Top 10 attractive cities for China expats — 2012 edition

The results of China’s annual expat survey, conducted from September to December last year, are in. More than 175,000 expats participated in the survey via both online and offline voting.

The 10 cities were selected based on their performance in terms of policy and administration, as well as working and living environment for foreigners. Criteria required the cities be prefecture-level or above, and excluded Hong Kong, Macau and any cities in Taiwan.

Below is a quick summary. For the full story, see the People’s Daily article.

#10 – Qingdao, Shandong

Qingdao Pier/Jiaozhou Bay, Qingdao, Shandong. Photo: M. Weitzel | Wikimedia Commons

Qingdao Pier/Jiaozhou Bay, Qingdao, Shandong. Photo: M. Weitzel | Wikimedia Commons

  • Pros: Favorable living environment.
  • Cons: Administrative environment, children’s education and level of globalization.

#9 – Xiamen, Fujian

Xiamen. Photo by groucho.

Xiamen. Photo by groucho.

  • Pros: Exceptional living environment and favorable entrepreneurial environment.
  • Cons: Foreigners’ salaries are lower than expected.

#8 – Tianjin

Tianjin. Photo by qejecit.

Tianjin. Photo by qejecit.

  • Pros: Health care working environments.
  • Cons: Policy environment requires improvement.

#7 – Nanjing, Jiangsu

Nanjing Night. Photo by Let Ideas Compete.

Nanjing Night. Photo by Let Ideas Compete.

  • Pros: Attractive living environment. Promising future work policies and career development opportunities.
  • Cons: Unsatisfactory administration due to institutional and procedural issues. Low salary.

#6 – Hangzhou, Zhejiang

Hangzhou's West Lake. Photo by Ryan McLaughlin

Hangzhou’s West Lake. Photo by Ryan McLaughlin

  • Pros: Favorable living environment, especially its abundant natural environment. Optimistic outlook for future career development opportunities in the city.
  • Cons: Low marks for its working and entrepreneurial environment and salary.

#5 – Kunming, Yunnan

Kunming. Photo by Alan Ye.

Kunming. Photo by Alan Ye.

  • Pros: Good administrative environment, and an attractive living environment.
  • Cons: Lacking cohesive policies to attract and hire talent. Healthcare and education could be improved.

#4 – Suzhou, Jiangsu

Shantang Jie, Suzhou. Photo by Ryan McLaughlin

Shantang Jie, Suzhou. Photo by Ryan McLaughlin

  • Pros: Balanced development. Human settlement environment, working and entrepreneurial environment and promotion opportunities.
  • Cons: Administrative environment could be improved.

#3 – Shenzhen, Guangdong

Shenzhen's Meridian Genting Observation Deck. Photo by Richard Yuan.

Shenzhen’s Meridian Genting Observation Deck. Photo by Richard Yuan.

  • Pros: Attractive working environment, and high salaries. High marks in terms of its development plan.
  • Living environment was graded unsatisfactory, particularly in regards to health care and children’s education.

#2 – Beijing

Bustling Beijing. Photo by Trey Ratcliff.

Bustling Beijing. Photo by Trey Ratcliff.

  • Pros: Outstanding administrative environment, policy environment, health care environment and children’s education.
  • Cons: Natural environment of habitat, working environment and traffic.

#1 – Shanghai

The Bund, Shanghai. Photo by Christian Ortiz.

The Bund, Shanghai. Photo by Christian Ortiz.

  • Pros: international atmosphere and multicultural environment. Health care and children’s education.
  • Cons: Administrative and natural environments.

What do you think? Any obvious misses or glaring bias? Pretty accurate?