Living Cost in Shanghai

Update If you are looking for Shanghai Weather, please visit Shanghai Weather (TQ) June 24, 2004

Yesterday, I received an email from Raz, discussing about the living cost in Shanghai.

I’m mostly interested in the living costs in Shanghai…what normal salaries are and the rent for a small apartment in the city. Also how mush does it cost to buy stuff…a pc, a bigmac, local food and transport??

/ Raz

Very interesting topic, isn’t it?

It is hard to tell

Shanghai is among the top 10 cities for living cost in the world. Actually, it is the sixth expensive city for expatriates, according to CNN. But during my talk with some expiates in Shanghai, I found they think Shanghai is a heaven. This is partly because the pay for foreigners in Shanghai is much higher than that for local residents while the costs are almost the same.

I’d better start the topic with some prices of daily lives. I will RMB (Renminbi) as currency unless otherwise noted. Please keep in mind that 1 USD = 8.3 RMB.

Normal Salary

According to a goverment report, average worker’s monthly salary is 1492 RMB.

In 2001, Shanghai’s average worker’s salary was RMB17,910, making it number one in the 30 areas of China.

1492 RMB is a magic number and was used for many areas, such as the house fund deduction.

179 USD for one month? This number is astonishing for most people in U.S or Europe. Well, it is true. I told my friends just arriving in Shanghai that people feel happy if they get 400 RMB per month in my home town, they said “Oh, my god!!”.

Don’t get the wrong impression. For undergraduates of computer major, their expectation for starting point salary is about 3000 RMB. Some can get 5000 to 7000 RMB, this will be a very good number. It is very common for employees in foreign companies to earn more than 10,000 RMB per month.

For foreigners, it is another story. The first question when they see a job advertisement is, “Is it local pay or U.S. pay?” This phenomenon is interesting. For local pay, they get RMB and although it is still very high (4000 ~ 12000 RMB? I **guess**), but for U.S. payees, they get a package that is attractive even in U.S. You know the payment level.

Rent for a small house

It depends. Apartments with different size, different area, different decoration style and different environment may vary greatly in price.

I once was living in a rented apartment for 600 RMB per month. It has two bed rooms and one living room – 68 square meters.

Now, I moved into the new apartment I bought. It is rented at price from 3000 – 4000 RMB. For an apartment of 120 sq. meters in Gubei, the area where expatiates gathers, costs about 10,000 RMB per month for rent.

To buy an apartment will cost you a lot. It is more expensive than a house in U.S. Average price is about 5000 RMB per sq. m. in urban areas. The price for some downtown areas will be about 9,000 ~ 10,000 RMB per sq. m.

Other prices

Personal Computer: 3000 RMB can buy a computer that can run. 6000 RMB will get a powerful computer. Seldom can I see a desktop computer more expensive than 10,000 RMB.

Big Mac: 10 RMB. McDonald’s and KFC can be seen everywhere. KFC has opened 60 stores in Shanghai. There are four KFC, 1 McDonald’s, and two PizzaHut within a 500 meter area around the building I am working in. The price is low. 20-30 RMB will get a great meal there.

Local food: About 30 RMB per person will get very good food. There are lots of restaurant in the city. Normal dishes cost about 16 RMB, while some expensive one cost 40-60 RMB.


This is the most easy one since the price is settled and consistent across the city.

Bus: 1 or 1.5 RMB for normal bus and 2 RMB for air-conditioned bus.

Taxi: 10 RMB staring price w/ 3 km and 2 RMB for each kilometer more.

Metro: 2 to 5 RMB depending on the distance. 3 RMB is the most common price.


Movies: about 25-30 RMB

Starbucks: 25 RMB for Cappuccino.

Beer in bars: 30 RMB


Thanks for Uday’s suggestion Here are more examples for the costs.

Medical expenses

Medicine is much lower than in U.S. It is an obvious evidence that medicines are on top of shopping list for most Chinese who returns to China for vacation. Here is some sample:

Berberine (100mg x 24 tablet): 3.3 RMB

Eyedrop (bottle): 5-10 RMB

Tylenol: Around 20 RMB

However, seeing a doctore costs much more. This is not because of the service charge of a doctore is high. On the contary, it is very low – around 8 RMB only. But the doctors tends to write you a prescription with only very high price medicines and much more than you need. This is bad actually, since the income of the doctor heavily depends on the medicine they “sell”.

