We will all work together to get through this nightmare and I look forward to having you join us in 

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Listen in Youtube

Show Transcript


[00:00:00] Episode 300 of the Global From Asia podcast. So double or triple header here. It’s my birthday. I’m in a quarantine. We’re launching a new platform and another story of a foreigner sleeping on his doorstep in China. All in today’s show, actually packed.

[00:00:26] Welcome to the Global From Asia podcast, where the daunting process of running an international business is broken down into straight up actionable advice. And now your host, Michael Michelini. Man, so I’m in this little apartment in a quarantine here. Last week I gave you the story when I was still on the bus, so I didn’t talk to you about being in a quarantine.

[00:00:49] I’m always confused. I make too much content. But we have my, uh, personal Mike’s stuff, and I have the videos of my life there and my life and my business have been really overlapping. So if you look at last week’s show you will see the videos I’ve made in the last couple of weeks.

[00:01:15] Alvin, our amazing podcast and video editor. I got to meet him in Bohol again. We’ve met a couple of times now. Help make that all happen. As well as our team, like Cheryl and everybody. LJ, getting a show, show online. So this is number 300. I’ve always been wondering what to put on episode 300 you know, it’s a milestone, three hundreds of shows, three times 100. 300 shows.

[00:01:39] That is a lot, and that doesn’t even count the E-commerce gladiator series we did for awhile. It doesn’t count China Businesscast podcast, which just hit episode 100 as well. It doesn’t count a lot of different podcasts and content, Alpha Rock Capital, all this other stuff. This is just the interview series at Global From Asia.

[00:01:58] I hope you have been enjoying these and I wonder how many of you participated in listening to our, hopefully enjoying, but it’s also my birthday. How can I be in quarantine on my birthday. Maybe I’ll have a birthday party. This show goes online March 31st, 2020. My birthday’s on Thursday, April 2nd, almost 40 I’ll be 39, 39 years old and I will be in a quarantine.

[00:02:28] It’s not so horrible. Honestly, it’s just like a three star hotel and a little bit chilly. Shenyang, China and Dong Bei, Northeast China. So I’ll be celebrating it in this little room and my wife is able to deliver stuff, which is almost a bad thing because I’m running out of space. There’s just so much food and clothes and tools and things coming here.

[00:02:51] I have like a cooking set now for my eggs. She gives me a bunch of raw eggs. We also get food to, they give us three meals. But for those that know me I’m on the low carb kind of thing, or the slow carb diet, four-hour body, Tim Ferriss thing. So she gets the beans for me and the nuts and some veggies, but I can kind of pick out some stuff from the food that they actually deliver me here, but it’s not so horrible.

[00:03:17] I have one window and it looks like a normal life outside of, outside of my window. Everybody’s outside seems like businesses kind of back to normal. Everybody’s just got a mask on so. I’m just stuck here till April 5th, so it’ll be a little bit of a late birthday, but at least I get to see my, my kids since early January, that I haven’t seen them for over three months or so.

[00:03:40] And, uh, it’s just been a really intense time for all of us. I know everybody in the whole world now is being affected by the Corona virus, which we talked about a while ago As far as the eCommerce, Amazon cross border trade, but it’s gotten even crazier. And we don’t know if there’s rumors that they’re locked down or the shutdown or the not accepting of new packages of Amazon will go past April 5th.

[00:04:07] There’s nothing verified that I’ve seen, but of course, unless you fit their

[00:04:15] essential supplies list. But, um, it’s just crazy times for all of us. So. This one’s going to be Three-zero-zero. I hope we can use three numbers in the URL, but that will be the attempted URL, so you can check out the show notes. We’ve got a double header of content. All right.

[00:04:37] I’ll be honest, it’s being honest. I’ve been trying to figure out how to. I do what I love to do and uh, and make money doing what I love to do. And I love doing this show. I love, uh, sharing with you guys. I love creating content. I love interviewing amazing people, and we have been responded. This whole mask trading medical supply insanity. And a, it’s driving me kinda nuts because there’s so many people. I mean, I’m trying to help so many people, but it’s just really hard with the overwhelming amount of communication required.

[00:05:09] And I thought, or something from a long time ago, something that brought me to China in 2007 I thought of this idea to make a group buying. Helps small buyers buy from a factory directly, consolidate it all, track it all clearly see the certifications and everything. So since I’ve been in a, locked in this quarantine, I’ve been working on it and building a tech team.

[00:05:31] Getting amazing people in the community involved in the ecosystem of the QC and finding the factories and tracking the orders and the shipping. And we’ve done a few webinars. If you’re on an email list, you would have gotten those invites. We had some three of them this week. I might do more. I mean, I’m stuck in this room anyway cause I can’t have meetings.

[00:05:51] But, uh, the first part of this double header is going to be the webinar we did. We recorded a clip of it. I don’t. Usually the way it works with webinars or these online calls is I kind of record the official stuff and then I turn off the recording for the, the chats, which was really valuable. We, we had like, it wasn’t a huge amount of people, but like 15 people on one of them and there were some amazing experts there.

