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Why you should consider career opportunities in Chongqing

 

Positioned at the confluence of Asia’s economic markets, Chongqing is the largest of China’s four municipalities. What’s more, it has seen a year-on-year double digit GDP of 11% reflecting its rapid growth and development.

A vibrant and unique city

Touted as the world’s fastest growing tourism city according to the World Travel & Tourism Council, Chongqing is the gateway to the stunning Three Gorges reservoir and home to alluring valleys.[1] Its location in the Sichuan region also makes it a great place to enjoy simmering hotpot dishes. Thrill-seekers can expect the American-owned Six Flags amusement park franchise to open an adrenaline-pumping space here in 2020.[2]

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The Chongqing region is identified as one of the focuses under China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) for socioeconomic development, with a mandate for greater urbanization and connectivity by strengthening its shipping centers in the Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia.

Chongqing is a key inland transportation hub for the Belt and Road Initiative which connects Western/Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe. The recent Belt & Road Chongqing Brand Expo 2018 drawing 20,000 visitors highlighted the city’s auspicious position as the intersection of the Silk Road Economic Belt, Indo-China Peninsula Economic Corridor and Yangtze River Economic Belt.

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Transport options abound with Jiang-bei International Airport located in the heart of the city, over 150 trains passing through daily to connect major cities like Beijing and Shanghai, and 6 easily navigable subway lines linking Chongqing’s 9 districts, just to name a few. The huge investment in connectivity here has, in turn, attracted investment from other cities in China.[3]

Establishing a career in Asia’s largest smart city

Primed to be Asia’s largest smart city and also China’s pilot city to apply Big Data Intelligence by 2020, Chongqing hosted the Smart China Expo in 2018 which welcomed key personalities in business and tech such as Alibaba’s Jack Ma and Tencent’s Pony Ma.[4] Recently, Alibaba partnered with a local bank to develop financial service apps and Tencent announced its 1,000-strong workforce in the city, an increase from the previous figure of 400.[5] The presence of these MNCs here is testament to the growth potential of Chongqing—you certainly want to get on board this wave of progress!

 Incentives for talents

Career opportunities are impressive as the local government seeks to attract worldwide talents. The launch of the Hongyan Talent Plan in 2017 is a major factor: it offers monetary incentives based on industry classification, services around investment and financing, eligibility for resident visa and household status, medical services and more.

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Eligible talents (those who meet skillset requirements and sign an employment contract of a minimum of 3 years in Chongqing) can apply for the Chongqing Talent Service Card. This helps with household registration based on the available range of accommodation selections in expat-preferred areas, residential visa privileges, finding employment for spouse/children, schooling privileges and preferential medical arrangements. Entrepreneurs are also given support via tech initiatives, project financing, loan subsidies and more.

Those with children or looking to start a family can choose from a good variety of established international schools catering to ages from nursery to tertiary. Medical care is also just a ring away with most major serviced apartments having 24-hour call services with doctors on standby.

Achieving success

Adapting to life in Chongqing is easier than imagined with the availability of expat support networks and activities. These might include café meetups to get to know fellow expats in a relaxed setting, or even marathon races, seminars and conventions.[6]

Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned expat, keep an open mind and be willing to explore. Get rid of any preconceptions you may have and you might learn something new along the way!

In terms of business etiquette which can be delicate in Chinese tradition, here are some tips to follow:[7]

  • 关系 (guānxì) or strong relationships is particularly important in China—this may involve several meetups which could involve informal lunches/dinners to achieve your objectiveGuan Xi
  • If you are new, it helps to have an intermediary as most Chinese don’t conduct business with people they don’t know
  • Small talk is common and expected before meetings, instead of just getting to the point
  • Maintain composure and avoid strong displays of emotion, as losing and gaining ‘face’ is a key Chinese concept
  • Enter meeting rooms in order of seniority; the person entering first is usually the head
  • ‘Yes’ doesn’t always mean yes, and ‘no’ is only said in private

With practice and over time, these customs will naturally come to you.

With a plan dedicated to attracting world-class talents to this lively city brimming with opportunity, Chongqing is definitely a place you should consider for your next career move!