Thus, typically, it costs about 100-150 RMB for the lightest fever or eye-ache. It cost much more if there is any serious illness. Medical insurance is defintely needed.

Education expenses

Collage tuition: Let’s take one of the most famous university Shanghai Jiaotong Univeristy (Chinese site) as an example. The tuition is 1500 RMB per year in 1995. Now it seems to be 6000 RMB.

After-work study: I mean some classes like guitar, music, Chinese language, driving and other specialty training typically cost about 800 RMB to 4000 RMB per term. A typical term is about 2 weeks (daily class), or two month (weekend class)

Professional training: This type of training means you attend the professional training provide to company like “Communication Skills”, “Sales skills” – it usually costs 1000-2000 RMB per day.

insurance: It really depends on the insurance company and the plan you are using – even the insurance agent need to calculate and give you a number. To give you some idea, I have talked with a life insurance agent and she wants me to pay 1000 RMB per month for 30 years. I forget about coverage since I didn’t buy it at last.

Income tax structure for expats

According to the last regulation (Chinese site)

Monthly income:

<500 5% 500-2000 10% 2000-5000 15% 5,000-20,000 20% 20,000-40,000 25% 40,000-60,000 30% 60,000-80,000 35% 80,000-100,000 40% >100,000 45%


Shanghai’s cost is still very low compared to that in U.S. It is really a heaven for expatiates. Experience it by yourselves.

See also

Update January 30, 2004

In response to Mr. Tan’s question, I added more items to the price list.

Estimate cost for each item below (in US Dollars):

– monthly rent for apartment (fairly new and near town with at least 3 bedrooms)

Wow. That is high above average living standard in Shanghai. So I would say, it should be 5000 RMB (600 USD) or higher for downtown area (inside the Inner Ring Elevated Road. In any area that can be described by any of the following term: decent, graceful, historical, very modern, etc, it should be above 4000 RMB (480 USD) for a apartment of 3 bedrooms. Of cause you can get an apartment of one bed room at around 1500 RMB (180 USD) in downtown or a three bed-room apartment that is far from downtown (but near Metro) at around 2500 RMB (300 USD). Check my articles under Real Estate category for more information on housing.

– monthly international school fees for 2 children (both 8 years old)

The fee varies greatly. Here is the phone list (Chinese page) of international schools in Shanghai. For example, Shanghai Singapore International School offers Singapore – based curriculum and faculty.

– estimate monthly transport for 4 persons

If you take metro only – which is very convenient, it is 4 RMB (0.5 USD) per person and 4 persons make up of 480 RMB (60 USD). If you take taxi, 200 RMB (25 USD)/person should be enough if you live in down town.

– estimate monthly food allowance for 4 persons

I checked with my mom and she said if every day, you cook by yourself and eat at home, 400 RMB (50 USD) should be enough for four people family. If you go to restaurant, 50 RMB (6 USD) per person is the common price for low end restaurant. 100 RMB (12 USD) per person is already very decent(expensive) restaurant.

Again, any estimation varies so greatly depending on your own standard of living.

177 thoughts on “Living Cost in Shanghai

  1. Well, some day I will write some words on living costs in Nanjing. Shortly, 1,500 RMB per month will let a people feel comfortable in the city. The figure includes renting apartment, food, spending on communication and traffic, etc.

  2. It is good. I believe the article about living in Nanjing will be interesting and helpful. I’d like to get a hint of what living in Nanjing looks like. Let me know when you complete it and I will provide a link to your article here.

  3. You are most welcome!

    I’d like to hear more voices about the accuricy of the data and any more categories I can add. I believe this will be helpful for more people after further revisions.

  4. I enjoyed your page.

    I am interested in going to Shanghai. I am a teacher.

    What is the ticket price from Vancouver(Canada) to Shanghai?

