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Excerpted from the China Career Guide

General Trends

China has the world’s largest population and its second-largest economy (after the US). Slowed by the subdued global economy, China’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product – a measure of a country’s wealth) grew 7.7 percent last year. Although that is the slowest growth in 20 years, China’s economy remains one of the world’s fastest growing. This year, China’s economic growth will likely increase 7.6 percent. And as early as this year, it could very well become the world’s largest economy, surpassing the US. It has been the world’s top exporter since 2010.

Employment Outlook

Critical talent shortages: In China, the demand for highly skilled workers far exceeds the talent pool. The country may face a skills gap of more than 20 million college-educated workers by 2020, according to the most recent Global Talent Competitiveness Index.

High turnover: Employee turnover and skills shortages present some of the greatest challenges businesses in China are facing today. The majority of Chinese workers surveyed by human resources firm Hudson are either actively or passively seeking new jobs.

Areas of Job Promise

More than 13 million jobs were created in China’s urban areas last year. And, while the country’s economic growth has slowed, it is still robust in comparison to other countries. Foreign-invested companies employ most of the expatriates in China.


E-commerce is booming in China. It is not just a way to shop, it is a lifestyle, according to Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba. China boasts nearly 600 million Internet users, and e-commerce growth of more than 70 percent compounded annually. China is about to become the largest e-commerce market in the world. And, it already leads the world in mobile-based e-commerce transactions, according to KPMG. Fueled by mobile devices, e-commerce in China is now m-commerce.

Salary Trends

China’s intense competition for talent continues to drive up wages. Though salary increases were lower last year, they were still among the highest in the Asia-Pacific region.

Wages throughout China may increase on average 10 percent or more this year. Enormous wage gaps exist between rural and urban workers, and between those in large cities and smaller provincial cities. The average salary for graduates from major tier-one cities is approximately 9,100 USD per annum, while those from non-tier-one cities earn an average of 6,400 USD annually.

This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete China Guide.

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