–End–

Sources:

[1] Source: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/chongqing-china-tourism/index.html

[2] Source: https://investors.sixflags.com/news-and-events/press-releases/2018/04-24-2018-213034885

[3] Source: https://www.internations.org/chongqing-expats/guide/working-in-chongqing-18651

[4] Source: http://en.people.cn/n3/2018/0830/c90000-9495761.html; https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/chongqing-to-host-smart-china-expo-boosting-development-of-big-data-technology-300699414.html

[5] Source: https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Business-Trends/China-s-top-tech-flocks-to-inland-cities-to-develop-AI

[6] Source: http://www.cqexpat.com/

[7] Source: https://www.todaytranslations.com/doing-business-in-china; https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/27/etiquette-tips-for-doing-business-in-china.html; https://cnbusinessforum.com/chinese-business-etiquette-101-business-china/

Article Top5_3

With the rapid development in the China market, China has now become one of the world’s leading economies. This has brought more and more foreign companies to China. China’s business environment and culture are different from other parts of the world. To succeed in China, foreign companies are inevitably faced with various challenges that must be overcome.  In response to these challenges, we conducted a brief interview with Ms. Gao Xin, who has worked for many years in foreign companies.  Ms. Gao Xin has more than 20 years of experience in human resources management.  She is also the founding partner of the New Organization Development Research Institute. Ms Gao’s working experience include Director of Human Resources for Forbes500 Enterprises and Vice President, HR of listed companies in China. She is now working with Chinese local companies.

Based on her many years of experience and the observations working in foreign companies, Mr. Gao shared with us the top five challenges that foreign companies are facing while developing in China:

1. Foreign companies’ response to market changes is not timely

Due to rapid development, the Chinese market dynamics are constantly changing. Gao feels that the overall response of foreign companies to the market is obviously slower. She thinks the main reason is the inherent organizational structure of foreign companies. The headquarters of foreign-funded enterprises are all overseas, and the decision-making brain is often not in China. Many foreign companies in China are branches, and some are even divisions of the local Asian headquarters, thus, the distance from the real brain is quite far.

When the market has new developments, local companies will quickly respond with countermeasures. In the case of foreign-funded enterprises, their China’s branches need to report the new trends and counter measure plans to their headquarters. The headquarters will then go on meetings to discuss whether it can pass the proposed plans. This leads to the situation whereby when the local companies have already implemented counter programs, the foreign enterprises are still deciding which plan is better.

The congenital factors of foreign-funded enterprises to a certain extent determine that their response to changes in the market is not timely. Under the ever-changing market environment in China, the influence of this inherent problem of foreign companies is still quite substantial.

2. Foreign companies have low acceptance of new technologies in the domestic market

Gao thinks that although many advanced technologies are developed in the United States, the application of these technologies is very fast in China. She said that China does not have much historical burden on the use of new technology solutions, so it is very fast when it comes to the use of technological transformation. For example, credit card payment widely used in the West is not so popular in China, so new payment methods such as WeChat payment are widespread and fast. In the process, she discovered that many foreign companies are slower in this respect. In foreign companies, many office systems, management systems, and so on, all these technical applications need to be consistent with the headquarters for ease of management. The head office of foreign companies hopes that these systems will achieve global unity. Today, the development of information technology in China is changing with each passing day. Especially in the Internet industry, office software systems are constantly developing. For example, DingDing and WeChat Office fully realizes wireless connectivity with mobile phones, real-time office and remote office. Most local companies have begun to exercise these apps or software to improve their work efficiency. However, due to factors such as information security and global standardization, foreign-funded enterprises cannot decide whether to use the software in a short period of time, even if the software can effectively provide employees with work efficiency.

Gao also mentioned that many foreign companies have become accustomed to using e-mail to communicate, but the communication channels of local companies are relatively more diversified, and the exchange of information is very fast. To cope with fast market changes, the speed of decision-making must also be relatively fast, and the basis for the application of technology by foreign companies cannot support the pace of changes in the outside world.