[00:06:15] I mean, from all different parts of this space. So what happened was we, we, uh, we really did like a mastermind brunch, brain dump and sharing of how to make this work for everybody. And I hope my battery’s not dying, but it seems like my battery might be dying on this. I hope. I hope we can finish this intro, that that’s my wife to buy me more of these little batteries for this sleep.

[00:06:43] Well, Mike, anyway, I don’t want to blab too much. I’d talk about this in the webinar recorded so you can hear that in the next section, and then after the webinar recording audio, I will have a guest, Russell Morgan, who I met in Guangzhou many years ago would be kept in touch through groups and social media.

[00:07:05] And, uh, he, his story of getting stuck and sleeping outside of his own apartment building because of the virus and, uh, the quarantines and they wouldn’t let him in and sleeping in an airport bench because they wouldn’t let them go into a hotel in Guangzhou. It’s a, it’s getting nuts, honestly, and to want to share that story too.

[00:07:23] So this is a double header podcast episode 300. Launching platform for small B2B orders to be consolidated to get factory direct pricing, specifically starting with this covert 19 supplies. But then hopefully the plan is to expand more. And then after that we will have Russell Morgan sharing about his getting, sleeping on the streets of his apartment building and sleeping in a bench in the airport, going and now he’s back in LA America.

[00:07:55] So hopefully you guys will enjoy this.  See you on the other side of the show. Okay. Save the date. Cross border, Thailand fifth annual. We are still trying to hold it in November 19th and 20th 2020. So, you know, keep it on your calendar. I know I’m in lockdown in China and everything is kind of like frozen and all around the world. The flights are not going anywhere, so it’s a little hard to tell you to buy an early bird tickets.

[00:08:21] We’re not opening tickets, but it’s more like saved a date. It’s the highlight of my year. I mean, even though it’s my birthday right now, it’s a maybe . For my birthday. It’s one of the highlights of my year. I used to keep it in April, but now it’s only in November. We are doing it in Chiang Mai, Thailand, two days full event of speakers, amazing networking, amazing people.

[00:08:43] We always try to have some special deals as well. If you’re super fan, you’d come to our VIP mastermind before or stay for our private three-hour workshops and some of our experts for an additional fees, but definitely keep on your calendar. November 19th and 20th. In Chiang [00:09:00] Mai, Thailand, it’d be great to meet you in person and a great way to support the community and of course, meet these amazing people in our community.

[00:09:07] Thanks so much, and I hope to see you there. I hope we can do it. Okay, so I think most of you are familiar faces, but I just always have my intro on me. So Global From Asia. We started as a podcast back in 2013 to honestly, it was about Hong Kong business to help people learn about Hong Kong company set up and uh, banking and operating your international business from Hong Kong.

[00:09:33] But of course the world has changed quite a bit since then. And we also are, um, expanding. Of course, Amazon’s been hot. We are always about cross border e-commerce, cross border trade from Asia and the world. And we have podcasts, videos, events, which of course. Events. Well, this is an event, right? And the, of course, we have our membership where you can get insights and more of these, we usually do these for a private, for, um, for the, uh, GFAVIPS.

[00:10:05] But today, and, uh, the last few weeks have been very different for all of us. So we’re always trying new things. And, uh, this is just some of the things we do. We, we always appreciate your feedback. And, uh, you know, usually we do it in a, in a, in an event, in a place, and we have these private forums and we do these kinds of calls where we have people from all around the world, uh, dialing in and sharing.

[00:10:30] I really want you guys, I know you want to listen, but I also really, uh, depend on YouTube engage. That’s what makes these different than like a podcast or a video is the people on the call we want to share. So I know some of you have some questions and input already. So. Um, so we can do that. Just put some pictures here.

[00:10:49] Also, keep in mind, Cross Border Summit is still on the agenda. I mean, of course, right now we’re all in. I’m in literally on a quarantine lockdown in China right now. I didn’t expect to, nobody expected to be a lockdown, but I didn’t even expect to be in China right now. But still save the date, November 19th and 20th in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

[00:11:10] It’ll be our first time out of mainland China. And we, um, we have a great venue lined up and amazing speakers. So definitely keep that in mind. And that’s actually one of our highlights of the year, is just getting all these amazing people. We try to get everybody to know each other. Okay. And, uh, I’m just looking at the chat too.

[00:11:33] So magic book, her name, uh, it’s Alice from Sinocarry. And, yeah. Yeah. It’s the first time you’ve dialed in. So thanks so much, Alice, for joining us today. Um, I’m going to just jump right in. So the story, let’s go to this story. So it started with this letter I, I put out, um. This morning and the WeChat groups, and it’ll be a newsletter going out in a couple of hours in a different format.

[00:12:04] And it’s also a video. It says, launching a group by factory direct platform, during coven 19 pandemic. So I wrote this this morning as always. The world is going real. Honestly. It’s been so challenging or changing. I think anybody on this call would agree with the trade war last year, the Hong Kong, uh, uprising, whatever you want to call it, in between this, the virus and other things.

