Expats vote Shanghai top city for foreigners once again

2020-11-09    Shanghai Daily (SHINE)

Shanghai is the favorite city for foreigners on the Chinese mainland for the eighth consecutive year.

In the “2019 Amazing China — the Most Attractive Chinese Cities for Foreigners” ranking, Shanghai ranked first, followed by Beijing, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Hefei, Nanjing, Chengdu, Qingdao and Suzhou.

Launched by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs in 2010, it’s the only ranking on the Chinese mainland allowing only foreigners to vote on expat-friendly policies, governmental administrative capacity, and working and living conditions.

Of the voters, there are eight Nobel laureates, including Israeli biologist Aaron Ciechanover, Dutch-British physicist Andre Geim and Dutch synthetic organic chemist Bernard Lucas Feringa. The list also includes John Hopcroft, American theoretical computer scientist and Turing Award recipient.

Shanghai has 215,000 working foreigners, 23.7 percent of the country's total. Fifty-eight of them have been honored with the Chinese government’s Friendship Award.

In April 2017, China fully launched a new work permit system for foreigners. By the end of October, Shanghai has issued more than 250,000 work permits, with more than 18 percent issued to high-level foreign professionals, topping the country.

Shanghai has released a number of policies, including streamlining procedures to apply for visas and work and residence permits, to attract foreign professionals.