3. China’s preferential policies for foreign enterprises have weakened

Gao shared that in the early days when foreign-funded enterprises entered the Chinese market, the Chinese government provided many preferential policies, such as tax incentives, industry-based preferential terms, etc. This series of policies allows foreign-funded enterprises to have a greater advantage when competing with local companies.

However, as more and more foreign-funded enterprises enter the Chinese market, coupled with the enormous development of local companies, the preferential policies for foreign-funded enterprises are slowly weakening. At the same time, the government is also supporting the development of local enterprises. This has resulted in foreign companies losing competitive advantage in the Chinese market. According to Gao’s observation, many foreign companies may not be able to cope with this change. For example, she mentioned that when a foreign company first entered the Chinese market, the company had a large preferential policy on income tax. Now that the policy has changed, the company’s expenditures and income have also changed. However, when the company reinvested in the Chinese market, it failed to take a very effective approach to deal with the weakening preferential policies.

4. Corporate culture differences

The work environment provided by foreign-funded enterprises to employees is relatively stable, comfortable and humane. Most people in Western countries are pursuing a state of balance between life and work. They hope that work and life are completely separate. Working hours are devoted to work, and at the end of the day, they should devote themselves fully to their own lives. However, in China, most people are very hardworking and aggressive, and their pace is relatively fast. Many people are willing to sacrifice their own rest time and devote themselves to work, hoping that they can achieve something in their career. Although employees of foreign-funded enterprises often have overtime, the reason for this overtime is mostly for internal communication purposes. Due to the time difference with the headquarters, most branch offices need to report work based on the time of the headquarters.

Gao feels that the rhythm of the entire society in Europe and the United States is relatively slow compared with China. Although the humane management style of foreign-funded enterprises is very attractive to most people, however, due to the fierce competition in the Chinese market, compared with local companies, foreign-funded enterprises have not developed the kind of ‘fierce’ spirit in response. In the long run, it appears that the competitiveness of foreign companies lags behind their Chinese competitors.

5. Foreign companies are becoming less attractive to talent

Mr. Gao shared that in the 90s and even the beginning of 2000, foreign companies ranked top on the list of companies favored by talents. However, today, there are more and more local companies that ranked ahead as favourable employees, such as Alibaba, Huawei, Tencent and others. In the early days, foreign enterprise talents were very popular in the market. But now, their popularity is on the decline.

Gao also analysed that foreign companies have advantages in the field of technology and industry experience, and a relatively longer market development time, this forms a more mature management model and philosophy. The advantages of foreign companies are a clear organizational framework, standardized processes, and meticulous definition of work scopes. These are some HR aspects that were highly regarded before.  However, it is also because of this, we realized that foreign enterprises employees can have depth in their work yet their scope is limited.

In addition, foreign branches in China do not have strong authority, and rely on the system from head office for implementations, consequently people feel more restrained. China start-ups often do not have a clear framework in the beginning.  People who work in there have multi-talents and are able to work beyond their scope. Ms Gao foresees that in the future, due to the continuous development and changes in the market, these multi-faceted talents are what the employment market will be lacking.

Finally, for foreign companies, many organization structures are fixed and it is difficult to make a big difference. Many times, a position can only rise up to certain level, where beyond that level are all foreigners. For Chinese people there is no path for further growth.

In China, the attractiveness of foreign enterprises to talents are gradually declining.  Talents that come out from foreign-funded enterprises are also losing their appeal in the employment market.

As a conclusion, Gao feels that when foreign companies are navigating the rapid development of the Chinese market and the aforementioned challenges, they need to reconsider their development strategy and positioning. If the Chinese market is the company’s target or future key market, then there need to be some adjustments in the management system and thinking. For example, to set the target market as priority, the headquarter can work as a resource and strategy center that supports the rapid development of the market. The frontline in the target market is given the authority and space for decision-making, while the headquarters mobilize resources for support.

The above article is the interviewee’s point of view and does not represent WiseNet Asia’s position. We are very grateful to Mr. Gao for taking the time for this interview.