[00:12:36] So. Obviously we’re, most of us are working at home now, or whether we’re in a lockdown or a, you know, businesses are closed and people have been just asking for the keywords masks, but it’s not just mask. It’s, it’s, um, all these different supplies from the, the world’s factory, which is still in China. And we are, uh, seeing people in our various.

[00:12:59] Social media groups, and I’ve seen people in emails and social media to me looking for these supplies and, and just crazy amounts of, uh, of things happening. Um, so we are, you know, watching this closely. And, uh, for those that don’t know. I used to do sourcing. That’s how I first came to China. I first came to China in 2007 to buy products from, uh, from factories.

[00:13:26] I was selling bar and kitchen supplies on a, on eBay and my website back then eBay. Amazon wasn’t that big a deal, but we did have someone on Amazon. Um, and so that was since 2004 I’ve been doing eCommerce so. Then when I got stuck in this quarantine and West are seeing all these people going crazy about masks and supplies.

[00:13:48] It made me think about the old times, like the old sourcing days or the old China buying days when people had no idea what they were doing. Right. I feel like so many people trying to buy these masks. Have no clue what they’re doing. Right. I don’t know if you would agree with me, but I think there’s people I never heard of buying from factories or, or, uh, both that are living in Asia or China or, or Europe or us.

[00:14:12] Everybody’s just trying to buy these things. Even the governments in overseas have no clue how to buy from these factories. Right. And so we’ve already heard, I don’t know about you, but I’ve already had hearing stories that people are getting, getting ripped off or scammed paying WeChat money or bank transfers and not getting the goods getting blocked on WeChat or, or a, or a bad quality.

[00:14:32] You know, it’s just the whole classic stories, you know, we don’t need to get so much into it. So it, it in, when I got stuck in this quarantine, honestly, it really clicked in my mind. There’s a project that I had been working on many, many years ago that that took me to China. And the name is

[00:14:51] Uh, the idea is to help people, cause I’m a small buyer. I was always a small buyer. I was like an eBay seller website, you know, e-commerce seller. I didn’t have these huge volumes from like, uh, what normally people were buying from factories where, and. So this is meant to be for small buyers like wholesalers or distributors that might not be able to get the large numbers.

[00:15:14] And I’m seeing this happening in this industry right now, right? People need these supplies, but they’re, the factories are overloaded and we don’t know what factories even have capacity. We don’t know. A factory is real, everybody’s becoming a mask factory. So it just seems like this is the time to do this system.

[00:15:32] The main value, I think of so many years for Global From Asia. We are, I’ll be honest. I think the main thing we’ve been building is content, of course, but also community and trust. And I’ve been trying to find the right way to position it to, to, to better add value to the system, to the world, to the ecosystem, to the, uh, to the, uh, to the people in this network.

[00:15:55] And I think we, we should. Use this opportunity to start this, um, this system. Uh, you know, we think about SARS, we think about other kinds of tragic events or, or global events or recessions like PayPal was born when the, uh, when there was recessions. I really believe that there’s an opportunity to make something great together.

[00:16:16] And, um, that’s what I want to talk about today. And, and those on the call, I really hope can be a significant part of that. So the idea is these factories are just, you know, I have this mask. Actually, it was James that helped me, uh, in a WeChat. He saw me wearing the, the wrong mask. I was wearing an anti pollution, anti-pollution mask.

[00:16:44] I don’t know if he could see it, but I learned that this is not, and Wendy also had, my wife told me also that this is not a going to help me protect me or protect others from the Coronavirus. So I switched to this one that I had. Um, actually Mark from Alpha Rock Capital gave me this, uh, in Manila. We, when the volcano erupted, that’s how I got my first mask.

[00:17:09] Actually, when the volcano erupted was when the first time I wore a mask. So, people, these factories, you know, they’re, they’re only looking at, you know, they’re really taking advantage of us as talking to, uh, Antoine and we chat earlier and he says, yeah, these factories are just not pay, paying attention to us.

[00:17:28] Or they just want big numbers or, or they’re already have enough customers now. And then there’s people that never made a mask before that are becoming a mask factory or becoming a factory of other, of these medical supplies. So. So we’re, we’re looking to benefit everybody in our community to help, you know, find the best factories at the best prices to help facilitate the best quality and the best delivery to our customers.

[00:17:56] Uh, our, our buyers, people that need these products. Uh, for example, I have a friend Andrew in the New York city, and he worked with me on Wall Street, actually at Deutsche bank, and he messaged me on Facebook and he’s wife is having a baby. Next week, and he is freaking out because there’s lockdown and all these emergencies.

[00:18:18] And so he’s asking me, he wants to buy some kind of this equipment, some masks. He has no idea what it is. He has no idea how to get it. And he’s just asking me, how does he buy this? Um, I’m getting tons of messages like this and I want to make an easier system for these people to be able to get access to these.

[00:18:38] To these products. So we are, um, are basically putting the system together and it is a, it is called loadpipe. Actually, this site is, I made this site back in 2008, if you can believe that, and it didn’t have to change too much. I don’t want to really make up. It’s actually made, meant to be a pitch deck.

