Living in China

Hi People!!

Just wanted to start a thread about foreigners living in mainland China.

Is this an attempt to say that Taiwan is a part of the PRC?

For reference, I would note that Article 7 of the ROC Income Tax Law states that a foreigner who lives inside the country for 183 days or more in the current year, or did so in the last year, is entitled to have income tax withholding done at the resident rate. Otherwise, the income tax withholding should be done at the non-resident rate, which is higher (i.e. 20%)

However, any days in the PRC do not count as days inside the country and that is a fact. Here in Taiwan, there are dozens of additional statutes that have similar provisions, which regard the ROC and the PRC as separate entities. Based on those statutes, it appears that there is no legal basis for saying that Taiwan and the PRC are the same country, or part of the same country.

Does anyone want to continue a debate about this subject? Perhaps I am missing something.

Don’t know much at ‘ground’ level about what the Taiwanese (ChanShuiBian’s) govt is doing to promote “living in China.” I suppose in many ways they would see it as “concessions” for hard times, as no other alternatives seems more viable esp for the lower/middle classes.

All I know is that there seems to be a lot of “push” factors in the newspapers:

    [*]Taiwan's top govt "think tank" is saying the economy of Taiwan will not recover for at least another 2 quarters or well into the next year. [*]The traditional "role" of Taiwan as an export centre for primarily US markets is increasingly uncompetitive since the recovery of the US economy also seems a long way off. Will Taiwan need to play an altogether different game then on the next recovery curve? [*]WTO membership comes into effect from the 1st of January next year 2002, although Taiwan has been 'ready' for at least 2 years, unlike China, this date also seems to be some sort of impetus to move more into China.[/list]

    There was a top Taiwanese biscuit tycoon in the dried foods business interviewed on TV recently. He is supposed to have said something like “it’s now or never”. If we don’t someone else like the Koreans will etc… It’ll be much easier for us than other foreigners. We cannot be that (stupid) to delay. We have the language and the culture on our side. They (the mainlanders…) are our people… This guy is supposedly to be only educated to Primary 6 level and in Japanese because of Japanese occupation. He supposedly also cannot read Chinese. Anyway I am digressing. Most Taiwanese also probably know who he is.

    The Hang Seng Index went up in a massive way last week. Papers are interpreting this as a strong dose of recovery hope. Previous to that the index was suppose to be in its 36 month lows like Taiwan’s Taipei index. Interest rates are also at all time lows virtually near zero, yet we continue to have deflation…(3rd year running)

    In Hong Kong, “living in China” is THEE big thing and integrating with China (esp the Pearl River Delta) thee big HOPE. The Pearl River Delta will be for Hong Kong what China(Shanghai/Fukien) is for the Taiwanese.

    These last few months the Economic Times a major Chinese language daily has been running a series on just this theme. Almost every profession (lawyers, accountants, IT experts etc) and their outlook have been analysed. i.e. for in Hong Kong vs in China… (What are they worth currently? How many currently unemployed, if transferred to China (Shanghai) how much will they earn. etc…) What are the top ten most sort after jobs with “Expat” terms in China? How hard is it to get expat/Hong Kong terms etc.? How to start a company in China? What property to buy and which city is the best city to live in etc… Which city is the most favourable to foreigners etc…

    Almost you could say enough to fill another website like Oriented but about Shanghai principally, but the findings are applicable to Beijing or Shenzhen. These are also the 3 cities where all the brightest talents and foreigners tend to gravitate unless of course if you are an English teacher.

    On the govt side, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council has also summarised similar information for Hong Kong people. Their latest guide for China timed just for WTO, came out just last month (October) in a folder like format.- In case of any changes within a year, we will mail you the changes!! (imagine that)

    The price is also extremely cheap (HK$200) unlike similar China trade guides in the past issued by newspapers and China consultants* that go for several thousands HKD each. ( *such as those issued by the big six accounting firms who used to do this sort of analysis and guides for big businesses). Oh for the time being this guide is in Chinese and I believe an English version is in the works. TDC can be found at www.tdctrade.com

    I have also checked at the bookstores for some other competing publications; and there is for the time being one more and the price of that is only HK$168. It does not look like the Big Six will be competing in this market much anymore if the PRC becomes even more transparent in its rulings.

    So whenever Christine/Gus is ready, Oriented can put up the latest rules for Shanghai/Beijing/Shenzhen etc…just as they have done for Taiwan. The tax implications in property investement for HongKong/Macau and Taiwan “tongbao” and those planning to marry a Chinese citizen, may make some Taiwanese investor’s mouth water especially since the place of their relocation: Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen Beijing are all cheaper than Taipei but expected to grow at 7- 10% GDP for the next 5 years or even 10 years.

