Guillaume Blanchard, 24, arrived in Shanghai in March with an MBA from a business school in Montpellier, France, a passion for extreme sports and empty pockets. Like thousands of other young people from Europe, North America and Japan, he wanted to try his luck in Shanghai. He thought the city would give him a better opportunity than the economy at home in France, with its 10 per cent unemployment and excess of qualified people. He found an internship as a marketing assistant for Quiksilver, an American manufacturer of sports and leisure goods. He received no salary, just free products, and had to teach French on the side to pay the bills. This month he hit the jackpot - a job as sales and marketing supervisor with Jiangsu Danmao Textile, a privately owned Shanghai company. It produces suit fabric at a factory with 800 workers in Changzhou , Jiangsu province , and exports it all over the world. Attracted by his fluent English, French and Italian, and outgoing personality, Danmao offered him a monthly salary of 15,000 yuan and put him in charge of all its European clients - a salary and position he could not have dreamed of in France. He is the only 'big nose' in the company. Now he has swapped his shorts and skateboard for elegant - if fake - Hugo Boss and Giorgio Armani suits he bought at a local market. 'Chinese companies work very quickly,' he said. 'The boss has an idea and wants to implement it immediately. Things are much slower in Europe.' The boss has already proposed to Mr Blanchard the company branch out by importing exotic fish and solar panels - products that he thinks would do very well in China. 'Shanghai is a cosmopolitan city with many good business opportunities,' said the Frenchman. 'The cost of living is much cheaper than in Europe so, with the same salary, you have a better life. People here want to learn and improve their skills; they accept and welcome change. In Europe, they think they know everything about their job. In France, they fear and fight change.' Such young people who arrive with no Putonghua ability, job or special connections in the city are good for the Shanghai economy, because they bring their skills and knowledge into the market for a modest wage. But they are bad news for the foreigners here who signed their contracts abroad, and often enjoy housing, holiday and other benefits. Companies ask why they have to pay such benefits if they can hire foreigners on local terms - the same question raised by Chinese employees who work alongside better-paid foreign colleagues.