Leaving Taipei to Shanghai for work?

So i’m conflicted, I finally feel like i’m at home in Taiwan. I finished my military conscription, I got my drivers license and now drive like a crazy Taiwanese person and actually learned the roads, my relationship is good with my family right now which haven’t been in a long time here. I’m just comfortable, i know where to eat, where to go, how to get around and all the life hacks of living in Taipei.

I’m talking to a new, really nice fitness and fighting gym in shanghai, one of the nicest i’ve seen. They want me. I don’t know what to do, and it doesn’t help that i’ve never been to shanghai.

In the 3 years i’ve lived here, more and more of my friends have moved on. Most short term expats here for teaching, ABCs who moved back to the states of canada, or artists and musicians that moved on. So I have less and less friends to be honest recently and spend most of my time alone, with my dogs and with my gf. I only go out with them.

I’ve lived comfortably here with money, I made decent wages working on different things. I’m not rich on my own, but def better off than most people my age not just in Taiwan as I have no debt and have a house. But i feel like i’ll never be really successful here, i’ve gotten by without a degree leaving my senior year (not because grades, family and healt reasons and never went back) I know most of my success if from, not to come of as an ass, but partly due to the fact i’m good at being sociable and networking. Every job i’ve got is from meeting someone seeing me do some other job and offering me one later on. And partly due to the fact my family is well off here and even if i fail I’ll never be homeless or jobless if I really needed one.

But back to my point, i’ve only lived in Beijing, hated it. And chengdu, which was ok, outside of HK it’s my favorite place. And Wuhan. What is Shanghai like for those who worked there and lived there. How is it compared to Taiwan? Or specifically, Taipei? What is living expenses like and housing pricing for rent for someone who does have some what of a expensive taste. I don’t expect a huge house, but I would want to live around the busy areas in a nicer apartment. And how convenient is it for every day life? Also, food. I eat like a monster, is it like the rest of China…I lost like 10kgs there since I couldn’t eat much in fear of dying of contaminated food.

Lastly, whats a good living wage in Shanghai, in RMB?


I’ve lost count of friends in Taipei that have gone over to Shanghai. Probably just as many as my ABC and foreigner friends who went back home. Any who, from what they tell me, Shanghai is a 2-4 year “investment”. A majority of them have come back to Taiwan and have gotten better jobs.

If the guys really want you, have them cover…everything. You’re going to be an expat, housing, food, transportation and bi/tri-monthly tickets home are the standard! Once you get that package, then start to think whether it’s worth it to leave the awesomness of Taipei behind.


Losing another one to Chinese Beijing? Alas, the communists have won. :sob:


Just try it out.
Its nothing like Beijing .
Its not a massive difference from living in Taipei , just a lot more furriners and money and opportunities .

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and no FB, YouTube, connection with the outside world, unless you have a VPN, but they are cracking down on that. I guess its a choice. Money, or all that is decent and good.

Doesn’t Shanghai have an economic zone where there’s no Great Firewall?

Is the Internet super slow and completely unusable there?

Also what’s the deal with food. I’m sure there’s nice restaurants but in taiwan I like the fact I can walk down to a mom and pop shop any time and eat so much food.

It would be a 4 year commitment as my gf who I intend to stay with will be going to unvi after a break so she will complete school there if I decide to go. Although I’m not sure I want her to get a commie censored education haha.

But the thought of living in china is hard.

If your from the States, use T-mob as cell service, you can get facebook, ect in China. No extra data/SMS fees and 25cents per min for voice. As for Shanghai. Why is it better than Taipei, well it’s more international by far by almost all standards. I am going to say better food as in more choices than in Taiwan. Example is Mexican, which is easier to find as well other Western Foods. The large number of ex-pats support this as well demand from locals. Salary in most cases is better. Weather is much better than Beijing, though colder in the winter than Taiwan (it snows sometimes but not often). The big downside is it is expensive. Lots of good restaurants, but in most cases cost more than in Taiwan and rent for a nice place is more than Taiwan. It’s also a big city, so travel times can be far and take a long time.

