How to Hire Developers in China: Possible Ways and Alternatives

To cut costs and increase efficiency, many businesses around the world are turning to outsourcing dedicated software developer services. By hiring from other countries, they can enhance work quality, spend less on hiring costs and focus more on core business processes. As a result, many businesses hire software developers in Philippines, India, Pakistan and other Asian countries.

China is one of the most popular destinations in Asia for hiring dedicated developers. But as with any destination, it comes with some pros and cons. This guide was made by Mobilunity from Ukraine to cover some of these, as well as the alternatives you can go for if China is not a suitable option for you.

IT Services in China

Studies show China is a popular destination for outsourcing IT solutions and other business services. In fact, Chinadaily reported that the outsourcing market grew by 18.6 percent just during the period from 2018 to 2019. One of China’s cities, Shanghai, is also on the top ten list as one of the most attractive places for outsourcing IT services. 

Today, the industry is worth hundreds of billions of dollars and is expected to keep growing as more businesses hire developers in China. 

Some of the main characteristics of the IT market in China include:

  • Average monthly salary of a middle-level developer: $4,500
  • Time zone: GMT +8
  • Biggest tech hubs: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen
  • Size of talent pool: 6.7 million 
  • Popular technologies: Microsoft ASP.NET, PHP, NodeJS, AngularJS, Lua and JavaScript

Ways to Hire Developers in China

If you’re looking to hire developers in China, there are three different models you can adopt. You can either hire freelancers or go through nearshoring or outsourcing. All three models involve hiring China programmers directly from China, but they have different benefits and challenges to look out for.


Freelancing involves remote workers offering their services to businesses around the world. Freelancers typically work for more than one company at a time. You can hire Chinese developers through different freelancing websites. The pros and cons to find and hire freelancers in China include: 


  • Freelancers are easy to find.
  • Rates are affordable.
  • Freelancers offer flexibility.


  • Cheaper rates sometimes mean low quality of work.
  • Maintenance support can be complex.
  • There is no reliable screening process.
  • Communication can be tricky. 

Hiring a Dedicated Team

This model involves businesses hiring a team of developers that work solely on their project. This model is suitable for businesses with mid- and long-term software development projects that require complete commitment from developers. This model is popular, because it is much more affordable to hire a China dedicated team instead of freelancers. 


  • A focused approach. 
  • Complete commitment to a project. 
  • Ability to manage the project remotely according to needs. 
  • Increased productivity and adaptability. 
  • Easy scalability and flexibility.


  • Choosing the right IT provider may take time. 
  • Not ideal for short-term projects. 
  • Communication issues due to cultural differences.


Outsourcing is when a business hires an agency to carry out a particular function that is usually done by its in-house staff. IT outsourcing is suitable for short-term and not complicated projects where technology is already defined.


  • Low labor cost.
  • Access to a large talent pool.
  • The hiring process of developers is not needed (as the agency already has its staff).


  • Communication issues due to different time zones and cultural distinctions.
  • Reduced control over the project.
  • No flexibility and scalability. 
  • Data security risks.

From these points, it is evident that outsourcing is the most beneficial model. It’s more affordable, you have access to a large pool of skilled professionals and the process is more straightforward. Many businesses use this model to hire workers from Asia. For example, a business may hire developers in Taiwan through a reliable outsourcing vendor. The vendor will then put a Taiwan dedicated development team together and ensure the business benefits from top skills, affordability and efficient scalability when needed. 

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Dedicated Development Team in China

There are different benefits that you can enjoy when you hire developers China. Even with this, some disadvantages have discouraged many businesses to do so. Therefore, it is important to consider all the pros and cons before deciding to hire a dedicated development team in China. Let’s explore some of these: 

The Pros

  • Large Talent Pool 

The country boasts of a large talent pool of China developers for hire. This is expected since it is the most populated country in the world. As a result, businesses can easily find skilled software developers.

  • Rapidly Developing IT Sector

China is home to an IT industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars. The IT sector in the country has positively influenced its infrastructure and talent pool.

  • High Quality of Code 

Because of the rapidly-growing IT sector and good work ethic of China dedicated developers, the quality of code is usually better than that of other Asian countries. 

The Cons

  • Poor Proficiency in English 

Finding a China developer for hire with excellent proficiency in English can pose to be a challenge. This is because they typically speak traditional languages. Unfortunately, this can lead to miscommunications and misunderstandings. 

  • Cultural Differences

There are vast cultural differences between China and European and American countries. When hiring a China dedicated development team, it can lead to differences with your in-house team that can hinder your project’s progress. 

  • Complex time zone 

China is situated in a time zone that differs quite vastly from that of some European countries and US states. So, when you hire dedicated developers in China it can lead to challenges during business hours. 

  • Copyright breaches 

Unfortunately, many Chinese companies are known to copy the work of others and they don’t invest much in information security. Therefore, when you look for programmers for hire in China, you run the risk of getting an end-product that is not quite original or you risk losing your own data.

