Is Shanghai friendly to foreigners?

Do you want to move to Shanghai permanently? Perhaps you have already made your way to Shanghai and are curious about what it's like to live as an expat in this city that competes with New York and Paris in terms of modernism and that has cultural and historical components from both Western and Chinese civilizations.

Although you may have previously spent some time in Shanghai, you may still be surprised by the advantages and disadvantages of expat life in Shanghai. More information on living as a foreigner in Shanghai.

Most Westerners working in China are here for business, and many non-native speakers of Chinese are here on short-term or long-term expat assignments sponsored by their employers. Some people go here without an employer's invitation. For many multinational corporations, China serves as a stepping stone to other international markets. Spouses, partners, and sometimes even young children follow after many expats as they make their way to a new life abroad.

And just a few of them have ever collaborated with Chinese individuals or businesses.

The city's intensity comes from its status as one of China's most populated, yet this also means that the possibilities here are almost limitless.


Things to do in Shanghai are plenty. There is always some kind of event going on in Shanghai, whether it an art display or a music festival. As an expat in Shanghai, you will have the unique opportunity to see the city at your own pace. Explore the area surrounding the French Concession by foot or along Nanjing Road. Xintiandi is a zone full of upmarket restaurants, and clubs, and the Bund Promenade is a great place to take a nighttime walk for a beautiful view of the Huangpu River. These are quite common among younger people and foreigners.


Shanghai has a diverse cultural history. In this city, Eastern and Western traditions coexist, and the traditional culture of Jiangnan (also called Haipai culture) coexists with modernity. As a result, people from all over the globe flock to Shanghai for the sheer abundance of options it provides.

The growing number of foreign residents in Shanghai is a visible sign of the city's vibrancy and success. This is one of the few sites in China where visitors may mingle with locals, experience a plethora of different languages and cultures, and sample cuisines from all over the world. One of the best ways to learn about and connect with individuals from different backgrounds is by becoming an expat in Shanghai.


Living as an expat in Shanghai is a pretty secure option. Due to its low crime rate, it is considered one of China's safest cities. Pickpocketing and other petty thefts are the most common crimes in the city, thus it is recommended that foreigners avoid traveling on public transportation at night and stick to well-lit parts of the city.

My impression is that Shanghai is a very secure place to live. In all my late-night forays around Puxi, Pudong, and Jing'an, I have never once felt unsafe. The Shanghai police force is very watchful, and they take special care to protect the city's large expat population. Nonetheless, it is prudent to secure your belongings, guard your money, and be vigilant.


Moving to Shanghai raises serious health concerns for many individuals. While most members of the expat community will eschew public healthcare facilities, private hospitals and clinics provide every amenity imaginable. If you find yourself in need of medical care while abroad, you may choose from a number of clinics that provide separate facilities for international patients.

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