PHBS Holds Workshop for Int’l Students on Developing a Career in China

China’s miraculous economic growth has amazed people all over the world. Everyone has witnessed the stunning speed of development and change. But few have responded by recognizing how China also presents an opportunity to similarly accelerate their own growth.  Job opportunities for foreigners in China have exploded, especially in the emerging industries of technology and innovation. To tap into this job market, you must understand it.

On January 6, the International Office organized a Career Development Workshop with two experts in the field of foreigner career development for the Chinese job market. Lynia Li, consulting manager at HiredChina, spoke on “Job Opportunities and Convenience of Life in China,” and Betty Zhang, CEO of Valueplus Consulting Ltd, delivered a highly pragmatic talk titled, “Chinese Work Visa Issues that International Students Care About Most.”

PHBS international students all over the world joined the online event. Assistant Dean for International Affairs, Professor Joon Young Park, opened the event by emphasizing just how important the information the speakers have to share is for the many international students interested in developing their career in China.

Job Opportunities in China

To begin her talk, Ms. Li described the dramatic growth of China’s job market over the last few years. She provided data regarding the significant increase of foreigners who enter China. In 2018, 140 million foreigners entered China. In 2019, this increased to 420 million foreigners. Work permits have seen a corresponding rise: from 336,000 in 2018 to 413,000 in 2019.  During her talk, Ms. Li mentioned that most foreigners work in manufacturing enterprises, cross-border e-commerce, the gaming industry, communication, and the training industry.

She explained that the main barrier for Chinese companies recruiting foreign talents is the lack of channels and platforms. However, HiredChina has responded to this problem and positioned itself as a useful platform for recruiting foreign talent. Currently, HiredChina has over 350k foreign followers and 720k monthly views on their GIC expat app. Ms. Li shared useful information about the job market in China for expatriates.

The main question regarding job opportunities in China was related to Chinese language requirements for expats. According to Ms. Li, HSK 4 level is quite vital for average job positions, while higher levels are better and will help you become a higher earner.

Considering a Visa after Graduation

Several central factors regarding visa procedures were the main theme of the next talk by Ms. Betty Zhang, CEO of Valueplus Consulting Ltd.

She explained the three types of visas that help foreign graduates stay in China: stay permit, business visa and entrepreneurship permit. The stay permit is only for 30 days and cannot be renewed. Even though it is also a short duration of merely 30-90 days, the business visa (M) is likely more appealing because it can be renewed. However, individuals with an M visa cannot work or receive a salary. This type of visa is used when a company invites an applicant from overseas for a short period. Next, there is the entrepreneurship permit, available in Shenzhen and throughout Guangdong province. This permit is valid  for 1 year and has the possibility of an extension. It is only available for recent graduates of Chinese universities. Those who wish to apply for the permit must submit a start-up business plan. The difficulty with this option is the lack of clear information regarding evaluation and standards by the government. Ms. Zhang’s most recommended way of staying in China to develop a career after graduation was through acquiring a work permit. A work permit allows expats to work for the long term. Work permits are done by companies on the behalf of employees. HR or external agencies, help potential employees handle the procedures for the work permit. However, the difficulty with this option is you must find a job to transition to quickly after graduation.

It was clear from the enthusiastic engagement of the participants that students have a strong interest to work in China after graduation. Unfortunately, due to current pandemic prevention measures, it is very difficult for those outside China to get a work visa.

Still, there is much hope that the situation will greatly improve in 2021 and it will be easier to access the Chinese job market again. When that time comes, CEOs and recruiters in China should be prepared for many impressive and motivated PHBS international students ready to take on their next challenge!

Written by Ulvi Jafarli