Hybrid China internships: 5 advisory and advocacy internships to keep an eye out for in the second half of 2021

The first half of 2021 is quickly drawing to an end. Some of you may have spent it thinking you would get to do all the things you missed out on doing in 2020. That’s not happening

But what is happening are a bunch of China-related internship opportunities you may not have been able to access pre-COVID-19. To help you plan for the second half of 2021, Asia Options China brings to you our Hybrid China internships, a series reviewing the availability of both remote and face-to-face work experience placements. 

Maintaining a connection with China will depend increasingly on our openness to hybrid forms of engagement (Sourced: flickr.com)

Even at the best of times, hustling for an internship in China can be a bit of a task. If you currently find yourself outside of China, disoriented and unsure how to keep in touch, securing a relevant work placement is even more challenging. 

The difference between pre-COVID-19 China-focused internships and now? They don’t always necessarily require you to be in China

Dynamic advisory and advocacy firms have long ensured the accessibility of their services beyond the physical space of the office. Even so, interns were rarely permitted to work remotely.

Now, advisory and advocacy firms operating in the China-Australia space offer many of their internship programs remotely as well as face-to-face. 

Below are 5 advisory and advocacy organisations offering both remote and face-to-face internships on either a rolling or regular basis.

As many organisations reaffirm hybrid modes of work, budding China market strategists and communications specialists will need to ensure they are able to navigate the advisory and advocacy services space from outside China (Sourced: flickr.com)


ALTIOS is a global business development firm offering market entry and administrative support to businesses looking to expand their operations internationally. 

Interning with ALTIOS presupposes a passion for international business development. You can expect to engage with market research and assessment, strategic analysis, corporate finance as well as legal and global HR advisory services.

Internship opportunities with ALTIOS International Sydney and Shanghai can be located via the company’s careers page.

APCO Worldwide

APCO Worldwide is an advisory and advocacy communications consultancy providing services to public and private sector organisations in government relations, strategic communications, risk analysis and market entry. APCO Worldwide regularly offer internships through their Greater China offices. 

Interns with APCO Greater China are typically recruited to conduct research on joint ventures, development of financial investment tools and foreign companies preparing entry into the China market. APCO interns also monitor the operations of large multinational brands as well as company mergers and acquisitions in China, while providing clients with weekly reports on China’s trade relations with foreign governments. 

APCO Worldwide founder and executive chairman Margery Kraus (centre) at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions (AMNC) in Dalian, September 2015 (Sourced: flickr.com)

APCO Greater China normally requires interns to be current undergraduate or postgraduate students with strong English language skills. Previous relevant experience as well as fluency in spoken Chinese are highly regarded, but not essential. 

APCO Greater China require intern applicants to apply via their internship opportunities page. They are currently recruiting face-to-face and remote interns for their Beijing and Shanghai offices. You will need to supply your personal information as well as a resume and cover letter. You will also be given the option of sharing your full LinkedIn profile in addition to your resume.

Follow the APCO Worldwide careers page for regular updates on internship opportunities. 

AustCham China and AustCham Shanghai

The China-Australia Chamber of Commerce (AustCham China) and AustCham Shanghai provide Australian businesses with the information, resources and contacts they need to function effectively in the China market.  

AustCham China and AustCham Shanghai operate as two separate organisations. AustCham China is a non-profit organisation registered with the Ministry of Civil Affairs in China, with offices in Beijing, West China and South China. AustCham Shanghai is a wholly foreign-owned enterprise and conducts its operations largely within the remit of Shanghai city and neighbouring Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. 

Graham Fletcher, Australian Ambassador to China, at an AustCham breakfast event in Beijing, August 2019 (Sourced: flickr.com)

Areas in which the Chambers increasingly invite interns to apply include digital marketing and innovative business engagement. Internships in stakeholder relations, advocacy, event management, marketing and communications as well as finance and administration are also offered. 

AustCham China and AustCham Shanghai typically accept intern applications on a rolling basis. Both face-to-face and remote options are available. Normally, the Chambers require applicants to be in at least the second year of an undergraduate degree studying a relevant discipline. Some departments may also require or place strong emphasis on specific skills and prior knowledge.  

