back to article China visa changes could attract job-hunting IT pros

A change to China’s visa laws due to come into force this (northern) summer could make the People’s Republic a more attractive destination for ex-pat IT professionals up for the challenge, but the vital details on exactly which skills are needed are still being worked out. The Exit and Entry Administration Law comes into force …


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  1. C 7

    It's now wonder...

    Since the whole of China seems to be without the slightest shred of sysadmin talent, it's no wonder they want to bring people in from other countries.

    I've yet to figure out how a country so adept at counterfeiting everything from shoes to routers seems completely unable to follow simple documentation with screenshots. Perhaps that's only the people they allow to leave for the US, and they keep all the intelligentsia safely locked away at home.

    1. Long Fei

      Re: It's now wonder...

      It's because they only use copied sw, which comes without a manual, or only in English which they can't read.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's now wonder...

        Oh the stock acceptable racism - how I love stories about China.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good news that! China needs IT talent!

    Now if only they would allow dual citizenship, with a few acceptable countries (i.e. UK & some other EU countries, not the USA of course)

    1. Throatwobbler Mangrove

      Eh? The US allows dual citizenship.

      1. dssf

        Purportedly, the USA does NOT allow dual citizenship, but

        I have heard of or talked with a few people who claimed they had dual citizenship, having the abilitty to freely travel between each country with whichever passport, work, and so on. I have no way to verify it.

        But, if it is false, then there is some sort of duEl citizenship going on, hehehe....

        1. Irony Deficient

          dual citizenship (USA + other)

          dssf, I can assure you that it is possible to have dual (USA + other*) citizenship, because Mrs. Deficiency and our Deficient offspring have dual citizenship. One caveat with this particular citizenship pairing is that reëntering the USA must be done using one’s USA passport.

          * — provided that the other country also permits dual citizenship

  3. Nifty

    Try before you buy

    Have a holiday in China then set yourself some IT tasks that will involve using resources off the Internet while there. After you have struggled with the Great Firewall for a bit you will not be sure of what the 'real' Internet 'out there' has to offer any more. With VPNs in China coming under ever more tight central control, you cannot rely on that either.

    THEN decide if you want to take your skills to the People's Republic.

    Visas for research data have not been invented yet.

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Try before you buy

      Depends who you are working for out there. Last time I was in Shanghai, it was China Telecom in the hotel, then VPN to our Shanghai branch office, and from there, VPN to head office in London.

      At that point, even iplayer worked.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chinese IT staff in my experience are great at following simple instructions...they just can't/won't use any initiative, and will do things they know are wrong without questioning it.

    Makes for lots of opportunity out here for people who can bring a bit of Western pro-activeness and ability to question authority.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Same thing in the Philippines. Give exact step by step instructions for someone to use and they'll do it. But absolutely no self initiative.

      1. S.G.

        Re: Philippines

        I work in Manila too and while I agree with you, there are some avantages too. When criticised, they don't go all precious about the way they work and they will change and improve if it's constructive criticism.

        When their counterparts in the Paris office are told to "change" something in the way they work, you never hear the end of it!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Philippines

          "Same thing in the Philippines. Give exact step by step instructions for someone to use and they'll do it. But absolutely no self initiative."

          Sounds like most junior recruits out of any UK University.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Philippines

        Same reason in both countries - they get any spark of initiative beaten out of them in primary school by substandard teachers enforcing conformity (and other kids bullying the "smart" ones - this happens in a lot more places than just the Far East)

        This is why there is so much pressure to send kids to "International Schools"

        At the same time the chinese refuse to fail students who don't do well, so they get an infkated sense of their self-worth and little incentive to do better.

    2. Shasta McNasty

      Question authority?

      I don't think China would be high on my list of places where I'd question authority...

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Another example of Darwin in action

      Living in a country under a dictatorship or which has recently come out of a dictatorship? Initiative tends to be in short supply. By that I don't mean that anyone with initiative got killed, I mean the instinct of self-preservation outweighs initiative and there's no need to have any initiative to survive.

