Looking for advice about relocating to Shanghai

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Looking for advice about relocating to Shanghai

Postby haintz » Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:28 pm

Hi all,

I have recently been given the opportunity to relocate to Shanghai for a new job. I currently live in Viet Nam (male and single)

The salary package is 7000RMB before tax and includes accommodation allowance. Company will pay foreign employee insurance.
I don't expect to live like a king but i am not sure is that enough for normal live?

Also should I be asking for anything else? Health care?

Regards
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Postby foolishapple » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:21 pm

I don't think that is enough for normal live.
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Postby PNWer » Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:04 pm

A top of the line expat health insurance package for a family will run over 7000 rmb/month.

"enough for normal live?"
depends on definition of "normal live".

Fresh accountants get 5200 rmb/month before tax at the Big 4 in Shanghai.
They either have "free" housing by living with family or split an apt rents with friends..

So if you pick up Mandarin quickly and learn to shop, eat, rent like local
you can live a "normal" local lifestyle on 7000 rmb/month.
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Postby inefable » Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:17 pm

This city is much more expensive than Vietnam.
I would think it a lot before coming here for 7.000 Rmb per month!
Good luck!
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Postby HiBeverly » Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:47 pm

:shock:

If you haven't grown up as a local farmer in China, 7000/month is NOT going to keep you alive. You'll need about 5 times more...
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Postby jay_dee » Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:58 pm

Maybe it's a typo, 70,000 RMB would be more feasible.
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Postby KalanStar » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:58 pm

Yeah, 7k a month living here is possible. I know Shanghainese who own homes and new cars on 7k a month! So you have to live like a local. Don't pay more than 2.5k on housing and try to budget yourself to 500rmb a week. If you can do that, you'll be able to bank 2000rmb a month!

You can spend 50,000rmb in a month, or just 5000rmb. It all depends on what you want to do with your money! Sometimes I eat a 300rmb dinner, sometimes I chose a 30rmb or less option. Don't listen to those who say it's not possible. They are spending over 10k a month on rent. Hire nannies, drivers, and maids. Eat at expat restaurants. Shop at expat supermarkets (which, I must say, is the stupidest expenditure most expats make!). Drink at poser bars on the Bund etc.
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Postby haintz » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:23 am

Hi all,

Thank you all for your advices ... especially KalanStar *bear hug*

After reading all replies, i am so confused because I can't speak Chinese.... This means I can't live in Shanghai and save money with only 7000RMB per month!? However, i lived in Singapore for 4 years so I have no problems with Chinese food. Is that help?

Well, I expect my normal life (in Shanghai) like:
- Can rent a room... or one bedroom apartment (cheap... cheap :D)
- Can pay utilities, cellphone and internet bill (try to save everything)
- Can go out with friends in weekend (not often)
- Can put in bank some money every month (should > 150USD :D)
- After all.... can buy a ticket to go back my country :D j/k

Ah, the company said they would pay foreign employee insurance for me. Does that insurance include Health Care Insurance

Hix... so many questions are flying around my head

Warm Regards
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Postby Bassie » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:39 am

crap responses as always here, 7k is enough, specially if you dont need to eat western food that much ...
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Postby lucane01 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:07 pm

7,000 is pretty bad. Demand more or stay where you are.
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Postby espswe » Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:24 pm

The salary package is 7000RMB before tax and includes accommodation allowance.

Does this mean 7000 plus some accommodation allowance or 7000 to pay for accommodation and all other costs?

i think that if youre getting 7000 and some accomodation allowance, you can easily manage. thats actually exactly how much i have left per month after paying rent, and i have plenty for going out, eating (western and chinese places), paying bills, and still saving 1500 rmb ($220) per month.
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Postby haintz » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:11 pm

Thank you all.
:P :P :P

espswe wrote:
The salary package is 7000RMB before tax and includes accommodation allowance.

Does this mean 7000 plus some accommodation allowance or 7000 to pay for accommodation and all other costs?


Hix... 7000RMB to pay accommodation and all other costs except Foreign Employee insurance. The company will pay that for me but i don't know what is that for :(
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Postby bigroh74 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:24 pm

KalanStar wrote:I know Shanghainese who own homes and new cars on 7k a month!

Take these Shanghai local salaries with a pinch of salt. The company I'm involved with had a great deal of work to do unravelling the salary system when we hooked up with a Chinese company.

For local staff, in addition to the, relatively low, salaries, there was a raft of subsidies and bonuses added on. Extra money for holidays, extra money if your home town was not Shanghai, extra money if you were married and your spouse lived in another city, extra money for overtime, free food, free travel, expenses etc etc. Plus large, in relation to the salary amount, bonuses for this, that and the other.

