Dalian highlights lifestyle, low living costs in drive to become back office hub for techs, multination

The northeastern Chinese city says it wants to become an international back office hub for big tech, start-ups and multinationals

International technology firms are increasingly interested in setting up back offices in Dalian, drawn by its human resources, low operating costs and local government incentives, according to accounting firm Deloitte.

Andrew Zhang Qing, managing partner of Deloitte Dalian office, said many international firms such as Pfizer, HP, Genpact and Accenture, among others, have set up business process outsourcing units in Dalian in recent years.

“In the digital era, it would be more flexible for international companies to outsource some of their back office operations to other countries in a bid to cut down operation cost and enhance efficiency. Deloitte in Dalian has helped advise many international firms to set up their business process outsourcing units in Dalian,” he said during an interview in his office in the centre of Dalian.

Among the attractions, Dalian has a lower cost of living than other major centres in China.

“The living cost in Dalian, which is a tier two city, is much lower than Shanghai or Beijing but the living quality is among the best in the mainland. The city has good air quality and mild weather ,” he said.

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Zhang said government support and an educated workforce are also important in attracting multinationals to the city.

“There are many high quality universities in Dalian, so we have graduates who can speak fluent English, Japanese and Korean. The historical linkages with Japan and Russia have meant older generations can also speak these foreign languages, which shows the wide talent pool for international technology companies,” he said.