Hiring Developers In China: Evaluating Costs, Skills, Demand and Supply
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Hiring Developers In China: Evaluating Costs, Skills, Demand and Supply

Everything there is to know about hiring developers in China through Gaper.

The information technology sector in China has developed rapidly over the past two decades, becoming an important contributor to the country’s GDP.

China aims to transform its economy from one based on cheap labor by exporting manufacturing to one that is world-renowned for its innovation and technological prowess. Information technology is one of the seven strategic industries that will play a key role in this transition.

In recent years, foreign investors and several (small) domestic private firms have spurred rapid innovation and creativity in China’s tech sector.

In terms of total numbers, China has the most internet users worldwide. There are more than 900 million users, up from just 22 million in 2000. In addition to this, there are now one billion people who have access to mobile phones, and the number of people who use social media and smartphones is expected to grow exponentially in the near future.

If we look at total expenditures, the Chinese IT market is the fourth largest globally, behind the United States, Japan, and Germany. Business Monitor International estimates that the country has spent $104.5 billion on IT. Currently, it is the largest destination for software outsourcing, second only to India. Chinese IT experts predict yearly growth of 15% over the next five years.


A Look at China’s Tech Landscape

Foreign investors can find several promising avenues for growth in China’s e-commerce and internet marketing sectors. In the future, we anticipate more growth and new opportunities in this market due to the exponential rate at which technology is advancing.

China has spent many years building up its domestic IT industry to raise the value of its manufacturing and other sectors in the global economy. China’s enormous domestic market of 1 billion internet users and 882 million smartphone users has allowed domestic IT enterprises the opportunity to develop thanks to the country’s supporting government regulations.

The world has taken note of China’s meteoric rise in cutting-edge industries, such as 5G wireless networking, mobile payments, online commerce, and artificial intelligence. To safeguard their high-tech industries from China’s rising competitiveness, other countries are paying more attention to the meteoric rise of China’s IT industries.

For this reason, smaller American startups are increasingly establishing R&D facilities in Chinese locations outside of the glitzy, pricey places like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou.

Key Stats

According to the Chinese Ministry of Statistics, the Telecommunications, Software, and Information Technology industries contributed $587.4bn to China’s GDP in 2020. Despite COVID-19 causing low or negative growth rates for various other sectors, the value added by the tech industry increased by an outstanding 16.9 percent last year. The sector’s 18.7% growth in 2019 before the pandemic is just 1.8% higher than the 2020s, demonstrating its resilience in the face of a challenging global economic climate.



Companies that are significant players in the Chinese hardware, e-commerce, or telecommunications markets also tend to be major players in the software market. A list of the top 100 software firms in China was issued in 2020 by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), and it included household names like smartphone manufacturers Huawei, ZTE, Xiaomi, and appliance manufacturer Haier.

Chinese Developers Are More Popular Than You May Think

Given the current political climate, U.S. companies would not give the idea that their engineering work is being done in China. However, research conducted by Protocol suggests that this is a widespread phenomenon.

Most U.S. entrepreneurs with Chinese co-founders (as opposed to Chinese American co-founders) have either built a distinct team in China or outsourced aspects of their businesses to China, according to eight U.S. startup executives, recruiting managers, and VCs interviewed by Protocol. over 20% of American startups with no Chinese founders engage in this practice. Regarding outsourcing engineers, the question for American startup entrepreneurs is not whether to outsource but where.

By 2026, the United States is expected to have 1.2 million open positions for software developers due to a severe shortage of qualified candidates. Many American IT firms use platforms like Upwork or contract broker firms in India or eastern Europe to outsource work to overseas employees.

These companies are taking advantage of China’s inexpensive but increasing pool of engineering talent and its skill in sectors like e-commerce, where China is ahead of the United States in terms of technological innovation.

Should You Be Hiring Chinese Developers?

China is transitioning from a manufacturing powerhouse to a technological powerhouse. Chinese developers are known for their diligence, which is a major asset.

Most Chinese developers stick to a “996” work schedule. This means they work 6 days a week, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. In the programming community, this is a generally accepted rule. This would never fly in Western countries or even in India. A Chinese coder can accomplish as much in a day as a programmer in Europe or the United States can in a week. Even still, a Chinese programmer’s income is only roughly 80% of that of a European or American counterpart.

Compared to the United States, China has a much larger and more affordable pool of engineering expertise. Statistics from the Chinese government suggest that the country’s major technology companies employ over seven million people in software development, data science, and AI training. One in ten Chinese university students chooses to major in computer science, suggesting a 6-8% increase in the software development workforce by 2023.

However, in 2019, the most recent annual year for which data is available, fewer than 1.5 million software engineers were working in the United States. They made more than twice as much as their Chinese counterparts in 2020 (less than $40,000 per year) with a median annual salary of $107,510.

Why Choose China for Hiring Developers? 

If there were an Olympic competition for programming, China would come in first place, according to the website HackerRank. Their large population means that many tech students graduate every year and join the country’s large developer pool.

Outsourcing IT work to China, particularly software development, is more common now than ever. This is due in large part to the city’s thriving tech hubs.

Have you ever wondered how Chinese programmers vary from their foreign counterparts? The purpose of this article is to provide insight into the Chinese software development ecosystem and current research trends.

  • The most popular programming language is JavaScript.

Developers in China still favor JavaScript and Java, even though SQL is the most popular development language worldwide. Earning potential is far more significant for developers fluent in Java and Python than in other languages.