In the case of the few expats they employed it was simple, they just got paid a straight salary, no bonuses.

This meant, of course, that the Chinese who the expats thought were earning a great deal less, were, in fact, coming out with about the same money in their pockets every month and, in some cases, much more.
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Postby Adrienne » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:07 am

I think that it is all about EXPECTATIONS or should I say EXPATATIONS. :lol: (Sorry guys, really corny but couldn't help it)

If you look at the reasons as to why you are moving here and what kind of lifestyle you expect and what sacrifices you will and will not accept then there is room for just about everyone.

I would definately agree with bigroh74's comments on comparing us with locals and add that they have family and friends who provide even more support and connections (guangxi) and are very familiar with where to get cheap things, bargaining etc, etc. Even if you think you can live a local life on the cheap you would only do this half as well as a local could.

I am sure it must be awfully confusing trying to get a feel for the city with such opposing views but each person is in a different socio-economic bracket and each has decided what lifestyle they want to live here and what they will and will not give up. They then decide if the move will be of benefit to them.

Many expats have even gained by living in excellent higher end housing but they are working for MNCs. They have had to make sacrifices as well.......which I won't go into just now as it is getting off topic.

I do find a bit of hypochracy around though with people SHOUTING FROM THE ROOFTOPS about finding bargains for under 2,000rmb and in the next breath complaining about the quality of housing and landlords. :roll:

So, as long as you arrive here with FAIR AND REASONBLE EXPECTATIONS after you have done plenty of your own research (just as you are doing now) I think you will be just fine.

All the best!!

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Postby JessicaSun » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:02 am

inefable wrote:This city is much more expensive than Vietnam.
I would think it a lot before coming here for 7.000 Rmb per month!
Good luck!
[list=]

Yep, the life cost is much more expensive than Vietnam, I've ever been to Vietnam as a tourist, I feel it is more cheap there, especially the traffic.

Quiet frankly, 7,000 rmb is not impossible. I think HK is more expensive than shanghai, I worked there couple of months, the company afforded me serviced apartment at kowloon, cell phone, health care, daily allowance, 300 rmb per day. and twice home leave, company afforded the plane ticket.

how to live better? I went to local market at Yau Ma Tei, went to local supermarket, cooked by myself. bought breakfast at Seven- Eleven.

I can save much money. of course, my company still pay the domestic wage even I worked in HK.

So try to learn mandarin, it must help you to communicate with local people. the shanghainese' English are not as good as hongkongnese. most of supermarket cashier in HK can speak English, but few cashier in local supermarket can speak English. even Metro, Carrefour.

Still remind you, not all chinese people are very friendly, so pls ask more people. you can ask for help to those who look like" white collar". most of them can speak English. [/list]

Hope you will enjoy your life in shanghai.
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Postby JessicaSun » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:27 pm

[list=]see if you can get a service apartment. Most service apartments just take care of things, no questions asked. Whereas with a landlord, you never know what they might do when things go wrong (and they'll always try to take your deposit).[/quote]


Yep, service apartment is better. try to look for a good service apartment in Pu Xi or Pu Dong, which depends on your working location. traffic should be considered. As for the local landlord, we should admit, not all local landlords are evil, but more or less, we still come across some evil people, no matter in china or Vietnam.
[/list]
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Postby haintz » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:55 am

Thanks all alot =)

Follow Adrienne's opions, let's see what I can/cannot do and what i have/haven't:
- Can speak, read and write English an Vietnamese (I am Vietnamese)
- Lived in Singapore for 4 year so have no problems with Chinese food.
- Can't speak, write and read Chinese
- Don't have any Chinese's friend and relatives in China... Actually, i have but we r not in touch for very long time. So i cannot contact them now.

The company offer me:
- The total package, including the accommodation allowance will be total 7000RMB (before tax).
- Company will pay the foreign employee insurance (don't know what is that for)
- I have to pay for my ticket from Viet Nam to China.

Until now, after doing some researches, I wonder
- Why i need to pay flying ticket....(about 4000-5000RMB for 1 way ticket)
- In theoretically, for a foreign single male living in Shanghai: 1500-3000RMB for accommodation per month, 1500 for meals, and 500RMB for utilities bills. So i can save around 2000-3000RMB... if i don't get sick/accident/hang out with friends..... or i use bicycle as my transportation. However, i can't speak Chinese so there is troubles. In Singapore, i can deal with troubles because i can communicate with local people and government officers. But Shanghai is totally different.... :(
- The only a good side that i will have another overseas working experiences if i take this offer :lol: :lol:

From all above, I think i should request to the company to give me a better offer (to cover my back... if something bad happen, i can run away :roll: :roll:)and pay the flight ticket.

