It’s Official: Expats are Leaving China in Droves

Expats are leaving China much faster than they're arriving

While there are those who have decided to lay down roots in the Middle Kingdom, the majority of expats are here temporarily to either study, work, party, travel or some combination of all four. With so many people coming and going, it can be difficult to get an accurate assessment of whether more expats are coming into China or heading out.

That said, there have been murmurs in the expat community of late that people are increasingly deciding to head home. There seem to be more going away parties for friends than ever. Now, it looks like that sense is correct: twice as many expats are leaving China compared to those arriving.

READ: China’s Typical Expat: Male, Doesn’t Speak Chinese, and Loves It Here

UniGroup Relocation, a moving company, says business servicing expats looking for a way out of China is booming. According to the company’s records, more people have left China for the USA than vice versa for the second year in a row.

Steve Lewis, Managing Director of UniGroup Relocation Asia Pacific, says that South Asian countries have been a popular exit strategy for many expats that used to call China their home. “We have done some mass moves into Malaysia from China as certain people choose to do research and development and manufacturing there.”

READ: Northern Smog Forcing Expats South to Cleaner Guangdong

Lewis revealed that the majority of UniGroup’s clients are multinational employees (93 percent), but that Chinese companies are starting to use its services as well.

Expats are familiar with the many issues they face living in China: air pollution, visa hassles, food safety scandals, and overcrowding just to name a few. However, for those who do choose to stay, be sure to take advantage of the robust, economically priced and lightly worn second-hand furniture market. After all, one person’s trash can be another’s treasure, or living room set.


Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor