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The world's largest expat community

Your Expat Community in China

  • Connect with fellow expats in China

  • Join exciting events and groups for expats

  • Get information in our expat guides

  • Exchange tips about expat life in China

  • David Thyne

    At the first Shanghai Get-Together I met several American expats. I am very grateful that they shared their experience with me.

Welcome to the InterNations Community of Expats in China!

Nin hao! And welcome to our expat community in China! With InterNations you can interact with a knowledgeable and experienced community of expats that have lived and worked in China. Don't feel you need to learn everything on your own, call on the InterNations community to help you get to grips with your new life abroad with a click of a button. Moving to China is a big step, and you may have a lot of questions you want answered such as, “how much does it cost to rent a two-bedroom apartment in Beijing?”, “how much is schooling in China?” or “what streets are safe to visit in Shanghai?”. On our global network, we can help answer these questions and take away any stress you might have about your big move. It doesn't matter how trivial the questions are, the expat community is happy to help. They have been in the same position as you and understand exactly what you're going through. Join InterNations and get involved, ask all the questions you need to, and interact with your fellow expats living in China. These experienced InterNations members also have a great understanding of Chinese culture — from knowing how to greet people in a polite way to understanding how you should dress for work. It's the perfect way to gain an invaluable insight into your new home away from home.

With InterNations, you never stand alone. Whether you are moving to another country or going on a business trip somewhere — our communities around the world are there to make you feel at home wherever you are. Feel free to check out our vibrant InterNations Communities in countries like France or Spain.

Jump right in:

Living in China: Your Questions, Answered

If you’re a new or soon-to-be expat in China, you probably aren’t quite sure yet what it will be like. That’s why we gathered the answers to some key questions you may have about life in China. If you want to ask more specific questions — or even share your own tips — join InterNations! You’ll be part of a community of new and experienced expats who love to help each other out.

Why are expats moving to China?
Of course, the individual reasons why expats decide to move to China can vary a lot. But thanks to our vast member base and our annual Expat Insider survey, we were able to uncover some of the underlying trends that make China an appealing place to move to. Notably, the most valued attributes of China as an expat destination are a booming economy & job security, tremendous career opportunities and that highspeed internet is widely available.

However, out of the 64 expat destinations worldwide in our Expat Insider 2019 survey, China scores well below average in our Quality of Life Index (55th) and our Ease of Settling in Index (58th). It ranks about average in our Working Abroad Index (33rd).

How much do expats earn in China?
On average, expats make on average 290,254 USD according to the ECA Expat Salary Survey for salary levels of expats in middle management positions. This is not the cash salary that expat workers take home after taxes, but the total value of their expat package that usual includes healthcare, cost of education, and housing (among other things). This relatively high salary combined with the not-too-high cost of living explain why China scored so amicably in the Personal Finance Index (12th) and the Cost of Living Index (25th) in 2019.

What are the most common nationalities in China? As an expat in China, you'll meet people from many different cultures (especially if you're an InterNations member!) The top nationalities in the InterNations Communities in China currently are:

  • Americans
  • British
  • Germans
  • French

Which cities are most popular among expats in China?
Some cities attract more expats than others. These are the cities with the largest expat communities in China:

  • Beijing
  • Shanghai
  • Guangzhou

How much rent do expats pay in China?
Your personal situation plays a role here. Single expats spend on average 675 USD on their accommodation per month, while expat families spend around 1.732 USD. And of course, rents can also vary greatly depending on the location and city within China.

To give you an idea of what to expect, here are some rent averages for the most popular cities in China.

Average rent in Beijing

  • Single expats: 1.174 USD
  • Expat families: 2.863 USD

Average rent in Shanghai

  • Single expats: 1.118 USD
  • Expat families: 3.234 USD

Average rent in Guangzhou

  • Single expats: 539 USD
  • Expat families: 1.090 USD

How safe is China?
You may be wondering about safety. In general people perceive their personal safety situation in China as very safe. People rate the risk of falling victim to petty crime (such as pickpocketing or minor theft) as very low. They consider the chance of being the victim of violent crime (including mugging) very low . And, they rate confidence in the police force and related local authorities as mediocre.