Regards
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Postby haintz » Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:50 pm

Hix... in the terms and conditions, they only offer 10days for annual leave....
I don't know what should i do.... Ask them to add more days or decline the offer :(
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Postby bigroh74 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:08 am

haintz wrote:Hix... in the terms and conditions, they only offer 10days for annual leave....
I don't know what should i do.... Ask them to add more days or decline the offer :(

Doesn't seem much. But make sure it's in addition to Chinese holidays.

Four weeks plus Chinese holidays seems to be the norm among the people I know.
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Postby SnappySammy » Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:46 am

7000 per month fugetaboutit
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Re: Looking for advice about relocating to Shanghai

Postby haintz » Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:02 am

It's hard to recommend anything when Great Trade War between USA and China just in begin. Probably China will be blocked very soon and Vietnam will got big American / Europe investments and you will be nice there too. But Hell Know ?


IMHO.


:) New places - new opportunities -----> New experiences -----> FEELING GREAT

But i won't take risk if the return is very low. That's why i am looking for advices to make decision.

:( so far, I have long way to go to Shanghai.... hix
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Postby Buzzd » Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:09 am

HiBeverly wrote::shock:

If you haven't grown up as a local farmer in China, 7000/month is NOT going to keep you alive. You'll need about 5 times more...


I'm sorry Bev. Normally you're pretty solid with the advice you give, but your inner Princess has just revealed itself in a huge way. $5,000 U.S. to survive in Shanghai??? Get real! I've lived very happily in NYC on much less, not to mention here.

7,000 RMB with rent allowance added. OP won't be getting rich, but a decent life here is certainly doable.
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Postby bleepingbleeper » Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:54 pm

bigroh74 wrote:
haintz wrote:Hix... in the terms and conditions, they only offer 10days for annual leave....
I don't know what should i do.... Ask them to add more days or decline the offer :(

Doesn't seem much. But make sure it's in addition to Chinese holidays.

Four weeks plus Chinese holidays seems to be the norm among the people I know.


4wks vacation PLUS chinese holidays!? what kind of company are you working for? seasonal business? this is not europe!

in my company, the locals get about 5 days paid annual leave in addition to chinese holidays. they also have the option to take unpaid leave - i think there is a limit to the # of days, but i don't know what it is.


haintz wrote:Until now, after doing some researches, I wonder
- Why i need to pay flying ticket....(about 4000-5000RMB for 1 way ticket)


if the company hires you for 7k/mo from vietnam, they should pay your plane ticket to shanghai and also give you a ticket home once a year. if they don't go for the 1/yr ticket, i'd say at least get them to pay for the ticket to shanghai, and one back to vietnam if they decide to terminate your employment. otherwise, you could get stuck in china.
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Postby bigroh74 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:41 pm

bleepingbleeper wrote:
bigroh74 wrote:
haintz wrote:Hix... in the terms and conditions, they only offer 10days for annual leave....
I don't know what should i do.... Ask them to add more days or decline the offer :(

Doesn't seem much. But make sure it's in addition to Chinese holidays.

Four weeks plus Chinese holidays seems to be the norm among the people I know.


4wks vacation PLUS chinese holidays!? what kind of company are you working for? seasonal business? this is not europe!

You're right. Not Europe. That was where I had seven weeks holiday plus public holidays (about another 8-10 days).

Now with a joint venture (Australian/Chinese). Not sure what the locals get but the expats get the four weeks plus the official Chinese holidays.
Not seasonal, it's been going for at least 8 years as far as I know.
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Re: Looking for advice about relocating to Shanghai

Postby haintz » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:18 pm

Thanks for all advices.
After careful considerations, i have to turn over their offer. Like Marakanis said I definitely need an exit strategy. However, they tried to convince me that comparing to other companies, they offered me a high offer for a foreigner in Shanghai Market (>.<) . Then... Best wishes to them.
Once again, thank you all :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re:

Postby SnappySammy » Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:23 am

Buzzd wrote:
HiBeverly wrote::shock:

If you haven't grown up as a local farmer in China, 7000/month is NOT going to keep you alive. You'll need about 5 times more...


I'm sorry Bev. Normally you're pretty solid with the advice you give, but your inner Princess has just revealed itself in a huge way. $5,000 U.S. to survive in Shanghai??? Get real! I've lived very happily in NYC on much less, not to mention here.

7,000 RMB with rent allowance added. OP won't be getting rich, but a decent life here is certainly doable.


YO Buzzy...when did you in NY on $5000 a month 1952? My Yankee tickets are more than that.......You must be a Mets Fan
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