China Living Conditions

In general, Westerners have just a vague idea of what it's like for Chinese locals, much less foreigners. It might be intimidating to attempt to understand how over 1.4 billion people live here. You can't really call someplace home if you can't decipher the street signs or communicate with the people, can you?

It may be quite difficult for expats to adjust to their new culture. They may return after a few months if they are unable to adjust easily due to a lack of expert coaching. When you've finished reading this, you should feel much more confident about the move. It covers the basics you'll need to know whether you're moving to one of the "Big Four" tier one cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, or Guangzhou or anywhere else in China. Find out how to get help in an emergency, how to use public transit, and the potential dangers of driving with a foreign license in China (note: you cannot do this). First, we'll go through some of the advantages and disadvantages of settling down in China.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Chinese Life

The challenges of daily life in China are too much for some people. Do your homework and weigh the benefits and drawbacks before making a final decision. Expats may get a high salary and have easy access to the rest of Asia, just two of the numerous perks of living here. But being immersed in a culture so foreign from your own, especially in a place where access to the internet is limited, may lead to confusion and annoyance.


Superior Quality of Life. Foreign workers in China are paid well. Workers in the middle levels of an organization will no longer get comprehensive benefits packages, while their overseas counterparts will enjoy a good quality of life and enough discretionary cash.

Easy travel across Asia. It is possible to book low-cost flights across Asia all year if you reside in a big or medium-sized Chinese city. A weekend trip to Japan or Thailand is also possible.

Extensive exposure to a foreign culture. China has many commonalities with the rest of the globe, but it also has numerous features that set it apart. Expats who are looking to challenge themselves culturally would enjoy living in a traditional Chinese household. Check out our cultural and social manners page for additional information.

Get fluent in a new tongue. Many people in China don't know English, therefore it's important to acquire at least the basics of the language.

A secure residential area. Even if you don't know Mandarin, China is a secure location to live as an expat. criminality against non-locals is well reported yet quite uncommon.


Obtaining a visa is not always straightforward. When applying for a temporary work visa, expect to spend at least three months and submit a substantial quantity of paperwork before receiving approval. In addition, Mandarin Chinese is used in all interactions.

It's challenging to go across China on your own. If you can't speak or read Mandarin, making local acquaintances will be crucial to your success in China.

Having a sense of alienation. Even though most Chinese people are open and polite to outsiders, if you continually struggle to communicate with them due to a lack of understanding of their language and customs, you may start to feel like an outsider.

Unreliable online access. Access to Western social media and websites, such as Google, is censored on the Chinese internet. While it's frustrating to deal with the internet sometimes falling down, the limits are a chronic annoyance.

Sending money back home is a hassle. Money transfers to foreign bank accounts are quite challenging in China. For convenience's sake, have a Chinese acquaintance send you money using the Alipay app so you may deposit it in your international bank account.

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