• May Chen

Working World: CHINA -- Beijing


Typical traffic jam (not only during rush hour) – Beijing


It seems like to be in another dimension living and especially working in a city such as Beijing or Shanghai, also called a first tier city in China.

It begins with so many people going to work in the morning, streets and public transportation are completely overloaded. That means owning a car won't save you any time in any way.


Underground during rush hour – Beijing


No doubt, there are a enough opportunities and chances that you can actually get a job in the first place. But its crucial to understand the working culture and how the people work. Big city, many people, and as a consequence there will be high competition in every branch.

Still there are more opportunities in a big city such as Beijing or Shanghai than in smaller ones, so the young people, especially the graduates come and fight their way through to fulfil their dream – by first getting a job. Often you will be needing contacts and relations – so called “关系” (guānxì) -- although the government is trying to reduce these shortcuts.


There is no such thing as “Beamte”, people who can’t be fired from the company. So you can never have the security you have in Germany keeping the job for the rest of my life.

Although there is the policy of working 40 hours a week, but most of the people are working 10 or more hours a day, just to make sure they can keep the job, because of the high competition. And there usually is the one unwritten rule, which says: “Don’t leave the office before your boss does.”.


The salary between different job can vary a lot. The main reason may be the exchange rate between Euro and the Chinese Yuan (1 Euro = ca. 8 Yuan), so the salary in China may seem a little to low for us. But the spending is very different, and most of the Chinese people like to save their salary rather than spend it right after getting it at the end of the month.

If you are interested in the "money/salary"-- topic, here is a quite interesting video from an American, who has been living in Dalian (a second tier city in the north of China) for 10 years, sharing his insights. :)




On special occasions like the famous Chinese New Year and other festivals, especially traditional Chinese ones, or after having some days off and being on vacation, it is quite common to get your boss a little something, as a gesture to show that you take your job and the firm seriously, and also that you treat him as a "friend" of yours.


To put it in a nutshell, one can say that the work pace is kind of higher and everything goes faster in bigger cities, but basically you get the same “working vibes” as in other countries.

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