China performed markedly differently in two international studies released this October. China came first in HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey conducted amongst 7,000 expats worldwide. In contrast, the overall population didn’t fare quite as well as its privileged foreigners, with China coming in 51st in the annual Legatum prosperity index.
The annual expat study conducted by HSBC ranks countries according to their economies, experience for expats and raising children. When taking all three factors into account, China came out on top. Coming second the economic category, 41% of the China’s expats reported that their working environment had improved, with 59% saying that they earned more in China than they did at home.
In terms of overall experience for expats, China came in third and did well in factors that included enjoying local food and sports. In comparison, Taiwan placed 8th and Hong Kong trailed behind at 25th. Hong Kong’s relatively poor showing was due to negative results in work / life balance and finding accommodation, expats also complained about the Hong Kong’s quality of housing. Despite the notorious difficulty of learning Mandarin, a majority of expats in China (86%) make an effort to speak the language.
While China is clearly an attractive destination for foreigners, its national prosperity was ranked only 51st in the world in an extensive index compiled by the independent Legatum Institute. 142 countries were ranked according to factors such as including, wealth, economic growth and quality of life. Here, Hong Kong (19th) and Taiwan (22nd) performed much better.
Although China’s economy came off better than Hong Kong’s and Taiwan’s, China lagged behind both in every other variable. At 111st place, China unsurprisingly ranks among the worst in the world when it comes to personal freedom. Freedom of choice, civil liberties and living environment for ethnic and racial minorities some of the measures taken into account when measuring the metric. Additionally, 50.9% of survey respondents believed government / business corruption is widespread in China.
Nevertheless, it isn’t all bad news, China has jumped thirteen places in global social capital rankings. Apparently, more people are helping strangers.
By Maea Lenei Buhre