Hey Everyone,

I recently posted something about job prospects in China, called "Opportunity in the Land of Pollution", but feel like there is much more to the story than this. After posting, I looked at the actual numbers concerning employment for foreigners in China, and it looks pretty normal, if not grim. Basically, I found reports of bias, superior industry understanding, declining appeal of foreigners and the like. I said in the post that I was willing to take a risk, but now it's starting to look more like a bet.

To be more specific, I'm looking to get into the Marketing, entertainment or digital media industry. I know this is a bit broad, but I'm keeping my options open and my skills developing since I can't place my faith fully in one sector.

Basically, I want to hear from those of you who have successfully cleared this hurdle of finding a job in China, or anywhere in East Asia for that matter. Did your Chinese help? Which sectors offer the most promise for foreigners? Race aside, which industries in East Asia show the most growth opportunities. 

Again, I know this is very broad, but I'm just trying to get a sense of what it's really like on the ground. If you have or have ever had similar thoughts, please share. 

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Comment by Jim Wu on May 30, 2014 at 10:25pm

You're looking to get into the Marketing, entertainment or digital media industry in China.

Let me express what I thought ,personally.

Firstly,I think you should make clear the merit and demerit of your own. Did you very good at marketing,entertainment ? Frankly ,I don't think so. As a  foreigner, you don't have the same  culture as ours . If you insist , my advice is that you could help a Chinese company to open the over-sea market. That's a good idea, I think. 

Comment by JasonHuang on April 7, 2014 at 2:49pm


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Comment by JasonHuang on April 7, 2014 at 2:28pm

Hello, everyone.

I am a native engineer in Kunshan City, which locates to the west of Shanhai.

As far as I know, most foreigners here work here as a teacher if they are not sent here by their companies.

There huge gap between china and foreign countries like usa or uk or france.

In the not far future, I think these fields would have big opportunities: service around old people, micro or little banks or economics services, industry automation.

the.jason.cn@gmail.com and I will be very glad to communicate with all of you.

thank you.

Comment by Andy on April 7, 2014 at 10:34am

I also have a strong desire to work in China because it would be an adventure for me and my wife, not just a job. The pollution and other negative news you may hear and see should not slow you down on your mission. The way i look at it is that over a billion people are not just surviving but they're *thriving*.

Keep studying and continue to excel in everything you do, good things will happen.

Comment by Brandon on March 31, 2014 at 7:23am

Hey Malak - People are frequently leaving and frequently arriving. I wouldn't worry about it. Mostly overblown in media. And yes air is different in different cities. Shanghai has been less pleasant this year but not as severe as Beijing. Smaller cities can be worse that Beijing so do your research first. Really you just end up buying air filters & fancy masks for bad days and it's sort of like how you carry an umbrella sometimes. Just something you learn to deal with or you leave.

As far as location, it's a tough question as it's really broad topic. I would say that as you get out of major cities, it will be harder for you to find work in anything besides English teaching.

Wikipedia lists city sizes here which can be a guide. For the most part I'd say Guangzhou & Shenzhen are most common where I hear about a foreigner working outside of teaching as they have tech companies / foreign companies. I'd suggest finding some cities you like then searching Twitter & LinkedIN for people who live there. Contact them & say you were thinking of moving there, wanted to ask a few questions. I'm sure some will help.


Based on 2010 census data, the largest cities are the four centrally administered municipalities, which include dense urban areas, suburbs, and large rural areas: Chongqing (28.84 million), Shanghai (23.01 million), Beijing (19.61 million), and Tianjin (12.93 million). Other major Sub-provincial cities are Chengdu (14.04 million), Guangzhou (12.70 million), Harbin (10.63 million), Shenzhen (10.35 million), Wuhan (9.78 million),Qingdao (8.71 million), Hangzhou (8.70 million), Xi’an (8.46 million), Shenyang (8.10 million), Nanjing (8 million), Changchun (7.67 million),Ningbo (7.60 million), Jinan (6.81 million), Dalian (6.69 million), and Xiamen (3.53 million).

Comment by Malak Lopez on March 30, 2014 at 1:37pm

PS - Thanks for your feedback bro, it really helps. 

Comment by Malak Lopez on March 30, 2014 at 1:37pm

Ok, so then it's just like America then? I received a comment from an individual currently living in Beijing who said they there is a mass exodus under way... lots of expats are leaving because its so polluted, but of course that's not all of China. What is it like in Shanghai? 

I suppose my biggest question now is, where can I go that's not a huge developed city? I know there are many places in the west, but are there any destinations that many city dwellers are migrating to? I feel like many places in China are currently "developing", and I'm trying to go to one of those cities. Any insights there? 

Comment by Brandon on March 27, 2014 at 6:33am

Hey Malak -

It mostly depends on what jobs you're willing to accept (low salary/role to start gives a ton of options) & how hard you work to get it. If you're in a major city in China and work hard networking, you can find a job.

If your Chinese is strong enough for casual office / interview, that helps a lot. If you're closer to fluent, then it's no problem. There are tons & tons of foreigners working here. In general those broad articles talk more about big industries where the old norm was a foreigner managing a factory or being a China GM. Those situations are far rarer than before but still leaves tons of room for other jobs at lower levels.

1) Foreign company / brand in China always typically hire mix of nationalities

2) Chinese company with foreign customers / global ambition hire some foreigners usually

3) You can almost always be a teacher as a last resort to 'stay in China' until you find something else.

If you let me know what city you end up in, I might be able to make an introduction or two.

Best of luck! 

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