Chengdu trip

Not many posts over the last days, because I am in Chengdu at the moment with some business associates. I had not been to Chengdu in about 4 years, when I produced a short film about the city. At that time I already loved the city, and coming back here after all these years was not a disappointment. The city not only looks great (lots of green and a bit warmer than Shanghai), but it also feels great. It is booming, even more than Shanghai I feel.

We looked at several companies over the past days, and also talked to a few government agencies. From these talks I have the feeling that Chengdu could be the next big thing in China for investors. Not as expensive yet as eastern China (salaries for engineers are at least 40% lower than on the east coast), and with an excellent educated workforce.

Yesterday I learned that there are currently 430,000 people studying in Chengdu’s universities. 430,000 students… If you think about that figure it almost seems unreal. Many of them do not want to leave the city after graduation, because of the good environment. This means that finding good people here is a whole lot easier than in Shanghai – and a lot cheaper as well.

It is very well possible that I will spend some more time in Chengdu in the near future. I sense there are some big opportunities, and I don’t want to miss out on them.

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  1. I’ve always heard that Chengdu was an amazing city. Growing fast, yet still far more laid back than Shanghai. But with so many other places in China to visit it doesn’t seem like there is anything compelling to see there.

  2. Yeah, good point in time to look around indeed.

    In many areas companies start looking around for other areas. In the Guangdong area production is moving more inland of China since salaries are lower.

    Many companies mention already that it is hard to get the RIGHT people in the major cities. So it would be an obvious move to look in other areas with “supply” of new talent.

    Good luck with the new ventures.


  3. but seems the local talents in Chengdu never liked the city, just know so many examples of being local Chengduers but making living overseas, and their parents feel it will be a shame if their children stay at home…..

  4. As a Dutch, I can tell you that Chengdu is absolutely booming. I recently bought an appartment there myself. And maybe you have heard about that saying that the sweetest men come from Shanghai, and the prettiest girls are from Chengdu?? Don’t tell your wife 🙂

  5. @Red Chef: Contrary to your expectations, there is actually a lot to see in Chengdu, much more than in the average Chinese city. Also the scenery outside the city is very great (mountains), and of course you can see panda’s in the breeding center on the outskirts of Chengdu.

    @Amy: I did not have the idea that people felt ashamed of staying in Chengdu, but maybe that was the case in the past? On the contrary, many are actually willing to come back now from overseas or from cities such as Shanghai and Beijing. This group is also an excellent source for managerial talent.

    @anonymous: a Dutch person who bought an apartment in Chengdu? I learned that there are only 10 Dutch people living in Chengdu at the moment, are you one of them or will you be number 11 (or did you buy the apartment as a pure investment)? Feel free to get in touch with me through email at marc (at) spillgroupasia (dot) c o m