But Witsel has insisted that playing in one of football's relative backwaters, albeit one which handsomely remunerates its imported stars, does not mean he has escaped the attention of Europe's top clubs.
"Everyone thinks that coming here, I [would] get forgotten," he told Le Vif.
"I'll give you an example, it's exclusive... Two weeks ago, Carlo Ancelotti called Fabio Cannavaro and asked him if he could contact me.
"He wanted me at Bayern. This is proof that you are not forgotten in high-level European football on the pretext that you are playing in China.
"But Cannavaro replied to Ancelotti that he needed me. I have to take this into account, it is also he who brought me here."
Witsel's ambition was questioned when he decided not to move to Serie A heavyweights Juve, and it remains to be seen if the 28-year-old would have considered trying to prove himself at the Bundesliga title-holders.
"If he [Cannavaro] had given me the green light to negotiate? Bayern is Bayern ... I could go to Juventus, but Bayern is still a notch above," Witsel added.
"In short, it's just to say that they do not forget me."