Feeds

Pricey China could put off ex-pat IT pros

Rocketing living costs may be good news for Hong Kong

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Ex pat IT professionals could soon find more job opportunities appearing in Hong Kong than on the mainland after new research revealed rocketing living costs in some Chinese cities, forcing employers to reconsider where they locate candidates.

The rankings for HR support firm ECA International’s Cost of Living Survey are based on the cost of typical day-to-day goods and services, ranging from food and drink to clothing, electrical goods and meals out.

The most significant finding of this year’s study is that it’s getting much more expensive to live in China. After the top four cities – all of which are in Japan – the most expensive places to live are Beijing and then Shanghai in fifth and sixth respectively.

Seoul, Singapore and Hong Kong come next in descending order, and then it’s the southern China boom towns of Shenzhen and Guangzhou in tenth and eleventh.

Perhaps more alarmingly, the rankings suggest these four Chinese cities are all more expensive to live in than London, thanks to a strong currency and high inflation. Goods and services typically purchased by ex-pats are therefore rather steeply-priced, ECA said.

Although these costs are in many cases left up to the employee to absorb, a common form of ex-pat package for those on temporary assignment for two or three years will typically include a cost of living allowance, according to ECA’s regional director for Asia, Lee Quane.

A company looking to offer these ‘home-based’ packages which has offices across Asia may now have cause to reconsider where it places international assignees, he told The Reg.

“It’s not an overriding factor because the company has to look at other things like supply and demand and the attractiveness of the location, to decide whether it needs to provide additional allowances,” he said.

“But it will make them reconsider whether they should be putting someone in Beijing or Shanghai if it’s actually cheaper to put them in Hong Kong.”

The survey did not include big expenses such as utilities, school fees and accommodation, which would probably push the cost of living in Hong Kong up above the other Chinese cities, although the gap here is also closing fast, according to Quane.

“Accommodation rates in cities like Beijing and Shanghai are starting to catch up with Hong Kong and then you’ve got the difference in tax rates – in Hong Kong 17 per cent while China goes up to 40 per cent,” he added.

“Also now in China companies have to enrol their staff in social security which increases the cost for employers and employees, which doesn’t happen as much in Hong Kong.”

All of which means it could be time for IT pros with itchy feet to put down their Mandarin phrase books and start learning Cantonese. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Germany strikes again over Amazon warehouse pay
Employees to walk out in long-running wage dispute
Phones 4u demise: 1,700 employees laid off with redundo package
'Limited interest in remaining 362 stores', says administrator PwC
Amazon hiring in Australia for 'new and confidential Amazon Fresh initiative'
Is Jeff Bezos moving his grocery business beyond the US West Coast?
Blighty's mighty tech skills shortage drives best job growth in years
Doesn't anyone know anything about SQL? Or Java? Or Linux? Or programming? Or...
Microsoft changes cert test providers, hints at fun new exams
If you really love taking tests with Prometric, do 'em before Christmas
Symantec security chap signs for CSIRO's ICT In Schools
Vulture South is closing in on our goal of 20 new recruits to help teachers and kids
A-level results: Before you smile at that jump-for-joy snap...
Uni-ditching teens are COMING FOR YOUR JOBS
How to promote CSIRO's ICT in Schools in your community
Vulture South is closing in on its target to find volunteers to help teach tech in schools
Everyone's an IoT expert but now there's a certificate to prove it
Cisco creates Certification of Things for industrial sensor-footlers
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.