American Working for Chinese Company Shares Lessons From COVID-19

Collegiate 10th and 12th Graders in DongMei Yuan's Chinese classes today joined the International Emerging Leaders - Asia senior Capstone class to reconnect via Zoom with a previous visitor.
Matt McCooey, a 2019 University of Richmond graduate and an operations manager at Ping An Cloud Accelerator, based in Shenzhen, China, is now working remotely from his family’s home in Westchester County, New York. 

Mr. McCooey, who has just learned that China has temporarily closed its borders to foreign nationals, returned to New York in late January for vacation over Chinese New Year, and did not return to Shenzhen in an attempt to ride out the spread of the COVID-19 in Asia. 

Now in his ninth week of working remotely, and keeping night hours to work synchronously with his Chinese colleagues, Mr. McCooey briefly discussed how Ping An has adapted to remote working, and offered students some recommendations for remote learning. 

Students then took turns asking questions, in both English and Mandarin, about Mr. McCooey's experiences and the impact of the new reality everyone finds themselves navigating.

Unsure of his return date to China given the latest developments, Mr. McCooey continues to rent his Shenzhen apartment and pay bills via the Chinese WeChat mobile phone app. He shared stories of the lengths to which his kind Chinese landlord and his Ping An peers have helped him maintain his personal belongings in China while he remains in New York for at least the next few months.