The top graduate consulting firms in China and Hong Kong

19 May 2020 9 min. read

The consulting life appeals to graduates across China and Hong Kong, with many registering their preference to work at one of the top global consultancies. The Big Four all make the top of the list for graduates, alongside other big management consultancies such as Accenture, McKinsey & Company, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Bain & Company, among others. examined data from nearly 120,000 students at nearly 120 universities across China and Hong Kong, to paint a picture of career goals among the youth. A career in consulting is up there among the best for these students.

This preference for consulting reflects ambitions among youngsters across the globe, as the profession offers a range of benefits and experience. The consulting firms picked out by graduates in China and Hong Kong are among the most illustrious consultancies in the world, with a clientele that consists of the best and biggest businesses in every industry. These firms support their clients with developing growth strategies, implementing them, solving business problems, and generally remaining competitive in a constantly evolving business environment.

To serve these functions, consulting firms hire the best and brightest from across the globe, and are led by highly experienced individuals with strong business acumen. Any young professional starting out at one of these firms not only gains exposure to the latest in growth and innovation for a variety of sectors, but also gets to develop under the wing of top business leaders.

The top consulting firms in China & Hong Kong for graduatesThe global business environment is aware of the quality work environments within top consulting firms, which generates widespread respect for the talent of any individual who has worked within these organisations. Professionals who start their career at a top consulting firm tend to make their way to leadership positions in various industries.

The top consulting firms in China

Around 8 million graduates emerge from China each year. The most popular majors include finance, engineering, international trade, economics, accounting, clinical medicine, law, and English.’s analysis covered graduates from all these fields across two years, hailing from some of the country’s top universities, including Tsinghua University, Peking University, the University of Science and Technology of China, Zhejian University and Fudan University, among others.

Top of the consulting list for these graduates are the Big Four. Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC are among the largest consulting firms in the world, with expansive operations and a stellar reputation. These four often feature among the most coveted workplaces globally.

EY emerged atop the list in China. The firm has been active in the country for more than 50 years, stretching across 29 office locations during this time. Today, EY’s team in the Greater China region consists of 20,000 professionals, offering a range of advisory services. Some of these consulting services are offered through Parthenon-EY – the firm’s dedicated strategy consultancy that was formed after the acquisition of The Parthenon Group by EY.

EY, PwC, KPMG, Deloitte, McKinsey, BCG, Grant Thornton, Bain, Accenture, Capgemini Invent

PwC is next in terms of popularity among graduates. The firm’s Mainland China operation consists of 24 offices, and employs nearly 16,000 professionals. Short of 550 partners lead the PwC Mainland China practice, which forms an integral part of PwC’s operations in the surrounding regions, as well as in the Asia Pacific region as a whole. Strategy& is PwC’s dedicated strategy consultancy that supplements its suite of services in the country, formed after PwC acquired Booz & Company.

KPMG follows in the list, with its joint practice across China, Hong Kong and Macau accounting for 24 offices in 22 cities. These include Beijing Guangzhou, Nanjing and Shanghai. More than 12,000 partners work for KPMG across the expansive operation, which first entered the Mainland China market in 1983.

Deloitte rounds off the top four among Chinese graduates. The firm began its China story in 1917 with an office in Shanghai, and has since grown into an operation of 23 offices. More than 10,000 professionals work at Deloitte China, including the firm’s Hong Kong and Macau practices. 

McKinsey & Company follows as the next most popular destination amongst, representing the first appearance of the strategy consultancy giants MBB – McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Bain & Company. McKinsey China has been operational for more than three decades, with a team of more than 1,000 professionals, 700 of whom are partners. McKinsey operates out of five locations in Mainland China and one in Hong Kong.

BCG is the next of the big three strategy consultancies on the list. The firm has been present in China for more than 30 years, operating across a network of four offices and more than 700 employees. The firm supports a large set of public and private sector clients, and is a key centre for BCG’s wider Asia Pacific operations.

Then comes global professional services firm Grant Thornton. The firm’s China practice began in 1981, and now operates across 25 offices in the country with more than 260 partners and a team of over 5,300 people. The firm is also licensed to serve Hong Kong listed companies, which gives it a wide scope of operations. As a result, the firm has two offices in Hong Kong, where a team of 17 partners works with more than 300 professionals.

Bain & Company emerges next on the list to round of the MBB. Bain operates with two offices in the Chinese market – a flagship office in in Beijing and one other in Shanghai – alongside an office in Hong Kong. The firm has been operational in the Chinese market for more than 25 years, with a team of four partners in the country serving a variety of public and private sector clients. 

Global tech and consulting firm Accenture is next on the list, with its 19 locations across China – including two in Hong Kong – posing as an attractive prospect for graduates. The firm’s China operations act as a hub for its broader operations across the Asia Pacific. The firm recently opened one of its flagship global innovation hubs in Shenzen, with a specific focus on applied research & development (R&D)

Fellow tech solutions firm Capgemini Invent rounds up the list of top consulting firms for Chinese graduates, having gained popularity through its reputation for innovation in the country. Capgemini Invent operates with two offices in China.

The top consulting firms in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, assessed data from more than 10,000 students from eight universities across two years. Graduates hail from some of the region’s top universities, including the University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, among others. Finance, accounting, law and engineering are popular fields of study in Hong Kong, although students prefer consulting as a profession irrespective of their academic background. 

The Big Four sit atop the list for graduates in Hong Kong as well, although they stretch across the top five, with McKinsey in the mix. EY leads the way among graduates in Hong Kong, having established its presence there in 1968 as Arthur Young. The firm now has two offices in Hong Kong, which make up a part of the EY Greater China practice.

McKinsey & Company is in second place for Hong Kong graduates, ahead of all the other Big Four firms. McKinsey operates out of one office in Hong Kong, which constitutes a central part of its Greater China operation. Alongside the other McKinsey practices in Greater China, McKinsey Hong Kong works with more than 1,500 clients in the region.

EY, McKinsey & Company, PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, BCG, Bain, Accenture

PwC follows, with its Hong Kong practice of nearly 260 partners and more than 4,300 professionals. The firm has been operational in Hong Kong since the 1940s, and merged its Hong Kong and China practices in 2002. Today, PwC Hong Kong operates out of four offices. 

Deloitte is next on the list of top consulting firms for Hong Kong graduates. The firm operates with one office in Hong Kong since it entered the market back in 1972. In 2006, the firm shifted its operations to an expansive office complex in Pacific Place. Over the years, Deloitte has served more than 300 companies that are listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

KPMG rounds off the Big Four and the top five. The firm has been around in Hong Kong as Peat Marwich Mitchell & Co. since 1945, taking the name KPMG in 1998. The Hong Kong practice consists of two offices, and acts as a key part of KPMG’s China practice, which stretches across 24 offices and employs over 12,000 partners.  

The top five are followed by the remainder of the big three strategy consultancies. BCG leads as the best of the rest. The firm’s Hong Kong office opened in 1990, and is part of the firm’s wider Greater China System, which extends across four offices and 700 professionals. The Hong Kong office is located amongst multinational corporations near the Victoria Harbor.

Bain & Company follows, having been in Hong Kong since 1991, operating out of an office in the Central District. All four of Bain’s Grater China partners sit in the Hong Kong office, making it a key component of the firm’s China wide practice. Accenture operates with two offices in Quarry Bay, Hong Kong, both of which act as key parts of Accenture China. The firm is the last of the top consulting firms for young professionals in Hong Kong.