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ShenZhen, Koreans'second hometown
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Most Korean people don’t like being treated as foreigners in Shenzhen because they regard the city as their second hometown, Kang Hee-bang, chairman of the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Shenzhen, told Shenzhen Daily on Thursday.


“I like the city’s investment and living environment, which compares well with any other city in China,” said the 61-year-old who moved with his family to the city 10 years ago. He says his whole family has now been accustomed to life here.


“Among the 1,000 Korean companies here, half are engaged in international trade between Shenzhen and South Korea,” Kang said. “There are 400 companies in the manufacturing field especially making electronic products and the rest are engaged in sectors including catering, plastic surgery and construction.”


Most Koreans have lived in the city for at least five years, according to Kang.


Kang only goes back to Korea once or twice a month, as he spends most of his time helping Korean enterprises here.


“One problem we are now facing is how to teach Korean students in Shenzhen to learn Korean,” Kang said. “Right now, 400 Korean children are studying at international schools in Shekou, 200 at Baishizhou Bilingual School and another 300 at two private schools in Luohu District. The rest are mixed with Chinese students.”


To help the children learn Korean culture and improve their language skills, the chamber organizes weekend schooling by renting OCT Primary School. Every Saturday afternoon, more than 600 Korean students, aged 4 to 15, take Korean language classes.


“Shenzhen’s economic growth and its export-oriented economy are two reasons that attract so many Korean people,” said Kang.


Kang is a father of four. Two of his daughters have moved to the United States. The third daughter is studying Japanese at Shenzhen University and the youngest son is a junior 3 student at OCT Middle School. According to Kang, half of the city’s 20,000 Koreans live at Overseas Chinese Town, and the rest live around Shenzhen University in Nanshan District, Shekou and on the Donghai Garden housing estate in Futian District.


(Shenzhen Daily September 28, 2007)

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