Top 10 Chinese cities, according to China expats

21 Comments
Distractions

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?

Talk on Top 10 Chinese cities, according to China expats


21 Comments
  1. Pingback: Top 10 Chinese cities, according to China expats ~ Lost Laowai ... | SINCRONIA | Scoop.it

  2. I had to check out the link when I saw that Wuhan was on the list. I have heard the city referred to as poo-han and that the people are coarse.

    This is the sentence that goes with the picture of Wuhan.
    “Wuhan stays in fifth place for its great potential and low cost of living.”

    Translation from China Daily English: It is a cheap place to live and widely agreed that can’t get much worse.

  3. “However, expats are aware of the efforts underway by local governments to improve environmental conditions.”

    LOL!

    BTW I’m surprised Chengdu is not on the list

  4. Surprised that they couldn’t even spell Chongqing correctly on their map. “Appreciated for its efficient administration” – a likely story indeed.

    Wuhan really shouldn’t be on the list, it has very few redeeming qualities when compared with places like Chengdu, Nanjing, Qingdao and Kunming that inexplicably didn’t make the cut (their municipal publicity bureaus didn’t stump up enough cash, most likely). Also it would be nice to see some love for the smaller cities that are actually much nicer places to live: Dali, Guilin, Sanya.

    Also interesting that Hong Kong and Macau don’t appear, seeing as this is an “official” list. Understandable though, because they would probably occupy number one and two. Embarrassing. Most ‘amazing’ mainland Chinese cities then, huh?

    Additional memo to China Daily: the more you use hyperbole like “amazing”, the more people tend to smell a rat.

    • Poor Chengdu, Kunming, Nanjing, Qingdao, Hong Kong, Macau and Taipei! All rate lower than almighty Wuhan. Ningbo and Shijiazhuang must have just barely missed the cut.

      Qingdao even has new trees! Lots of them.

  5. Apparently the polling is done by people who have no idea what the fuck they are talking about. Only white expats who haven’t traveled anywhere else besides the city they originally came to? Check.

      • White people…… because (Tongue in cheek) they tend to be the least traveled as it is the case in good ol’ USandA (Boaratspeak)where- say in Michigan- if some one says “I am moving West” they mean Kalamazoo!!.

    • Profile photo of

      Not a huge surprise Chongqing won out over smaller cities with less access to laowai comforts. But yeah, as mentioned in the post (and in the comments) Wuhan is a surprise. FWIW, all three — Dalian, Kunming and Qingdao — were on the shortlist of 20 cities. NO idea how Wuhan won out over them. No idea really how Hangzhou did either. I like Hangzhou, but it’s not any expat-friendlier than those three, or all that particularly nice a place to live (at least compared to those three).

      I think the whole survey should probably be taken with an extremely large grain of salt. I’m certain there were eyes on the results that had an agenda that superseded fairness in voting.

  6. I am surprised that Chongqing came in 8th place. The place is not bad but if you (laowai) come froma rural or even suburban setting, then the city ofChongqing might take a while to getting used to. However if you come from LA or NYC, Chongqing might not be too different than the obvious of where you are from. I agree Ryan that this survey is a bit fishy in how votes were garnered in deciding the city rankings in popularity.

  7. Let’s see…take the average age of English teachers in China and then multiply by the availability of alcohol and party zones and you have this list.

  8. I too was surprised not to see Chengdu or Kunming on the list. I would put Shenzhen ahead of Tianjin, if for no other reason than the easy access to HK.

    Beijing ahead of Shanghai is another surprise. I prefer Beijing, but most expats I know disagree… and even I have to admit that Shanghai is probably an easier place to live.

Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