More expats leave within 5 years

By Wang Yitong Source:Global Times Published: 2013-8-26 20:48:01


Some foreigners are willing to take work at low wages to help develop their career. Photo:  CFP

Some foreigners are willing to take work at low wages to help develop their career. Photo: CFP

 A large number of foreigners are crowding into China to pursue jobs. According to a previous report in the Global Times, over 200,000 foreigners are working in China, a number that has been increasing annually by 10 percent since 2000.

The foreigners at the top of the job-hunting pyramid have an enviable revenue and live a rich life, while most of the foreigners, like ordinary Chinese people, have to work for peanuts in a variety of places. Many of them will stay in China  permanently. But a recent report from YourCareerChina shows that more than 60 percent foreigners will leave for their country after staying in China for less than 5 years.

The reason for the short stays varies from person to person, but many treat their experience in China as a stepping-stone for their future career.

First-hand experience in one of the largest economies in the world bestows the expats, especially those who just graduated, added value to compete with others. In order to gain this exclusive experience in China, many expats are willing to compromise on their salaries. The report from YourCareerChina shows that the salary of a foreign graduate in China is about 50,000 yuan per year, lower than one might think.

Leo, a 26-year-old Singaporean, is one of these students. As a junior at Beijing Foreign Studies University, he is now working as an assistant in a foreign trade company for around 3,000 yuan a month. "The work experience here is what really matters to me," he said. Leo added that he would stay in China for a few years before heading back home to start his own foreign trade business.

He thinks working in China will make him more competitive back to Singapore. "As China is one of Asia's economic centers, we will spare no efforts in learning how to do business in China."

"However, staying in China for longer now is not an easy thing because of the visa policy," he added.

Many people like Leo are willing to stay in China for a few years and then go back to their own countries.

Dawn Huang, founder and CEO of YourCareerChina Consulting Company Ltd., an organization that specializes in offering personnel service and advice to international candidates in China, told the Global Times, "China's emerging market provides foreigners with job opportunities for new career development."

Huang said that many young graduates take over their family business doing foreign trade after their short studies in China.

"Meanwhile, many expats regard their stay in China as invaluable because the expats who have worked in China tend to easily find a satisfactory job in their countries,"she said.

However, she warns, "Many foreigners doing work in China are forced to leave because their visas expire."

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