Whether you have been working abroad in Beijing for years, you have just arrived, or you are simply contemplating the option, you may want to consider networking with other expats in China. Expats will know about work opportunities, places to live, and most importantly, events where you can network with more expats! Here are some of the best places to network in Beijing to get you connected to life in Beijing.
Hash House Harriers is a global organization with 25,000 members in 185 countries, founded in Kuala Lumpur in 1938. The Beijing Hash entails a rag-tag group of expats, especially Germans, Australians, and Americans, embarking on a run on a Sunday morning through the city of Beijing, pollution, cars, and plain clothes police be damned! Trees, street signs, and fence posts are tagged with signals that guide you on your route and rest stops are set up where you can share a beer with your runners. Be careful, sometimes the tags on trees intentionally lead you astray!
This Brewery located in an old part of the city of Beijing (Duojiao Hutong) is a gathering place for interesting expats who enjoy American-style micro-brews with "Chinese characteristics." You'll feel like you're in Fort Collins, Colorado or Asheville, North Carolina as you savor the high-quality hops creations. Housed in the former library wing of a siheyuan, one of Beijing's once grand quadrangle, or courtyard mansions (mostly broken up under Mao), it's a suitably cerebral setting to savor locally-sourced creations like Iron Buddha Blonde, made with tieguanyin, a premium oolong tea.
A news website rather than a physical place, The Beijinger is the source (Okay besides Time Out Beijing) to find out via English what's going on around town. From concerts to classified ads, it's a hub of online expat activity.
An old-fashioned book store and coffee shop, with huge shelves filled with English books on subjects ranging from Socrates to Lao-Tzu. Famous foreign and Chinese authors appear each week to talk about their writing. This is the place to go for expats seeking a quite spot in busy Beijing.
A start-up run by two Germans, Internations has a monthly meet-up in Beijing as well as a web presence that's all about networking for expats.
6. Ivy League College Mixers in Beijing
You'll have to be at an ivy league college or make friends with a student from one when you arrive in Beijing, because according to those in the know, some of the best expat socializing happens at these mixers. Berkeley even has a famous mixer in Beijing. Contact your alma mater to find out where their meet-up is hosted and how you can get on the guest list!
The Couchsurfing community has a big presence in Beijing, and their weekly meet-up is hosted at Luga's Villa and other locations around the city. Note: you get a discounted on food and drinks at Luga's Villa if you explain that you're there for the Couchsurfing expat networking event.
Moishe Houses are Jewish housing units set up around the world that often let young Jewish students or workers live for free provided they contribute to the culture of the house. Moishe House events are often open to gentiles and the Moishe House Beijing is widely known as knowing how to throw a great party.
Ready, Set, Mingle!
Networking is not only a huge part of Chinese culture, it is an enormously beneficial part about working abroad in general, so don't miss out on all these amazing networking opportunities. But first, find a job in Beijing!