Talents heading to major Chinese cities

Updated: 2013-04-18 05:31

By Shi Jing in Shanghai (China Daily)

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As companies continue to expand into Asia and China, reshape their organizational structures, relocate their plants and enter new markets, they create cross-border opportunities for talented professionals.

Shanghai remains the most attractive destination in China but it is interesting to note that respondents are increasingly drawn to Beijing. Going forward, companies and professionals are more likely to recognize the benefits of being closer to the investment, political and State-owned enterprise decision-making centers there.

Furthermore, with the expansion of the Chinese domestic market, more companies, particularly banks, are establishing second hubs in Beijing to cover the North China region and more senior/regional roles are being created as a consequence.

In South China, Hong Kong respondents' interest in Guangzhou has declined. The 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou were accompanied by extraordinary investment and growth in urban infrastructure and tourist facilities but opportunities may have now shifted towards Macau's expanding gaming and luxury retail sectors and also towards Zhuhai, now in the top 15 relocation destinations.

In Singapore, the most significant increases observed are for Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing and Suzhou, the latter of which may be due to the success of the Sino-Singapore joint venture Suzhou Industrial Park. Singapore-based respondents, on the other hand, show declining interest in other ASEAN countries. This could be due to a perception of fewer promotion opportunities and lower standards of living compared to Singapore and other destinations.

In China, the top relocation destinations are generally the same across all sectors.

Beijing is particularly popular with financial services respondents - 41 percent of respondents prefer this destination. Suzhou is preferred by 33.9 percent of industrial and technology respondents.

Overall, the attractiveness of inland cities for respondents born on the Chinese mainland appears to be slowly increasing with more respondents preferring inland cities as a potential destination for a career move. It may still be difficult to move talent to second or third tier cities unless their desire to relocate is driven by wanting to be near family.

The ranking order of the top 10 remains relatively unchanged since last year with only Wuxi dropping off the list and being replaced by Xiamen. The attractiveness of Nanjing, Xiamen, Dalian, Chongqing and Zhuhai has increased for our respondent base, while Tianjin is less appealing. New investment projects in innovation and technology, such as the Sino-Singapore Eco-city in Tianjin are expected to boost the appeal of that city.