[00:19:00] Um, but I think this can give you guys a good idea of what this is meant to be. Um, New York Bar Store was my eCommerce business has started. And, uh, yeah, I started sourcing from, from China because I was having trouble getting these products and, uh, I wanted to help these companies get a supply chain system to be able to

[00:19:21] Group buy, to work as a community, to track their orders, to track the quality, to track the delivery and, uh, and basically make things, make things happen. Yes, I didn’t update, I thought I was gonna launch this in 2008. Q4 I just never knew when was the right time to launch it. So I just think I have all, I have code, I have systems, I have business plans.

[00:19:47] So it basically it’s a third party mediator. To help two parties get a job done without going to get an, you know, basically getting-to-know-you process. People are just rushing to buy from mask factories. They don’t know. They’re just trying to wire money and they, um, we need to make milestones. We need to have negotiations, dispute resolutions.

[00:20:07] We need to have all these different service providers, which are in our community from sourcing companies, logistics, brokers, warehouses and, and all. So we are putting this all together in a system. To allow you to log in, to check, to check your, to check your status of your systems. And, uh, mostly this is for small buyers, um, small SMEs to find a deal, make a deal, track the deal, and repeat the deal.

[00:20:34] And, uh. I don’t want to waste so much time. I’d rather talk to you guys today. But the main point is this for buyers and sellers and agents. Honestly, I respect the agent. I know a lot of you guys are in the sourcing and logistics in a, we need that. You know, we’re not just trying to have buyers, sellers directly dealing with each other cause they don’t know how to do it.

[00:20:53] We need, we need this whole ecosystem of, of specialists. So we, we have a way to work with that, with that arm together. Um, this is a little bit more complex system. Also, I don’t know if you guys know Chance Jeung. I don’t know his chances on the call today. So chance has been a speaker at our events, and, uh, I met him at a startup weekend in Guangzhou, and like 2000 and, uh, 11 maybe.

[00:21:21] I think 2011 and he’s a skilled developer for a Chinese team that does English and Chinese, a development for WeChat. And he’s on board to help develop this with us. Uh, I made a quick MVP. Um, and let me just show you really quickly the system and then I think we can talk about it. So this is a quick landing page.

[00:21:46] That’s the video I sent you, us this morning. And there’s a group, there’s the buyer, supplier and service provider, and then there’s a way to sign up, and I have a login. Oh, I need another browser. So he, so once you log in, there’s a, it’s very simple right now, honestly, this is just a call to MVP, minimum viable product.

[00:22:12] I’m a believer in the lean startup. I’ve. So right now, these are products we have from Andy, Andy Church and Ino at insight quality. You’ve probably seen them in our community. So we have a few masks. There’s a couple other products that they have, and they have given us pricing. This is on a 500 piece level.

[00:22:33] If you want to buy on a higher volume, the price can go down. And, uh, these, these are, um. Surg- three ply surgical masks, just a standard blue. You can check the different measurements. Um, and they did a great job. They put together a spec sheet and, uh, it’s very clear. Um, and you can, you can view all of this information right on the, on the page so that you can understand it.

[00:23:02] CE and FDA approved. Uh, there’s HS code for, for your customs, checking the payment terms. The size, the MOQ is 100,000 pieces. So yeah, that’s, that’s the whole point. That’s what loadpipe is here, right? So if you’re, if you’re only able or willing to buy 500 pieces, you would get this, this price. Um, we can discuss about lowering the price or bargaining high, bargaining more, but at this level, if you want to get a better price or you want to buy more.

[00:23:32] Right now, it’s a little bit manual. This is honestly, I built this a, just a WordPress with WooCommerce with some extensions and plugins. So you’d have to, I’d have to upgrade your account to a distributor level, and then there’s distributor pricing. This is wholesaler pricing, and then there’s no payments.

[00:23:49] Right now it’s a, it’s bank transfer. So right now by, by making the purchase of maybe the 500 or 1000 or however many you want to buy. You would then make a deposit. A lot of people in the community have been getting a, we, it’s a refundable deposit for a re re, real, a real reason. But, uh, we need to hold some money to make sure that everybody’s committed to this order.

[00:24:17] And this would be ready in, in, uh, in April. We’d have to confirm this before the end of March, March 31st. So this, these are the first three I’m going to add some thermometers. Uh, we, we wanted a $300 deposit that will be used to your order. And you can read this, the certificates are not provided because we, uh, we cannot reveal the factory until someone has made a commitment.

[00:24:46] I don’t want to be. And the other reason is we might have multiple factories. We would verify these. And for this deal, we would work with Insight, Quality, and we would work. I believe I’m confirming with Fulfillment Bridge is a shipping company, but we could talk to others. I know Magic is here from Sinocarry.

[00:25:07] I know there’s other service providers that do logistics. We can talk to everyone. Uh, they’ve talked to us that says that they can, they can do masks and masks can arrive in the U S so long as it’s less than five kilograms right now. So they said if it’s a bigger order of more. So the way it would work with these masks, [00:25:30] because there’s some customs issues or there’s, there are some delays in shipping.

[00:25:34] What these fulfillment companies or shipping companies that have been telling us, I don’t know if I’d rather just have different feedback, is that there have to be smaller shipments. So if you did order that was more than three ki-, kg, kilograms, it would need to be split into multiple child orders. And then that would be settled and quoted after.