About Miss Gao Xin

Ms. Gao Xin has more than 20 years of experience in human resources management, organizational and leadership development.  She is also the founding partner of the New Organization Development Research Institute. Ms Gao’s working experience include Director of Human Resources for Forbes500 Enterprises and Vice President, HR of listed companies in China.

Qualifications:

Master of Sustainable Leadership, University of Cambridge, UK.

MBA, Federation University, Australia

MBA, Human Resources Management, Beijing University of Science and Technology, China.

National Secondary Psychological Consultant, National Human Resource Manager, Accountant, Financial Economist, ICP Certified NLP Coach, DISC Practitioner.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Chongqing Municipal government’s Hongyan Talent Plan, launched in year 2017, aims to attract talents from all over the world to the city.

Domestic and foreign talents can now apply to be part of the Hongyan Talent Reward Plan and enjoy the relevant policies and services according to their industry classifications.

Incentives*:
• Category A talents: Monetary incentives equivalent to twice the amount of annual income tax contributed or fixed quantum incentives not amounting to more than RMB 2 million.
• Category B talents: Monetary incentives equivalent to 1.5 times the amount of annual income tax contributed or fixed quantum incentives not amounting to more than RMB 1 million.
• Category C talents: Monetary incentives equivalent to 1.2 times the amount of annual income tax contributed or fixed quantum incentives not amounting to more than RMB 300K.
*Payout of the incentives will take place over a period of three years. 40% of the incentives will be paid out on the 1st year, 35% will be paid out on the second year and subsequently, 25% will be paid out on the third year.

One-stop Services:
• Entrepreneurship: Readily available services for investment, financing, applications for national and provincial level technological projects, etc.
• Resident Visa: Eligible to apply for 5 year residence permit and enjoy perks for permanent residence status.
• Settlement / Household registration: Eligible to apply as a registered household in Chongqing for the talent and family.
• Assistance on employment for spouse and children.
• Medical Service: Enjoy privileges of priority medical services via the “green channel” in hospitals, including priority for appointments, hospitalisation,
and surgical procedures.

INDUSTRY REWARD TIERS:
Applicable Industries: Water Conservation, Agricultural Leasing, Environmental & Public Amenities, Building, Mining, Wholesale and Retail, Manufacturing, Real Estate, Transportation, Warehousing, Cultural, Sports, Entertainment, Food & Beverage and Hospitality.
Category A: Professionals with an annual salary of RMB 1.2 million and above.
Category B: Professionals with an annual salary of RMB 600K to RMB 1.2 million.
Category C: Professionals with an annual salary of RMB 300K to RMB 600K.

Applicable Industries: Education, Public Administration, Social Organisations, Electricity, Heat, Gas, Water Works, Health & Social Works, Scientific Research, Technical Services and Information & Communications Technology.
Category A: Professionals with an annual salary of RMB 1.6 million and above.
Category B: Professionals with an annual salary of RMB 800K to RMB 1.6 million.
Category C: Professionals with an annual salary of RMB 400K to RMB 800K.

Applicable Industries: Financial Institutions, Private Equity and Venture Capitals. This also includes professionals who are involved in Offshore Finance, New Financial Products Research, Risk Management, Financial Leasing and CFA, CFP & Finance Professionals.
Category A: Professionals with an annual salary of RMB 2 million and above.
Category B: Professionals with an annual salary of RMB 1.2 million to RMB 2 million.
Category C: Professionals with an annual salary of RMB 600K to RMB 1.2 million.

WiseNet is accredited by the Chongqing Municipality with the following:

  • Chongqing Municipality Talent Attraction Work Station 重庆市引才工作站
  • Talent Acquisition Service Provider for Chongqing Municipality from 2018-2019 under the Hong Yan Talent Scheme 重庆鸿雁计划海外服务供应商

Learn more about Hong Yan Talent Plan, click here: Hongyan Talent Brochure_PRINT

WiseNetAsia Knowledge Center
Copyright © 2018 WiseNet Asia Pte Ltd.  All Rights Reserved

Different schools of thought abound on the causes and consequences of a financial crisis, often a precursor for a recession. With JPMorgan Chase speculating that the next recession will take place in 2020 – just two years from now – which may see stocks at a 20% decline and energy prices devalued by 35% according to analysts,[1] it would be prudent for companies today to assess how best they can weather this slump to make a quick turnaround.

