Are Expat Jobs in China all Going to Locals?
For an expats in China, this question is a critical one. Most multinational companies do well in China by playing by China’s rules. One of these is that while initially the management can be composed of quite a few expats, in the long run most of the management should be composed of local Chinese talent. Many China expats end up teaching the very skills required for their jobs to the people replacing them. In the long run, then, most expat jobs in China should go the way of the State Owned Enterprise. Do you agree?
What should a job-seeking expat in China do?
So where does this leave expats who are looking for job opportunities in China? Well, for one thing, more and more multinationals are making their way into China these days. Recent entrants include large retailers like Home Depot, Best Buy, Ikea, Staples (Billboard ads for Staples abound in China), and many others, who are all either fighting tooth and nail to place a stake in the Chinese market, or at least getting ready to do so.
Also, as mentioned before here, the banking industry in China will hopefully be inundated with foreign banks starting next year, with the opening up of the Chinese banking industry to the rest of the world.
Working for Chinese firms: Move to Shanghai
Beyond this, it seems more and more local Chinese firms are willing to take on expat talent. But outside of mid to upper level management and engineering positions, most of these jobs seem to be concentrated in Shanghai. China Solved has a very well written piece on this issue on the Shanghai market here: What does “localization” really mean? The article takes a holistic perspective of talent in Shanghai and shows that both the quality, and price, of employees in Shanghai is on the rise (except for expats in Shanghai, who seem to see their salaries slowly falling).
So it looks more and more like my next stop will either be back home to the states, or to Shanghai. This is where the most jobs for expats in China lie.
Are expat jobs in China going away?
So what do you think? Are expat jobs in China all being localized? If so, how long will it take before the only jobs for foreigners in China are English teaching positions?