Lying on China's southeastern coast, Shenzhen is one of the country’s wealthiest and fastest-growing cities. What was once a small fishing village has transformed into a global technology hub and major megacity. Shenzhen’s impressive skyscrapers may astonish new arrivals who relocate here, while the array of lush gardens and nature trails are equally inviting.
This vast metropolis has grown out of the Pearl River Delta, a geographic landmark that has made Shenzhen one of the world’s busiest container ports while being well connected to neighbouring Hong Kong.
Its status as a Special Economic Zone has also allowed the city to become a key manufacturing and tech centre with a clean, extensive and efficient public transport network. Shenzhen and its surrounding areas host the headquarters of numerous multinational companies including Tencent, ZTE and Huawei.
Finding work in this city’s strong economic climate, therefore, may not be a major hurdle. The same goes for settling and integrating into life here.
Although perhaps less spoken about than other Chinese cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, Shenzhen draws in its fair share of foreigners. This influx has led to a growing number of services and facilities that meet the needs and desires of expats.
Shenzhen boasts everything from top international schools which welcome expat families with children to a diverse selection of nightclubs, bars, restaurants and shopping centres that suit any lifestyle. The mild climate and beautiful natural surrounds also offer nature lovers an easy escape from the frantic pace of the bustling city life.
Bear in mind that moving to this megacity can come at a high financial cost. Shenzhen is one of the most expensive cities in China. So, while renting accommodation in a modern apartment complex may seem alluring, be sure to budget appropriately – and explore the popular neighbourhoods.
As with anything, there are both pros and cons to moving to Shenzhen. Expats who are open to the move may find magic and charm hidden in every area of the city and truly enjoy their expat experience.