GoKunming Forums

Gokunming-Where have all the foreigners gone

livinginchina (106 posts) • +3

I remember when Gokunming was buzzing with traffic. Nowadays it seems it pretty much has come to a crawl. Very little interacts on the forums except for the same posters. I wonder how many foreigners are exiting Kunming and perhaps that's the reason for the decline in this site's popularity. I remember this use to be the 'go to site'. Hope it gets turned around somehow.

michael2015 (750 posts) • +2

gokm is still and will probably always be my "goto" site for international English-based traffic. Hopefully content and client interactions will pick up again once gokm hires its new editor.

A lot of forum traffic seems to be occurring offline in various WeChat forums, such as US Citizen's Services, Rotary-KM, and the Foreign Business Owner's groups, to name a few.

DanDare (141 posts) • 0

A lot of people used to use forums as a kind of chat room. Social media has taken over that role for many. Foreigners can leave China but getting a visa to enter is nearly impossible. People who leave at the end of their rotation are not being replaced by FOBs. A lot of people who went home christmas new year holidays 2019 could not come back. On the good side wages have gone up.

Tom69 (149 posts) • 0

As far as the past 20 months since January 2020 have been concerned, it's quite obvious really.

Tons of foreigners/expats have left China due to Covid and few have come in the reverse direction.

Until travel returns to a semblance of normality, this trend is only going to continue.

michael2015 (750 posts) • -1

You mean that country that invested over USD 80 billion in taxpayer monies and countless military and civilian lives for over 20 years to force create a middle eastern democracy, then abruptly left a few days ago (a la Vietnam style), leaving behind millions to billions of dollars of ...blah blah blah...and they still can't effectively control the rolling nationwide COVID pandemics at home.

Meanwhile, California is on fire...again...literally...

Tom69 (149 posts) • 0

@DanDare, not sure about tons having remained. I'm almost certain tons have left, even if quite a few have stayed. Look around you, do you still see many westerners in Kunming? There were never that many to begin with, so I'm pretty sure the answer is no. There aren't many and almost certainly fewer than in 2019.

It's not about whether it's safe due to Covid, but about employment opportunities, having made the difficult decision to stay or to go back home.

JanJal (1162 posts) • 0

There are some fields where employment opportunities have not changed. I've met quite a few foreign researchers (beyond teaching English) in Kunming, many working in fields related to biology and environment. If anything these opportunities would have increased in recent years.

Others working in trade, in particular from countries not so much affected by US relations, and quite possibly worse CoVid-19 situation at home than even USA.

Not so much industry in Yunnan, but many with stable income in coastal cities may have relocated semi-temporarily to Kunming to weather the pandemic.

Tom69 (149 posts) • 0

I've noticed a few foreign researchers who've come to Kunming, but usually on short-term 6 month or 12 month postings. Rarely anything more permanent. Many are from SE Asian countries, not necessarily Europe or North America. My dad arranged one of his recently graduated PhD students from Thailand to do some post-doc research at Kunming University. This was a few years back.

In any case, I think it is quite clear that there are fewer foreigners in Kunming and China in general than pre-Covid.

It is not easy to move around right now, so even a Thai, Lao or Vietnamese person has to make the difficult decision to remain in China or go back home and possibly not be able to return to China for an extended period. Quarantines to enter SE Asian countries are very strict, and China is even stricter. Thailand ended it's free quarantine scheme for its nationals on July 1, so now everyone has to pay to return.

It doesn't look like China will be lifting it's quarantine scheme until July 2022 at the earliest. So that tells you how long the borders will still be closed for.

Tom69 (149 posts) • 0

Moreover, you have to already be in China to take advantage of these employment opportunities. Very few foreigners outside the country are eligible, or want to go through the hassle of returning to China at the moment.

Few employers will go to the trouble of trying to bring in a foreigner from abroad when there is a ready pool of foreign talent locally, not to mention that increasingly, China is looking towards its own talent pool rather than foreigners. This had already been the case long before anyone had ever heard of Covid.

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