As China has been strengthening trade ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, so ASEAN residents in Shanghai are seeing more opportunities.
China is ASEAN's largest trading partner, with the combined ASEAN nations holding third place in China's international trade rankings .
According to Qian Keming, deputy minister of commerce, China-ASEAN trade hit 452.2 billion US dollars last year. And in the first five months this year, trade between the two sides rose 16.2 percent year-on-year, with 108 billion US dollars of ASEAN investment in China.
With closer trade relations and more relaxed immigration policies, ASEAN's business sector is also seeking more links with China.
Joe Leong is one who left Singapore for Shanghai 15 years ago, sensing opportunities in Shanghai's catering market.
Thanks to a favorable environment for foreign investors, Leong's business has expanded well in Shanghai, with two restaurants on the Bund, and a hair salon in Shanghai's affluent Xintiandi district.
"They have very good channels to give us support. They have the patience to tell you where you need to go and where you need to proceed. And then you will be taught and shown the right way, and you'll get it," Leong said.
Experts attributed the "China craze" to the high-speed development of China's economy.
"Overall economic development in China has been faster than that of Southeast Asian countries. Our salary level and social welfare are also better, so people from that region are happy to work in China," said Zhou Shixin, director of the Shanghai Institute for International Studies.