  5. It has been quite informative. Can you throw some light on the basic medical expenses, education expenses, insurance and income tax structure for expats in Shanghai?

  6. Thanks Uday.

    It is very help for me as well when you ask for specific information. Thus I know what you are interested and I will add it to the list very soon

  7. Thanks Wang,

    That was pretty fast, and quite informative too. I hope I get the right opportunity in the next month or so, to use all the information that you’ve provided.

    Sincere regards.


  8. Hi Wang,

    On the salary front, is it common for the Chinese companies to pay overseas specialists at the prevailing Chinese rate, or at par with US$ rate prevalent in the US market? As an engineer with over a decade’s experience in projects / marketing, what could one typically expect as remuneration from a company whose annual turnover is in the range of 2 million US$?

    On the primary education front, what is the density of good english-medium schools for 4-year plus children in Shanghai? How expensive are these schools?



  9. Hi,

    May I know what is the average monthly living cost in Shanghai excluding the accommodation?


  10. To Guoliang,

    Actually, it is a very hard question, since the “average monthly living cost” varies so greatly according to who you are.

    Let me try to explain it this way, if you are a student just gratuated, 1500 RMB. If you come to live in Shanghai from Malaysia, it should be around 3000 RMB to keep the standard. Some visitors from U.S. need about 5000 RMB excluding the accommodation since Starbucks, bars and T.G.I.Friday are the esential part of their life.

  11. i pleaseed to visit your comments about shanghaicity .

    sir you have solved my problem because i am going to shanghai for study in shanghai jiao tong university.

    i was some confuse about expences but your comments helped me .


    sami ullah

  12. Quick question- I’m looking for a reasonably priced, centrally located place to stay for March and April only in Shangahai, nothing to fancy. I’ve got a few days with friends to check out the real estate market before beginning a rental, where should I begin my search?

  13. Hi Wang,

    Thank you for this interesting page! We are going to move to Shanghai next month. We are going to work in PUDONG area, do you think it is a cool place to live?

    If not, could you suggest a good area to live with easy access to Pudong?


  14. It depends on which area of Pudong you are living. Pudong is a large area, larger than the whole old Shanghai city. But basically, Pudong is a newly developed area. It is new – the road, the buildings… It is well planned and less crowded. But as all new areas, the facilities there are not developed well. You may find it not easy to find a restraunts or theater.

    The area where foreigners gather is called Gu Bei – it is near the Hong Qiao Airport (west part of Shanghai in Pu Xi). However, it is not easy to get to Pudong.

    If you are working near the metro line (Line #2), it may be a good idea to find somewhere to live near Jing An (Nan Jing Rd. West) and take metro to where you work. Puxi is the paradise to leave while Pudong is suitable for working.

  15. Uday, thank you sooooo much for your site, it was extremely helpful for me becasue i had to do a report for my university on the cost of livign in Shangahi and will hopefully be moving there this summer. I would just like to see if you could add any critical issues of living and working in Shanghai as a foreigner. thankyou very much.

  16. Maria,

    I’d like to keep posting some other expense to this page to give you some idea of how it looks like to live in Shanghai. However, help me to understand what do you think are “critical issues of living and working in Shanghai as a foreigner”? Questions are welcome since it helps me to get aware of what you are interested most. I am living in this city. Something that seems obvious and common may be very strange and challenge for you.

  17. Hello, yeah sure i will explain what i mean with critical issues, i mean things like crime in the city and security issues, official days of holidays per year in shanghai, the oppeness from the local people toward foreigners and things like that. thankyou very much for taking the time to answer me and giving all this information.

  18. Yes. I will put the information on the blog shortly. – posted from mobile via WAP

  19. Jian Shuo,

    Great site and very useful information. I am planning to relocate to Shanghai in Dec and I would like to know aboout the SARS situation there. Can you please shed some lights.

    Thanks a bunch!!!

  20. Hello,

    It is really great having first-hand info from a local.Nice Site, Jian Shuo!

    Probably, I will be assigned to Shanghai next Month for at least 6mos. Well, my question for you would be, the basic/essential Chinese phrases that i need to know to get by with the daily routines. I know there will be a lot, but of course, you know what i mean by essential (for an expat).

