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Moving to China

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When making an international move to China, across the world, can be a little overwhelming. Choosing the right international mover with years of experience in moving people like you with all their belongings from one country to another will probably be the wisest investment you will make.

They will help you to avoid the stress of your move and with the help of top moving professionals you know you can concentrate on making the best start possible in your new country!

Get the best deal by comparing moving quotes! is a simple way of finding a up to 5 international movers who have the right experience of moving people to China. By using our free of charge service you will easily be able to compare the services and prices of the international moving companies who will contact you directly with their quotes.

What you need to keep in mind when relocating to China


The educational system of China is being ran by the state itself. All citizens are obligated to attend school for at least 9 years also known as the nine-year compulsory education funded by the government. The ministry of education reports that primary schools in China have a 99% attendance rate and middle schools 80%.
This system consists of : 
  • 6 years primary education (starting age 6-7)
  • 3 years secondary Jr education ( ages 12-15)
A few provinces only offer 5 years of primary school but in return offer 4 years of secondary Jr education. After finishing the Jr education, the students can do 3 years of high school as a follow up.
Also interesting to know about schooling in China is that it is home of the best international schools in the world. As of 2013, China is the most popular country in Asia for international students and has an overall third rank amongst other countries.


The Chinese government uses building developments across China to promote economic development. However these property developments are vastly outgrowing the number of people that have the right purchasing power to buy one of these houses. This is maybe a bad thing for the habitants, but maybe a great thing for expats who are planning to move to China because finding right housing won’t be a struggle.
Because of the overpopulation in China, most residents live in apartments. Now this doesn’t have to be a bad thing because China is home of cities with the most modern and highly developed housings that exist. 

Medical Care

Public healthcare
The best way to describe public healthcare in China is inconsistent, this is because it is very substandard and there is almost always a language barrier due to the lack of English language. Other than that the large cities hospitals are very accessible but for some places it takes hours sometimes even a day to reach the nearest clinic. So it is disapproved for expats to visit a public clinic.
Private healthcare
In large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guan Zhao, international hospitals are well represented. These private hospitals always have English speaking staff and have had western training. But these all comes with a price in China, so if your employer does not cover private healthcare for its employees it could cost a fortune.


Many Chinese companies have started on aggressive expat policies despite the global economic downturn. So it isn’t surprising to say that China is in the top three expat locations in the world.
There are a lot of differing markets where expats can work in China, this variety of markets demand different types of skills and are open for a lot of people.
These markets are:
  • Banking & Financial Services; these include jobs like risk & compliance managers, anti-money laundering managers and CEO’s in the consumer sector.
  • Accounting & Finance; these include jobs like finance directors and commercial directors.
  • Sales & Marketing; these include jobs like media planners, project & operation managers, team leaders, civil engineers and private managing & equity partners.
  • Human Resources; these include jobs like managers, advisors and consultants.
  • Schooling; these include jobs like predominately ESL teaching but also business and marketing classes in English.
  • Advertising and communications; these include jobs like creative directors.
  • Manufacturing and Industry; these include jobs like sales manager and strategic marketing classes in English.
  • Health Sciences; these include jobs like research and development roles.
  • IT; these include jobs like project managers, web developers and programmers.
The largest work numbers of these markets go to sales and marketing with a leading 30%, followed by banking and financial services who own 25%, engineering goes right after with 15%, education and management both have 10% and finally closed by IT & telecommunications with 5%.

Bank Accounts

Getting a Chinese bank account will ease up things a whole lot. Opening an account is actually quite easy in China with a process that won’t take longer than an hour or 2.
The only document you need for a basic bank account is your passport. There are no restrictions set by proof of income or anything in that direction. When entering any bank, head for the information desk and request a bilingual form, most of the time an employee will help you fill in this form. 
After filling in this form your account is directly ready to use and you can set your 6 digit pin-code, the banks only ask for a starting deposit of max 15 Chinese Yuan (€1, 93). At the same time you can activate internet and mobile banking free of charge.
List of banks:


Everyone but citizens from Japan, Singapore and Brunei need a visa to stay in China for a long period. When applying for a visa in China you have to put a few documents ready. 
These documents consist of:
  • Passport that is at least still  6 months valid
  • Visa application form with photo.
  • Proof of legal stay and residence status
  • And if relevant, previous visa 

Cost of Living

The cost of living in China is pretty average compared with other European countries. Of course it differs in a lot depending on your spending pattern, but here is an useful link where you can check the prices of most common expenses; Numbeo
The chart below gives an overview of the typical distribution of personal expenses;


Income Tax
Like a lot of countries, the income tax percentage in China is determined by the amount of money earned.  In the table below you will find the ratings of 2014:
Monthly income in CNY Income Tax in %
1-1,500 3%
1,501-4,500 10%
4,501-9,000 20%
9,001-35,000 25%
35,001-55,000 30%
55,001-80,000 35%
80,001 and above 45%
Value Added Tax
  • The standard rate on all common goods in China imposed on sale or import of goods is 17%. But there is also a reduced rate of 13% that applies to products such as books and types of oil.
  • Exporters have the right to a V.A.T refund for materials purchased in China.
  • Businesses that are small with a turnover that is less than the legally defined limit pay V.A.T at 3%.


Cars and fuel
Cars in China are indeed not cheap, even by European standards and the hefty tax pricings don’t help either. But still China holds the largest automobile market of the world for the past 5 years now. 
In the table below you will see that the fuel prices in China are pretty cheap compared to Europe and America:
Type Unleaded 95 RON Diesel
Cost €0,97 €0,90
Driver’s license
To be allowed to drive in China, you will need a Chinese driver’s license. So foreign driver’s licenses are not valid in any way, but it makes it easier to get one from there because the only thing you will need to do is convert your foreign one to a Chinese license. In major cities like Beijing you won’t even need an examination and request one directly at the airport upon arrival.
Public transport
China is home of the most extended public transport of the world. They now have a railroad that is 4,2 million kilometres in length and transport 2 billion people a year. Although China has the biggest and highly developed public transportation system in the world it is still a struggle to travel with. This is because China is overpopulated, the public transport facilities are almost always overcrowded and uncomfortable.