If I was younger I would choose live there as a ex pat. But in my case I have been in Taiwan 15 years or so, with friends and nice place to live I like it here. I have international standard salary and good job that allows lots of travel so it’s good although I do miss some Western foods, I still have the chance that I can still get that when I travel to US/AU/NZ or other large Asian cities.

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It would take A LOT for someone to convince me to go back to China, so I know exactly how you feel. I didn’t even have it as bad as you since I was in Shenzhen, just a hop skip away to HK/civilization. However, if I got the package I previously mentioned and had a chance to advance my career, I think I would highly consider it.

If the gf could come with me, I think that would be a deal breaker. If you’re going to have a tough time adjusting and have no good friends to lean back on, it definitely helps to have the SO there for support.

This is bait! Don’t give in so easily!

No. But you would struggle to stream in 4K.

I’d hold off on that 4K laptop then @Andrew0409 :smiley::smiley::smiley:

I’d definitely do it for the kind of offer that cant be refused. Say a big promotion and raise where it was possible to put your entire current Taiwan salary straight to a savings account and to live on the raise alone. Otherwise I’d have to think about it. I probably wouldn’t do it for a 50% raise there would have to be something more on top of that: say a job that was exactly what I wanted to do that was going to look perfect on the CV etc.

That’s where I would stand, based on living in Shenzhen, not Shanghai. had some friends in Shenzhen who had worked in Shanghai and they preferred Shanghai. But I think many of the issues are similar if a bit better in Shanghai.

Would you prefer Shenzhen as well? Why? Just curious.

I’d also ideally want 50% on to move to Shanghai especially if they didn’t cover the tax and housing expense costs.
I have the option to move there but not sure if the company would cover much on the costs side.
Right now I pay just 10% tax on a decent income after all the deductions. I have just over half hour commute to work. Never any hassle whatsoever.

There it would be something like 25%.
The housing cost is also a bit more although not exorbitant if living further out in Pudong.
Other costs didn’t seem much different than Taipei.
Western food is not cheap in Taipei either.
I liked the architecture and sense of history but it’s just in those expensive central areas.

Personally it would be much better for business networking and possibly socialising although that is not guaranteed.

The major different I felt was the distance as already mentioned (mega city ) and also not as many weekend destinations like in Taipei where you can head to the mountains or the beach in your car, scooter or train .

I’ve never lived in Shanghai, only in Shenzhen, but from what I gather from the missus, and from friends that have lived there is that Shanghai is better in terms of most problems that you encounter as compared to Shenzhen, but it is also more expensive. I think an exception is the air quality which is supposed to be worse.

I think if I was single I would jump on it. I’m not really into going out socializing and having a wild time dressing up to impress and chatting up girls. So social aspects are not a big deal. It’s not like I can’t do that here if I wanted to.

Do they? I have no idea.

To be honest, I really haven’t spent longer than a day in Shanghai. US citizens are given a 3-day visa on arrival pass, and I had a 9 hour layover. Took the train into the city to see what all the fuss was about. I had an open mind, put all the negative things I heard aside, and went for it.

To me, TO ME it was not very friendly at all. It had this military suspiciousness to it. I was expecting something like Taipei or Singapore. No. It was definitely like something I had never experienced before. The officials were nice, but the overall feel of the others was…not my type of place.

It was like one of those places where you exchange your soul for money, and you can get it [your soul] back when you leave, except its not the same as it was when it went in.

Just me.

Ugh. I feel like I need to visit before I go. In my experience I would have to be paid like a king to live in China. Only so I can fly away from China as much a possible.

Yea, my general feeling is that you’d want to be moving up a social class to make it a good choice.

Can anyone tell me about transportation and getting around there. I don’t ride scooters and never will, or any bikes.