The demand for domestic services in China is rising as more and more foreigners have come to work and live in the country. Shi Bohong, the general manager of Beijing-based Rikang Home Service Company, says that his company is getting requests for “a housekeeper who speaks fluent English, has good education background, drives and cooks…knows party preparation, flower arrangement, as well as family education.”
Around 600,000 expats were living on the Chinese mainland at the end of 2010; about 231,700 of these had work permits, according to the most recent national census by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.
Many of Shi Bohong’s clients are expats working at companies that require long hours, such as embassies. Some are asked to take care of a baby. Though around 1,000 domestic helpers are registered with his form, only around 40 can speak fluent English.
Remember all those skills we mentioned in the first paragraph? A housekeeper who met those requirements would get paid a whopping RMB 12,000 per month – but no one in Shi’s company is that qualified. (Yet.)
Photo by todbaker of flickr.