CEO of HBC
Is China worth the risk?
A friend of mine recently moved from Hong Kong to the mainland after getting an offer from a company there. He says his prospects for advancement are much better than in Hong Kong and suggests I look into doing something similar. I work in property and have to admit I have considered such a move before, but I’m not sure if I want to uproot my life here. Is China worth the risk?
Most Hong Kong employees have considered moving to China for better prospects and some have made the move. About 10 per cent of Hong Kong people work in China, and the number seems to be increasing.
An analyst once told me that if a company doesn’t have a China strategy, it doesn’t have a strategy.
Despite the slowdown in economic growth, China still predicts a 7 per cent GDP growth. The mainland provides an abundance of career opportunities as it needs experienced managers and professionals to fuel such growth.
Before you think of making a move to relocate, the following questions may help you to achieve some clarity:
Why do you want to relocate? Is it because you are not satisfied with your career progress? What are your ultimate goals? You may want to review your goals from various perspectives: financial, physical, mental and spiritual.
Would this move give you a better chance of achieving them? What is your time frame?
What skills and knowledge do you have that could be of value to your prospective employer in China? Do you speak Putonghua?
How well do you know the market in the city you are thinking of relocating to? Tier-one cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are very different to tier-three cities such as Luoyang, Suzhou or Qingdao.
How are you going to smooth the transition by mitigating any risks that you identified? If you are single, that would be relatively easy. However, if you have a family with children, you will need to consider this as it would have an impact on your family members.
Also there are differences between joining a local organisation, Hong Kong-based company, and a multinational company.
Do you enjoy meeting new friends and exploring new ways of doing things? Or you prefer a steady and comfortable environment? What excites you?
Talk to your friend about his move. He can tell you about tax exemption issues, lifestyle and cultural differences before you take the plunge.
Remember, risks bring opportunities.
I hope the above questions provide you with some insights on your possible move to a new adventure