How safe is China for women?
Female expats rated the safety situation in China as very safe. This is based on the feedback of expat women living in China (rather than actual crime statistics). So obviously this can be highly subjective and depends on factors such as where people live.

An amazing community is waiting for you!

Meet internacional people at local events

Socialize, enjoy hobbies, and make friends

Get info, and feel at home abroad!

Join Our Online and In-Person Events in China

Attend our many events to get to know like-minded expats, both in China and around the world! Our new online events even let you find connection and inspiration without leaving your home.

Jun 14, 2024, 12:00 PM
4 attendees
With special editions for hot summer choices,there is a selection of hanging out choices by swimming pool on friday night . Frozen magereta and mix drinks at buy one get one free price. Veranda is o
This month, we will host our Newcomers event in a different format, over a casual dinner at Eli Falafel. InterNations newcomers events are the perfect venue to meet new people in a relaxed and casual
Jun 15, 2024, 7:00 AM
15 attendees
This is a prepaid event, after clicking “Attend” or “Accept” please contact Gisèle via WeChat account giselechine for ticket or tables. Prepaid by 14 June: Albatross on list: 120 RMB Basic member on
Search and rescue homeless people and guide them to the sanctuary via maps provided by organizer. I will print out maps and descriptions to guide them, so they can just help themselves for the treatme

Want to see all the upcoming events in China?

Connect with Like-Minded Expatriates in China

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    From Mexico, living in Shenzhen
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    From United States of America, living in Suzhou
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    From Belgium, living in Shanghai
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    From Spain, living in Suzhou
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    From Brazil, living in Guangzhou
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    From Germany, living in Chongqing
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    From Turkey, living in Shenzhen

Meet other expats like you in China

Our Global Partners

Share your hobbies and interests with expats in China

Learn about Expat Life in China

Whether you are looking to start a new life in a big city such as Shanghai or Beijing, where there are a number of work prospects in various industries (such as mining, textiles, and chemicals), or you plan to move to rural regions and work in agriculture, you should make time to see the rest of China. China's economy is booming, and in 2014 it was the largest economy in the world, so work is often the reason for moving to China. Not only this, but low living costs also mean a greater disposable income for expats living in China. What's more, high numbers of companies are trying to attract skilled foreign employees to China, and are usually happy to help with accommodation and visas for workers. However, lots of expats find it difficult to settle into China, due to big cultural differences and a barrier between them and the local people, which is where your expat community comes in. This may be due to the language — a large number of people speak English in the major cities and corporations, but many communities still speak solely Mandarin Chinese, which can be a very difficult language to pick up. Expats have also commented on the problems of education in China, with education costing above average and most families choosing to send their children to international schools over local schools.

InterNations is the largest global network for expatriates, with communities in 420 cities around the world. Meet fellow global minds in your city of residence or get to know local expatriates before you're moving or traveling abroad and never feel like a stranger. InterNations makes it easy for you to stay in touch with your expat friends, both online and offline, so you can grow your network of friends and contacts from all over the world. Whether they live in Saudi Arabia or Peru, InterNations allows you to be close to them even if they are miles away.

Your Friendly Network for Expats in China

Every one of our InterNations members go through an approval process to become a member of our international community. And every member is dedicated to the defining principles of InterNations and to being open-minded and respectful when communicating and interacting both online and in person. Members of InterNations are extremely helpful and willing to open up about their experiences. Many have also set up groups in China, including the Beijing Book Club, the Shanghai Music Group and the Tianjin City Discovery Group, for people keen to learn more about Chinese culture in the city. If you are starting a brand new hobby on your new adventure or are keen to continue a hobby you have always had, these groups are fantastic. By joining one of these groups you will also meet like-minded people in person, start up new relationships and have physical support from other expats in China. We couldn't think of a better way to settle into your new life in China!

  • David Thyne

    At the first Shanghai Get-Together I met several American expats. I am very grateful that they shared their experience with me.

  • Diana Anhaus-Brey

    It is just so easy to find other international people and global minds with InterNations. I didn´t know there were so many in Shanghai.

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