Lucrative Freelancing Jobs in China (a Complete Guide)

by | Oct 1, 2022 | 0 comments

Working on freelancing projects in China

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The combination of Covid-19 and the rise of technological progress has amplified the popularity of freelance work all over the world.

Expats living in China no longer have to rely on local industries to find work, either full-time or part-time to make extra income. They can find it online. But knowing which job path to take and how to utilize an online billing system can be an overwhelming prospect.

Need some help? No problem.

In this article, we take a closer look at some of the highest paying freelance jobs in China and how you can create an invoice template that gets you paid correctly and on time.

Freelancer with laptop working on a project in China

The Chinese Freelance Market Is Growing Stronger By The Day

China has a very organized and efficient labor system, so freelancing only became a mainstream concept in the mid-2000s. However, once it took root, the local Chinese freelance market has continued to grow stronger every year.

Both local Chinese citizens and international tourists are making good use of the active freelance market, hiring themselves out for everything from transcription to IT support.

In 2022, there are a few freelancer jobs that tend to get more attention than the rest. But each one requires a slightly different approach to invoice customization, which is a crucial part of any successful freelancing career.

As a rule of thumb, all freelance invoices should include:
  • Your name, address, contact number, and logo
  • The client’s details
  • Relevant starting and completion dates
  • List of services provided
  • Respective rates for those services
  • The rate method (hourly or project-based)
  • Total amount owed (with tax if relevant)
  • Payment options and payment due date
The following five freelance roles represent some of the most popular jobs in the market—each matched with information on a corresponding invoice template and how to customize it to suit your needs. Once you’ve set up your invoice template, you can use it for every job you complete, adjusting the details accordingly.

Freelancer is teaching English to a Chinese kid

1. Teaching English

Teaching English is by far one of the most popular freelancing jobs in China right now. People of all ages want to learn this language. So, whether you work with children and teach basic foundational English, with teens who need real-world practice and can already speak the language, or with adults who want to learn business English, there are plenty of opportunities. The growing market for this service suggests that this won’t change anytime soon.

You can become an English teacher relatively easily in China. Generally, all you need is proof of English being your native language and some credentials to show you have experience in a basic teaching environment (online or in real life). Programs like TEFL come in very handy here.

Customizing an English teaching invoice: Invoices of this nature typically involve an hourly rates system as opposed to a project-based one. Besides all the standard invoice information, your invoice template should feature space for a thorough outline of the hours spent working, as well as the name of the clients who hired you to do the work.

2. Copywriting and Editing

Copywriting continues to rank at the top of most countries’ freelance markets. Foreigners who speak English are able to easily tap into the demand for creating content and editing it.

As China becomes increasingly more modernized and internationally adjacent, people who have experience in writing and editing content already have something very valuable to offer the Chinese freelance market. From social media posts to script editing, writers are in a lucrative line of work.

Customizing a copywriting invoice: Writers need invoice templates that follow a simple, structured format and allow for the insertion of multiple billable tasks. You’ll need a row for each item or project you’ve worked on, plus lines for information relating to word count, hourly rate, etc.

Because freelance writing and editing jobs tend to take varying lengths of time, it’s a good idea to send a precursory invoice outlining your rates, estimated completion dates, and anything else that may be relevant to your work practice. That way, you protect both your own and your temporary employer’s interests.

3. Front-End Web Development

There is a high demand for front-end web development in countries all over the world, and China is no exception. As businesses rely increasingly heavily on websites to attract clientele, freelance front-end web developers will have work no matter where they are in the world.

In China, the requirements for front-end developers typically entail 4+ years of industry experience, commitment to longer-term projects, and experience working with Scrum and Kanban teams. Like with most freelance jobs, portfolio content also plays a vital role in popularity.

Customizing a web development invoice: Freelance web development invoices are relatively standard and should include all the basic information about your hours, rates, relevant dates, and the nature of the work produced. For this line of work, though, remember to include a section for time extensions.

4. Data Analytics And Security

Much like web development, data security is becoming one of the most sought-after freelance jobs in the world. And it’s easy to understand why. China has a booming start-up and IT sector and subsequently needs thorough, professional protection for online systems and sites that handle private data.

Most of the responsibilities ascribed to data analysts or security officers in China include tasks like data classification, encryption, cybersecurity preventative strategy, and data security impact assessments. Customizing a data security invoice: Data security is a very important role in any company, so you want to make your invoices as thorough as possible. Having a detailed invoice template that you can adjust per job is ideal, as it ensures you don’t leave out any valuable information.

In this line of work, you may also want to consider securing a deposit for bigger projects that you know will require intensive hours.

Finding Freelance Work In China

There’s no doubt that freelancing has changed the way civilization approaches work forever. As the Chinese freelancing industry continues to grow, talented self-employed expats like you might need some support in finding work that suits your skills.

Even though speaking Mandarin as a foreigner certainly upgrades your potential for earning (locals will always prefer hiring freelancers who can be communicated with, even if it is on basic terms), you can still find freelance work in China as a native English speaker.

From teaching English to data security, anyone can tap into China’s bustling freelance sector and earn a good living while doing so.

image of a cute little alien asking for advice
Have you worked as a freelancer in China before? What are the typical projects you’ve been involved with. Make sure to share your own thoughts on how to effectively get yourself a great freelancing job while beign in China.