Living in China Pros and Cons – What To Expect?

Living in China Pros and Cons – What To Expect?

Living in China can be quite an experience. Its foreign culture, variety of foods and difference in cost of living means that there are a lot of pros and cons of living in China. So, if you are curious about living and working in China, here is a rundown of what you can expect when staying here for a longer period of time.

Living in China Pros and Cons

China is a pretty safe place. The government is very hard with the penalties for committing crimes, which has made this country a more peaceful and peaceful place. You can walk at night quietly without anyone following you, and be able to carry your phone in your hand without having to worry about having it removed.

The cost of living in China is another reason why you should take your suitcase. Everything there is quite affordable but above all the prices of restaurants and accommodation. In cities such as Beijing or Shanghai it is true that life is a little more expensive, but nothing that cannot be assumed if you have a well-paid job. Just like any other country, living in China has it’s pros and cons.


living in china pros and cons

Street In China

How is life in China for a foreigner? It is pretty interesting. Another thing that you have to consider is the possibilities offered to you, to travel around the country at low cost. Every Chinese city is a whole new world to explore and worth checking out! You can easily ride a very affordable bullet train to each city or fly there with a Chinese airline.

Shopping in China is also a favorite thing to do for anyone traveling here. With the many different vendors and cheap deals on all kinds of products, you will have a never ending spree of things to buy. Paying for goods in China with Wechat also makes it very easy and convenient to buy anything. Much better than having to carry around cash wherever you go.

Getting to eat delicious food is a great reason for living there too. If you think that Chinese cuisine is based on rice, three delights and spring rolls are very wrong. The food in their country is very different from what they offer us in Western restaurants, and it is much better! Do not forget to try these food delicacies:

gong bao chicken

Gong Bao Chicken Dish

Zongzi: Glutinous rice that is stuffed with beans and meat, wrapped in bamboo leaves.

Gong Bao Chicken: Marinated chicken mixed with pepper and a chili pepper sauce.

Wonton Soup: A kind of wheat flour dough that contains ginger, prawns, onions, pork, and oil.

Shark fin soup: This dish is not particularly good, but you should know that for them it is a symbol of prestige and health, being highly valued for its texture.

Cons of Living in China

The first drawback of life in China is the climate. There are only 2 seasons, there is no autumn or spring. In winter the temperatures turn around 6ºC, but it is curious that when it is cold, it does not usually rain or snow. However, in summer, it does rain, and in addition, thunderstorms in this season are very common. As you can see it is a strange climate, which will cost you to adapt. If you are very unused to the climate then it may be one reason not to live in China for you.

Another of the negative points of China is its high air pollution. It far exceeds the allowed levels especially in major cities, and in winter it is very likely that we are all day with a sore throat and itchy eyes. If you look out the window you will not be able to appreciate the building opposite, which will undoubtedly make a dent in your mood.

Buying property in China as a foreigner is not always easy or convenient. You need to have a good understanding of the Chinese property laws before proceeding to purchase any kind of land or real estate.

The Language Barrier

The language will be one of your great barriers. Mandarin is very difficult to learn, and you will need to be very consistent to be able to start a conversation with them, without having to look at the Google translator. It is advisable to write down all the words you do not know, and ask them what you do not understand. If you are having a difficult time in certain situations, it may be a good idea to hire a Chinese interpreter to help with communication.

And we finish this list of disadvantages of residing in China talking about overpopulation. It is a country where there are people crowded in cities, so the long queues when going anywhere are common. As a consequence of this, going by car is quite an inconvenience, since you never know when you will arrive at your destination. The traffic jams and the long waits on the road are the daily bread for the Chinese.

Living and Working in China

In times of economic crisis, they are not very common to find a place where there is work, so if you plan to move there you are in luck. In China, many jobs are offered, although these are usually not very well paid.

The only one but we can find it in that the majority of positions that need to cover are of qualified personnel, so if you are looking for a job without technical specification, it is not advisable that you go since there are many Chinese willing to work for lower pay. You will have more possibilities to find employment of:

  1. English teacher
  2. Designer
  3. Architect

Working For A Company 

As far as work is concerned, if you are already working in a company in your country now and they offer you the opportunity to be expatriated to China, this would be one of the best scenarios since your company will take care of all the paperwork and visa requirements. Also if you require your family to be living in China for the time you have been assigned. The most common cases are managers or highly qualified personnel with certain skills or talents, which is not easy to replace with local Chinese personnel.

This happens a lot in multinational companies when there is the opening of new markets, and where a specific person is key for the development of the company in a certain position in that country. If you are one of these cases, congratulations because they are the people who enjoy more privileges, in terms of living in the best housing areas of China, no matter the city.

Many times companies will also pay their children’s tuition at the best schools in the city, such as international schools, American schools, Canadian schools, as well as the best medical services. There are also many other benefits, such as knowing that you will always have the support of your company for any situation that will come to present. In short, this would be one of the best scenarios if you happen to present an opportunity like this with your company.

english teacher in china

Working as A Teacher in China

If we talk about job offers, the most offered job for foreigners is an English teacher. As more and more Chinese are interested in learning the language and internationalize in some way, be it for studies, work, travel, etc. To obtain this position, it is not easy because more and more requirements appear to be demanded of the candidates, for example: until recently it was not necessary to have a university degree to be able to work as an English teacher, nor was the country important of the candidate’s origin.

However, now if you want to work as an English teacher in China, you will need to have at least a bachelors degree at minimum. Being a native English speaker is also one of the requirements. Although, you might be able to teach in a smaller city in China which may allow non native teachers.


If you plan to stay in China for a long period of time you will no doubt have an excellent experience you will never forget. Sure it will take some getting used to, but once you get past the initial culture shock and soak in the real culture, you will be have a fantastic time. Hopefully this little living in China pros and cons guide helped make your decision about staying long term easier to make. Feel free to leave any comments below with questions or feedback.

Read More >> Best Places To Live In China

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