    Best Regards

  21. Well, ICe,

    I believe if you must know two words, they are:

    Xie Xie (Thank you)

    Ni Hao (How are you)

    Of cause there are many many more, but these two I think is good enough to show people in China that you really know some Chinese.

    Jian Shuo Wang

  22. You would be suprised how far you can get knowing about twenty words. If you stay in shanghai long enough you almost get a feel for what people are saying without knowing the language. I find only in one on one conversations is it really hard to communicate with a limited vocabulary.

    However I can shop,go out, do what needs to be done to live every day without the need to be fluent in Mandarin. Again many locals speak shanghainee and not mandarin. Knowing English and some key Mandarin words can get you by pretty well.

  23. Nick, yes. It is definitely right. You don’t have to learn Mandarin to live here. Some basic mandarin will help, something like:

    Ni Hao (hello)

    Zai Jian (good bye)

    Tai Gui Le (too expensive..:-)

  24. Hi ,

    I would like to know the average monthly expenses per Individual In Shanghai.

    Many Thanks


  25. It really depends on how you think the standard of life is acceptable. If you ask average, I think 3000 RMB for normal Chinese people with higher salary should bee good. But do keep in mind that 1400 RMB is the average income of the city and most people live with less than 1000 RMB per month – which is not an acceptable level for most local university graduates.

  26. Hello,

    What can someone with a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from a top U.S. university be expected to get paid (consider local pay scale) in Shanghai (to work for Intel, Motorola, etc..)?

    Many Thanks,


  27. Hi Shou Wang,

    I am very impressed on your FAQ site and could like to know more from you.

    Maybe you can give me some light on the followings:

    a) How is the secruity standard in Shanghai?? i.e. any kidnapping, day-time robbery, street gangster and etc?? Can one stay late at nite?? Let say 11pm.

    b) Is it save to stay somewhere near shanghai’s railway area??

    c) Is the china people has any bias to Asian, i.e. Malaysia or Singaporean??

    d) what is pace of working life in shanghai?? I mean are shanghai workers workaholic? Are their work pace as fast as in HongKong or singapore??

    e) Can I know the public holidays in Shanghai?

    Awaiting your enlightenment.

    Appreciate in advance on your kind advice.


  28. a) Security satandard in Shanghai is high. Personally, I feel very safe here. One can stay as late as he/she want, 3am 4am – I sometimes go back home at this time. There is a very good police system here.

    b) I don’t suggest you to stay near Shanghai’s railway area.

    c) No bias at all. Actually, the people here are just too nice to people outside China then to local people.

    d) Working pace is fast – very fast – just like Hongkong and Singapore.

    e) Public holiday is National Holiday, (Oct 1 – 3) May Holiday (May 1 – 3) and New Year Festival (Lunar calendar Jan 1 – 3).

  29. Can you please tell me how much laptops cost in Shanghai? I only need like a Pentium 3 Laptop as I plan to mostly use it for the internet? The problem is that in the US, I need to buy Chinese Windows to have full Chinese compatiability and was thinking that it might be cheaper and less work to buy everything loaded up in Shanghai. But I am not sure. Thanks.

  30. Dear Wang,

    I am going over to Shanghai for training early next year (Jan/Feb 2004). My training centre is at Yue Yang Road. Where can i find more information about that place? Is it very far from town? How is the people there? Friendly? Safe for foreigners? Can you give me the approximate expenditure in Shanghai for a month? Please reply. It’s urgent.





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    Well-educated native speakers are favored.It is a long-term collaboration.

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  32. I’m arriving by train into Shangahi and need to get to the airport. What other way is there, rather than catch a taxi? I hear that one can find a bus from just outside the Holdiay Inn (near the train station) that goes to Pudong airport. Is this true and if so what are the costs and the times of departure.

    thanks for a great site.

  33. You mentioned that we can purchase a computer from between 3000-6000 RMB.

    Do you have any idea how much a flat-screen computer monitor costs in Shanghai?

    Or a CRT type?

