US Presence at Largest World’s Fair in History Strengthens Chinese Views of the U.S.
Jul 18, 2023
Road trips

US Presence at Largest World’s Fair in History Strengthens Chinese Views of the U.S.

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SHANGHAI, Oct. 14 — A research study initiated by the USA Pavilion at Expo 2010 Shanghai indicates that the U.S. message at the Expo improved perceptions of America, American culture and American businesses among Chinese visitors to the Expo. Key findings include:

  • 95 percent of respondents agreed that “visiting the USA Pavilion was worth my time and effort.”
  • 93.4 percent felt the USA Pavilion “represents the American spirit.”
  • 90.1 percent said that “Chinese corporations have learned about advanced technologies and managerial skills from American corporations.”

In early 2010, independent research identified the USA Pavilion as the second most anticipated participant at Expo, behind the China National Pavilion. “We knew before Expo began that we had significant expectations to meet among Chinese visitors, and our research shows we more than delivered,” said Ambassador Jose H. Villarreal, U.S. Commissioner General to Expo 2010 Shanghai. “The fact that more than 7 million visitors will experience the USA Pavilion means we have taken advantage of a great opportunity to introduce America to so many who have never been to our country.”

Prior to Expo, goals for the USA Pavilion focused on: 1) improving perceptions of the United States in China; 2) using “people-to-people” diplomacy to help Chinese and other Expo visitors better understand America’s multicultural and open society; 3) ensuring that visitors to the Pavilion appreciated the U.S. tradition of grassroots, citizen participation to improve lives and communities.

Other Key Findings:

  • More than 95 percent of those surveyed agree that Americans are friendly.
  • More than 94 percent agree that America is a culturally diverse and innovative country.
  • More than 92 percent believe that Chinese companies should use American companies as role models.

“The research clearly shows that the USA Pavilion succeeded in increasing understanding of what many call the ‘American spirit,’ and communicating that much of America’s success is driven by collaboration, diversity and innovation,” said Dr. Xiongwen Lu, Dean of School of Management, Fudan University. “The USA Pavilion effectively improved perceptions of America among millions of Chinese visitors and that, in and of itself, is a great measure of success.”

Other Research Highlights:

  • 98.8 percent were “most impressed with the performance of the Student Ambassadors” (160 Mandarin-fluent college students from 38 U.S. states).
  • 95.2 percent said they “want to travel to the USA.”
  • 86 percent “agree with American values.”
  • 79.8 percent “want to work for an American company.”

The research study, which randomly sampled more than 660 Chinese guests at the Expo over a three-day period in August, sought to measure changes in perceptions of the U.S. before and after visiting the pavilion. The study was conducted by the Chinese Marketing Research Center (CMRC) at the School of Management, Fudan University in Shanghai. Fudan University was established in 1905 and became one of the national elite universities after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

At more than 60,000 square feet, the USA Pavilion is one of the largest national pavilions at the Expo, in one of China’s most dynamic cities. With the theme of “Rising to the Challenge,” the United States presence showcases American culture, values, innovation and business while celebrating the friendship and cooperation between the United States, China and the rest of the world.