    Also the issue of PRC “citizenship” was raised recently. I am still trying to find out about becoming a citizen for “foreigners” although this is a rarely asked question since most tongbao of the 3 official “origins” (Hong Kong/Taiwan/Macau) can easily get to live in China without restrictions and “work permits” to work.
    Currently only the Taiwan tongbao needs “stamping”. Hong Kong will soon have 24 hrs pass-through making immigration almost a routine security check like when working for some American firms: IBM, Oracle, Microsoft etc., where everyone one has to carry an ID card to enter the premises. Hong Kongers and Macau tongbao have already got to that stage.

    Shanghai is definitely choice number one for relocation into China for the average Taiwanese viewed from “all” angles. There is too much to discuss under this and I will probably have to leave it for another time.

    [*]the city is super clean and new, highways are well designed and 20minutes from the airport. In terms of the fully “planned” city, Singapore is finally defeated. Sorry to all Singaporeans…

    [*]wages $$$$ are the highest for the “foreigner” other than Shenzhen.

    [*]houses or flats are the biggest for each dollar spent - for now !
    (For most Hong Kong people it is like living in a dream accommodation) swimming pool and gym below. Security guards that are younger than 40. Enough green area all over the city to make you think you have temporarily moved abroad to New Zealand.

    [*]Taiwanese newspapers !!! yes … and CNN , ABC, etc… are all available.

    [*]taxis and public transport are so cheap you don’t need a car. Taxis drivers that make you feel like it is “an honour to have served you “!

    [*]eating out even in some cases can beat Hong Kong. Before I didn’t like Shanghai food or I thought I knew what Shanghainese food was.

    [*]Hong Kong has one main English “Time-Out” magazine listing the happenings and events and only one main area where “foreigners” like to congregate for fun (a la Lan Kwai Fong) = pubs, bars, restaurant etc… Shanghai has 3 such free magazines, and enough restaurants or bars to cover an area 5 times the size of Lan Kwai Fong. One special place serves French food where all the raw material and the daily vegetables are flown in from France.

    [*]Taiwanese investments and Taiwanese style coffee shops/noodles all over the place!
    It was in one of these places that I first read about the 9.11 NewYork incident, yes from a Taiwanese newspaper.

    [*]KFC and MacDonalds for those who need that.

    [*]potted plants on flyovers?

I have collected enormous amount of information about “moving into China.” Some of which I have not mentioned here but can offer up if the need/query arises. Currently in Hong Kong there are also seminars on this topic at the Convention centre. It is quite reasonable to assume that most of Hong Kong’s working population is thinking of “re-inventing” themselves possibly with a view of doing something related to China.

A lot of professional people eg. Accountants, lawyers, IT geniuses etc are also out of work. Hong Kong is very much like Taiwan in that it is an “open” economy although it is not as export orientated as Taiwan or Singapore.

I’d really like to know what ‘xiaodaishu’ meant by “about foreigners living in mainland China” for a thread, because the way Hartzell adds the twist “Is this an attempt to say that Taiwan is a part of the PRC?” makes what may have been an innocent question as to what living in China is like for foreigners into a debate about ROC and PRC’s differences. Very informative David_K. Very informative what you say. I’m living in Shanghai now cuz “fate” of career has sent me here. I say, don’t think about the politics between these two countries. Its your life you are leading…unless you are able to change the government, just work with what the environment can offer you.


This has got to be Hooters, right? Or the Zone, or Taipei Main Station MRT on a Saturday night? Nope, it’s Club Lush, Beijing. Makes those Oriented Happy Hours look a little tame.

When do I leave?

Oh, I’m married, wait…for a Taiwanese man club lush would be ok… I live in Taiwan… my wife IS Taiwanese… I’m booking the ticket.

Nah. But the last one doesn’t look too bad. :smiling_imp:

Bassman wrote [quote]Nah. But the last one doesn’t look too bad.
[/quote]I think the second one is more appealing :smiley:

cyfhsu wrote:

cyfhsu, do you know of any info-site and/or discussion forum such as Forumosa for the greater Shanghai area? We might relocate to Suzhou soon if my bosses have their will … thanks, Xpet.

You could try

www.shanghaiexpat.com

It seems quite infromative but not as interesting as forumosa

Shanghai.

If you want meat, try the “brazilian BBQ” places, all you can eat. More meat in one meal than you ever saw in your whole live. Cheap too, a few months ago they charged 68 RMB/person including buffet. Beer is cheap too.

Foot massage parlors, cheap!

Western food at the supermarkets, cheaper than Taiwan and more choice.

Another fact that shows that Taiwan and PRC are 2 different countries: call up the PRC-Embassy in your home country and ask them to issue you a Visa for Taiwan. Or call up the Taiwan rep. office and ask them for a PRC-visa. Both can not do it, because it’s not part of their country/territory/area of juristriction/whateveryoucallit. .

