Expats find China career boost can come with health risks
BEIJING (AP) - Ms Whitney Foard Small loved China and her job as a regional director of communications for a top automaker. But after air pollution led to several stays in hospital and finally a written warning from her doctor telling her she needed to leave, Ms Small packed up and left for Thailand.
In doing so, the Ford Motor Co. executive became another expatriate to leave China because of the country's notoriously bad air. Other top executives whose careers would be boosted by a stint in the world's second-largest economy and most populous consumer market are put off when considering the move.
There is no official data on the numbers leaving because of pollution, but executive recruitment consultants say they are noticing that it is becoming harder to attract top talent to China - both expats and Chinese nationals educated abroad.
The European Chamber of Commerce in China says foreign managers leave for many different reasons but pollution is almost always cited as one of the factors and is becoming a larger concern.