    Do you have any recommendation as to where i can go in Shanghai to purchase all of my computer stuff? Is there something like an area where all the computer shops have set up their business together – sorta like a cluster?

  34. I love your blog, I’ve been reading it for the past few weeks. Anyway, I’ve been recommended to stay in Chrysanthemum Park (Ju Yuan) in Pudong near Nextage in Lujiahui, will it be inconvenient staying there? I’m thinking about supermarkets, restaurants, and getting to work at People’s Square…etc. I’ve been told that living in Puxi is more fun, but is quality of life in Pudong comparably worse?

  35. Hi

    We are interested in opening an american brand clothing store here in shanghai, do you know the best location for this, and how much is the basic salary for a Shop Manager and Assistant.. Looking for educated locals who can speak english..

    Thank you in advance

  36. Hi all,

    Nice blog!

    Im considering moving to Shanghai. Im in discussions with an international company that is based in Shanghai.

    During my discussions the issue of “what package” do I want came up. I work in telecommunications R&D and have a recently finished a phd.

    Can anyone suggest what is an acceptable package to ask for in Shanghai?

    I know there are alot of factors to consider, but some rough advice would be good.

    Kind regards and thanks for the informative website.

  37. I’m a Canadian working on a masters degree in management (marketing) in Australia, with hopes of moving to Shanghai following completion of the degree. I worked in Hong Kong for three and a half years, and would like to move into the marketing management/advertising field in Shanghai. What are the prospects like in this field for Expats?

  38. halo.. can i roughly know how much will a graduate architect from Malaysia will probably be paid in shanghai…? what will the expected living cost be.. thanks a lot buddy…

  39. Our family are moving to Shanghai. What kind of personal and household goods that we can import? What is the “reasonable quantities” allowed and how much is import duty? Thank you!!


  40. hi ,

    I wanted to know what are the advantages that guagzhou has over shanghai?

  41. hi wang,

    this ia a very interesting page. thanks a lot, i learned something from you.

    keep it up great guy!


  42. Hello Wang,

    Thanks a lot for creating this homepage, i really love it and i can get most of the information i need.

    I was totally blind about Shanghai until i read this website.

    But still i would probably need some sort of idea from you and maybe also another readers here to help me with my confusion.

    I applied a job in Shanghai without knowing any standard salary there through email and surprisingly the company replied me so fast with one question ‘how much your salary expectation ?’, i got stunned and didn’t have any idea to answer the mail.

    My job i am applying is to work as an Technical Manager (IT industry), i speak english, japanese and a little chinese that i think is an advantage for me besided my 7 years experience working in the same industry. It’s a foreign firm.

    How much do you think i should expect from the salary ? well, sure it would be nice if i can feel Shanghai as a heaven too ! :-)

    Thanks in advance.



  43. i just read that:

    Shanghai is among the top 10 cities for living cost in the world.

    have you ever been to other cities in the world? shanghai is definetely not one of the most expensive ones.

  44. Hi Jian Shuo,

    I’m a singaporean student, will be going over to Fu Dan Uni for studies next yr. Just wanna find out whats the cost of broadband service provided in shanghai? i.e. how much does it cost for an unlimited broadband access in shanghai per month?


  45. The difference between KFC in Shanghai and that in Malaysia.

    The service productivity of KFC in Malaysia is lower than Shanghai’s due to the local employees. I have seen many local employees who are good-looking. They are mostly in college and doing part time job. However, most importantly, is the customer. In Malaysia, the customers of KFC are ordinary people with every age group. We are ordinary people. The KFC has 50 years old history in the fast food market of Malaysia. But most of the customers in Shanghai are youngsters and “White collar”. When I came back to Shanghai last December, my friend invited me to eat something in one of KFCs on Huan Hai Lu. I prefered the stuff with lower price. I just told my friend that I wanted the cheaper ones. I said “This one is cheaper than …”. One guy next to me was looking at me in a very strange way. Oh, dear. I cannot stand him. You see, the citizens in Shanghai are not rich enough. And people’s income is still far low compared with the KFC’s price that is same all over the world. I think we should be real and honest. People in China no longer have these attributes.

