China Expatriate Employment Overview

Expatriate employees continue to have unique competitiveness especially for certain niches, technical skill sets and some senior management positions, although the competition is becoming fierce as more bilingual and ‘returnee’ Chinese are joining the workforce. Hiring an expatriate in China has becoming common and the demand for foreign talents continues. The reasons are obvious:

  • Foreign enterprises continue entering China either as WFOE or via a joint-venture. These includes almost all ‘Global Fortune 500’ and over 450000 foreign invested enterprises, more than1600 of which are R&D centers and regional headquarters. The number of Chinese-foreign joint venture organizations is vast.

  • Growing number of Chinese companies that are expanding their operations globally and become even more active following Belt & Road Initiative, offering huge opportunities for local and international talents in a wider variety of employment sectors.

What are the job opportunities for foreigners?

China’s is tenaciously working toward becoming the world’s strongest economy in agriculture, manufacturing, and services sectors, while consistently focusing on the hi-tech sector. With China ceaselessly advancing in these industries, jobs in design, engineering, finance, human resources, information technology, marketing, and sales are on the rise. Many expats travel to China to fill teaching roles, but end up joining one of China’s many budding and flourishing companies. Below are certain job functions & industries usually offering more opportunities to foreigners. The list can go longer as Mandarin proficiency grows.

  • Arts and beyond: Musicians, dancers, painters, performers;

  • Business services and consulting: Market entry, management consulting, tax and legal services especially for MNCs;

  • Designers in various sectors: architecture, industrial & graphic design and fashion design;

  • Education: Teaching in all level of institutions, professional translation and interpreting services;

  • Financial services and insurance for expatriate community and slowly to locals;

  • Healthcare techonogies, products and services;

  • Hospitality and tourism: restaurants, hotels, theme parks, weatern catering providers;


  • Creative, service innovation, IoT related fields involving multi-language UI/UX design and overseas community operation;


  • Cultural interface function in virtually all industries.



  • Technical, skill-based functions in manufacturing, engineering, auto, IoT industries



    More fields are being filled, Please contact us for more practice or share.

Reasons to Work in China

- The salary is good enough to make more money'

- I have more options when planning my career and growth'

- The Oriental culture always attracts me a lot…'

- The colleagues are very friendly, they don't seem to be foreign to me'.

- I feel I am more important here and move on faster.'


There are many reasons why you choose to stay at hometown and work, but there maybe only one good reason is needed for you to make a move to China. You must have done a lot of researches and consulted a lot of people about the job market in China, the policy and the possible career future before you take off for the uncertain journey. We will not drell on these but to give you our thoughts from a different point of view, on how your China journey starts and the way it should continue.


Reasons for Hiring Expatriates


From the HR point of view, hiring skilled and motivated foreign talents is necessary for companies to deal with international matters effectively when branding, selling, investing, acquiring, and incorporating abroad. Recruiting expatriate staff for both stragetic and service oriented positions in a company has increasingly become a key HR strategy.


Statistics shows a good number of companies in China are planning to increase their expatriate recruiting. A employer survey of 'prospects of expatriate staff in the next 12 months' showing more than 54.2% of 'increasing', 37.5% surveyed 'remain constant' while only 8.33% companies will probably 'decrease' the expatriate headcounts.   


Meanwhile, the perception of the 'value-adding' of hiring an expatriate has been more focused on the matching of the talent's career background with the actual needs of international projects of companies. In other words, companies in China value the professional skill sets, cross boarder prospective and managerial skills as key motives of hiring an expatriate personnel. Expatriats are counted on to help companies understand targeted overseas market and to swiftly bring in successful business models and experiences.

Figures and Demographics

-- Figures and Digrams cited from Asia Briefing

According to China’s 2010 National Census, there are at least 600,000 expats working or living in cities throughout the country, broken down by nationality in the chart below.

Nationalities

CB 2014 12_infographic4


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