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Foreigners chasing their dreams in China

China Daily | Updated: 2018-04-24 09:02

HANGZHOU - Inside a traditional Chinese house with stylish green bricks and black tiles in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, Nikk Mitchell and his team are pursuing their dreams in the virtual reality industry.

Mitchell, a Canadian, established FXG in June and now has a team of more than 30 employees from countries including China, Poland, Russia, the United States and Uganda.

"Hangzhou is a combination of modern and ancient styles; you can see art, history and culture everywhere. It inspires our VR development," he said.

The team is considering combining the art of calligraphy with VR technology.

Following his dream to discover the world, Mitchell arrived in China in 2006 at age 18. Six years later, he was amazed by a VR video he saw online, and decided that he wanted to work in the field. He started studying and found an online community of people who shared his interests.

Thanks to China's encouragement of innovation and entrepreneurship, Mitchell is seeing his VR dream turn into reality.

The company is located in Dream Town, Hangzhou's entrepreneurial cluster that offers free workspaces and other services such as financing and business advice.

For 28-year-old Russian Artem Zhdanov, China is also a place to pursue dreams.

After graduating from college with a major in Mandarin, he left his hometown in Siberia and moved to Guangzhou, China's southern economic powerhouse.

In recent years, he has built a Russian-language news website about China, co-founded a consulting company and set up an online store on e-commerce platform Taobao.

The news website now has 100,000 monthly visits, and the products he sells online - such as T-shirts, cups and chopsticks with catchy Chinese phrases - have become popular with expats living in China.

"My childhood dream was to be a diplomat. Now my website and Taobao store are like bridges connecting foreigners with China," he said. "China is an ideal place to start a business. As long as you have an idea and the resolve, you can easily build a business here," he said.

Zhdanov wants to connect Russian entrepreneurs with investors and incubators in China.

"There are so many unicorn companies in China, and the government has provided great support for high-tech development. I would like to tell more Russians that instead of only looking at Silicon Valley, they can also make their dreams come true in China."

According to the Expat Explorer 2017 Report published by HSBC, a move to China offers expats numerous career and income advantages.

Seven of 10 expats in China said the country offers strong job prospects compared with only five of 10 globally. Half of all expats interviewed in China said they have more chances to acquire new skills here than at home, and they earn significantly more than the average global expat salary.

The number of foreign employees in China has increased at a staggering pace over the decades. More than 900,000 foreigners were employed on the Chinese mainland in 2016, according to official data. In the 1980s, fewer than 10,000 foreign experts worked in the country each year.



(China Daily 04/24/2018 page4)

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