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Siming expats' long-standing preferred choice for relocation

By Li You (China Daily) Updated:2017-03-27

"This new policy is based on the existing permanent residence policies. By introducing the market evaluation mechanism, the evaluation factors linked to wages, taxes, residential duration and social credit, the new policies are formed," said Xue Qi'an, deputy director of the Fujian Provincial Public Security Bureau.

Xue added that the new policy has reduced the difficulty for foreigners applying for permanent residence to some extent. The bilingual service windows, telephone hotline and foreign dispute mediation room serve as a sign of the community's commitment to both its Chinese and expatriate residents. The community also provides Chinese-English guidebooks.

The local government has also employed some professional social workers to help foreigners living in the community in all aspects of daily life.


The Chinese staff members working in the community befriend foreign residents through social networks such as WeChat.

Siming district is now home to about one million permanent residents. Its open and inclusive environment and fast-growing sense of internationalism have attracted an ever-increasing number of foreigners to settle in the area and start their own businesses.

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Shapowei was a serene sheltered dock in downtown Xiamen, but is now a major creative industrial space, featuring an array of shops, including German-style bar Amoy Brau, but is now a major creative industrial space, featuring an array of shops, including German-style bar Amoy Brau.

Amoy is a former name of Xiamen, and Brau is the old Germanic word for a brewer. Felix Kraemer and David Krings, the shop's owners, put the two words together to symbolize what they do.

The two designers from Germany renovated a disused refrigeration plant into a vintage bar and began selling their self-made beer. Instead of transporting beers from their hometown, they insist on brewing beer locally.

"Our beer is not from Germany, it's made in Xiamen," Kraemer said.

Kraemer and Krings hope that their bar, with its cross-cultural theme, will help patrons to make friends from all over the world.

Nowadays, many young designers, artists and entrepreneurs like Kraemer and Krings are choosing to start their businesses in Shapowei. Through rational planning, Siming district has injected new vigor into the old town.

The district has also benefited from Xiamen's foreigner-friendly environment and policies, and more foreigners are now choosing to settle permanently in Xiamen.

William N. Brown used to be vice-president of a securities company in the United States, but now works as an academic director at Xiamen University as the first foreign permanent resident in Fujian province.

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