[00:25:56] So, so this would be the basic idea. And then the community part is missing. Cause I, that’s, I can, I don’t know how to develop that in this, in this current MVP model. But the point once it’s actually a complete system, you would be able to almost kind of like a, a, a Kickstarter or Indiegogo. You would be able to comment and view the order as it happened.

[00:26:21] And talk to the vendor as a group so that we would all kind of know where we’re going with this order and, uh, and ensure that is delivered and it is completed. And, uh, there would be, of course, some rating systems and feedback and history and credits that would be added on. This is a very basic system, is basically a B2B shopping cart right now.

[00:26:45] But, uh, talking to chance Junge our developer partner. And, uh, and one of his lead developers, he agrees to just make a very simple service. It’s more about the community. It’s more about the use case. So I think I am done discussing this right now, and I would love to have some input or questions from those on the call.

[00:27:09] That’s, this is the main idea. And then also we could do it as some people want to do donations. Yeah, I mean, anything is possible. This would be, you have a, you would buy it and it would have a shipping address. So if you want to ship it to a different location, you would just, uh, put the in your order. If you’re going to have multiple orders, I would suggest you make multiple checkouts and, uh, make multiple transactions with the different shipping address for each truck.

[00:27:37] Our Chance is here. Cool. In Florida. Great. Thanks guys. Yeah. I know most people on the call. It’s really great. Um. To talk to you. All right. So I hope you guys enjoyed it. A little recording of our webinar and my story and my passion, and I’ve been working on this day and night here in my quarantine in Northeast.

[00:27:56] China’s. Can be part of the story, you know, looking to raise money for this already getting investors. There’s always been investors interested in what we’re doing here. So working on that, hopefully everybody can, uh, participate in one way or another, whether you’re a buyer, whether you’re a supplier, whether you’re a service provider.

[00:28:13] We would love to kind of. Collaborate with everyone and kind of connect you into this pipe, this loadpipe system. And now for the second part of this double header, Russell Morgan. Russell is amazing. And, uh, he shares, I mean, a lot of people I tried to get on a show, don’t want to share these sensitive stories that are foreign or what, and uh, he’s willing to share.

[00:28:33] And I think you’ll enjoy this one, uh, too. And hopefully this never happens to you or me where we’re sleeping on our streets of our own apartment building complex and airports because they’re not letting us in because. Or dirty foreign or, so let’s, uh, let’s tie away into the second part of the doubleheader and joy.

[00:28:51] Okay. Thank you everybody. We are there. There’s so many stories to share now. I’m sure I could go on for years with a, with stories, but I think it, I was really, um, happy to connect, reconnect with Russell. Russell and I met back in Guangzhou, so many years ago. Right? I mean. Many, many years ago and . Yeah, at least six or seven years ago.

[00:29:18] So. So you have quite a story to share that I think, is it going to be interesting for listeners, but before we dive in, do you want to give us all a little bit of introduction of, of yourself and what you do. Oh, uh, sure. Yeah. I, uh, originally went to China to, uh, to do import export. That was what I originally did.

[00:29:41] Um, I used to live in Taiwan before that. Um, I stayed. But he did typed out. And so, uh, when I went to China to begin in port export, I managed to land a big contract with a, with a, a spa company. So that was what my goal was to do is sell spas. And, um, after two years of wrangling with that, it just didn’t work out.

[00:30:08] And so kind of had to shift. So I got into education and, uh, so now I’m, I actually, I want a company that does, uh, we do software for education and, um, uh, our market is mainly the Chinese market. Um, and it’s a mobile application. So it’s a little different because we do. Something that is a, what’s called brain based or cognitive.

[00:30:36] It’s all based on cognitive education. So it’s a little different than what most other people are doing. So, okay. For as far as, I want to hear the full, the full story, but I, I guess my, what I heard was, you know, you, you got, he couldn’t enter your own apartment in Guangzhou and you had to stay outside.

[00:30:53] And, uh. You know, uh, that’s about all I know. And you’re going to tell me before, but I’m like, let’s just hit the record button in, in the, I want to hear it might as well everybody here at the same time. Cause I have, I’m curious as well. Well, I mean, you know, you know, things change on the ground in China by the minute sometimes.

[00:31:14] I know, I know. So. So, um, you know, I went to, I went to the Philippines. I went to Cebu. Oh, like you did. Only my unintended, yeah. My intention was to go over there and just have some downtime. It was before really the virus exploded and everybody, everybody knew what was going on. Um, it was around, uh, January 22nd.

[00:31:45] So I was in, I was in Cebu, um, just enjoying myself and, and I, I had scheduled myself to go back to Guangzhou around February 3rd, or something like that, February 6 or 7. And so that’s what I ended up doing was I ended up going back to Guangzhou and, um, uh, on the, on the seventh and. Um, when I got there, there was no quarantine.

