It is said that wherever the Chinese go, they set up a Chinatown. While Gurgaon still does not have one that can match Kolkata’s, it is witnessing a surge in the number of Chinese expats.
Take any weekday at MG Road Metro station between 9 am and 10.30 am, and move towards Times Tower. Inside the lift area of the Times Tower, you will find only Chinese expats going briskly about their business. No, all of them are not Chinese; some are Japanese expats too.
“This building has offices of some of the better known Chinese companies such as Oppo Mobile, UC Browser, a media arm of Ali Baba and Japanese Steel Works Ltd,” says Ven Chen, who works for Oppo Mobile.
However, the real Chinese population can be seen at Cyber City, which also houses the Huawei office. Says Stephen Chen, who works for the brand, "It is so nice to see so many of us here in Gurgaon." Huawei operates from Spaze Techpark building in Sector 49 on South Sohna Road. More than 300 Chinese expats work there. Perhaps no other Chinese company in Gurgaon has so many expats.
It is perhaps true that as the number of Chinese expats is going up, Chinese restaurants, too, are mushrooming in the city. The Monk, Yum Yum Cha, Mama Goto and Kitchen District are some of the better known Chinese restaurants in Gurgaon offering authentic Chinese food.
Adam Wen Chen, who is the life and soul of UC Browser in India, says, “Gurgaon is a lively and lovely place. I like it here.”
There are close to 3,000 Chinese expats in Gurgaon alone – and there are more women than men. Almost all of them are single and live in areas such as Palam Vihar, DLF, South City and Sushant Lok. Some also commute from South Delhi.
Says J Nipun, who has a Chinese tenant, “My tenant, who works for a Chinese telecom company, is a very nice guy. I have rented out my DLF flat to him and his wife.” Nipun is among those who prefer Chinese tenants, as they are not party animals and go for outings only on weekends. And for Gurgaon-based Chinese expats, weekends are reserved for buying household stuff from MGF Mall, DLF Mega Mall and Ambience Mall.
And even while India and China were on a collision course recently over Doklam, the Gurgaon-based Chinese expats were neither bothered, nor disturbed.