Want To Get A Tech Job In China? Shape Up Your Java!
We have been seeing a huge rise in foreigners entering China in the past few years. One of the reasons for the sudden rise is due to the flexible trade laws that Shanghai recently implemented. The second reason is due to the blooming rise of the economy in China. It is estimated that China will exceed the USA by 2020. A good ex co-worker/friend of mine named Lynda is a recruiting manager at Baidu and she said she received more applicants from foreign countries than any other year.
Tech Job In China
Beijing, the capital of China has a powerful tech community. All the major startups and tech companies are located in Beijing with expansions into other second-tier cities. Getting a tech job in China for a foreigner is extremely difficult, but it can be done. Even the recent native Chinese grads have a hard time securing a tech job in China.
Unless you are searching for a non IT related position, you must have a high level of understanding for programming before you are considered. In the USA, plenty of startups only set basic requirements for programming knowledge, but China is a different world. Most of the product managers have a wide range of knowledge in programming, typically mastering a few different languages. A lot of tech companies will put you through a programming test at the headquarters as a part of the screening test.
The most important and most used programming language is Java. Tencent uses Java as it’s primary language. Baidu on the other hand uses C/C++ a lot more than Java. Shing Li, a director at Tencent, says that Java is the bread and butter of China’s tech world and just having a basic understanding of Java isn’t enough to get you hired. When asked whether or not students should shape up their java before applying to Tencent, he replied with, “Absolutely.”
Get A Tech Job In China With GuanXi
Guanxi is the term used for relationship. The people who have a working knowledge of China’s culture and business life should understand the importance of guanxi. Theoretically, you can get into any company in China with GuanXi and zero programming knowledge, but it is always better to do it the correct way.
Other than GuanXi, having a good track record is also important. That brings me to my next point. Alternatively, you could choose to work at a foreign company that has offices in China first, then transfer to a big tech company in China. Many companies such as Cisco will provide relocation and english classes for foreigners in China. This is a fantastic time to build your guanxi and language skills.
If you want a tech job in China, you will need Java programming skills and Chinese language speaking skills. English has been the main language of the world, but seldom do you hear a man speaking English in China. All meetings are held in Chinese using sophisticated words that even native Chinese have trouble understanding.
Study Aboard In China
Do not make the bad decision of quitting your job and moving to China. I know of a foreigner that did just that and ended up back home with $0 left in his wallet. You may explore, but have an intention. The last thing I could recommend for foreigners looking for a tech job in China is study aboard here in China. China has excellent international programs that welcome foreign students from all over the world. Take a year of computer science specializing in Java here with English teachers. Grow the guanxi and networking and you can land an internship after.