  5. Stephen 2

    Multi Entry

    They already offer multi entry for tourism, I have one in my passport.

  6. John70


    Since things are done in China more cheaply than Western countries, won't it be a pay cut if you went to work in China?

    1. S.G.

      Re: Pay

      Of course there will be a pay cut but so what?

      I work in the Philippines coming from Europe and my pay is cut in half. I still get paid more than my local workmates and I have a swimming pool and a gym in my condo.

      It's not the number at the bottom of your paycheck that counts, it's what you can buy with it!

      If you want to come back to Europe, you'll have less in your pocket for sure but Europe is just a nice holiday destination with very pretty museum cities now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pay

        The West's biggest problem is a debilitating sense of entitlement, the French are best at this. CAP etc. It's probably due to us being the world's economic superpower for the past 200 years and some politicos blindly expecting it to stay this way. You start to see it in the Chinese Youth that come over here, the little prince syndrome. They've only even known economic affluence for the past 20 years. It will not be pretty when China goes through an inevitable recession.

        However the Western education of encouraging self thought and challenging authority will do us reasonably well. Rote learning as seen in many cultures makes you look good in league tables, but throw them a yorker and they're lost.

    2. Christian Berger Silver badge

      From what I've been told at university...

      Programmers in China earn 800 Euros a _month_. I doubt things can be that much more expensive over there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: From what I've been told at university...

        That's a decent wage in many eu countries: again it all depends on the cost of living.

      2. greenawayr

        Re: From what I've been told at university...

        @Christian Berger - don't go to Shanghai with any great expectations of a cheap life then. Not if you want to stay somewhere "nice".

        You'll also have to put up with the sound of everyone hacking a loogy all day, especially bad in the morning.

        For the record, I loved my time in China, but not sure I could live there, not in a city anyway.

      3. dssf

        Re: From what I've been told at university...

        McDonalds, KFC, Hanting Inn hotel, and plastic kit models definitely are the same price as in the USA. If you build kit models, go to a model hobby shop in People's Square station in Shanghai. Ship models are NOT cheap there. The "Trumpeter"-made models, especially of modern naval destroyers, cost around USD $30+, some around $60, and IIUC, that is to prevent mass-hoarding and resales outside of China by non-authorized distributors.

        Western-style hotels I used, which I actually like MORE than USA-style hotels, have ample electrical outlets, easy-access toilets, glass-walled showers, free-standing wash bowls, remote control of TV as well as the AC unit, and credit-card-style room access. Roughly USD $35-45 per night short stay.

        McDonalds was roughly the same price. In fact, McDonalds in SF is criminally more expensive than McDs in Korea. All over SF: Chicken Sandwich with fries, and substituting a milk shake instead of having the soda will generously set one back about $9.17. In Korea, a Shanghai Spice Chicken Sandwich set, having milk shake vic soda is only KRW 5,300. IIRC, in Shanghai, it was roughly Y15-21, depending on size and substitutions.

        Thai food in Shanghai was also high, as well as Japanese food. In Shanghai, if you go there, check out Pepper Lunch. Only one in Shanghi, and if your stomach disagrees with the local cuisine, eat at Pepper Lunch, if your pay permits. I ate there 6 or 7 times in under 5 days, and had not one problem. MSG sprinkled liberally over food by street vendors and fixed-shop restaurants wrough havoc on my bowel tract. Pepper Lunch was far to go to, but was well worth itj -- even though I had to ride 20 minutes and walk 10 more to get to it. I understand Pepper Lunch imports all its ingredients. The Japanese Curry place (CoCo?) did not taste nearly as appealing as it would in Japan. Might have been store-specific, but for what I paid, I felt underwhelmed.