The CEO has a pivotal role in steering a company through such turbulent times. Faced with the challenges of predicting which parts of the business will be affected and identifying actions to secure the company in the best position possible, this CEO requires several key traits to succeed.

  1. Visionary ability

Leaders need to be in touch with their capability for accurate long-term visioning. With rapid industrialization and global market volatility where anything can happen, it’s not always easy to spot who your future competitors are. They can be in the form of a new technology or a new merger, which can pose a fresh and unexpected threat to your business.

The unpredictable nature of such obstacles and changes would mean that past data becomes unhelpful or irrelevant to gauge future trends and sustainability metrics. Although past data can facilitate in the making of ongoing operational decisions, it does not guarantee that the company will sail smoothly through the face of instability in years to come. Swift changes in market dynamics paired with customer needs and demands require businesses to be equally swift – if not one step ahead – in response.

Being able to envision the future with innovations that revolve around customer lifestyles can provide a competitive advantage to help sustain against disruptions in the future.

  1. Authority to execute

Leaders take full ownership of their vision.  They act with purpose to make their ownership visible to everyone.[2] They show confidence to drive and execute specific actions that target the business’ weak points. Doing so both benefits the company and creates inspiration for onlookers as the CEO’s every move is watched closely.

  1. Undivided focus

A business leader will encounter many proposals and personal invitations for new ventures. Some of these may be tempting, enough to divert and shift major resources such as funds and key talents. It is an essential trait to stay focused and disciplined on the initial goal(s) where efforts have been made and value in, despite the attractive or lucrative deals that may be presented to you.

  1. Genuine intention

Although it’s easy to get caught up in making profit a priority, a leader needs to counter this by doing things with heart.  This means striking a balance by establishing responsible corporate practices without placing employee and societal interests at risk.

Leaders who care for the people are true leaders.

  1. Flair for numbers

It may seem like a given but having a knack for numbers cannot be underestimated. This enables CEOs to make agile decisions, identify loopholes and make calculated risks. It also helps with assessing potential opportunities for the business.

Selecting the ideal CEO is no easy feat, as an individual’s strengths and weaknesses are not always readily visible. Having a checklist of essential traits will help companies make crucial decisions when hiring for this important role.

_______________

Contributor:  Wesley Hui

Wesley in green background 180901

 Wesley Hui is the Executive Director of WiseNet Asia Pte Ltd. He is a HR industry veteran with over 20 years of experience specializing in executive search and human resources consulting.  The clients he has worked with are primarily in the real estate and infrastructure sectors which include Keppel Land, Sime Darby, Sunway, Temasek, ARA, etc. Wesley also actively participates in speaking engagements on HR and leadership topics in Singapore and China.

Follow Wesley on LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/wesleyhui/

Sources:

[1] Source: https://www.pymnts.com/economy/2018/jpmorgan-financial-crisis-recession-emerging-markets/

[2] Source: https://www.forbes.com/2008/05/09/strategy-executive-zeleny-lead-manage-cx_dz_0509tough.html#7d0a3a3037af

 

 

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16 Jan 2018 –  The first Chongqing ‘Innovate Entrepreneurial Ecology Summit’ was an event jointly organized by the Chongqing Municipal Bureau of Human Resources and Social Security, Chongqing Municipal Finance Bureau, Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Youth League, Women’s Federation of Chongqing, Chongqing Expressway Group and Chongqing Employment Service Authority in the Yuelai International Conference Center in Yubei District, Chonqing.

The purpose of the summit is to implement and encourage the ideas of innovation driven business strategy and entrepreneurship generating employment.

Municipal leaders, chairman of the New Oriental Education Group, Hongtai Foundation co-founder Yu Minhong, founder of zbj.com, Zhu Mingyue, Cerberus Lvke Group Managing Partner Li Jisheng, a total of 10 big ventures, 175 high-quality business incubators in all districts and counties , 44 venture capital agencies, 79 venture incubators and 8 well-known human resources organizations, plus a total of 1,000 people attended the summit.  All participating entrepreneurs can submit BP to investment institutions, hatching bases, headhunters and leading companies to discuss cooperation projects.

