Working in Guangzhou
- Download our Guangzhou Schools Guide
Guangzhou is a thriving business hub, and expats working there will find themselves in a diverse environment. The city is one of China’s largest seaports and is well situated to be a key manufacturing and export centre. With a growing economy, more foreign investors and expats are working in Guangzhou than ever before.
Job market in Guangzhou
Manufacturing is especially known for attracting expats, but the automotive, petrochemical and electronics sectors are also key to Guangzhou's economy. High-tech assembly industries have drawn a great deal of foreign interest and lured a number of international companies to the city. Many of these companies, in turn, hire expats for their senior positions.
Working in Guangzhou has its challenges. In particular, there are cultural differences to navigate. The Chinese business community is fairly insular and Chinese business people prefer to work with those they know, meaning that a lot of effort is needed to build relationships. In line with this, business meetings and negotiations are generally long, formal and drawn-out processes. The language barrier may be another obstacle for expats who don’t speak at least some Mandarin.
Expats working in Guangzhou may find themselves under a lot of pressure to perform. The Chinese work weeks are long, with the average varying between 40 and 60 hours each week. The working hours and workload tend to be more demanding than many expats are used to.
FInding a job in Guangzhou
As China’s economy moves towards private ownership and away from state-owned businesses, more jobs are made accessible to expats. Some businesses have, however, started turning to expats from elsewhere in Asia who are willing to work for lower wages. Being able to speak Mandarin is increasingly important for foreigners wanting to get ahead of the competition.
Expats often find jobs in textiles, mining, oil, engineering, hospitality, construction, shipbuilding and IT industries. The country's substantial international trade has also meant that the demand for English teachers remains high.