If you are considering moving to China, then you’ve probably been wondering what it’s like to live there? What job opportunities are there? How much do they pay? What will my quality of life be like? Do I have any assurances? Whilst some foreigners still think of China in terms of what it was like fifty years ago, the modern reality is much different.

China’s cities bustle with the everyday humdrum of business workers commuting back and forth from offices, which are home to companies, which are increasingly investing in bigger and better products and services. Innovation and creatively is a key buzzword, heard in company meetings everywhere. For foreigners looking to live and work in China, this is great news.

To help you know what you can expect, we’ve put together a short summary of the opportunities currently open in China’s labor market, and what it’s actually like to live and work in China.

What Opportunities Are Available?

chinese model

A time-tested job for foreigners in China, English language teaching is still a viable option. When it comes to China labor market research, Forbes estimates that around 100,000 native English speakers teach English every year. However, despite this, there is still a shortage. Meaning that if you decide to become an English teacher, you’re unlikely to become just another figure to add to the unemployment rate in China. There are also opportunities in import/export businesses, obviously, due to the foreign language skills overseas employees can provide.

If you’re looking for a job in a creative sector, right now China is the place to be. From design to marketing and sales, creative enterprise techniques have increasingly gained traction in recent years. This isn’t just directly in design and development positions, but also management positions aiming to make workflow more efficient and streamlined. As long as you have ideas on how things can be done differently (and in a better way), you’re in for an opportunity to contribute to a new workplace in China.

What Has Been Causing This Change?

In recent years, the Chinese labor market has boomed. Less and less of China’s investments are being put into manufacturing processes and factories. More and more are they being used to develop China’s economy and China Trade.  This is because economic development is reaching a point of greater stability. Consequently, more and more businesses are starting to feel secure enough to invest in developing innovative and creative products and services. 

Strangely enough, the Chinese population believe that their education system can sometimes stunt creativity. That is why they are looking for foreign talent to come in and help by advising and strengthening ideas. Whilst it is by far not always the case, when it comes to human capital management systems, foreigners are usually found next to creative projects and ideas. Chinese workers tend to be put in positions which need secure, consistent work.

The Quality of Life: The Good

The quality of life in China in 2017 is generally pretty high. Most companies and organisations make sure that their foreign employees are comfortable and enjoy their time in China. This isn’t just due to a culture which aims to please guests and welcome them warmly. It’s also due to the fact that a lot of foreign talent is highly valued. Whilst china’s economic development has meant that foreign talent now has to be of a higher level than it was even a few years ago, an employee which offers something a company can’t find domestically is still highly valued.

It might be because of this that many foreign employees receive several employment perks. For instance, when it comes to Chinese work insurance, foreigners in Beijing are required to pay money into a pension. However, when (and if) they leave China, they can then withdraw that money and take it with them. On top of this, they are also given decent health insurance.

Another great perk for those who work in China is the cost of living. When compared to locals, salaries given to foreigners tend to be higher. That means that it’s more than enough to pay for all your necessities and more. It is possible, however, that you might find yourself running out of money if you only pay for foreign, imported goods.

street market

Daily Life: The Bad

Whilst the job market is genuinely great at the moment, and the cost of living is very low, you’ve probably heard about China’s problems with air quality.  Unfortunately, China’s big cities are sometimes subject to problems with pollution. If you really want to avoid this, head to China’s coastal cities like Shanghai or Guangzhou, where the problem isn’t really that bad.

Final thoughts

China is a great place at the moment. China’s economy is at a point where in China inflation is just at the right level. Increased security has meant great market stability and more companies willing to take risks with creative projects.  China is the new land of opportunity, so do your research, find out what sector you want to be involved in, and come and pour some of your creativity into it.