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Picture above:  WisenetAsia’s China GM Ms Karen Woong speaking at the summit.

In the summit, WisenetAsia’s China GM Ms Karen Woong shared with participants how headhunting firms work to help organizations in talent acquisition solutions.

WisenetAsia is established in year 2011 in Singapore, with an employment agency license issued by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower. The company specialized in high end talent acquisition from mid to senior level management, and has a database of more than 50,000 international talent information. Headquartered in Singapore, WisenetAsia’s other locations include Kuala Lumpur, Chongqing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

In 2017, WisenetAsia set up a wholly-owned subsidiary in Chongqing – 重庆中新巍海商务咨询有限公司.  It is the first overseas high-end headhunter company in Chongqing’s Human Resources Industrial Park. WisenetAsia is committed to implementing the Hongyan Project launched by the Chongqing Municipal Government which sought to bring in talents to Chongqing.

WisenetAsia works with customers in various industries including technology innovation industry, real estate, financial services, infrastructure, investment funds, health care, aviation, logistics, and so on.  It’s client base consist of state-owned enterprises, multinationals, start-up companies and private-owned companies. Every company has its distinctive corporate culture.  WisenetAsia team has the competitive advantages in skilled matching between different types of personalities with different types of company culture.  Ms Woong gave an example whereby people working in start-up companies need to be prepared to accept uncertainties in their job, need to be able to accept ambiguous situations, need to understand not everything will have an immediate answer, need to roll up their sleeve and be prepared to be really hands on and work overtime when required.  With experience working with different organizations, the WisenetAsia team understand what type of job candidates to match with each businesses.

WisenetAsia‘s successful placements coverage areas include China, Singapore, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Japan and South Korea, India, Australia, etc. It’s successfully placed positions include Applied Science, Finance, Investment, Marketing, Human Resources, Project Management, Legal Affairs, Asset Management, Procurement, Digital Technology, Operations Management, Quality Management and more.

Ms Woong explained to the audience ‘What is headhunting?’ In summary, headhunting is a bridge between the hiring unit and talents.  Headhunters will look for suitable  job candidates, including passive ones, based on the hiring unit’s requirements.

Ms Woong also shared the following reasons for engaging headhunters:

First, talent is hard to find. Talent shortage is the problem many companies are facing.

Second, by outsourcing cumbersome recruiting jobs to headhunters, companies can focus their energies and time better on business development or management.

Third, with talent shortages, enterprises cannot passively be waiting for talents to apply for their jobs. Through headhunters, companies have the opportunity to reach out to people who are not actively looking for a job, because headhunter will not just look at the existing talent in the market, but also take the initiative to contact those who are not actively looking for a job.

Fourth, when businesses want to expand into new markets, they can rely on headhunters to find suitable candidates in local markets.

Finally, in her speech summary, Ms Woong shared with the audience how headhunters operate.  According to Ms Woong, “Upon being commissioned by the employer, we will conduct an in depth study of the company’s background, business, strategy, challenges, culture and competitors.  We will also communicate with the employer and confirm the understanding of job vacancies, responsibilities, employment specifications and so on.  We will analyze the talent market according to the needs of our clients, list which industries or enterprises may have the necessary job candidates, and then through our talent pool and contacts, systematically and actively seek out targeted talent and discuss with them if they are willing to join a client’s company or position.  We will recommend interested candidates to the employer to consider for an interview, and finally assist in the staff on-boarding.  Throughout the whole process, we will keep in close contact with employers and personnel.”

WisenetAsia is honored to have this opportunity to interact with these start-ups in Chongqing.  Looking at so many entrepreneurs taking the stage and sharing their creative projects, we feel the strong support of the Chongqing municipal government in start up businesses.  We are convinced that the atmosphere of innovation and entrepreneurship in Chongqing will be increasingly prosperous.

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