        As a foreigner, you will find that even Starbucks or McDs, offering "free" wifi will demand your mobile number at the very least. So, even if you think you are MrMs cute-ass and will VPN out, think again. Your phone -- if not set up by some clandestine broker or facilitator -- will be tied to your passport, work visa, or something that will zero in on YOU.

        If you bank foreign, be SURE to get one of those RNG devices from your banke BEFORE landing in China. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES use an open router if you value your privacy. Some death-worthy asshole injected him/herself between me and my friend in Korea in the middle of our Google chat. I for once in my life actually wanted to commit full-on murder. It was a surreal feeling. But, i had to accept that *I* chose to use the unsecure router because I *needed* to log in to some certain social site. Turns out that each passing day without fb was a damned blessing, and allowed me to achieve more without that fracking time vampire sucking away hours of my day.

        The trains in Shanghai are awesome. Well, most of them. One line is particularly rail-car noisey, but most are newish. They have gasoline and bomb/incendiary detectors because some mental job took gasoline onto a bus and ignited it, reducing the transit bus to a twisted hulking shell. Do NOT be like one of the several local twit assholes who condescended the scanner operators -- that ass scoffed and refused to put his bag onto the scanner. ALL rail stations have them, display signs in multiple languages asking compliance, and the workers are non-intrusive. Or, they are bored, but, they tend to let travelers bring through all sorts of "stufff". I am surprised the USA and ROK do not employ these scanners. Wait.... They might -- the just might be embedded backscatter-types not disclosed to the public, in sensitive stations. WOULD create more jobs for DHLS and the scanner makers, though. Only requires the government staging a few bus-burnings by a "forgotten" cannister, but where SWAT in a "timely" manner uses a "tip" to clear the buses just before a SWAT-triggered or DHLS-triggered ignition. So long as no on dies, it would be a pretty nifty trick. Burn a half-mil bus to the ground a few times and in 4 months cause contracts that circulate a ffew billions of dollars in jobs and manufacturing. But, I die...Ummm, digress.

        If you get the runs or have a weak bladder and mustt use the subways, then know that in Shanghai, you need not worry. Sanely, and heart-warmingly, the subways have on-platform toilets. Not necessarily 100% clean, but at leastt it is not something stupid like in SF where you must go up 2 or 3 levels from the platform just to get to the toilet level. IF the station is underground, then the toilet is either outside the paid area, locked, or both, "locked due to heightened security concerns" bullshit of an excuse. If China, with far more domestic terrrorists than the USA can allow u/g toilets in 2 to 3 locations, on platform, in almost every station, then BART/MUNI excuses are either outright lies, or are meant to reduce use of unionized cleaning crews. At LEAST Japan, South Korea, and PRC employ the elderly to sweep, mop, de-litter, and change overhead lighting. (Was impressive in Seoul to see 55+yo Ajummas not only changing lights and cleaning ventilation grilles in the overheads, they also pushed the damned rolling platforms, too.

        What amount "half" is to someone's pay check determines how that "one" alters his or her spending habits.

        If you sweat a lot, take with you at LEAST one stick per month of your favorite anti-perspirant or deodorant. In Shg, a stick is about US $11 -- and the only place i found it was in that ritzy, pricey, underground mall near Century Plaza. Be careful, though, as Customs might wonder whether you are trying to sell some illegally. But, Ii think that any government that restricts a sweat-maker to one stick per 3 months is insane. Duties on deodorant, used only by foreigners, pushing the price to $12 a stick, a stick that seems intentionally formulated by western companies to run down 2x as fast as the doomestic stick, is outlandish.

        If you have to accept a pay cut, then import as household goods (or, demand tthat your prospective employer clears through customs your household or hygiene goods that you SHOULD REFUSE to pay duties on) as essential items and get them exempted from limitations as long as you can demonstrate them. Avoid toothpates having xyletol, or other sugar substitutes in them. You might get the runs if you swallow the stuff. But, at least getting the critical hygienic stuff in means you will save loads of money.