  46. Hi Ia m moving to Shnaghai later this year and wondered what the current cost of living is for a serviced apartment in the expat district near to the bars and restarants.

    Also as an expat going there in a senior management position within a trading company what salary would be the average salary per month.

  47. Hi I m moving to Shnaghai later this year and wondered what the current cost of living is for a serviced apartment in the expat district near to the bars and restarants.

    Also as an expat going there in a senior management position within a trading company what salary would be the average salary per month.

  48. Hi! Really great BLOG!

    I’m in Shanghai for 6 months to finish my masters degree, could you tell me the best place to shop for a laptop? I’m looking for one that can also be of use in my home country, so probably with a worldwide warranty if possible. I’m still a bit lost in shanghai (been here only a few days) but am really looking for a laptop so i can do my work.. Thanx in advance and keep up the go work! You’re really helping know the city in a fast and pleasing way!

  49. Hi,

    I am planning to open a office in Shanghai , can you tell me what a office (about 50 Sq mt) and a appartment ( 1 bed room + hall + kitchen ) would cost to rent ?

  50. Hello,

    I got an offer of 2500 RM a month and after 3 month it will be 3000 RM for a year.

    Since I am not much aware about how much it cost, so I need valid suggestion to make and quote on the same.

    As per the brief talk with the company,

    I will be responsible for any taxes, living charges, food or whatsoever.

    Here is my condition for you:

    I am single.

    I will be using public transpotation,

    office will be in KL ( kaula lumpor )

    Single/simple room will do.. no A/C is required even.

    could you please give me a idea on:

    how much it will cost me to get single room?

    How much of Tax for 2500 RM a month income person.

    Water cost?

    Electricity cost?

    Telephone Cost?

    Food (simple food is required)

    and any other which you may like to consider…



    Amit Malhotra

  51. Dear JS Wang,

    Thanks for your useful info provided. One kind reminder of the property prices:

    a residential project near Xintiandi is now selling for USD7,000/sqm. ;)

    I wonder how many expats could afford this.

  52. What is a good white collar job salary for a foreigner in shanghai be in equivalent to Usdollar, what is the standard of living ?


    Ashissh Patel

  53. Wang:

    Hello. At this present time I am doing a study abroad in Shanghai and I am thinking of coming back and working in Shanghai when I finish my Bachelors. I was wondering what was the salary starting point for an Economics major. Thanks. Zhu nin xin nian kuaile!

  54. Well. By no means can I give out a number that is OK for you. There are just two numbers that you can count on. 1) The average salary is around 1400 RMB per month – this number is meanlingless because 2) 10,000 RMB per month is a very, very good salary people can expect as a starting point.

  55. Anyone working for a Big 4 Accounting Firms in China? How’s the working style and what is the salary median? Any info would help me as I an considering taking a job there in China and I will be relocating from USA. THANKS! =)

  56. Hi,

    I am curently in Australia but i am going to Shanghai in july for 5 days and I wanted to do some shopping, I was thinking of getting a laptop or/and a Playstation PSP. could you tell me where specificaly to go. I am into toshiba laptops but sony is good also. could you tell me and also send pics/directions of were i can go to but these things for a reasonable price and works.

    Could you please get back to me as soon as posible

  57. Hi,

    Im going to Shanghai in june to study chinese. Do you have an idea about musical instrumet prices? Whats the approximate price for an electric guitar? And also, what do a night out in the city (clubbing, bars) costs?

    If you know, please send me an answer.



  58. Hello Wang:

    Thank you very much for the useful info provided. Now I have a very clear info on the living standard in Shanghai. Btw, do you have any idea on what is the salary median for a financial controller in a foreigner company in Shanghai??? Pls advise.

  59. Hi Jianshuo,

    Thanks for ur informative website. But i noticed this information was posted nearly 3 years ago, has prices changed much?

