Expat job market in China slows

07 Jan 2013

Expat executive positions in China are now more difficult to land. According to a poll by the Association of Executive Search Consultants, 53% of respondents now found it difficult to find an executive level job in the country.

Over a third had problems with developing a professional network, 32% found the language barrier reduced their chances of executive employment and 29% cited rival local talent taking potential expat jobs.

Almost three-quarters of those polled said foreign-born executives now have far less change of gainful employment in China. Many Chinese graduates are choosing Western universities for their Masters’ degrees, achieving competence in the English language and Western business techniques along with their qualifications.

In addition, more local Chinese are taking jobs in the West before returning to China, giving them the experience to cope with executive positions formerly reserved for expats. As a result, a number of those surveyed noticed the narrowing gap between higher-paid expat wages and those of their Chinese counterparts.

A new law requiring foreign workers to pay social welfare taxes and compelling employers to foot a large part of the expense has further reduced incentives to employ expats if local executive-level staff can be found.

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