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Buxiban in China:

[quote=“daniel_han”]Buxiban in China:

[/quote]

What’s with the “V” sign in every pic from Asia? Anyway, the scenery looks nice!

My company will setup operations in China in another year or so. Our parent company already has a factory in Suzhou. I’d love to hear anyone’s opinions on Suzhou and the surrounding area. Can you live in Shanghai and be close enough to work in Suzhou? And is all housing and apartments outrageously expensive in Shanghai, as I have seen on some real estate sites?

And, any issues with my Taiwanese wife living there (relating to residency, Taiwan citizenship, etc.)?

Thanks!!

[quote=“ShaoPang”]
What’s with the “V” sign in every pic from Asia? Anyway, the scenery looks nice!

My company will setup operations in China in another year or so. Our parent company already has a factory in Suzhou. I’d love to hear anyone’s opinions on Suzhou and the surrounding area. Can you live in Shanghai and be close enough to work in Suzhou? And is all housing and apartments outrageously expensive in Shanghai, as I have seen on some real estate sites?

And, any issues with my Taiwanese wife living there (relating to residency, Taiwan citizenship, etc.)?

Thanks!![/quote]
Suzhou is nice. I’d pick Suzhou over Shanghai any day. I don’t see any reason why you would want to commute. Many districts in Suzhou still have a non-industrial feel to them, while you can also get/do a lot of the things that you would otherwise go to Shanghai for. The people are nice too; unlike Shanghai people, they don’t have a permanent 45 degree skyward tilt on their noses.

Any issues with your Taiwanese wife going there? Legally, no problem. The rest depends on you; most Taiwanese guys I’ve known up there keep a second wife; wrecked or damaged marriages are the norm, not the exception when a guy goes over to the mainland by himself. I think it would be best to take your wife, but it will still be difficult. Moving to the mainland with or without your wife will put stress on your marriage, so it would probably be good for you and your wife to discuss potential problems the two of you might have ahead of time.

Aidiming, thanks for the link, I’ll shoot off a few questions at shanghaiexpat.com and see how the response is … Thanks, Xpet.

[quote=“Xpet”]
… And is all housing and apartments outrageously expensive in Shanghai, as I have seen on some real estate sites?

And, any issues with my Taiwanese wife living there (relating to residency, Taiwan citizenship, etc.)?

Thanks!![/quote]

I have a friend living in downtown Shanghai and his wife is Taiwanese. According to them it’s pretty nice living and for the wife good shopping.

Housing can be expensive in downtown Shanghai 1,000 USD/month and up. Foreigners renting downtown are requested to pay in USD.

Although if you want to live in the suburbs, like 20 minutes by underground to the center, it’s cheaper. New build appartments will go from 2,000 - 3,000 RMB/month for 30 - 40 ping. And strangely they almost always include a TV.

[quote=“Jive Turkey”]Suzhou is nice. I’d pick Suzhou over Shanghai any day. I don’t see any reason why you would want to commute. Many districts in Suzhou still have a non-industrial feel to them, while you can also get/do a lot of the things that you would otherwise go to Shanghai for. The people are nice too; unlike Shanghai people, they don’t have a permanent 45 degree skyward tilt on their noses.

Any issues with your Taiwanese wife going there? Legally, no problem. The rest depends on you; most Taiwanese guys I’ve known up there keep a second wife; wrecked or damaged marriages are the norm, not the exception when a guy goes over to the mainland by himself. I think it would be best to take your wife, but it will still be difficult. Moving to the mainland with or without your wife will put stress on your marriage, so it would probably be good for you and your wife to discuss potential problems the two of you might have ahead of time.[/quote]

I guess I just need to see Suzhou myself. Hopefully I’ll be able to visit later this year.

My wife and I have discussed this many times and she seems OK with the idea. But, she would definitely not let me go there alone (even just to visit). The women over there won’t leave her older brother alone when he visits on business (and he is only a Taiwanese engineer working for very little money). Being a tall, thin, blondish American guy, I have been told that the women probably would not give up on bothering me. Or, am I mixing up my dreams again! :wink:

I thought that this was quite interesting to watch . Quite a shame too. :confused:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ed4ryYokLzU&feature=share&fbclid=IwAR0FkcXrMA5mdEL3rZIrhxVbxKL-VFPtPngOTH-e0_Uhea7YYOBnoUriwVc

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Damn, this is a deep dive thread bump. Did you use necromancy to dig this up? :zombie:‍♂ :skull: :mage:‍♂

Every expat I know who has gone to China has had a bad experience, with the exception of one guy who works in Shanghai and likes it. But everywhere else seems to be the pits. With increased tension between the West and China, it’s much worse working there now as a westerner than it was 18 years ago when this thread was started. Someone posted a thread earlier this year basically imploring people not to work in China, because they WILL end up getting screwed.

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