  60. I’d like to know what is the cost of monthly living in Shanghai. How about tax, say my monthly pay is US$1000?



  61. I just wanted to say that your article is very useful. I considered living in Shanghai and i just search through Internet and found your article. Thank You it was really helpful in realising situation. :)

  62. I just wanted to say that your article is very useful. I considered living in Shanghai and i just search through Internet and found your article. Thank You it was really helpful in realising situation.Please tell me average salary range (HOW MUCH CAN EARN) for Production Manager with 10 years experience. garments/textile trade?please reply

    Thuwan from srilanka

  63. Can u tell me how much an polymer engineer get salary per month in US dollar in American based company located in Shanghai. I am married and i plan to live with my father mother wife and children.

  64. searching for a female executive assistant for a temporary position in shanghai to assist with day to day requirements during future visits. Duties to include hospitality, socialization, tourguiding, note taking, co-ordination of

    business meetings etc. Some travel may be expected. Must be very presentable and personable.

    Please advise best venue to advertise for this position and salary range currently paid in shanghai

  65. HI!

    My mother is going to Shanghai in December! Do you know how much a Playstation portable is over there? I would really like it if she could by me one! Thanks in advance!!!


  66. Hi,

    i have been offered a post of engg. tech. writer (for GSM Tech.) in shanghai in a MNC belonging to china. Can u tell me what salary i shld expect frm them keeping in mind that i’ve a work exp of 2.5 yrs & presently getting 27k INR working in india .also pls give an aprox idea abt

    1.Avg Water cost

    2.Electricity cost

    3.Telephone Cost(i’ve to call back to india quiet frequently)

    4.Daily Food (Indian veg food, if possible)

    your advise can help me a lot in taking my dicision.


  67. Hello wang

    I saw ur response to several mails.I was impressed.I am coming over to Nanjing from March 2006 for about a year. Was is the monthly average living expenses in Nanjing?What is their basic religion?How much does it cost to rent an apartment 70metre square?How does a laptop (pentium 3) cost?

    I will be glad to hear from u soon

    Best regards

    Emmanuel Iyayi

  68. plz suggest me if i wld like to go for rent the best loccation wise in shanghai for living cum office , which is close to metro station , airport, hospitals, schools, entertainemnts n shopping .

    what wld be price per month on usd $ and all legal formalities to open the company there in shanghai.

  69. Hello, we will go to Shanghai in march for 6 months. We are frenchs and my boy-friend had to go for his job and I would like to go with him. We’d like to find an appartment not to expensive near the Shanghai Chemical Industrial Park (vhere he will work). How much we need to live for one month?

    I’d like to find a job for me, I’m a psychology student, master in Lyon but I will take any job (How to do to give french courses?).

    Is it very hard to live in Shanghai for a french?

    Thank you

  70. Hi Wang,

    i am from India and going to Shanghai this weekend.I have been trying very hard to know that where can i buy nice cheap electric guitars?Ideally i would like to buy a Strat copy.


  71. Hi! The company I work for will be hiring an Asia Account Executive. This position is mainly a sales position (but not high pressure sales). Can you tell me what the avergage salary and benefits are in China.

  72. Hi

    I wanna learn Chinese and thinking to study in Shanghai.

    What would you suggest me? how much does it cost to me for 8 months? Can I rent a flat for short time, 8 months for example.

    Thanks a lot

  73. I ‘d like to help foreiners like Hasan who wanna learn Chinese in Shanghai.By the way I am living in Gubei Shanghai.

    Who wanna make friends with me can call me.

    My TEL:13641603401

  74. Hi Wen,

    I am an Indian travellingto Shanghai and a strict Vegetarian – No Meat, No Fish, No Eggs !!!

    Can you suggest some good joints near SHANGHAI HONGQIAO STATE HOTEL



  75. Hi there,

    I am about to choose a one year contract in either Beijing or Hangzhou. Is one location more appealing then the other? Any insight? Also the contract in Hangzhou only offfers 2000RMB for housing, is this enough to provide a comfortable appartment that is fully furnished? The one in Beijing offers paid housing. I would really app. any input.


  76. Hi there,

    I was offered a post by Bosch to work as a Product Manager in Shanghai… Im a Senior Mechanical Eng. and I have 7-years working experience by Bosch.