        Smog was not terrible in Shg to the point of irritating me. Nights were interesting, as it appears to me that buildings are excessively mulit-color strip illuminated to compensate for the gray/terraforming-dome-like canopy of haze at night. By day, especially with rains, the skies were stunningly clear and it was possible to see more than 4 or 5 miles from 20-30-storeys vantage points.

        1. dssf

          Re: From what I've been told at university...

          BTW, the Pepper Lunch is in Xuhui. It is in a new mall that recently opened, and it is very nice in the mall. LOTS of food shops, as well as Uniqlo and others from Japan and the USA. Pepper Lunch, IIRC, cost me about US $7 per meal, and the portion is large enough to parse into two servings if you're on a tight budget and have a sealable container (rather than use typical rupturable/pop-open-able types).

          In Shanghai, the newer buildings have western-style toilets, but one often needs one's own TP. I recommend taking flushable sanitizer wipes, too, just in case. Be mindful that the doors may or may not have hooks for jackets and bags, and even if so equipped, they are not sturdy enough to support a 25lb backpack. Stalls can be a bit narrow, too. Curiously, in that mall where Pepper Lunch is, operators handle the lifts/elevators, as in the old days. Maybe it provides work, or is added security against wayward teens screwing around with things or engaging in mischief.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: From what I've been told at university...

          If you go to Shanghai and plan to eat in KFC, McD and shop in the gwailo supermarket in Century Plaza, then you're missing the point. To put it into perspective, "happy ending massage" costs about Y500, vs a small packet of "Frosties" from the gwailo supermarket, Y1100.

          Breakfast is a couple of breakfast buns, costs less than 50¢/Y3, lunch is noodles and soup dumplings, costs about $2/Y15, dinner is almost anything you like, 4-5 beers, should cost around $8/Y50.

    3. Throatwobbler Mangrove

      Re: Pay

      It wouldn't necessarily be a pay cut if your skills are in greater demand on the local market (and you have the softer people/cultural/communication skills that means you can apply them effectively in a multicultural workplace).

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Pay

      paycut plus massive cost cut = more disposable income.

      This is why a lot of people bail out of London to lower-paid regional jobs.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    one china

    Couple of years back I went to China with the mrs. We were flying to Beijing for few days, then on to Taiwan for a few more, before returning to Beijing and then home. When I went to get our Chinese visas, they insisted I needed multiple entry ones, because the trip to Taiwan meant I was leaving China, and so needed to re-enter.

    'Ah, but Taiwan is part of China, there is only one China' I said (quoting official Chinese policy). They were having none of it.

    So I coughed up the extra for multi-entry visas, happy in the knowledge that I had official Chinese confirmation that Taiwan is indeed independent and not part of China.

    1. Adam Connelly
      Thumb Up

      Re: one china

      This is the comment of the day! Upvote.

    2. dssf

      Re: one china

      Well, hehehe, try on an UNlucky day to import from, say, Colorado, to California a small vehicle or a moving van full of household effects. IF you are diverted to a scale and to a quarrantine area, you'll be asked about pets, plants, meats, aquatic life, etc., that may or may not be part of your haul. IF you answer yes, you may find yourself pulled into an inspection shed or hall. If any items fail inspection (your vehicle, too) or quarrantine requirements, you may have to dispose of the meats, plants, or have them levied a fee for "import". And, CO and CA are in the same country.

      I only learned of this in 2000 when driving back from CO to CA after a company business trip, when I used back roads to shoot lots of photos, rather than use the main long distance routes.

      BTW, did the immigration/passport people at least complement you on your cunning "One Country" claim? Or were they just low-level functionaries covering their asses in the event of a revenue stamp audit?

  8. char.vise

    "There are also plans afoot for a new regulation which would allow foreigners working in China for 10 consecutive years or more to apply to become permanent residents."

    New language here I come.

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