Marc van der Chijs

Foreigners have always been leaving China, but every now and then a high-profile departure hits the headlines. In CNN formerly Shanghai-based entrepreneur Marc van der Chijs explains why he left for Vancouver, Canada.

Marc van der Chijs:

Over the years, doing business had become more and more difficult for a non-Chinese. Although many areas have opened up for foreign investment, outsiders are not always able to do business on equal terms with Chinese entrepreneurs.

For example, foreigners need more capital to set up a business. Once you have a business up and running, it will be more closely scrutinized than Chinese firms. There are still tons of business opportunities available in China, but I generally felt less welcome in recent years as a foreign entrepreneur.

Much more important than this, however, was the fact that air pollution and food quality were getting worse in my adopted home.

I have a family with two young kids, and found myself wondering about the health effects of long-term exposure to hazardous air. Without children, the pollution may not have been as important a factor to me, but I want my kids to grow up in a healthy environment. I also missed being able to exercise outside, having been forced to run indoors on a treadmill for several years — even while training for marathons.

More about too slow internet connections and pollution in CNN.

Marc van der Chijs is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

In one of its earlier sessions, in September 2012, the China Weekly Hangout discussed why foreigners are leaving China, with three China veterans, two of whom left China. Andrew Hupert joining us from Chicago, Richard Brubaker from Shanghai and Fons Tuinstra from Lausanne, Switzerland.

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