China Revealed: A Closer Look 06.17.2024 | Avrom Goldberg

Why are all eyes on China right now? The country boasts one heck of a “comeback story” (and who doesn’t love a good story), shifting from a period of significantly slowed growth starting almost a decade ago to today’s era of renewed prosperity.

Despite enduring a profound property sector crisis, tempered GDP growth, ongoing geopolitical tensions, and the lasting impacts of severe COVID-related restrictions, China holds great economic significance as a global growth engine. And currently, it maintains its place as the world’s second-largest economy. Factors such as advancements in infrastructure, a growing middle class with increased purchasing power, and the country’s strategic focus on digital and green transformations have made China an attractive destination for global talent and investment while empowering domestic entities to expand internationally.

Naturally, we were keen to look deeper into how this period of transition is impacting mobility into, out of, and within China, which led to our recent study, China Revealed: The Present & Future State of Mobility.

This is the first study in almost a decade to uncover current challenges, leading policy and program administration practices, and expectations for the future state of talent attraction, recruitment and retention for companies investing in China’s growth. We couldn’t resist sharing some of the key takeaways in our first teaser blog post. Now, here we are, back with even more:

1. Talent Considerations Driving Mobility

“Talent Development,” “Knowledge/Tech Transfer,” and “Filling Talent Shortages” overwhelmingly feature as the top three mobility drivers for both inbound and outbound China mobility.

For Inbound mobility, the need for specific skill sets and talent in China remains strong. For Outbound mobility, these findings point to China’s status as a source of talent export and talent brokering for global companies. This somewhat debunks speculation about China’s diminishing importance in the global business environment. Many companies see China not only as a talent source but also as a destination for the career development of Chinese and foreign nationals.

2. China’s Tier 1 cities continue to dominate as inbound mobility destinations.

86% of companies report all or most of their inbound China activity into Tier 1 cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen). Why? Companies and their employees are drawn to these destinations due to the availability of higher-salary job opportunities, ease of access to international imports (creature comforts, if you will), more educational options for expat families, and superior medical facilities.

3. Domestic Mobility in China Continues to Evolve

Less than half of respondents (43%) have domestic China mobility in their global mobility program. 71% of these believe they have well-defined policies and processes for domestic China mobility, and 95% of these respondents indicate that domestic mobility programs are regarded as “Important” or “Very important” within their China business. Respondent sentiment indicates that domestic mobility in China continues to transform, with more advanced policies, programs, and practices that mirror their global domestic counterparts.


And that’s just scratching the surface! Dive into the full, freshly launched research report here, and discover the critical insights every growing company needs to ensure that your China mobility strategy stacks up against some of the leading players in the global marketplace.

Click here to download the research report.

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Written by Avrom Goldberg

A widely-recognized expert on global talent mobility, Avrom is the Senior Vice President, Global Client Services for the EMEA, APAC and LATAM regions. He has written extensively on Asia Pacific mobility trends and best practices for such publications as China Staff magazine, HRM China, Human Capital Hong Kong, Bo Le Journal for Strategic Management, Mobility magazine and HR World. Avrom was twice distinguished by The Forum for Expatriate Management, having won the EMMA award for “Outstanding Contribution to APAC Global Mobility” and “Global Mobility Professional of the Year.”

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