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Top 5 Cities for Foreigners Working in China

It doesn’t matter if you are from the US, Malaysia, Pakistan, or Russia. There are many opportunities for foreign workers in China. So today, we are looking at the top 5 Chinese cities for foreign workers. Let’s get started!


Top 5: Guangzhou


The city is the main manufacturing hub of the Pearl River Delta, one of China’s leading commercial and manufacturing regions.

In 2017, Guangzhou’s GDP hit 2.15 trillion RMB or around $335 Billion USD. According to the local government, in 2014, the total population of foreigners living in Guangzhou was 118,000. Many of these people are engaged in international trade and the vast majority of foreign workers are Asians and Europeans.


Guangzhou has seen hi-tech enterprises flourish, including many Fortune 500 companies. A number of industry leading companies such as Foxconn, Cisco, GE, BeiGene, and GAC have a presence in the city. This city is a great place to start your career or seek a promotion!


Top 4: Shenzhen


The city, which is roughly the same economic size as Singapore and Hong Kong, recorded nominal output of 2.2 trillion yuan or around $338 billion USD in 2017 thanks to its booming hi-tech sector.


Over 40 percent of the output came from “innovative” businesses such as internet, biotech and telecom. Starting as a small fishing village in the 1980’s, Shenzhen has grown from a small town into a hi-tech mega city with 12 million people and a group of leading Chinese tech firms, including internet giant Tencent, telecom Huawei and drone maker DJI.

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Many Foreigners working in Shenzhen are engineers, scientists, or entrepreneurs. With the Chinese government’s focus on hi-tech sectors and innovation; Shenzhen is attracting many startups and foreign tech companies looking to capitalize on local talent and access to fast prototyping. The speed of Shenzhen is like nothing else in the world!


Top 3: Hong Kong


Hong Kong has long been a great place for foreigners and foreign companies to set up shop in China. Often seen as a safer and more established economy, Hong Kong has been the doorway into China’s mainland for many years.


Foreigners that are interested in international banking and finance should consider living and working in Hong Kong. Although the costs of living are higher, many jobs in Hong Kong offer better starting salaries and more opportunities for foreign employees.


Top 2: Beijing


The capital city is a major center for learning in China. It is home to some of the best universities in the country and a large number of government offices; and many foreigners work in education, government affairs, and more recently in startups.

With all the universities and government offices in Beijing, there is a high demand for education professionals. From teaching embassy employees’ children to lecturing at universities, there are many foreigners working in the field of education. Along with educational jobs, there are many embassies and NGOs working in Beijing to help solve problems and bridge the gaps between China and their home country.


And finally, many computer scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs have recently been attached to the ZhongGuanCun area thanks to governmental support. The government is actively promoting the area for hi-tech startups and offering different incentives for businesses looking to create the next WeChat or Alibaba.

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Top 1: Shanghai


That’s right, Shanghai has it all. A clean environment, high salaries, reasonable cost of living, international companies, reliable transportation; and Shanghai is a regional travel hub, so, what more could an international citizen ask for in a city?


Shanghai has a little bit of everything, from international finance and manufacturing to education and startups, this city really is a great place for foreigners looking to grow their careers, while also experiencing a new culture.


With cheap international flights and great job opportunities, we put Shanghai at the top of our list!


So, what do you think about Chinese cities? Have you lived in any of these cities?

Let us know what you think of our list and which cities you might add!

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