Top 10 Chinese cities, according to China expats

The results of China Daily’s 2011 Amazing China voting have been released, and the top 10 “most attractive cities for foreigners” have been announced.

The cities that made the top 10 list are: Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Chongqing, Xiamen and Hangzhou.

The results of China Daily’s 2011 Amazing China voting have been released, and the top 10 “most attractive cities for foreigners” have been announced.

The cities that made the top 10 list are: Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Chongqing, Xiamen and Hangzhou.

No real shockers here, though I am a bit surprised that Wuhan won out over some of the others on the list. According to China Daily:

More than 180,000 expats living in China participated in the survey through both paper and online voting, and about 1,000 were surveyed during the second half of 2011 about their opinions on 18 aspects of Chinese cities. There are about 600,000 expats living in China, according to the 2010 national census.

Twenty cities emerged out of 353 Chinese cities (excluding Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan) as candidates. Based on the results of both paper and online ballots, a list of the top 10 cities was compiled.

The survey judged cities on their policies, administration, working conditions and living environments; asking expats to choose up to three of their favorites.

The top two cities – Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China, and Shanghai, China’s economic and financial hub – led other cities by large margins as they swept the top two positions across all but one of the 18 categories. Beijing scored at the top in 13 categories and ranked second in the other five; Shanghai led in five categories and second in some of the other 12 categories. Xiamen was ranked second in the category of “Natural habitat environment”.

Meanwhile, living environment – one of the four major indicators – shaped the city rankings to a great extent. Cities with high inhabitability and well-conceived city planning tended to end up high on the list, while those facing environmental problems seemed less attractive to foreigners. In addition, low performance in the category “International education for children” suggests that expats find it difficult for their children to receive education in a given candidate city.

Foreigners polled in the survey cited pollution and traffic as the main challenges for Chinese cities. Air pollution and traffic congestion are seen as prevalent across many cities in China. However, expats are aware of the efforts underway by local governments to improve environmental conditions.

What are your thoughts — pretty accurate? Any glaring omissions? What makes a great city to live in for you?