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Ex-pats take note: China IT salaries set to jump 40 per cent

It's a tough market but riches await some tech specialists

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Salary hikes of up to 40 per cent could be on offer for IT pros in China this year as the surging demand for specialised skills offers certain ex-pat professionals some new opportunities for a change of scene in 2013.

International recruiter Michael Page’s annual Salary & Employment Forecast (PDF) for China reveals a booming jobs market across all sectors fuelled by the country’s continued, though slowing, economic growth.

For technology professionals this will mean average salary increases of 10 to 15 per cent in 2013, rising to 30 to 40 per cent for those in growth industries like pharmaceuticals, healthcare, utilities and IT.

The report, which features a comprehensive list of salary tables for IT pros according to sector, region and role, added the following:

Positions that may be awarded an above average pay rise include Software Developers, User Experience Designers, IT Security Specialists, applications focused Project Managers and Business Analysts, as well as Java, SQL, .Net and C# Developers. Professionals with skills in business intelligence, data mining, virtualisation and cloud computing are also likely to be offered above average increases due to a shortage of this talent.

Michael Page said the market for tech pros will “increase considerably”, especially in retail and fast-moving consumer goods, and in local online and social networking firms.

Business analysts, developers, “client connectivity specialists”, app development managers, IT security pros and business continuity planners will be particularly in demand, the report added.

As always, however, local language skills and cultural fit remain an important requirement, with applicants who are fluent in both English and Chinese at the top of the pile, especially within multinationals.

In this respect, the jobs market for foreigners in China is not as welcoming as it was a few years ago, according to Michael Page MD for North and East China, Richard King.

“More and more multinational companies are focusing on localisation – not only for mid-level positions but also for senior managerial roles,” he told The Reg.

“In addition, many IT professionals on ex-pat contracts are being expected to move to a local contract if they want to remain in China. The pendulum seems to be swinging towards local hires or at least people willing to work on local contracts in most cases.”

However, the Chinese government has recently revealed plans that could make the country a more attractive destination for ex-pat IT professionals.

The Exit and Entry Administration Law set to come into force in July will introduce new five-year multi-entry visas set to make certain roles more accessible to foreign candidates. ®

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