If you pay 60 million won for your child’s school fees, you’ll be broke… “Why am I in that country?”

Mr. A, who works as an expatriate in China for a leading conglomerate in Korea, is contemplating leaving the company these days. This is because he judged that it would be virtually impossible for him to use his career in his company in the future to be promoted to his executive level.

Mr. A complained, “Every time I hold a global regional headquarters meeting, the expatriate employees at the Chinese corporation, who perform the most poorly, somehow feel guilty.”

When he was working in the field, he networked with people and after returning to Korea, the status of an expatriate employee in China, who was guaranteed an elite course in the company, was drastically lowered.

Expatriates in China ask for an early return, but an increasing number of companies are complaining of difficulties in business operations because they cannot find a successor in Korea. Some companies are encouraging people to go to China by giving them additional points in personnel management, but they are having trouble finding the right person.

Of course, it is not yesterday or today that domestic businessmen have come to avoid going to China. However, following the sluggish business of Korean companies due to the Corona 19 pandemic and the US-China conflict, even the anti-espionage law enacted by the Chinese government is strangling expatriates. As the revised anti-espionage law (counter-espionage law) went into effect on the 1st, expatriate employees of foreign companies that have entered China are complaining of personal anxiety. In fact, it is also known that US investment bank Morgan Stanley has recently relocated one-third of its technology development personnel in mainland China outside the mainland.

The soaring price during the Corona 19 period is also a reason. In particular, one of the biggest difficulties cited by expatriates in China is the cost of their children’s education. With the exception of some large corporations and banks, there are restrictions on education costs because Chinese international school tuition is the most expensive in the world. International school tuition, which ranges from 300,000 yuan (54 million won) to 350,000 yuan (63 million won) per year, is a huge burden.

As the number of foreign teachers who want to work at international schools in China decreases, the vicious cycle of rising salaries continues and leads to “tuition inflation.”

There are alternatives to sending children to local schools in China, but in this case, there is a problem in that they must receive ideological education in the Chinese Communist Party. For this reason, one expatriate member who is sending his children to an American international school complained, “Compared to the high international school tuition, the company’s support for education is far from enough, so we are sending them in debt.”

Not only the cost of education, but also the cost of living is skyrocketing. A typical example is housing costs. As real estate prices in large cities in China soared, housing costs for expatriates also increased significantly. In the case of Wangjing, which is called Koreatown in Beijing, the monthly rent for a three-bedroom apartment was 8,000 yuan (about 1.4 million won) in 2008, when the Beijing Olympics were held, but now it exceeds 20,000 yuan (about 3.6 million won).

Food prices are also a burden. Overall food prices are still cheaper than in Korea, but as distrust of Chinese food ingredients still exists, many expatriates in Korea mainly purchase Korean products at Korean marts. In this case, the price should be at least 20-30% higher than the Korean consumer price. In addition to this, as labor costs are rapidly increasing, the number of expatriate workers who hire housekeepers and assistant interpreters has also decreased significantly.

The fact that the administrative system support for smooth business is poor is also a reason for hesitating to go to China. In particular, China’s control and surveillance system, which has been further strengthened since President Xi Jinping’s long-term rule온라인카지노, is also a factor that makes China avoid it. China’s zero-tolerance corona policy, which continued until last year, greatly spread negative perceptions of China. Mr. B, an expatriate in China, complained, “It is true that the visa issuance process for foreigners has become more complicated and slower since the Corona 19 epidemic.”

Above all, the more fundamental reason for avoiding China is that the attractiveness of the Chinese market itself is declining. As the Chinese market shrinks due to the conflict between the US and China, the importance of Korean companies to the Chinese market is rapidly declining.

In fact, according to the Export-Import Bank of Korea, the number of cases that Korean companies reported that they would invest in China fell 24.2 percent from 890 in 2021 to 674 last year. The investment amount also decreased from $6.73 billion to $6.59 billion.

In addition, South Korea’s exports to China have fallen to fourth among China’s trading partners. It fell two places in a year from second place last year. An official from the auto parts industry said, “I think that applying to a growing country like India will be more helpful for future promotions, even if the local housing infrastructure is poor.”

This trend is also reflected in the selection of college departments, which is the first stage of employment. In fact, the number of applicants and admissions to the Chinese department is decreasing every year. According to the Education Statistics Service, in 2018, 22,149 applicants applied for Chinese language departments at all universities in Korea and 4,014 were admitted. On the other hand, last year, 17,725 applicants applied, which decreased to 2,727 admissions. Chinese language and literature and liberal arts courses run by each university are also in danger of being canceled every year. Soongsil University canceled four liberal arts courses related to Chinese in the first semester of this year, and 13 courses at Korea University in the second semester of last year.

Businesses are struggling to break this vicious circle in an economic structure where trade with China is still absolutely high. “We have no choice but to reduce the size of our local office in China,” said the CEO of a large domestic company .

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