Where to live as an expat professional in Shenzhen

Where to live as an expat professional in Shenzhen

Where to live as an expat professional in Shenzhen

The Chinese mega-city of Shenzhen is now the Silicone Valley of Asia, drawing the best and brightest tech talent to its still-growing hub of innovation.

Shenzhen is massive, home to some 15 million people and increasingly the place to be for top talent in the innovative tech sector. The city is split into a number of huge districts, all with their own distinctive flavours and individual characters, giving newly arrived expats a great choice of locations, All are popular with expats seeking to either make their fortunes or simply enjoy the delights of living and working in China.

Futain District, now known as Shenzhen’s Central Business District, is home to a good number of recently-formed financial companies as well as offering two border crossings into Hong Kong. A large number of expats work in and around the district as well as enjoying its bars, restaurants and malls after the day’s work ends. For techies, Nanshan District is where it’s all happening, with the High Tech Park crammed with expat entrepreneurs and major internet companies. A cool sub-district is Overseas Chinese Town with its offerings of creative spaces and art lofts.

Shekou District hides in the southwest area of the city and is home to a huge number of expats working for oil and gas internationals either on the rigs or in local offices. It’s good for Western culture and activities, and expat families are well-catered for. Bao An used to be a hub for giant factories, now moved inland and replaced by new-build Shenzhen Airport and many e-commerce hubs. Accommodation is economically priced, and the expat community is growing.

For traditionalists, Luo Ho district is the original Shenzhen, with a walk-in border crossing to Hong Kong and its former factories now converted into huge shopping malls, nightclubs, spas and residential complexes. Its reputation involves danger as the district has a high number of migrants, but resident expats don’t see any reason for its description as unsafe. To arrivals from the West, each district seems to be its own, individual city, with its own advantages and very few disadvantages. Subways connect each district to the others, but expat residents tend to stay within their own chosen environments, a trait which more adventurous foreigners regards as sheer laziness!

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