The labor market in China


The Chinese labor market is quite open to expatriates. Foreign expertise is required in many fields...

Finding a job in China is not easy. First of all, basic knowledge of Mandarin is highly recommended, English is a must. There are not many professional opportunities for foreigners in China. However, foreign expertise is needed in various fields such as catering, tourism, management, finance, trade or technical jobs. Language teachers are also very welcome. Job offers for foreigners in China are mainly designed for executives.  Contact foreign companies operating in China for more information about careers and job offers in the country. 

In terms of geographical distribution of jobs in China, Beijing, Hong Kong (Guangdong province in general), Shanghai and other large cities like Harbin offer many job opportunities and attract many foreign workers. 

Labor laws

Conditions of employment vary greatly depending on your status in China: If you have a work contract with a foreign law firm, you will be subjected to the legislation in force in that country; if you work for a Chinese company, you will be subjected to the Chinese labor legislation in force. The legal working time in China is 40 hours per week. Nevertheless, working overtime is often required without bonus or compensation. Workers in China are granted three weeks holidays per year. Note however, that foreign workers employed in foreign law firms are often granted one or two additional weeks of holidays as part of the “expatriate package”. 


Minimum wages are set locally and may vary from one city to another, sometimes even from a city area to another. If you are working for an international company in China, you will receive a salary comparable to western standards. If you are working for a Chinese company, your wage might be lower. In all cases, you must sign a written employment contract within one month after taking office. Everything should be clearly notified in your contract (salary, holidays, relocation packages, air tickets provided by the company etc.) 

 Useful link:

The Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China

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Member since 01 June 2008
Small earth, Mauritius
1 Comment
2 years ago

Basic knowledge of Chinese is not efficient. In order to receive a proper job it's highly recommended to speak fluent Chinese. Exceptions: CEO, GM roles, engineers, designers. Check it out here


See also

Dalian, China, has a diverse and prosperous economy. Job opportunities are available in various fields such as petrochemicals, distribution, high technologies and financial services.
Tianjin, China, offers numerous professional opportunities for foreigners. Different fields, such as high technologies, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries need foreign expertise.
Suzhou is one of the largest industrial zones in China. Many professional opportunities for foreigners are available in this economically prosperous city.
Jinan, in China, has a developed economy due to the presence of numerous companies which are active in different fields. Technology, industry, food and electronics require manpower.
There are many job opportunities for expatriates in Guangzhou, China. You can be hired in many fields, for instance, industry, high technology, biotechnology, and trade, etc.

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