Career advancement, greater affluence coupled with an exciting culture makes China an attractive destination for expats according to the fifth annual NatWest International Personal Banking Quality of Life Index.
Despite major cultural differences and language barriers some 63% of British expats believe China is a foreign friendly country and the people are welcoming and open, the report reveals.
The majority of British expats living in China are on work assignments of which 37% are teaching English in schools and universities. Of those working and living in China, 35% view their decision to relocate in positive terms and are happy they made the jump.
When it comes to living the dream, 69% like the career advancement China offers them and the affluence they have achieved through increased earnings, with 86% enjoying higher salaries.
Expats moving to China over the past decade can be segmented into three categories. The first are those sent to China by major multinational companies, the second are those who moved to China to study and the third segment are those who chose to focus on teaching English.
The top benefit is an affluent lifestyle, according to 87% of expats, with 74% saying it is increased cross cultural awareness, 72% naming being able to live in a society where there is a high level of trust, 63% saying it is the foreigner friendly attitude and 31% citing the opportunity for travel, the report also says.
When it comes to dislikes, 63% of British expats state overcrowding as a problem, while 72% it’s the pollution which causes them concern. Restricted internet access and the Chinese media are also cited as dislike factors. The major hurdles they face are focused on language difficulties, with 96% stating this as an issue and 87% believing cultural differences are a challenge.
‘The emergence of China as a world trade crusader certainly seems to have enticed British expats in search of their fortune. With a wealth of career opportunities and high salaries, China seems to be a magnet to British expats. Our report shows that almost two thirds of expats believe China to be foreigner friendly which is so vital when living abroad. Whilst expats will, of course, attempt to blend into new communities, a warm welcome helps the process tenfold,’ said Dave Isley, head of NatWest International Personal Banking.
Teaching is currently the top employment for expats with 37% in this profession, followed by 19% in finance, accounting, banking and insurance, 15% in IT, 12% in healthcare, 7% in architecture, real estate and construction, 6% in production, engineering and manufacturing and 4% in sales and marketing.