[00:32:19] There still was no quarantine. There was no restrictions. People were wearing masks. Um, but you know, in general, it wasn’t, wasn’t really that big of a deal. Then. Then I started getting, getting some messages in the wind, if you will, about, you know, restrictions coming up and things like that. And, you know, I mean, when, when we hear that as foreigners, it’s like, well, I did prepare.

[00:32:54] And so I was really afraid of getting stuck in China. That was what I was afraid of. And so, so I decided to go, uh, on the Tenth I left and went to Thailand. Okay. Just just, just to get out of China. So I went to Thailand and um, and while I was in Thailand, I thought, I want to go to India and visit my programmer.

[00:33:24] You said before I went, before I left for Thailand, I tried to fly from Guangzhou to India and they canceled my flight at the last second because they weren’t, they weren’t allowing anybody to fly from China to India. So just like you, how many flights did you have cancelled?  I three technically in fourth or fifth I tried to buy but couldn’t buy, but three canceled.

[00:33:53] Right? And so what I said, I thought, okay, well I can go to, I can go to Thailand when I’m in Thailand, I can fly to India. So I’d go, I booked the flight. I head out to the airport and right as I’m walking to get onto the plane, they stop me and say, Oh, wait a minute, you can’t go. And I was like, why? And they said, well, we looked at your document, you were in China.

[00:34:24] And I was like, yeah, but I’m not flying for China now, you know? So, so they stopped me back. I’ll book some more time in the hotel. My programmer ended up flying to, to Thailand to be with me. So that was good. Yeah. So that, that all work out. So, um, and then I, I was gonna go, I said, okay, well, uh, I’ll head back to, uh, head back to Guangzhou, um, around the 3rd of March.

[00:34:58] Okay. Because my apartment. The lease as well, was up on the 15th. Okay. Of March. So I thought, okay, I can go back, no problem. And um, so I contacted my secretary in China and she checked everything and they said, yeah, yeah, no problem. He’d just show up and he can, you know, he’s got a self quarantine for about four to 14 days before he gets out of China.

[00:35:29] I said, okay, that’s great. My flight comes in at three, 2:30 in the morning. I’m in Guangzhou, and by the time I get to go to my gate in my community, it was three 3 about 3:30 now I walk up there and all of the guards were outside of the gate and they stop me. Now these guys, I know these guys. I, I talk to them all the time.

[00:36:02] I see them all the time. They know who I am, they know me. And the first thing they say to me is, no, no, no, no, no, no.

[00:36:14] I said, what do you mean? No? I says, no, no foreign or no foreign, or I live here. So, you know, after a little bit of, I found out was they had changed the rules. From that afternoon to that night, and now I had to have permission to get into my own apartment as a foreigner. And, and so, so this was right before they started the little green thing on the green check on your phone.

[00:36:53] They didn’t even have that yet. What they, what they had to have. Was they had to have permission from the local residency community people. And so, so I was like, well, how do we get a hold of them? And so I called my called my secretary at three o’clock in the morning, and she’s like, ah, this is news to me. Oh.

[00:37:19] But they refuse to let in period just refuse said no, you cannot go in. Now, you have been in China for a long time and you know that there are some hotels, some hotels that will allow you to stay as a foreigner and many will not. So I’m, I’m out there at the end of line four. Okay. And. If you’ve ever tried to rent a hotel after 12:00 PM in China, it’s impossible.

[00:37:55] It’s impossible for a foreigner to rent a hotel room after that. So I was stuck. Unbelievable. I said, well, what am I going to do? And then the guy just told me there’s nothing I can do. So I pulled out my suitcase, I grabbed some clothes, wrapped him up. And laid down on the sidewalk. Unbelievable. I was sleeping there.

[00:38:21] Oh, okay. Then the guys were standing there, you know, watching me, I guess at least they were securing you, hopefully keeping you safe, but that’s a nightmare. Yeah. You know, it’s, it’s like most of the most, all right. My experience in China has been always that. That the Chinese people will, they can follow directions, but they’re not real great on, you know, thinking, you know, thinking out logically some things.

[00:38:51] So they were just doing, they’re following directions. That’s all right. You know? All right. Can’t blame them. I mean, they are there. They’re the society’s group born to just follow the rule. There is no exceptions or they can’t make, yeah. They can’t think outside of the system, which is sad. Yeah. Yeah. I had a, let’s see, I had a, one, uh, two other flights canceled also that I had planned on going someplace, and every time it was like the chant that the second leg would, they would cancel the second leg on me.

[00:39:33] You know, where I was going. And so, yeah. So I finally. So when I got in, when I got in, they said, okay, well you have to quarantine yourself. You’re not allowed to come out at all. And it was like, well, I don’t have any, who’s going to bring me food? And the local community said, well, we’ll, we’ll bring you food.

[00:39:59] And I was like, okay, well, all right. And so. Uh, I fortunately I had some things in my refrigerator I needed to eat, so I was able to cook for myself for the most part. That’s good. Yeah. I don’t have to know. I don’t do a couple of things, you know. Yeah. So I ate a lot of eggs. I haven a couple of dozen here.

