How can a foreigner get a job in Shenzhen, China?

Itโ€™s fairly easy to find a job as an (English-speaking) foreigner in Shenzhen. There are a few ways:

Easiest is to find a job as an English teacher. There are a number of companies in the US that offer help in this process, for a fee. Theoretically, you could also show up in Shenzhen and get a teaching job. Teaching jobs in Shenzhen would usually involve free housing, ~$1,500โ€“2,000US per month salary, and, off-the-books, the opportunity to tutor English privately for ~$50โ€“100 per hour+.

Less easy, but more lucrative and more of a career, would be to become highly skilled at some tech-related field. There are a huge number of tech companies headquartered in Shenzhen, including the worldโ€™s biggest drone company (DJI), one of the worldโ€™s biggest app companies (Tencent), and several telecoms network companies (Huawei, ZTE). If youโ€™re well-trained in robotics, coding, etc., you might have a shot at getting into one of these companies. It would be a significantly better shot if you speak Mandarin.

Beyond this, there are a number of foreigners in Shenzhen doing their own thing. This includes people I know doing startups in various areas of electronics (basically Shenzhen is the center of the worldโ€™s biggest electronics supply chain), running restaurants, importing liquor from Eastern Europe, working as machinists, etc. To do something like this, youโ€™d probably need either some capital to start, a specific skill, or a good network in some specific industry. That said, I did once meet an English guy who appeared to have little to no talent at anything, but made a reasonably okay living selling cheap Shenzhen electronics on Amazon UK.

Good luck!

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