Finding work in China


China’s booming economy offers abundant opportunities for expats wishing to head off the beaten track and explore Asia’s unique lifestyle. Whether you are in search of a new long-term career or just looking for a change of pace with a part time job, here’s what you need to know about working in China.

First and foremost, in order to work in China legally, you will need to obtain a Chinese working visa (Z Visa).

There are typically two scenarios when looking for a job in China. You can either work for a company in your home country that has an office in China (preferred) or look for a job in China itself. Whatever the case, you will first need to get a valid job offer from a local or foreign company in China.

Start by sending out your updated CV and references to foreign companies in China or check in with the companies in your home country that have offices there. When invited to work for a foreign company in China, you are likely to benefit from the so-called “expatriate package” that comes with a number of advantages like a relocation package, health insurance, housing allowance, salary paid in foreign currency and so on. You will also be able to enjoy all western holidays (like Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year and more).

With that said, working for a Chinese company comes with benefits of its own. You will get to immerse yourself into the local environment, get more Chinese language practice and an insight into the workings of a local office. Additionally, with more and more expats working in China, a lot of local companies have adapted to “foreign” requirements and offer contracts that are quite “expat-friendly”.

Job search in China

The most efficient way to look for a job in China is through the web. There are hundreds of websites dedicated to employment abroad in general and employment in China specifically. If you already have a city in mind, focus on the websites displaying job vacancies in that specific city.

Visit or contact the embassy of your home country in China to get more information about teaching jobs opportunities. You can also get useful information by contacting the economic missions or chambers of commerce of your country established in China.

With regards to your application, adapt your CV to Chinese standards by putting the emphasis on your qualifications and education (degrees are highly valued by employers in China) as well as on your English, Mandarin and other language skills. Put forward your ambition and your motivation in line with the job you are applying for and attach a cover letter. Typically, applications are sent in English. However, if your Mandarin skills allow it, having your CV and cover letter in Chinese will surely impress your potential employer.

Once in China, focus on developing your contacts. Networking is very important in China. Referred to locally as “guanxi”, it is basically a system of influential relationships, which facilitate business and other dealings. It’s always a good idea to prepare your business cards in both English and Chinese to make your area of expertise instantly clear to potential local employers. Take the time to attend business conferences, professional meet-ups and exhibitions to expand your career opportunities.

 Useful links :

Linked In
China Hot
51 jobs
European chamber of commerce in China

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
Recommend Your favourite team
Member since 01 June 2008
Small earth, Mauritius
Milos Sijacki
Milos Sijacki
7 months ago

I'm a certified English language teacher, with a University Degree and Master of Arts in Philology Certificate. Do I need a TESOL certificate to teach English in China?

last year

Don't forget the job sites Zhaopin,, and Daje as they are very popular in China!

6 years ago

One of the job sites i found to be rather usefull was ( go to about us and then job/internship opportunities). Found my own job there but because its so hidden away better chance to land the job ;)

7 years ago

Thank you so much for the resource links you provided in your article. I intend to put these to good use. I am looking for a teaching job in China. I just received my TESOL certification from and hope this new certification will give me the edge. Anyway, finding so many useful resources in one article in hard to find. Thanks once again.


See also

Want to become a digital nomad in China? The digital nomad's guide to China will help you make the most of your nomadic life abroad.
Expatriates in China are allowed to set up different types of businesses in the country, however there may be variations in requirements by province.
Shenzhen is a city with a growing economy in Guangdong. It is popular not only for its job opportunities, but thanks to its proximity with Hong Kong.
Guangzhou has a number of special economic areas, as well as a free-trade zone that attract businesses. It also hosts the largest trade fair in China.
To be hired in China, you must have a good command of English and knowledge of Mandarin. You also need expertise which is not available locally.