Monthly Update: September 2011

Market News

In Beijing, CITIC Group confirmed that their new skyscraper would break ground this year and will be the tallest building in Beijing when completed standing at 510m. Concerns about occupancy in the tower are unfounded as CITIC plans to take up all 104 floors…and says this may not even be enough for them! One commentator said that Beijing has the capacity for towers in the 700m+ category but this 510m tower shows the city is pursuing stable development!

'Pingod 039' photo (c) 2009, 若昔难得 - license:

An article in September suggested that companies will soon struggle to attract expats to move to Hong Kong as there is a severe shortage of international school places. Lengthy waiting lists means some families are opting for a move to Singapore instead, although the problem is not much better there. Waiting in the wings are Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea who are all gearing up to become international educational hubs in the near future.

A Chinese businessman announced plans in September to buy up a vast uninhabited area of Northern Iceland. The plan is to turn the region into an eco-resort and golf course although some international commentators are questioning the real motives behind the purchase. There is a mixed view in Reykjavik with some welcoming the foreign investment on offer after a difficult couple of years. Others question whether this is really a cover to allow China to gain a strategic development foothold in the mid-Atlantic.

'' photo (c) 2011, Gunnar Hafdal - license:

The Hong Kong Court of Appeal has given the green light for construction on the Hong Kong to Macau bridge to get underway again. The project was on hold following a protest by a Hong Kong resident who claimed that the resulting air pollution from the finished bridge would be detrimental to her health and that of others. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2016 as originally planned.

China is on track to record GDP growth “in excess of 9%” in 2011 Beijing said. This despite the slowing of the global economy. China remains bullish in it’s growth projections for the coming years confident it can maintain consistent growth of more than 8% in light of the current economic climate.

Poll Result

This month we asked our blog readers how many return business flights they took each month on average. The results can be seen below:

Nearly 60% of you said that you take 2 return flights for business purposes each month. We were quite surprised by the frequency of travel recorded with nearly 21% of respondents taking 3 flights per month! That means that the overwhelming majority of people take 2 or more flights per month. We all know that flying in the US is now considered by many to be as routine as taking a bus. It seems the same can be said for Asia and perhaps with the projected growth in air travel in the region in the coming years, we will continue to see people flying regularly for business purposes.

Thank you again for voting and check back later this month for another poll.

What’s Hot

We remain extremely busy within architecture and design. Mandarin speaking candidates are highly sought after and we have countless opportunities with international practices in Hong Kong and China (Shanghai and Beijing) – clients are opening up to speaking to candidates based overseas. However, this is only if candidates are returning Chinese candidates. Unfortunately the market for candidates looking to break into the China market without language or relevant experience is very tough. Those finding success are taking the risk to fly over and try to secure things directly with companies.

We continue to need many staff for our developer clients. We have some amazing projects on offer to candidates with our clients and a number of our roles would be ideally for those perhaps looking to make the switch from a consultancy environment to the client side. As always, architecturally trained staff are in high demand as are those with E&M backgrounds. We have had some real success in the last month or two placing a lot of people within some of the best international developers out there so if you are interested in a challenging position in China, can speak Mandarin and have experience working on high end projects, please get in touch. We can introduce you to the key decision makers within these prestigious firms.

Most Urgent Requirements

We have outlined below the urgent vacancies we have had through from clients over the last month.

  • Architects – China – a truly landmark project and the opportunity to work on the developer side
  • Senior Architects – China – Mandarin speakers for a top international design practice
  • Senior Design Manager (Interiors) – Hong Kong – top tier and sought after developer
  • Interior Designers – Hotels – Hong Kong – boutique hospitality design firm – one to watch!
  • Senior Urban Designer – Shenzhen or Shanghai – leading design firm
  • Project Director – China – 1 position left for a Top Developer to be based on landmark schemes in China
  • Urban Planners – Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen – multiple roles within a growing award winning design firm. Bilingual candidates only
  • Urban Designers – Hong Kong and China – award winning international practice
  • Architectural Project Manager – Hong Kong – one of the top design firms in the world

We also have many, many more roles posted on our website and these are only an overview of our top positions at this time. Please check back regularly. The easiest way to stay up to date with our latest positions is to follow us on Twitter.

Please visit our website for more information on the above roles and our other vacancies:

If you wish to enquire about a position please send an email and your CV to

Follow us on Twitter here: Please also subscribe to our blog by filling in the email subscription form on the right to stay up to date with our latest posts, updates and information.


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