China: Shanghai and Beijing more affordable for expatriates

Hello everyone,

Below is some useful information on the cost of living in China if you are planning to move there or you have already settled.

Major Chinese cities such as Shanghai and Beijing now seem to be more affordable for expatriates while Singapore is deemed to be the most expensive city. These are the findings of the cost of living survey published on Wednesday 8 June by ECA International.

Not less than 450 cities worldwide were assessed in this survey which is based on several criteria, namely, the price of food, basic amenities of and clothing, outings and eating out at restaurants, consumption of alcohol and tobacco, among others.

However, some costs such as rent, charges and school fees are not included as these are compensated otherwise, according to ECA International, through expat packages. In fact, according to ECA International, expats are generally entitled to a cost of living allowance so that their purchasing power in their host country is not compromised.

In 2015, Shanghai ranked 1st as the most expensive destination for expatriates in Asia Pacific. This year, the city ranks 3rd while the capital city ranks 4th. However, 14 Chinese cities, including Guangzhou and Shenzhen, still rank among the 50 most expensive cities worldwide for expatriates.

The ranking of Shanghai and Beijing is attributed to a slight depreciation of the renminbi against the yen and the Hong Kong dollar during the past year, although this does not really reflect the general trend demonstrated by China over the past five years.

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Feel free to share your views about the cost of living in China.

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