[00:40:25] That’s nuts. All right. Well, sorry to, have hearing him going through that sentence. Uh, it’s just life, you know, in the, in the end, in the end, I had to get, uh, what I was trying to do was on the 15th, my, my, um, my, uh, lease ended. So what I was trying to do was get all of my stuff together, pack it up, and move it out and just store it.

[00:40:56] Yes. Yes. So I packed, I packed all this stuff. And we hired somebody to come pick it up and then we’re at the last second, like the morning of when I was supposed to move all of these things. The local committee contacted me and said, he’s the, the mover is not allowed into the complex. I was like, really?

[00:41:28] So you can put your stuff in. How am I supposed to move all these? Yeah. Yeah. So you know, after about 40 minutes of talking with them, they finally, they said, you cannot move anything out of your apartment, even if you own it without the landlord’s permission. Hmm. And so. We had to get the landlord to come over and okay us to move out.

[00:42:03] And so then finally they came and loaded everything up and moved out, and I was out of there. And so, well, I’m glad he got it out now. Yeah. Yeah. I would say I was able to store everything, so that was okay. Um, but, but. Then I was going to go to the airport. So I went to the airport and my flight for the airport didn’t leave until the next day.

[00:42:35] Okay. So I talked to my secretary and she booked the room at the airport, the, you know, the, you know, the downstairs, that little, the little room place, the really small rooms. I’m not saying she verified everything. No problem. Okay. Yeah. It, she verified everything. No problem. No problem. I get out to the airport the full day before my flight.

[00:43:01] Okay. Cause I have no place to go. I have no apartment now. They can’t stay there. Yeah. So I just figure I’m going to get this up, this room at the airport. I get out there and I w. I walk up and I pull them out. The first they started doing this, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Yeah, I know the exact, uh, Oh farmer, no.

[00:43:27] Foreigner was like, wait a minute, I literally just talked with you guys this morning and you said no problem. And so then they told me, they said, well, we got a call at 12 noon. And they changed the rules. And so, so I ended up sleeping in a, in the airport. Uh, at one of the benches. Yeah. Horrible man. Horrible.

[00:44:00] Oh, yeah. And there was nobody, there was nobody in the airport. I mean, no one, uh, that really was a shock to me. No one in the airport. Yeah, I’ve been seeing that a lot. I mean, I’ve seen so many empty airports. It says really insane. Okay, so what’s your.  Even when I went to Shanghai? I flew out. Go ahead, go ahead from Guangzou to Shanghai and in Shanghai.

[00:44:22] Shanghai was completely empty. Also really surprised me. Yeah. I think they’re going to be empty for a little bit longer now. They just announced nobody can come into China, so right. It also didn’t, they announced that only one, one per week, right, week? One aircraft per week. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Wow. Yeah. When you talk about slow traffic, yeah.

[00:44:55] I don’t know. I mean, yeah. I don’t know how to, how that would work. How do you book a flight? I mean, it must be expensive as heck. No, for sure. Well. I don’t know. I got, I got a friend of mine up in San Francisco and he was scheduled to go back home. He lives in, he’s from China? Yeah, he was at home on April 1st and he said, I’m not sure if they’re going to keep my flight or not.

[00:45:19] Yeah, I don’t think so. Probably we’re off times. So what’s your plan? Think about it or go ahead. One aircraft from America, all of America per week. Huh? Yeah. How is that possible? Not, not one from San Francisco, one aircraft from New York, one aircraft from LA, one for all of them. It’s crazy. I dunno. I dunno.

[00:45:52] So you’re asking what my plans are now? Yeah, I guess maybe it will get toward, maybe we can just hear when next steps and. And how, if you know how people can connect with you, if they, if they need to or want to. So, so for me, I’m like, I work mostly on the internet. You know, that’s where I’m, I mean, I do most of my stuff. Distance, so that’s not a problem.

[00:46:13] So I’m in California now. Um, fortunately, fortunately for me, I don’t live in a city. I live in, in the country. And so. I’ve got acreage and I can go outside and you know, enjoy myself or whatever. So yeah. So yeah. So, um, so, uh, so right now, was we’ll see what happens but um, my plan is to wait till September and then head back to China cause I still have a lot of things I got to do in China.

[00:46:52] Yup. Yup. And so my plan to go back in September and see what happens, you know? But I don’t know. Oh, yeah. Nobody, nobody knows. The super explosion of. Yeah. Well, and we have so many cases right now, coming out in, in America. Yeah. It’s really bad, Michael. I’ve been seeing the numbers. It’s scary. Well, stay safe.

[00:47:21] It seems like you’re in an okay spot. So I feel, feel okay for you. And, uh, uh, is there any way, maybe we can link to your LinkedIn or anything people can find you online or. Oh, yeah, I’m on LinkedIn. Um, you can find me online. I’m on LinkedIn. Um, uh, my, uh, that’s probably the best place. Look up Russell Morgan.

[00:47:44] Yeah. Okay, great. Yeah, so cool. Thanks so much, wrestling. Thank you for sharing your story with us.  I’m glad you made it home. I know, I barely made it. Like now everybody’s been flooding me with the links of China closing down. So yeah, made it by the skin of my teeth, like it’s been an intense, intense time for all of us. So.

