Lexi Ward

China has one of the largest economies in the entire world. Many people find themselves relocating here thanks to the countless business opportunities available around the country. There are many global companies with offices in China that attract talent from abroad to live and work here. As you can imagine, relocating to a China can be a major career and life step. There are a few important things that you need to know if you want to work in China.


Having the appropriate paperwork and documents ready is a necessity before you'll even be allowed to enter the country. China has a lot of rules and regulations about allowing visitors in the country for work or business purposes. You'll need to apply for a China Work Visa to be employed in the country. This visa is applicable if the company is based in China and if you are expecting to be paid there. There are specific things to include when applying for this type of visa including an official letter of employment from your company. Usually, these essential documents can be managed by your company's internal HR department.

Different Chinese Cities

Working abroad in China can give you a range of experiences. China is a massive country with a variety of local lifestyles. Your job in China could either have you based in one of the major metropolises or a destination closely related to a traditional village lifestyle. You'll be amazed at how international cities can be in China such as Shanghai and Beijing. These are major business hubs with residents coming from all around the world. You can expect lots of familiar characteristics of these cities based on their way of life. English is also spoken frequently in these cities. On the other hand, a smaller town will reflect a lot more of the Chinese culture. Living in a less populated region, you'll have to adjust more to the local lifestyle.


One of the most significant barriers to relocating to a new country to work is the living situation. Finding an apartment in China can be a daunting task for someone who knows nothing about the country. There are a lot of resources for finding the best apartment for your needs while living and working in China. Try reaching out to your company about finding an appropriate place to live. Or you can utilize any of the online platforms for browsing.

It's important to keep in mind that apartments come in many different styles depending on where you're living and your budget. Many of the large cities in China will have modern, western-styled flats with usual amenities. Smaller Chinese cities may have more traditional style apartments. You could easily get a culture shock from the unique styles of kitchens, bathrooms, etc.


Chinese food is perhaps one of the most popular food types in the world. Many of the familiar dishes you might find in your local shopping mall may differ significantly from what you'll discover while living in China. China has plenty of food options, from street food to five-star dining. In the major cities in China, you'll have your choice of popular international food options such as fast food favorites. You'll never be too far away from familiar food. As you get more comfortable with living in the country, you can begin to experiment with the local cuisine. Even the street food is very rich in flavor. You'll quickly grow to love Chinese cuisine.


China has one of the largest populations in the world. Lots of cities have well over tens of millions of people. Around the international cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, you'll see a large expat community. Many people in these cities are there for the same reason, to work in China. These people can be a great resource when getting accustomed to living in China.

If you're relocating to a smaller city in China, your environment will be predominantly Chinese culture. Having a basic understanding of the Chinese culture is essential to adjust to living in these areas. While it's an entirely different experience than your typical western lifestyle, it's still an exciting way of life to discover.

The culture and lifestyle in China are very distinct from the rest of the world. There are a hundred of small details that no one can predict, so do your research or ask your recruiter if you have questions. Come open-minded and prepare to be surprised – and you'll have the adventure of a life time!

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Lexi Ward

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