Follow both AustCham China careers and AustCham Shanghai careers for regular updates on internship opportunities. 

Nationality is not usually a prerequisite for interning at Chambers of Commerce in China. Budding public relations specialists and market strategists with a passion for facilitating business relations between China and the world are encouraged to also check out internship opportunities at the American, British and European Union Chambers of Commerce in China. 

Dezan Shira & Associates 

A professional services firm operating across the biggest centres in Asia, Dezan Shira & Associates provides advice and advocacy in market entry, legal, accounting, tax, HR, technology and operations to international investors.

Interning with any one of Dezan Shira & Associates’ many China offices will get you experience in market strategy and evaluation, legal consulting, corporate accounting services as well as media and publications. Importantly, the company has a strong presence in the Greater Bay Area, with offices in the Guangdong Province cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhongshan and Dongguan.

For China advisory and advocacy service specialists drawn to the innovation hubs of the Greater Bay Area, Dezan Shira & Associates maintain offices in 4 of the 9 designated GBA cities (Sourced: flickr.com)

Dezan Shira & Associates normally require their intern applicants to demonstrate an understanding of the China business environment. Excellent English communication skills are a must, and a degree of proficiency in Chinese may be desirable. 

If you’re keen to get picked up by Dezan Shira & Associates, you will need to create an account using their in-house search engine Asiapedia, and set up a job profile. When applying for specific internship programs, you will be asked to supply basic personal information as well as upload a resume and cover letter. Some internship applications may also require a sample piece of writing or response to an assessment. 

Internship opportunities with Dezan Shira & Associates are numerous and frequently updated. Current opportunities include Marketing Assistant – Australian Desk (Beijing)Asia Briefing – Editorial Assistant (Shanghai) and Marketing Assistant (Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen)

Follow Dezan Shira & Associates careers for regular updates on face-to-face and remote internship opportunities with their China offices.

King & Wood Mallesons 

A leading multinational law firm headquartered in Asia, King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) is familiar to many a Chinese and Australian law student. Less familiar however, are opportunities for other professionals. People & development advisors, resourcing consultants and cyber security analysts, among other professionals, are also in demand at KWM.

Spanning sectors including agribusiness and foodgovernment and public as well as real estate and construction, KWM provides a plethora of commercial advisory services to its Chinese and Australian clients. 

Importantly for up and coming legal and other specialists pursuing a career in the region, KWM’s China offices cover a critical spread of dynamic cities on the Mainland in addition to their Australian offices.

If you’ve filed KWM away for a clerkship later down the track, take care not to overlook its internship opportunities. KWM is currently updating its 2021 Insight Program for students who are in their pre-penultimate year, so be sure to watch that space over the coming weeks.  

KWM typically only accept applications via their own application portal. In the meantime, familiarise yourself with their careers page and keep your eyes peeled for imminent updates on the Insight Program.  

Looking for inspiration on how else to engage with China remotely? Have a read of the recent piece on the benefits of tuning-in to Australia Live with the ABC’s Chinese language news service!

Hybrid China internships

China-related consulting and advisory services internships are by no means limited to the above-mentioned 5 organisations. 

Up and coming China-minded research and market strategists, communication specialists and business consultants are encouraged to use the above information as a reference point from which to enhance their search for hybrid internship opportunities with advisory and advocacy firms operating in the China-Australia arena. 

Client relations, market analysis, business advocacy and legal services not your cup of bubble tea? Don’t fret. Over the coming weeks, Hybrid China internships will deliver to your Asia Options China inbox opportunities spanning: 

  1. Advisory and advocacy services
  2. Policy, research and media 
  3. STEM, architecture and design

So, open up that calendar (preferably Gregorian) and see where a hybrid China internship opportunity fits in with your plans in the second half of 2021. 

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Darcy Moore

After more than five years in China, Darcy has returned to Melbourne, Australia. His time in Sichuan Province, Beijing and Guangzhou have left him with a single pressing question: How in the blazes do we sustain our engagement with China? In exploring this question, Darcy seeks to introduce fellow Australians to the practicalities, challenges and little triumphs which make engaging with China entirely worthwhile.

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