Moving to China

If a young european professional would move to China, which Chinese city would you advise?

Most people choose Beijing or Shanghai. Beijing has much more fun places and cultural heritage. Shanghai is more boring in that aspect but a little more sophisticated. Few people talk about crime rate in Chinese cities. I don't have the figures either. I think Shanghai is one of the safest cities in China. But the local people, especially women, that grew up in this city, are shrewd or snobbish. Beijing residents are not like this.

You could also consider Guangzhou - in the south, near Hong Kong and Macau. But i guess it all depends on what you are after... I opted for Guangzhou (see also: … /index.php cos i am into hot weather. I can t stand the cold winters up north.

Of course it s also about what u d like to do in mainland. Know what i mean?

Guangzhou is a nice place too. The only reason I don't like it is its crime rate. I personally don't have any incident. But I have a lot of friends living there as well as Shenzhen (even worse). To me, safety comes first. You can't beat Shanghai or Hangzhou on this.

Thanks for your answers yong321 and hoodedmann.

I was wondering ... the pond must be so big between my european culture and the chinese way of life! Is there any book you suggest I could read to better understand the chinese way of life and how chinese people are thinking?

Sorry, Julien. If you really want to know this culture, the practical side of it, you have to come and live here for at least a year. Short of that, make a couple of Chinese friends where you are. No published material is going to say walking on a small street late at night in a southern city like Guangzhou or Shenzhen you could be robbed, and you won't know by reading a book that renting an apartment from a Shanghai woman needs some re-thinking (I mean a woman that truly grew up here).

I completely agree with you yong321 :)  I am 200% sure it takes years to understand a different culture! (and of course it won't be said in a book)

Guangzhou could be dangerous, but not more than Paris or Amsterdam. You just gotta use common sense and don t wear expensive watches and stuff. At least that s how i feel about it.

yong321 :

... you won't know by reading a book that renting an apartment from a Shanghai woman needs some re-thinking (I mean a woman that truly grew up here).

Ok, I'll bite ... why is that?

hello there - i'll be moving to beijing - i'm chinese but i'm a native english speaker - looking forward to greater days!

If i may ask, why are you moving to Beijing?

gadinaz :
yong321 :

... you won't know by reading a book that renting an apartment from a Shanghai woman needs some re-thinking (I mean a woman that truly grew up here).

Ok, I'll bite ... why is that?

I didn't see your question for me till lately. Sorry. My wife and I had pretty bad experience with the landlord, a Shanghai woman. We rented an apartment for about US$4000 per month at Yanlord Riverside Garden, Shanghai. When we moved out, we paid her about RMB6000 for repainting all the walls, replacing a few pieces of wood floor, replacing the range air filter, washing couch covers, etc. I blame myself for allowing the kids to make the walls a little dirty. But I didn't expect she demanded all walls of all rooms be repainted. The final negotiation was tough, especially for a guy not good at this. Anyway, the apartment was later leased to a French-speaking Swiss family. It looked pretty much brand new after all the work.

Later we rented another apartment from a Singaporean guy in the same community. We kept everything as clean as possible. Recently we moved out. This guy kept about RMB5000 after negotiation.

I guess I shouldn't say only Shanghai women are shrewd and hard to deal with. It's human nature. We had problems on our side too; the company that paid us for this expat work was habitually late in paying the landlord rent. That pissed them off. We tried to help without much improvement.

What's all your experience with landlord? I bet most of you folks are renting instead of buying a house or apartment in China. Can you share your stories? Thanks.

You gotta become a little tougher on the negotiation level i reckon...


I want to move as well in China to study Chinese language & Chinese way of life. I'm french native speaker. So where is best to go, big cities like shanghai or country side?
The question about the best city to go still not answer :p


how abt Tianjin, Chengdu or Zhuhai area ?

world ir,
I wasn't too impressed with Tianjin--looked like it was all under construction. Chengdu is really nice--great food, not expensive, and nice people. I've only been through Zhuhai on my way to Macau, but I've been told it's a decent place to live.

To study Chinese I suggest enrolling in a university for a year. It's not too expensive and the people who go through the programs tend to do really well. Be careful if you decide to move to smaller towns and cities as they probably will speak a dialect of Mandarin. But in larger cities, you have the problem of everyone trying to speak English to you.

If you are willing to work in the IT Business, I would advice you Hong-Kong.

This town is simply amazing!!

l think zhuhai is very good . there are many foreigners to live there because the air is better than the other city  .

For jobs, big cities are good.  For clean air and friendly people, smaller places are better.

Actually,you never know where  might feel most free to be yourself.However,:DI suggest Suzhou.Beatiful scenery,Dynamic place.

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