China Mobility 3.0: Your First Look 06.3.2024 | Avrom Goldberg

Since the new millennium, China has experienced an economic growth trajectory that rivals any other nation in modern times. The expansion of China’s economy spurred numerous opportunities for businesses and individuals alike, attracting foreign companies and expatriates seeking to capitalize on the country’s new market opportunities. Conversely, the economic prosperity has also enabled Chinese companies and individuals to invest abroad, thus facilitating outbound relocation. 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.

Since 2015, the country has endured an era of transition and transformation marked by a slower rate of growth. Yet, the nation still holds great economic significance as a global growth engine, holding its place as the world’s second-largest economy. Naturally, we were keen to dig deeper into how this period of transition is impacting mobility into, out of, and within China, which led to our recent study, China 3.0.

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. While the full report is to be released next month, we couldn’t resist sharing some of the key takeaways:

1.       China Maintains Influence on Company Growth Strategies

As the survey data reflects, ongoing geopolitical tensions and the repercussions of COVID-related restrictions continue to impact global mobility into, out of, and within China. However, 78.5% of survey participants feel that China’s role in their company’s growth strategy today is the same or more significant than before the pandemic, suggesting that most respondents are confident that China will continue participating in the worldwide movement of talent and will keep its place as the world’s second-largest economy.

2.       Volume Recovery Anticipated for all Forms of Global Mobility Touching China 

Most respondents expect inbound volume to China to return to the same or similar levels immediately before the pandemic. The outlook for volume steadiness or growth in China Outbound and China Domestic moves is even more positive, with important subtleties detailed in the report. 51% of respondents believe that global mobility activity inbound into China will go back to either the same or similar levels pre-pandemic and 14% expect global mobility activity to grow from pre-COVID levels.

3.       Cost is the Dominant Challenge for all Mobility Directions

Over half of the respondents identify costs as the #1 Challenge faced in all three directional mobility categories: Inbound, Outbound and Domestic. The survey data underscores the challenge companies face managing vs. cutting mobility costs effectively while maintaining the quality of the employee experience.


And that’s just scratching the surface! Stay tuned for even more critical takeaways from this groundbreaking study, and register to be among the first to get your hands on the full research report following its release:

Click here to sign-up to get your copy of the survey.

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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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