China is on its way to become the largest economy in the world, and as a result, many foreigners are interested in relocating to the country, gaining work experience, acquiring language skills, or obtaining a cultural understanding. At the 2010 census, nearly 600,000 foreigners were living in China, of which more than 200,000 were in Shanghai. About 250,000 were international students, 300,000 were employees, and the rest were family members of the residents.
Where do you want to live? What about the work visa and what are the cultural differences in everyday working life in China? Here, we offer you a small overview. Would you like to know more? Give us a call! With over 10 years of work experience in China, our expert will be pleased to advise you in detail about the working world in China, the working attitude of the Chinese and much more.
The most popular cities for foreign workers are Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou or Chengdu. Most foreigners in China live in these metropolises, as they are more comfortable for westerners to adapt to and find everyday necessities they have gotten used to.
The cost of living is relatively high in many major cities in China and often. The main contributor to these costs is the rent. However, it should be mentioned that overall cost of living in China is still significantly cheaper than in Europe or the US. It is possible to eat in a small Chinese family restaurant for five euros or less. Regarding the accommodation, outside the centres, you can also find suitable and affordable apartments, while in the centre often it is not the case as the prices are higher and space is limited.
There are many other big cities, which are still convenient to live. After all, there are over 90 cities in China, which have more than a million inhabitants. The “smaller” million cities, also known as “2nd and 3rd tier cities”, have the advantage of being cheaper, but the ways of living often are more traditional “Chinese”.
It should still be noted that both private and public investments in these “2nd and 3rd cities” are ever-growing, as they even offer cheap land and labour conditions. Near Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Nanjing, and other cities in the south and north part of China, there are also booming communities that attract more and more skilled foreigners each year.
Guangzhou and Shenzhen are well known to produce a large part of the electronics supply for the world and have a lot of potentials to grow in the future.
Qingdao is a major port city known as the home of Tsingtao beer and Dalian in the north of the country and starting to be noticed by many IT companies due to its location-based advantages. The city of Xiamen currently has the highest growth rate in the entire country. Additionally, this city scores with one of the best universities in China and a pleasant climate. Chengdu and Chongqing are now among the largest cities in the world and home to a growing community of expats.
If you want to work within the mainland China, you must apply for a residence permit. In the past, getting a work permit was much easier, however, since many companies in China were sometimes very mischievous with their work permits, the authorities have made the process more difficult starting from the summer of 2017 onwards.