[00:48:07] And for you, you have to go back there because you have a wife. Yeah. My wife, my, my life is here, so I guess I’m stuck here. If there’s something I can do for you, let me know. I don’t know. I think this feeling, a lot of people are asking me to help them. And I have another Chinese friend stuck in our Houston and I said, you know, and it’s like the tables have turned.

[00:48:28] Yeah. So he, he’s getting nervous and, uh, it’s crazy times. Yeah. People are stuck everywhere. I have a Russian friend of mine that’s stuck in a Laos and she can’t, she can’t get out. Got it. You know, so people that are stuck over the world right now. Yeah. So weird. We’re, we’re living in at the moment. Yeah, I mean, I guess there’ll be stories forever.

[00:48:53] We’ll be sharing. Where were you when this happened? Forever. No. For us. For life.

[00:49:00] Yup. All right. Russell. To be telling my grandkids. Yeah, exactly right. We’ll be telling everybody forever this, this is going to be in the history books for sure. Unbelievable. All right buddy. Well, stay safe and enjoy and, uh, we’ll be in touch. We’ll keep you, keep chatting as always. Very cool. Thanks Michael.

[00:49:20] Have a great day. Thanks. Okay. Bye. Bye. All right, so if you enjoyed his webinars, enjoyed kind of connecting with people more than just consuming as podcasts. I know a lot of you just want to hear a podcast. That’s totally fine. I hope you just joys. You know, I, we spend quite a bit of time and money making these podcasts as well as

[00:49:40] You know, uh, engaging with these amazing experts. If you want to go above and beyond, we have a private community GFA It’s got a private forum. So many courses, so many different things to do inside and monthly calls or might even do some special calls, special deals, special access to anything we have in our community.

[00:50:00] So such as loadpipe, they get first dibs to that and other things we’re doing. So if you really enjoy what you’re hearing and want to connect with me and others, I’d love to see you on the inside. GFAVIP. com. Okay. Thank you, Russell, for sharing. And we, uh, we had an intense, intense, a couple of days.

[00:50:22] Sorry. I think this battery’s dying here. Hopefully I can get a new one. My ATR 2100 my microphone I usually use is locked in my Manila apartment. I’m still kind of adjusting to this and sanity here. Most of my stuff is locked in an apartment in Manila. And I am freezing gold in the North of China. It’s hot there, but anyway, I don’t want to complain, but we’re all like getting thrown all over the place.

[00:50:47] I’ve been hearing stories. I’ll hopefully get more people like Russell on the shows. Me, it will be more of these double headers. I think there’s just going to be so many of these stories coming out from everybody getting stuck here, stuck there. You can’t go in there. Can’t go in there. I have a Chinese friend, I think I mentioned in the show, I want to say his name, but he’s stuck in Texas.

[00:51:03] He’s loading up on guns. He did a video call with me and he showed me his rifle. He’s. Ordered a shotgun, uh, by mail, and he’s like, got extra fuel tanks in his car and he’s barricaded the windows and his car and flip canned food in there and intense, and he’s ready that if things go nuts, he’ll go to go to, go out into the wilderness and protect himself with his cans and his tent and his gun.

[00:51:28] So it is really, really insane right now. Um, and always we have our show notes and this is going to be, 300 shows, interviews only, not even ccounting, e-commerce gladiator, or not even counting all the other podcasts I’ve been doing over the years. I hope you enjoy. The big push now is going to be this whole load pipe system and first of all, getting medical supplies to people all around the world that need it.

[00:51:53] And we have vetted factories that have certifications with all of the things that they need. If you’re a listener and you’re involved in this community, you want to get involved. What we’re doing, we have so much opportunity here. We need to put more quality products on this platform. We need to get more quality buyers.

[00:52:08] Buying these products, filling up these MOQ is we need more, uh, service providers helping us to make sure that these products are good and we get good ones in and when we are shipping them correctly. So all these things are happening now, and I would, uh, I would just really appreciate you guys. You can check it out at a load, L O a D P I P E.

[00:52:26] dot com. And. You can, uh, register its approval only as private beta. If you could shoot me an email, uh, or if you’re our email list, you’ll, you’ll be invited in. And unless there’s something, something weird wrong, uh, I would just really like this. And I think this is the future of way we can kind of help the community and help support what we do.

[00:52:46] There will be more to come. And, uh, again, this is episode 300 double header. I hope you enjoyed that little webinar of the story of this load pipe system and what we’re trying to do to help the community and [00:53:00] foster the community and help get these supplies to people that need it. And then the second one, this whole Russel Morgan sleeping on the streets again.

[00:53:06] I’m Mike Michelini, Global From Asia podcast. Thanks again for listening. Stay safe and uh, trying not to lose your mind. You know, I think it will come out of this stronger. Let’s try to get a stronger, not weaker. All right, take care. Bye. Bye. To get more info about running an international business, please visit our website at that’s also, be sure to subscribe to our iTunes feed.

[00:53:36] Thanks for tuning in.

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Tags: asia, business, career, china, Coronavirus, e-commerce, ecommerce, entrepreneur, guide, import export, importing, lifestyle, tips, travel, usa

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