What to expect when moving to China

Hello everyone,

Is there anything you wish you had known before moving to China? For example, transportation, internet speeds, types of housing, aspects of the culture or social life.

In your opinion, what's the most important thing to know about China?

When would you recommend someone should begin planning their move to China?

What were the most helpful ways you found to get organised? For example, did you use a checklist, were there any particularly useful websites or apps?

What advice would you give to future expats preparing to move to China?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

I am Chinese, if you have questions about China,you can ask me and I will reply to you as soon as possible

Hi Irving11,

Perhaps you can shed the light on the few questions asked by Priscilla ?

Thanks in advance,
Bhavna

Hello Bhavna,
Here are some answers, if you have any other question, just ask me.
1. If you want to work in China, you have to elder than 18 years old.
2. In first-tier cities and most second-tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao and so on, the transportation is very convenient but crowded, you can take the bus or subway to any place you want. By the way, in my opinion, high speed railway in China is the most convenient in the world.
3. It is obviously that you do not need to worry about the internet speed, Wifi is everywhere in China and the speed is fast.
4. If you can’t afford a house in China, you have to rent a house or one room. The monthly rental of one room is about 1000RMB in second-tier cities like Qingdao, if you want to work in first-tier cities, the rental will be expensive, maybe from 1500RMB to 3000RMB one month.
5. Social life in China is very colorful……

Hello Priscilla!

I would recommend you to have a look on this website:  internasia.com, especially the articles, there is much more information regarding life in China. Have a look here:

For example regarding Shanghai:
internasia.com/news/life-shanghai

Regarding job searching:

internasia.com/news/looking-east-4-steps-find-job-china

Regarding internship:

internasia.com/news/need-change-try-internship

And many others.

Just feel free to have a look and let me know if you have any more questions, I hope it will be helpful for you.

Have a great day!

Kristina

The text was interesting. I do hope the links can be visible because sometimes they just got deleted.

Good feedback, for sure, but I like to add a few notes from another perspective.

From Irvin above,
Here are some answers, if you have any other question, just ask me.
2. In first-tier cities and most second-tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao and so on, the transportation is very convenient but crowded, you can take the bus or subway to any place you want. By the way, in my opinion, high speed railway in China is the most convenient in the world.
------- If you do not speak Chinese, you will need help to get a bus/subway card, for train tickets, yes its fast, but you can not purchase tickets as a foreigner on a machine yet, need to stand in long lines to purchase the tickets.

3. It is obviously that you do not need to worry about the internet speed, Wifi is everywhere in China and the speed is fast.
-----Irving is right, that wifi is everywhere in China, great and amazing coverage. However the internet speed is only good for within China!!!!!!!! -- Any sites outside of the "great fire wall" are often sluggish and very ...very slow. And of course if are a heavy user of Facebook, youtube, twitter and many others.....you are out of luck...banned in China! For this you need to purchase a separate VPN, which are also at times not working--------

4. If you can’t afford a house in China, you have to rent a house or one room. The monthly rental of one room is about 1000RMB in second-tier cities like Qingdao, if you want to work in first-tier cities, the rental will be expensive, maybe from 1500RMB to 3000RMB one month.
-----Yes, rental in smaller cities are very affordable, many apartments available----
5. Social life in China is very colorful……
------- Yes, free time can be spent in many different ways, with many friendly and social Chinese people. ----

To sum it up, you need patience and tolerance,  if you have this, Living in China (or for that matter in many other places) is wonderful, exciting and colourful!

Cheers,
Klaus

Hi,
I like all replies and they are all true. I'll add just couple things from my experience.
- Yes, Chinese people are very nice and friendly. But:
  - most of them don't speak English. All of them had English classes. But everything is written, not spoken. So without being able to speak Chinese, you'll have some trouble.
- for Chinse foreigner is kind of exotic animal. They think foreigners are rich, well educated but selfish and rude. Which is quite frequently true. It's even coming from the past Chinese experience. So expect they will ask you frequently to make selfie with them.
- Chinese are tightly bound to their mobiles. Endlessly browse Wechat moments, Weibo, watching soap operas. So even having party with them you can experience not that much talking but rather play with mobiles or sending money (hongbao) back and forth.
- Chinese are keeping with the family and school mates and not tend to make friends from work.
- Chinese doesn't like open conflicts, so don't even try to argue in public.
- Chinese internet is convenient and fast. Only if you use Chinese web. If you use anything from outside of Chine it's mostly blocked of throttled (slowed down) by Great Chinese Firewall.
- If you get the job in China and you will be paid in Chinese money then you can't use them outside that much. Chinese UnionPay cards are not accepted anywhere else than China (yes there are some places in Asia like HK, Malaysia, Thailand with UnionPay ATM in some places with Chinese tourism). You can't send Chinese money to bank out of China. Actually, can but need to have huge papework and spent a lot of time in bank.

There are plenty of other things. Some are exceptionally nice and some are troublesome. China is just a little bit different world:-)

Here's a story for you all.

Long before I moved to China,  used to travel aback and forth between the USA and China on work.  I cam to love China.  Since I came so often, I opened up a bank account and deposed some money there.

Meanwhile, my family life in the USA was going to hell in a hand-basket.  My wife, emptied my house while I was on a trip to China, and cleaned out our bank accounts.  She ran up all the credit cards, and when I returned, I found an empty house devoid of furniture, empty bank accounts and a house mortgage payment six months overdue.  t was horrible.

She took everything.  Everything, that is except what I had in China.

The divorce judge awarded here everything. Armed with a paper, she flew to China to seize my bank accounts and assets in China.  She demanded that the bank turn them over to her. She demanded that the bank listen to her, or the USA military will come and teach China "a lesson".

In pure Chinese form, they told her that only the person with the same thumb print as mine AND with my passport could they release the funds.  If she did not leave, that they would escort her out of the ban and have her arrested. Which they did.

The bottom line; assets and privacy is protected in China.  There is no such thing as privacy and financial security int he UNITED STATES.  I only wish that I knew this earlier, I would have put all my money into Chinese banks.

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