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Expats engaging more with Chinese life

By Zhang Xingjian | | Updated: 2016-04-16 11:01

China's thriving economy and promising future means that it is becoming increasingly popular for international relocation.

But the truth is that living in China represents a daunting challenge for even the most hardened expats due to language barriers and cultural differences.

A recent survey has founded that despite some difficulties for foreign people, they are getting more involved in Chinese life.

Social Media

60.5 percent of the expats said that language was the biggest barrier in choosing media as a source of information.

In spite of this language barrier, more than half (56 percent) of the expats with doctoral degrees prefer to get to know the country through Chinese media, the study has found.

The figures arrive at 24.1 percent and 28.8 percent in terms of expats with bachelors and masters degrees respectively, higher than 4.5 percent and 3 percent a year ago.

According to the survey, the more well-educated foreign expats are, the more likely they will choose Chinese media to obtain the latest domestic information.

Meanwhile, the survey found that expats aged 50 or above are likely to pick up domestic media as a source of information, accounting for 37.3 percent of the total, followed by the group of people aged between 31 and 40 (30.8 percent).

Online shopping

Nov 11 is Singles' Day, also known as China's grand e-commerce sales day. The total sales volume on T-mall, a online sales platform for Alibaba, exceeded 91.2 billion yuan ($14.1 billion) within 24 hours, 59.7 percent higher compared to the findings last year.

Online shopping has become a new normal in the Internet Plus era. The shopping festival madness has not only affected Chinese shoppers, but also foreign experts.

48.5 percent of expats shop online for daily necessities, slightly lower than the percent buying from physical stores.

A further study has shown that 83.3 percent of expats prefer domestic online shopping sites.

Also, 88.6 percent of the female expats are willing to buy on Chinese online malls whereas 79.6 percent of males do it.

Among all the e-commerce giants in China, (82.1 percent) is well-received among foreign experts, followed by T-mall (42.8 percent), Amazon (34.6 percent) and (42.8 percent).


As a country with abundant natural and cultural destinations, China is an ideal place for traveling and relocation according to foreigners, a survey found last year.

This year's survey concentrated more on the methods of travel.

As the data shows, backpacking (48 percent) is the most popular mode of travel among foreign experts, followed by road travels at 25.1 percent.

Less than 10 percent (9.4 percent) of expats are group travelers.

Furthremore, the scenic spots (57.4 percent) are the largest consideration when traveling, followed by catering (34.2 percent), accommodation (29.1 percent) and traffic (22.8 percent).

A further analysis of the data has revealed that young expats focused more on catering while the older expats were more concerned about where to live and how to get to the destination.

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