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[The Chinese] face much more financial pressure early in their career.” Edvard Månsson, Flexworks

In 2016, the Hong Kong government set up a special committee to explore potential causes and create preventive measures to stop the situation from getting worse. In an investigative report published by the Committee on Prevention of Student Suicides in November 2016, at least 24 per cent

of 38 cases of primary and secondary school student suicides showed “considerable stress related to learning”. In a highly competitive learning environment, many students in Hong Kong spend most of their time studying. Although official school hours are on average six hours a day, the real study hours begin after school. According to a survey conducted by the Hong Kong Research Association in 2014, students in Hong Kong spend an average of 62 hours per week studying. Apart from the six hours of learning at school, they also need more than five hours for doing homework, and attending private classes and other learning activities. “In both mainland China and Hong Kong, there’s a lot of pressure on students from parents and schools – it’s very different from Sweden,” says Terence Shum, communications officer at the Consulate

Devoted to technology and music Edvard Månsson knew from early on that he would like to work in China – and now he has fulfilled his dream. A trip to Beijing with his family as a tourist in 1999 opened Edvard Månsson’s eyes, even if he was only a boy at that time, generating an interest in China that is now paying off in his career. Today, Månsson is 29 years old, speaks fluent Mandarin and works as a project manager at Flexworks in Huizhou in Guangdong province – a Hong Kong-based company that develops and manufactures advanced technical and electronic products for commercial brands. Månsson’s background is engineering. He graduated from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm with a Master’s in media management. There, he also enrolled in an evening course in Chinese. With a strong desire to be fluent, he took a sabbatical year from KTH and went to Dalian in northeast China to study Mandarin. “Learning the language is a big advantage if you are pursuing a career in China. A person who can bridge the language and cultural gap in an organisation will be very sought after in the job market. I purposely chose to study in a Chinese city where the western community is small. Then you have to force yourself to speak the language in your daily life. It is challenging but also very rewarding. “I’ve seen western people come to China to learn Chinese, and then spend all their time surrounded by foreigners and learning very little as a result,” says Månsson, who two years ago passed HSK 6 – the highest level of China’s official language proficiency test for foreigners.

Learning the language is a big advantage if you are pursuing a career in China.”

When he returned to Stockholm and graduated in 2014, he intended to find a job in China. He saw an advertisement from the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong for a scholarship sponsored by Greencarrier. He applied, was selected and spent 10 months at SwedCham’s office. “The chamber was a good stepping stone. I got insights into many different industries and I could develop my networking skills,” says Månsson, who organised events and developed the IT infrastructure at the chamber. When the scholarship came to an end, Månsson wanted to cross the border and work in mainland China. The job he found at Flexworks suited both his educational and personal background well since he works with acoustic products, such as headphones and hearing protectors, and has been into music since he was a small child – he sings, plays guitar and produces music. “I started to play violin when I was three and have been engaged in music and sound ever since. For the past 10 years, one of my dearest hobbies is experimenting with sound design and I am very happy that I get to combine that with my job”, he says.

Dragon News - No.2, 2017  

Dragon News is a member magazine, published by the Editorial Committees of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and the Swedish Cham...

Dragon News - No.2, 2017  

Dragon News is a member magazine, published by the Editorial Committees of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and the Swedish Cham...