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The low cost of living

You'll soon discover when you arrive in China that the cost of living depends on whether you work for a Chinese or a Western company.

With average salaries for a Chinese worker in the private sector being compared to those of a cleaner in Thailand, and the fact that an expat middle manager can command a salary package of £22178 when working for a Western concern, salaries across China and Chinese industry vary.

Everyday life

Prices and salaries differ depending on location. If you come from the UK, you can expect to pay £4.50 for a pint of beer in the UK, but in China, the same quantity will only cost you 0.58p. Consumer prices are 39.68% lower in Beijing than London, and rent, grocery, and restaurant prices are all a lot lower than those in the UK. If you want to retain the same standard of living in Beijing as you would in London, (including rental prices), you'd need ‘£2,642.34 in Beijing compared with £4,500 in London.  

Prices for public transport are cheap, and this is a safer mode of transport than driving your car. Most major cities have an excellent subway system, though, in Beijing, the buses can be chaotic and very crowded.

Expensive items in China

Milk is more expensive so is white bread, and cheese, this might be because dairy products and bread aren't part of a traditional Chinese diet. Wine and other imported goods are all more expensive, and so is tennis court rental. Many shop online in a bid for lower prices for imported items. Shanghai is the most expensive city in China, whereas prices in a city like Tianjin are considerably lower. Items for personal care, including toiletries are 17% more expensive.

School fees

A recent report in the South China Morning Post suggests that the price of educating a child at either a private or an international school in Shanghai was beyond the means of expats who don't have school fees included in their salary package. 10% of the firms surveyed in the article didn't offer school fees as part of their remuneration deal. Consultants, Employment Conditions Abroad, carried out the study. Many families cannot send their children to a local school, as a result of language difficulties, and have had to resort to home-schooling to educate their children. With school fees rising to £18,300 this is a considerable expense for some expats.

The centre of town

Accommodation prices in the centre of cities can be expensive, and if you are looking to cut down on your expenditure, it's a good idea to look for living space outside the city centre. Taxi fares are cheap, so your morning commute or a shopping expedition will be affordable.

Inexpensive items

Transport is considerably cheaper in China than in the U.K. as are utilities, and house prices. If you own property in China, you will find that your mortgage interest rates are considerably more expensive — up to 58.40% higher.

To look after your health care needs when living in China, our experienced advisors will be delighted to help you, why not get in touch.

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