Expat dissatisfaction + more things

4 minutes estimated reading time

Expat dissatisfaction

China reopening: companies try to lure back expat staff with bigger pay, allowances after pandemic exodus | South China Morning Post – the thing that most of these companies don’t get is that COVID was the catalyst for expat dissatisfaction to be crystallised around.

Shenzhen Art Museum government-sponsored exhibition

In fact expat dissatisfaction runs far deeper:

  • China is no longer a good thing on your CV, part of this is down to ‘Brand China’. You are likely to be viewed negatively by peers and even family members at home. From the Chinese perspective, foreigners are now viewed with more suspicion and distaste as the government has fermented fear of foreign spies and nationalistic populism. I am sure that the Chinese government would see it as advantageous if locals had these jobs instead. A position in China might be a rear-guard action now while the future of the corporation that you work for will now be elsewhere in Southeast Asia
  • There are better opportunities elsewhere in South East Asia such as Singapore, Vietnam or even Indonesia. A lack of travel to China opened up the eyes of foreign c-suite members who have spent a good deal of time looking elsewhere. Even businesses like Apple are looking at their supply chain options
  • China is more expensive to live in. Costs had been shooting up in the years running up to COVID-19 and haven’t got any cheaper
  • Accessing timely, good quality healthcare is an issue
  • Effective tax has risen a lot. You will have to pay into local pensions that you will never be able to use. So you are paying more tax and living in a much more expensive country
  • The Chinese visa system is much more hassle filled
  • China’s preference for hostage diplomacy
  • International schools have to follow a Chinese curriculum due to changes in regulations. If you value your child’s education, you will no longer want them to go to school there
  • The businesses that made life more tolerable in China have been disappearing. I won’t list off the range of bars in restaurants, but also access to English language books, formerly through stores like The Book Worm in Beijing. The eco-system of businesses that supported expats living in China is rapidly disappearing even before COVID-19 hit
  • A progressively stricter and harder to crack version of the ‘Great Firewall’


Chartbook #194 Can Beijing halt China’s housing avalanche? The most important economic-policy question for 2023? – an interesting read given how most financial pundits have gone big on an increase in Chinese consumption. Yet a 2008-style event there could crush global economic growth for the next decade

You are now living through Cold War 2 – by Noah Smith – what’s interesting about this is the change in tonality. Noah Smith generally takes a techno-optimist tone to content.

Consumer behaviour

Nitrous oxide: what to know about potential changes in the… – The Face – the song remains the same. If you substituted NOS for MDMA article, it would have read similar to pieces written in the late 1980s and early 1990s with regards to drugs and rave culture


For the hundredth time, it’s Suntory time | Japan Subculture Research Center 

Hong Kong

Apple Uses Chinese Firm’s Blacklist to Block Sites in Hong Kong | The Intercept 

Hong Kongers fear a great firewall, TikTokers arrested in Egypt, spyware in Central America – Coda Story 


BoE takes a newly pessimistic view of the economy | Financial Times – UK central bank thinks UK cannot sustain GDP growth of 1% or more each year without inflation – literally stagnation or bust


China tightens export ban of SmCo/NdFeB and RE know-how; China’s RE and RE magnet exports 2022; VAC sign with General Motors; India starts exports of NdPr; – TL;DR – Chinese government: every worthwhile rare earth know-how prohibited or restricted from export


Not a bad recap of the Apple Daily story – Apple Daily – The Rise and Fall of Hong Kong’s Sensationalist, Pro-Democracy Tabloid – The Greater China Journal 


Is TikTok ruining the Berlin club scene? – The Face – yet another version of vicarious experiences


A guide to using AI for publishers – Baekdal Plus 


The preppy revolution: how upper-class style is being torn… – The Face – How is this any different to the way that preppy style was co-opted in the past?


Meta lost $13.7 billion on Reality Labs in 2022 after metaverse pivot | CNBC – what is Meta getting for its money?