Foreigners prefer to work in China’s new first-tier cities



With favorable policies and improving career environment, the Chinese mainland has been luring more global talents.

According to Taiwan media, foreign expats no longer confine themselves in working in big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. Rather, smaller cities are their top choices to stay.

Headquarter of Internet giant Alibaba in Hangzhou, the capital of east China's Zhejiang Province.

Compared with traditional first-tier cities, foreigners are more willing to live in cities like Ningbo, Hangzhou and Nanjing in east China. Last year, Hangzhou attracted most foreign expats among all cities in the mainland, of 8.9 percent.

Global career social media platform LinkedIn says cities of “highly international” and “highly friendly environment to foreigners” are the two key factors that would affect foreigners’ choice in regard to where they would like to work.

28 percent of foreigners interviewed say multicultural environment is their most important consideration.

Night view of Ningbo in east China's Zhejiang Province.

According to the State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs, foreign experts paid more than 3 million visits to China between 2011 and 2015, either for short trips or long-term employment, a 30 percent increase compared with 2006 to 2010.

At the same time, since the green card scheme was introduced in 2004, about 7,000 foreigners have been granted permanent residency in the following ten years, whereas some 600,000 foreigners were estimated to have lived in China during the period.

The number of cards issued has risen significantly in recent years, with 1,576 foreigners approved for permanent residency last year, almost doubled than a year ago.