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gerri

"Long-timers" in China: What kind of work?

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gerri

I have been wondering:

On the one hand, even if married to a local, you don't get a visa for a longer time or that allows you to work (technically). On the other hand, some non-Chinese citizens have been living in China for a long time.

Especially with those who are not job nomads, e.g. because they are married and therefore want to stay in one place, I'd be curious to know what kinds of work you do: For Chinese employers or foreign, or self-employed? Something professional you studied, or work you happened to come across? ...?

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paike

International schools, programs to ready chinese students to go abroad, full/part time at language schools, toefl/sat/gre/itsles training.

If you JUST want to make money and think working 35-45 hours a week is reasonable, with some weekends, you can save 20k a year, easy. More if you get into the real money makers. No business.

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muyongshi

I don't get why money is brought up ALL the time. For some people they just want to live here.

A lot of people I know that have lived/stayed long term are those that either married a Chinese, keep a job teaching English, or have opened their own business. But I do represent a very limited demographic.

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anonymoose
I don't get why money is brought up ALL the time.

Because money is what makes the world go round.

Or, as the Chinese like to say: 钱不是万能的,但是没有钱是万万不能的。

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gerri

I just want to live here, too. But making a living is a part of it - especially should I marry here, I think my wife would want me to hold a job. And as long as I'm not married, I need work to have my residence permit...

Notice I asked about kinds of work, not schemes to get gloriously rich (though if you want to get married and you go by the Chinese attitude towards it, you need enough money to buy a house and car, which is not all that little, so ...)

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xianhua
Notice I asked about kinds of work, not schemes to get gloriously rich (though if you want to get married and you go by the Chinese attitude towards it, you need enough money to buy a house and car, which is not all that little, so ...)

And don't forget your payment to the in-laws. My rant is at the end of this:

http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/2-favourite-chinese-musician8226

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wushijiao

In the Mainland, I would say 95% of the long-term expats I met were in education. So, I may not be correct on that, but it seems that all long-term expats are in that, or some niche industry (such as, being an expert tool modeler, or something). So, it seems to me, you can either go into education, or try to go into a niche industry, which might require a decent level of expertise.

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anonymoose

I think it depends on which city you go to. In the second-tier cities, as a previous poster mentioned, most jobs are in education (English teaching) and most people doing those jobs are not well qualified. On the other hand, in Shanghai there are many more opportunities, and I'd estimate only the minority are in education. However, many people are sent by their companies from their own country, so have less control over how long they will be here, or even if they can get here in the first place, but the wages tend to be good. The others find jobs here, but wages tend to be more in line with local standards, which are much less than you could get in education. Hence, most people in that position would choose teaching. (This applies mainly to native English speakers. Speakers of other languages tend to have a much lower proportion in education.)

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wushijiao
On the other hand, in Shanghai there are many more opportunities, and I'd estimate only the minority are in education. However, many people are sent by their companies from their own country, so have less control over how long they will be here, or even if they can get here in the first place, but the wages tend to be good.

I'd agree with that (minority in education), but- 1) how many people sent by their companies end up as long-term China expats? (it seems that many stay for a few months or a year or two, and then go home. And even if they do stay, they often live in expat communities in Shanghai and live in a separate world from most Chinese. Nothing wrong with that per se, but I had a feeling the poster wasn't referring to that originally). 2) To what extent can Shanghai be seen as the norm for China? On the one hand, it's not at all representative, obviously. But on the other hand, it is a place that many could find a career while living in the Mainland, so it's worth bringing up. :D

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simonlaing

I used to think if people stayed more than a year they were long-timers.

I am currently counting down the years til I get a green card (courtesy of the wife I met here)

I live in the second tier kick-ass city of Nanjing. Nanjing will not rival Shanghai, but that's ok.

Most of the integrated foreigners here are in teaching.(some have openned their own schools or are the managers of schools so do a fair amount of business stuff but are still in education)

Of the none teaching jobs, I have a couple of friends who run export businesses of their own. A canadian who sells gates and farming supplies, a Polish friend who imports polish amber jewelry and exports camping supplies to Europe.

4 friends in Quality control or traveling to factories 3-5 days a week.Clothing textiles, to electronics, steel rolling machines to dog food treats. The traveling can be brutal flying at crazy times or taking really long road trips.

A run other businesses like western food restuarants, bakeries, French Bus service (Everything from the buses, the fares charged and routes is regulated it is just owned and run by the french company.)

Certain number of enginneers but they move about, (Ship builders also polish, and subway engineers and architects). With the slow down and less goods to ship, the Ship building is slowing down. The subway business is booming, espicially as one french subway company got blackballed as a result of the French protesters messing with the Olympic torch.

So there are lots of long term jobs. I was doing PR for a solar company before I got laid off. Before that I did some translation, (not the people person job I dreamt of).

Now I am back to teaching for the moment....and studying Chinese again.)

What did the OP have in mind for a job?

Have fun,

Simon:)

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James Johnston
I am currently counting down the years til I get a green card (courtesy of the wife I met here)

Simon, are you confident you will be able to get the 'green card'? I was under the impression that, while marriage to a Chinese citizen plus five years in China fulfils the minimum requirement for an application, there is no automatic entitlement and the award of the card is at the discretion of the government. I understood that the reality is that few people have been awarded the green card on the basis of marriage and residence alone. Do you know something different? Or do you have great connections?

I'm very interested to know, because the lack of clarity over the de facto rules by which green cards are actually awarded makes forward planning very difficult.

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gerri
What did the OP have in mind for a job?

I am teaching - no surprise.

I'm not teaching in the field(s) I studied for, but in languages (though not English).

My education and career plans were for going into academia/teaching, however, so I'm actually - more or less - where I wanted to be, except for having to see about further career opportunities (since China isn't exactly the place for something like tenure-track positions for foreigners - but then again, that's more of a pipe dream most anywhere, anyways, and also dependent on publications, research work, and all that...).

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simonlaing

The few other foreigner friends I have found that it was fairly routine. The big deal is that you now have a visa that is for 10 years long and the Green card lets you get in line with the Chinese Nationals at the airport.

(Nanjing is fairly foreigner friendly (occasional grudges against Japanese not withstanding)) .

The two people I know who have them, one started his own restaurant and the other is the vice-principal of a high school. Both have kids. The Restaurant guy's wife has a green card to the US which she has to go back to the US once a year to keep current. The US green card seems like the one that is more annoying to keep current.

I think it is the green card for people that start million dollar companies in China that are less automatic and more about how many party members you know.

I have been in an out of china now for about 8 years.

I don't have great connections, so I might be wrong about the green card but from my friends experiences it is not hard to get if you go the marriage route.

Good luck,

Simon:)

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