  • In China, males make up 92.1% of the software development workforce.

Only 7.9 percent of developers in China are women, making up a predominantly male group. That’s a bit higher than the worldwide average of 88.6 percent (2017 Stack Overflow Global Developer Survey).

  • After Beijing, Hangzhou is the second most preferred city for developers.

Because of the prominence of Internet giants like Alibaba, a once-unpopular city like Hangzhou is now among the top two choices for Chinese software engineers.

  • The primary competency of front-end developers is front-end engineering.

A developer’s “front-end engineering” abilities are in high demand in Mainland China. Front-end engineering focuses heavily on analyzing and optimizing projects for success through meticulous planning.

  • MySQL is the most popular database system.

MySQL’s “Open Source” nature makes it more appealing to programmers than more conventional databases like SQL Server. Oracle is another popular choice, but its high price tag prevents widespread use.

  • China’s software engineers have not settled on a preferred cloud deployment approach.

Each type of cloud computing — private, public, and hybrid — is given equal weight in China. China’s software engineers don’t favor any one deployment methodology, opting instead to support numerous models simultaneously.

  • Nearly half (49.5%) of Chinese software engineers have begun utilizing Big Data storage solutions.

Popular alternative relational databases for storing data are the Hadoop HDFS offline storage and the Hbase online storage. China’s Internet of Things (IoT), financial, and e-commerce sectors are among the most enthusiastic adopters of Big Data and related technologies.

  • Developers in China tend to be a young and energetic bunch.

The vast majority of Chinese programmers (56.7 %) have only one to three years of experience. This indicates that Chinese developers are less experienced than their foreign counterparts.

  • In China, the most popular areas of artificial intelligence research include computer vision, NLP, and voice recognition.

As these features are all quickly becoming more and more common, most companies should consider implementing them into their own businesses as a baseline standard, and hiring a Chinese developer who has much more experience in these areas can help even the smallest of businesses keep up in this regard.

  • When it comes to mobile app development, the industry standard is React Native.

Throughout the country, Chinese citizens rely heavily on smartphone applications for ordering food or renting bicycles. In China, the two most popular cross-platform solutions among mobile developers are React Native and jQuery Mobile.

  • Developers in China have embraced the agile methodology in large numbers.

To create software, 45.6% of developers favor iterative development methods like agile/scrum over the more conventional waterfall methodology.

  • Ethereum is the most extensively adopted blockchain product.

Ethereum’s popularity in China stems from the fact that it is open source and welcomes new contributors. As of 2018, Bitcoin transactions in China have been banned, but this hasn’t stopped innovators from considering new applications for blockchain technology.

Advantages of Hiring Developers In China

The key benefits of outsourcing software development jobs to China are outlined below.

  • Large talent pool

Official Chinese statistics indicate that China is home to more than 7 million data scientists, software developers, and AI trainers. Finding a qualified IT expert in this country is much simpler than in other popular outsourcing hotspots due to the large number of skilled people available.

  • Cost-effectiveness

Hiring offshore software engineers in China’s major IT hubs might be expensive, but several newer organizations provide software design outsourcing at more affordable rates. Businesses of all sizes benefit from the wide range of prices since they can find programming services within all price ranges.

  • Access to technology and expertise

Several Chinese IT firms take on challenging, internationally-compelling technological projects. This is why it’s not hard to discover Chinese IT professionals in China who have the depth of knowledge and skills to handle challenging IT projects.

  • Flexibility

What would you do if you ran a firm that didn’t deal with technology yet required a mobile app? Outsourcing, you say? The right people can be found and hired in China to carry out your mobile app development project if you decide to outsource it there.


Why Choose Gaper for Hiring Developers In China?

One of the various factors that has made China an attractive outsourcing destination is its relatively low cost of software development.

While it’s true that outsourcing development work to China or another country has its benefits, it’s essential to keep in mind the many factors that must be taken into account. Cultural barriers, finding skilled developers, managing currency fluctuations, and adhering to new labor regulations might all feel impossible.

Gaper simplifies the process of discovering the top remote software engineers. Our platform streamlines the process of locating and recruiting top-tier engineering professionals worldwide. Our programmers have been thoroughly vetted to ensure they possess the necessary expertise. In addition, we provide a trial period so that you can try us out without any commitment or financial risk.

We collaborate with you to tailor an experience to the needs of your team. We make it, so your remote staff feels appreciated as those in the office, leading to lower turnover and fewer complications.

Contact us if you are looking for experienced IT specialists or a competent and dedicated team.


Why do companies outsource to China?

Several factors contribute to why businesses choose China for outsourcing. A vast pool of tech specialists, IT specialists with competence in cutting-edge tech sectors, and comparatively low prices associated with software development outsourcing are the primary reasons for this trend.

Final Thoughts

China comprises the world’s largest single population. Chinese consumer spending is high because of the country’s massive population (about 1.5 billion people). Business possibilities in practically every sector are ripe for international investors, according to local market studies.

Since the founding of Zhongguancun and the creation of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, the information technology industry in China has flourished. Its success can be attributed in no small measure to the country’s enormous population and rapid embrace of digital technologies. The Chinese IT industry aspires to be a worldwide competitor, taking on the likes of Silicon Valley, Seoul, and Tokyo, and these are the long-term tailwinds that should continue to fuel growth in the sector going forward.

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