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China's Coming Home and Staying Home, New Study Reveals

China's Coming Home and Staying Home, New Study Reveals

Chinese prefer homegrown career opportunities

BEIJING, July 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- China's booming economy is creating jobs in unprecedented numbers, making more overseas Chinese residents willing to come home for employment opportunities, and sees an increasing reluctance of China's workforce to join the globally mobile work community, according to a recently-released report from Boston Consulting Group, The Network, Zhaopin, and ChinaHR.

China's labor market is witnessing expansion at full speed. Numerous digital jobs in e-commerce, online entertainment, finance, and smart manufacturing are being created. The widespread digitization of business operations in multiple industries and China's government's Project 2035 initiative to become a global innovation leader are expected to create up to 415 million digital-economy jobs in the country by 2035*.

These positive market conditions mean that only one in three Chinese residents is willing to move abroad for work, according to the survey. That is down from 61% who were willing to work abroad in 2014, making China one of the countries with the lowest percentage of mobile respondents in the world. Chinese residents are now among the most reluctant workers anywhere to leave home.

The desire to stay in-country applies particularly to people with especially sought-after skills and profiles, including people younger than age 30. Only 34% of young Chinese are willing to move abroad for a job, far below the global average of 62%. In addition, just 51% of Chinese who are highly educated, with a master's degree or doctorate or the equivalent, would be willing to leave the country for a job, compared with a global average of 61%.

Indeed, China's strong economy now makes it a bigger draw as a country to relocate to for a job than in the past. China is now the 20th most popular destination worldwide, according to the survey's respondents. That's a rise from 2014, when China was number 29.  China's overall attractiveness helped make its major cities more popular as well. In 2018, Bei­jing is the 41st most popular choice for people willing to move abroad for a job, compared with 67th in 2014, according to the survey.

China's booming economy and expanding labor market also means that overseas Chinese are showing increasing willingness to come home. Survey respondents most interested in mov­ing to China come from several Southeast Asian regions, including Hong Kong, Singa­pore, Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea.

Many of the es­timated 50 mil­lion ethnic Chi­nese living outside China make their homes in those regions. The geographic proximity and, in some areas, shared ethnicity, language, and culture could make relocating for work easier for residents there. China is also a top destination for re­spondents from Pakistan, South Africa, Pan­ama, Uzbekistan, and Australia.

"This study reflects and reinforces the changing trends we have been observing in China's workplace for the past half-decade," said Eugene Sun, Zhaopin's Head of Strategy and Corporate Development. "Zhaopin's survey indicates that the largest obstacle overseas returnees are facing is their lack of knowledge about recruiting trends and opportunities in China. This is precisely where Zhaopin is uniquely positioned to help them."

The study is part of a series of reports, Decoding Global Talent 2018, based on a survey of 366,000 workers in 197 countries by The Boston Consulting Group, The Network, and (in China) Zhaopin and ChinaHR. This series aims to research and analyze trends in the global talent market. To access the full article, please visit

Editor's Note:
* SOURCE: Year 2035: 400 Million Job Opportunities in the Digi­tal Age, BCG report, March 2017.

For more information, please contact:

Zhaopin Limited
Ms. Serena Sun

ICR Beijing
Mr. Edmond Lococo
Phone: +86 10 6583-7510

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