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Job prospects & growth for expats in China


11-04-2014 04:18 BJT

China has been a magnet for the West's job hunters for many years. But with growth easing and costs rising, what are job prospects like this year for foreign talents and what is attracting foreign workers?

More than 600,000 foreign expats worked in China in 2013. A report by CareerBuilder says that close to 70 percent of the them chose China because of its fast momentum and steady economic growth.

"More and more foreigners are eyeing the growth of China," HR Secretary-General of Chinastar Limited Deng Ting said. "They realize that the earlier they step foot into the Chinese market the better. The experience they gain from working or cooperating with Chinese companies will be greatly valued by multinational companies and will help them tremendously in their future career development."

Daniel Hjelm is an IT project manager from Sweden who first came to China five years ago and recently joined a start-up company. Hjelm says that things are moving much faster in many industries in China than back home and that he can make a bigger difference here.

Demand for foreign talent is changing. Zhang Yan, HR director for Lenovo, says that more and more Chinese companies are hiring foreigners as they expand abroad.

"In the past, most foreign talent came to China because foreign companies set up offices in China and hired them for the mid to high level management positions," Zhang said. "Nowadays, many successful Chinese companies, including Lenovo, want to become multinational companies and they need to hire foreign talent from all over the world to help them do that. That's the trend we see in recent years."

There are concerns for those foreigners coming to work and live in China. Language barriers, the lengthy visa process and air pollution are considered the top three issues. Still, the foreigners who do live here mostly enjoy their stay, despite the occasional frustrations.

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