Chinese companies versus International Companies

Depending on your skill set, you will want to consider where to work. Both attract foreign workers, but in different ways and different reasons. You will have very different experiences working in these companies. So, you need to ask yourself, what skills do I posses and what do I want to get out of this experience?

Foreign companies

Their main target is to expand in China. They have offices around the world and an HQ abroad. They want to hire foreigners to help them expand in China, manage projects, overlook important aspects of business, be their main liaison in China, they need skilled workers with in depth knowledge to lead. Without a doubt they hire employees from their base countries. French hire French. Americans hire Americans. Germans hire Germans.

The best way to get a solid job at an international company is to first work at the HQ. After a period of time you can request to be transferred to China. This will enable you to get a better salary and conditions.

Another keynote is that international companies have many standards and are very organized. What you see is what you get and usually what is promised is delivered.

Individual responsibilities may be applied directly to your job and performance. Reward or criticism may be placed on a sole person for a given job.

Chinese companies

Chinese companies already understand their local market and will not need assistance outside of high knowledge and skilled workers, for example engineers and programmers that bring new techniques to their organization.

Your target in many cases will be abroad. Meaning you may get to travel often to that target market for meetings. You will need less Chinese language skills, if any.

Chinese companies can be very messy. The organization, the roles and other details will not be as clear as you may be used to. Things are typically vague. This takes some adjusting, and many foreigners do complain often about this.

Most companies work more in a group setting. They believe in a harmonious group and less individual reward or criticism will be placed on one individual, but more on the team. If you do a great job, you may not be praised, but your whole team will be praised in some cases. Get used to this, it’s better in this style of company to accept and promote a harmonious company organization. This can vary widely from International companies.