Expatriates in China

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Last Saturday when I was reading the Shanghai Business Review magazine in a Starbucks (Hongqiao Parkson), I was a little surprised to learn there are 570,000 foreign expatraites living or working in Shanghai. Hangzhou, the scenic city near Shanghai, has 8,000.

I remember in year 2003 or so, the ShanghaiExpat web site just got started by a guy. The site was very simple. Four years later, the site has grown up and last weekend there was an “Expat Exhibit” in the Shanghai Exhibit Center (I didn’t go there). Similarly, I was fascinated to read how Craig started NingboGuide.com:

Ningbo guide logo

Ningbo Guide is the creation of Craig, a foreign resident of Ningbo. He first came to Ningbo in June 2003, and has been living in the city full-time since April 2004. At the time, there was very little information available, and and even less on the internet – only the Ningbo government website. The only way to get around town (for people unfamiliar with the city) was to collect a library of business cards, and present them to taxi drivers. However, it was difficult to discover new places, or know the prices, or know which places were good and which places were boring. Every city in China seemed to have its own city guide, except Ningbo. Craig collected information and took pictures for months, finally making Ningbo Guide website available to the public in May 2005.

Of course nowadays the expatriates are almost everywhere, from Dalian to Chongqing, from Baotao to Kunming. Just like nowadays we can see Chinese all over the world. It’s very interesting to see the effect of globalization.

We are living in an interesting time indeed.


  1. Ningbo is really a fast developing City that meanwhile has a “Night Life” which is mainly located in Lao Waitan. For most foreigner in Ningbo they find quite fast “their right pub” and can enjoy.
    As Ningbo has developed from an mainly university orientated city to an industrial and business hub as counter part to Shanghai, it is more and more important that business, investment and family related information is presented to the Expatriates living in and around Ningbo.
    http://www.ningbolife.com and its fast access site http://www.ningboexpat.com, is fully dedicated to provide such essential support to the investors , the foreign community and the business in town and planning coming to Ningbo.
    Ningbo is full of opportunity you just have to see it !! http://www.ningboexpat.com is making it easy to access this info.
    Ningbolife.com is sponsored by the members of the Ningbo Expat Association, which is the only officially recognized foreigners association in Ningbo.
    When you are in Ningbo, have a look at the site and see where the traditional Ningbo Expat Wednesday dinner is happening. Just walk in and join. Find friends and network, that’s what ‘s all about.
    See you in Ningbo

  2. Wow, thanks for your kind words! It is indeed globalization. We started a spinoff magazine in Ningbo in June. I’ll send you a copy if you like. It’s even nice to see Eckhard above, relentlessly promoting his site with his fractured English, even though the blog post is about my site.

  3. Congratulations : Nice post about Ningbo !! It is rather not about websites and the people behind it, it is more about a service to the community. It is completely right that Ningbo had no reliable Information about Entertainment, which has greatly changed due to the Ningbo Guide. When you go to a 5 Star Hotel and you ask for information about places to go, what you get is this magazine. Craig did mention well that we have different goals, and the one of http://www.ningboexpat.com is free and valuable information to the Expatriates Community for family, events and business. There is plenty of space for good websites here in Ningbo, even if they are commercialized, and the community will benefit from it. That’s what it should be all about.
    But in one point Craig is right, it needs to get a better translator for our website as the English is sometimes a little fractured as he says. –Welcome to China — I might have to send my secretary to Craig for English class. People say that he has been a good teacher in the past.
    So Craig go ahead with your magazine, people really need it. Good luck for mid autumn festival 2007

  4. Craig, Eckhard,

    Both of you are welcome, at my blog and my hometown Ningbo !

    It’s good you guys picked up this effort, helping others, and enjoy
    your time in Ningbo.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *