Talk to any group of assorted foreigners in China and you’re bound to hear a different “China story” from every single one. We've looked at some of the reasons foreigners choose to come and work in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
1) The Ease of Saving Money
People have always gone to where their skills are most in demand, and from the California gold rush to the Chinese market boom, people will also go wherever the economy is thriving. Despite China’s recent economic slowdown, there are still plenty of money making opportunities. “There’s definitely the feeling that this is where the money is now,” says expat Maribel, whose friends back home in Spain, also in their mid-twenties, are “struggling on a thousand Euros a month, if that.” She sees China as an investment: though the “unsociable hours” of her ESL job can occasionally be frustrating, her unconventional schedule also leaves her plenty of time to work on her Mandarin, a skill that coupled with the high salaries earned by many ESL teachers makes China “the best option for now.” It’s a feeling that is shared by Loubna, 24, from Morocco, who is also balancing Chinese study with ESL work.
2) Fast-Track Careers
But China isn’t just a way to save money – for many, it represents a wealth of career opportunities that would be closed to all but the luckiest few in the West. While corruption is an issue, more opportunities are open to more people. You don’t need an unpaid internship before being considered for a job, and faster career development is a fact for most people. Part of this is couched in questionable ideas: a foreign face is seen as a plus in many companies, which is illegitimate at best, and racist at worst – since this privilege tends to apply to white faces only. That aside, many people in their twenties are given more responsibility than they would be in similar businesses back home. Business developer Olivia, 26, was made a manager six months into her job in Shanghai after being headhunted by a rival company (an offer she rejected) – with the corresponding raise. “It was scary accepting all that responsibility, but the payoff is the experience I can apply to other jobs in future.” Much like Maribel, she’s hoping that her proficiency in Mandarin and experience dealing with big international clients will boost her resume when she returns home to Chicago. Unlike Maribel, however, Olivia’s new higher salary is a perk, but not the main reason she is working in Shanghai: “Management positions back home pay much higher than my job here, but the experience is the more valuable part of what I do.”
3) Low Stress Jobs and Travel Opportunities
Conversely, some people come to China as a way to escape the stress of high-profile jobs back home. “Life here is comfortable,” says Terry. “Traveling in Asia is cheap and fun and teaching is an easy way to experience China and do something different. It’s definitely more exciting than life at home in Canada.”
4) An Attractive Market for Entrepreneurs
China is of course also currently one of the best places to set up a business. While setting up a wholly foreign-owned enterprise is a lengthy and expensive process, the Chinese market is much less saturated than other more developed countries – making it an attractive prospect for budding entrepreneurs.
5) Mandarin, Overseas Experience as Boosts Back Home
A recurring theme when discussing working in China is proficiency in Mandarin. While companies in China may be looking toward hiring local graduates from overseas universities more and more, Chinese language skills represent an increasing advantage in the West. Candidates with job experience overseas also have the advantage of cultural competence, without which language skills are much less useful. Chinese language skills can be the tipping point for a candidate whose experience would otherwise be rather run-of-the-mill – a valuable consideration if job seekers are looking for their next job in a country where a visa is required and a local worker with a similar skill set would otherwise be given precedence.
Expat life is full of ups and downs, and living in a culture with very different values can be trying. It seems though that many are willing to accept the highs and lows of life in China in exchange for the international experience it brings and the possibilities of saving for a move back home or new opportunities in the future.
Warning：The use of any news and articles published on eChinacities.com without written permission from eChinacities.com constitutes copyright infringement, and legal action can be taken.
Keywords: Why work in China foreigners working in China
Foreigners coming to work in China are increasingly replaced by locals as education in China gets better and better. But there’s still a thriving job market in China for qualified expats that can’t be so easily replaced by talented Chinese applicants. We underline a few of them here.
On May 27, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security released a report about foreigners working in China. The report showed that at the end of 2012, there were approximately 246,400 foreigners officially working in China.
With 2017 now behind us, we take a look at some of China’s development targets over the next 30 years in the fields of society, the economy, technology and the environment.
Here we list the five biggest holidays in China, what they mean and how they’re celebrated.
A great way to learn Chinese is by watching television, but finding the right show can be overwhelming. Below are five Chinese TV programs from different genres that will entertain and help you learn Chinese.
Chinese table manners have long taken a kicking from foreigners. But where there is bad there is good. Here we guide you through the often overlooked good aspects of Chinese dining etiquette.
Obnoxious. An article on an expat site telling its readers (with no small amount of generalization) why they come to China. In fact, I just read the titles and skipped the rest: If you've read one of these provocation pieces, you've read them all. It's late, and I'm not a glutton for punishment.
May 07, 2015 01:36 Report Abuse
Why the majority of people are shy to say the real reason they are here.If u said to steal but Chinese girls/ or Chinese culture,i will like to ask such people that before when the economy of China was not in this growth stage,were the culture and women not existing in China? Hahaha...sorry for all of them.
May 08, 2015 15:29 Report Abuse
All comments are subject to moderation by eChinacities.com staff. Because we wish to encourage healthy and productive dialogue we ask that all comments remain polite, free of profanity or name calling, and relevant to the original post and subsequent discussion. Comments will not be deleted because of the viewpoints they express, only if the mode of expression itself is inappropriate. Please use the Classifieds to advertise your business and unrelated posts made merely to advertise a company or service will be deleted.
Please login to add a comment. Click here to login immediately.