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Working in Shenzhen

Shenzhen's thriving economy has made it a popular location to seek work for people from all over the world, while millions of Chinese also travel into the city every day for their jobs. Get expat advice on working in Shenzhen, including info on the local economy, job hunting and work permits!

Shenzhen is often described as China's version of Silicon Valley as a result of its large and influential tech sector, while 2014 data showed that Shenzhen's GDP totaled 260.48 billion USD. Shenzhen's economic output is therefore higher than Portugal’s, Ireland’s, and Vietnam’s combined.

Local Economy

Only Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou have more powerful economies in China than Shenzhen, with the city acting as one of the country's major manufacturing centers. The Shenzhen skyline is rapidly developing and is regarded as one of the best in the world, featuring two of the tallest buildings on the planet in Kingkey 100 and Shun Hing Square.

Shenzhen's position as one of the most successful SEZs in China has fostered innovation throughout the city, for instance at the Science and Technology park in Nanshan District. There are also close business, trade and social links between Hong Kong and Shenzhen as a result of their proximity. 

Job Hunting in Shenzhen

As in the rest of China, teaching English as a foreign language jobs are widespread in Shenzhen and they are one of the most popular roles for expats working in Shenzhen.

However, the wide range of thriving industries in the city means there are a lot of opportunities available for foreigners who want to relocate to one of the fastest growing cities on the planet.

The internet is perhaps the best place to find jobs in Shenzhen, with sites such as eChinacities and Find Work Abroad among the places where expats can find English-language listings.

Work Permits in Shenzhen

Any Foreign Invested Company or Foreign Representative office is eligible to give jobs in Shenzhen to expats and there are already a lot of overseas workers living in the city.

In 2013, the new PRC Exit-Entry Administration Law came into effect, with regulations on foreign workers tightened up by the Chinese government. There is now a distinction between the work-type residence permits of foreigners and the non-work-type ones, while expats working in Shenzhen will need to acquire both work permit and work-type residence permits.

It can take up to 15 days to process working visas, so foreigners working in Shenzhen should allow plenty of time before applying for visas or extensions.

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