Working in Dalian



Having one of China’s largest ports through Dalian Bay, the city brings in not only the ships and their cargo but the jobs that go along with it. Expats who will work in this lovely oriental destination will enjoy chasing making their dreams come true while being surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of nature. 

It is not why surprising that this little city in China registered a total of 80,000 immigrants from other provinces, cities, and other countries from all over the world. The truth is Dalian doesn’t just attract expat workers but foreign investors as well. Since 2008, this city had 13,133 new enterprises, 908 of which were foreign-funded. Foreign investments then amounted to 2.68 billion USD (US Dollar). Significantly, aside from foreign investors, the locals are motivated to establish their own businesses. And as new businesses translate to more job opportunities in Dalian, the unemployment rate remained manageable at 2.4%. In fact, the employment rate is at 70% and there are more than 160,000 persons employed in the city's urban and town areas. 

Dalian’s Goliath Industries 

Dalian is China’s fifth-biggest port city whereas the local government strives on making it the new ‘Hong Kong of the North’. Petrochemicals, ship building, equipment manufacturing, information technology and electronics are the pillars of Dalian’s stable economy. Nowadays, the city also boasts several booming industries which include software development and high end manufacturing. 

In 2015, the service sector accounted to 51% of the city’s Gross Domestic Product. Aside from logistic and trade, financial services also became a significant role player in Dalian’s economy. There are now several foreign banks and insurance companies that set up their headquarters in the city. The demand for IT-related skilled workers are also high, and Dalian definitely responds with its 26,000 experienced software engineers. The city is empowered by 22 universities and technical institutes that produce around 3,800 software engineering graduates annually. 

Big Japanese electronic brands had found Dalian's business environment not only conducive but also cost-effective. Manufacturing giants have established factories in Dalian: 

  • Toshiba
  • Sanyo Electric
  • Nidec 

The city's investment scheme didn't only attract the Tokyo crowd but also brought known IT brands such as Dell, GE (General Electronic), and HP (Hewlett-Packard) to Dalian to put-up customer support centres in the city. 

Average Salary and Work Hours 

Minimum wage in Dalian is at 600 RMB (Chinese Yuan/Renminbi) or 87.89 USD (US Dollar). Salary packages vary mostly based on your job and qualifications but the monthly average salary in this city:

  • General average: CNY 29,675 or USD 4,300.
  • Information technology average: CNY 33,600 or USD 4,800
  • Business planning average: CNY 10,000 or USD 1,500. 

Generally speaking, China implements a five-day workweek which spans from Mondays to Fridays with Saturday and Monday off. The Chinese standard work time should be 40 hours per week whereas the typical work day starts from are from 9 am to 6 pm with a two-hour break which is usually from 12nn to 2 pm. 

Dalian’s Business Culture 

Chinese people base most of their decisions on the relationships, at work or in business transactions, which they have formed with business partners or employees. The concept of Guanxi (which means relationships or connections) is a network of trust formed through a sincere and supportive relationship. The terms ‘mutual respect' and ‘guest behaviour' are also part of this, which basically refers to avoiding the humiliation of another person in public, and observing modesty in social conversations. 

Punctuality is important. You'd usually find your Chinese bosses (or business partners) arriving early during meetings or social gatherings, thus it is expected that you do the same. Directness is good, but not always when dealing or in working in China. Make sure that your statement would not put the other person ‘on the spot' or in a humiliating situation. 

They would also appreciate if you would not give negative answers like ‘no', ‘never', or ‘that's not possible'; a ‘maybe' or ‘I'll look into it' would be more tolerated. In China, a nod doesn't always means ‘yes', it only means the other person is listening. 


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