After almost 15 years I have finally come to the decision it is time to leave.
Originally my plan was to retire here but after my experience of the last few years, and careful consideration it is best to sell up, divest my investments and go to my home country.
I had a farewell dinner with some older Singaporean friends one of whom was leaving a few years ago and they started discussing the long-term pitfalls of staying in China. IE visa, health-care, pension/super, and the rising costs of living within China. Other issues like food safety, and pollution were also raised.
Employers in China do not follow the rules or laws relating to benefits or employment here......
With the influx of Eastern Europeans, young unemployed from Western countries, salaries are static in real terms whilst costs are increasing.
I also have seen foreigners are more likely to dance for their employer to retain their positions, and are prepared to play politics to keep their average to below average paying roles.
I have also said farewell in the last couple of years to European professionals who have decided to leave after a decade of living and working in senior roles
For me, the cost benefit analysis has shifted markedly, and to stay in China would be detrimental to me overall in the long term.
Any thoughts from the gallery as to why people with real qualifications and experience should stay here? As opposed to young people who are enjoying a few years travelling whilst they are able to before commitments kick in.
Sorry to say, but you got suckered into China. They wined and dined you in the beginning then they used and abused you after that. Now they don't need you. Unless you are Chinese and have a lot of guanxi, you are nothing here. They see you as replaceable.
China does still need foreigners and it needs them more and more. China has 2 problems a) the 1 child policy means the population is aging and the working population is shrinking 2) China is moving up the value ladder but the skills of the workforce are limited
These are 2 massive trends not to be overlooked. That's why the 5 year working visa is being offered.
Yes, it is getting more expensive here, there is more competition in some fields and overall other skills are required. This means there is a shake up in the foreign community.
But all in all China's long term trend is stable and pointing upwards and if expats have the right skills and / or guanxi they are certainly been taken care of very well. If not, they got to be a little flexible / creative / competitive and will also figure out a way.
One options for expats facing higher living costs and more competition in China may be choose to go to 2nd tier cities.
China's middle class is growing and so is the demand for foreign goods, services and workforce in the long term.
Correction, China needs QUALITY foreigners.