Alternatives to Hiring Developers in China

The disadvantages of hiring a dedicated development team in China often overshadows the benefits and many businesses seek alternatives. China and the whole of Asia were one of the earliest global IT hubs, but the recognition is shifting to Eastern Europe. Countries in this region are focusing more on growing their IT sector, upskilling their workers and offering more innovative services. 

Located in Eastern Europe, Ukraine is one of the countries that is becoming increasingly popular as an outsourcing destination. According to State of European Tech, the Ukrainian tech sector raised $21 million in investments just in 2019. Also, 20% of the top global tech companies have offices in Ukraine. 

Some of the top reasons why this country is flourishing include: 

  • Ukrainian developers have excellent educational backgrounds. 
  • Also they have high proficiency in English.
  • Minimal time zone difference for European companies.
  • More cultural similarities with the West.
  • Compliance with the data protection rules (General Data Protection Regulation).
  • Developers are professional and experienced. 
  • Workers have excellent work ethic. 

Here are the main characteristics of the IT market in Ukraine:

  • Average monthly salary of a middle-level developer: $2,000 (source – Mobilunity’s Recruitment Team research on the local job markets)
  • Time zones: GMT +2
  • Biggest tech hubs: Kyiv, Lviv, Odessa, Kharkiv and Dnipro.
  • Size of talent pool: Over 190k.
  • Popular technologies: PHP, JavaScript, Java, C, C# and Python.
PHP Junior$2,300$1,000
PHP Middle$2,900$2,000
Java Junior$2,750$1,000
Java Middle$3,600$2,000
.Net Junior$1,500$1,000
.Net Middle$3,450$2,000
Python Junior$2,300$1,000
Python Middle$3,000$1,800
C# Junior$2,800$500
C# Middle$3,500$2,000
JavaScript Junior$2,400$500
JavaScript Middle$3,100$2,000
Android Junior$2,600$1,000
Android Middle$3,500$2,500

Comparison of the Overall Attractiveness of Both Locations

Apart from the costs to hire developers in Hong Kong and other cities in China, there are many other factors to consider too. The below comparison table focuses on the main points to keep in mind when deciding which country to hire from.

Time zonesThe time zone in China varies greatly from European countries and US states. This can make working hours challenging. Ukraine has a closer time zone to the West, so developers can work side-by-side during the same working hours. 
Size of a tech talent poolChina has a large tech talent pool, but the market is saturated.There are thousands of highly skilled and experienced developers in Ukraine to choose from.  
English proficiencyMany Chinese developers have a low level of English proficiency. This can make communication challenging. Most Ukrainian developers receive their education in English. Therefore, they have excellent proficiency in English. 
Education levelChina has a literacy rate of a little over 96%, which is impressive.Over 99% of Ukrainians are educated. Now that the tech industry is rising quickly, the education of software developers has been positively affected.
Talent availabilityBecause the market is saturated, it can be challenging to find the right developers with the best skills and education. Ukraine has many outsourcing vendors that can assist with sourcing the best talent available. 
Cultural similarityChina has a very unique and traditional culture, and approach to values and doing business. This can lead to differences between remote workers and in-house teams. Ukraine’s developers are known to easily adapt to European and American cultures and business approaches. 
Data safety and insuranceThere is a big problem with copyright breaches in China and few measures are in place to keep data safe. Ukraine is known to focus on data safety and insurance, especially with the General Data Protection Regulation.
Quality to price correspondenceDevelopers’ rates vary from region to region and it can be difficult to find accurate costs for projects. Ukraine’s cost of living is low. This makes it possible for developers to have more affordable rates. 
Ease of doing businessBecause of language and cultural barriers, as well as complex time zones, it can be challenging working with Chinese developers. The mindset and work approach of Ukrainians is similar to those in the West, making it easy to do business.

Of course, in China these points may vary from city to city. For example, if you hire developers in Beijing they may have a better level of English proficiency than when you hire developers in Chengdu. And if you work with a Beijing dedicated development team they may have a better work ethic than a Chengdu development team. 

However, from the above data, it is evident that Ukrainian developers offer the best cost to the quality ratio. So, if you are looking for an alternative to programmers in China for hire, Ukraine is a great option. 

Mobilunity as a Top Ukrainian Vendor

Mobilunity is a recognized company specializing in nearshoring solutions. We boast over ten years of experience in providing companies, around the world, with only the best dedicated development teams and R&D centers.

We have a talent pool of over 160,000 Ukrainian developers, skilled and experienced in all forms of software development. Each developer is highly trained, carefully vetted, loyal, committed and reliable.

Our process is simple and smooth. We discuss your needs, source and shortlist potential candidates, interview and vet candidates, organize interviews with you and assist with the onboarding process. Through this, we allow you to focus on what is most important to you: The success of your project.  

Is your business ready to hire skilled developers for your next project? Find the right candidates with Mobilunity today!

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