    How much could be a resonable salary to start with?!?! Im supposed to stay 4 years…

    And I need to know how much could be a monthly cost of living in Shanghai.

    Thanks for your support!


  77. Hi there, My compliment on your website, very informative.

    I have to go shanghai on business next month and I would like to take one day to see if I could be happy living there for a year or 2 with my family. ( wife, and 3 kids aged 2, 3, 4 )

    I own a plastics and metal recycling company in the netherlands and would like to do more business in asia.

    Can you point me in the right direction when it comes to housing ?

    Kids friendly, close to schools and shops etc.

    I can work from home, so thats not an issue.

    any help would be appreciated.

    with best regards,

    Hendrik Wolters

  78. hi, ur information is very informative to me bcoz i’ll be going shanghai working soon. But there is some question here for me to ask, thank you in advanced 1st :-)

    I’m Malaysian & will go shanghai working wif my girlfren. So I would like to ask u tat how much is the range for renting a room o an apartment in Kongjiang Road bcoz our working station near ter.

    Then how about the cost for food if we require the normal to low cost food?

    And for d transportation, is it very convenient around tat area?

    The local people ter normally hv wat kind of entertainment? wats ur suggestion for these?

    While for airport back malaysia, is it near? how about the ticket price for it?

    Thanks a lot for your help, i really appreciate all ur information.



  79. I find this blog really informative. I am currently working as a Science teacher in an international school in Dongguan, Guangdong, China. I am thinking of moving to Shanghai, because I have a job offer there. I think I will definitely accept it, because I have never been to Shanghai and I think it’s a nice city to live in like Hong Kong. I have already been accustomed to living an “Asian meets Western” lifestyle. I can survive on eating greasy Chinese veggies, dumplings, or noodles and drinking bitter tea for days, but I can also have a strong craving for Coca-Cola, American burgers, British fish and chips, Italian pizza and pasta, and Norwegian salmon steak. Aside from enjoying late nights watching pirated DVDs at the comfort of my own bedroom, I would also like to watch movies in a theater and attend cultural shows and the like on occasions. I sometimes drink, but I never smoke. I would like to know how much salary I should be receiving every month so I can live a comfortable and decent lifestyle in Shanghai. The company has quoted a gross monthly salary between RMB 15,000 and 20,000 (in US dollar equivalent) a month. Will this suffice considering that I have to remit at least US$200 back home every month, travel around China during holidays, and would want to save money for the future? I am still single. In addition, the job offer quoted all financial remuneration in US dollars. Should I have it quoted in China Yuan considering that I’m working in China and the fact that the China Yuan is appreciating against the US dollar? It has gone up from 8.27 to 8.01 to a US dollar over the last ten months or so. I think it’s going to appreciate further as the 2008 Beijing Olympics draws near.

    How much is the cost of living in Shanghai? I know that there is no standard answer to this kind of question as the standard of living is entirely based on many factors, particularly on one’s personal gauge and lifestyle. But what are the latest figures on the average salary of workers in Shanghai? Price of common consumer goods? I have seen some quotes in this blog but they’re outdated.

    Miscellaneous questions: What’s the most reliable internet service provider in Shanghai? How much is the monthly service fee? How much does cable TV cost if it’s not provided by the company? Gym membership?

  80. Hi, I am about to start a job in Nanjing teaching Business English.

    Are the general living expenses you’ve listed in Shanghai equivilent to Nanjing?

    The job pays around 8000 RMB per month with furnished accomodation and airfares included. The company is called Delter International Business Institute. Has anyone heard of them and does that package sound legitamate? They have said for General English they pay around 4000 RMB, which sounds a little more on par with what i’m reading.

    Also, is anyone aware of any useful links for living in Nanjing? Or perhaps have useful information for me? I am trying to work out a projected budget and also develop an idea of where I’ll be living, so any info would be useful.



  81. have been offered a Job as General Manager Business Development in an Logistics company. They are offering me US$ 4000 per month + annual tickets for family + bonous.

    I have 2 kids aged 6 & 8 who will need British Standard education.

    Please let me know the cost for

    1) Education

    2) Rent ( 3 bedroom in Puxi area)

    3) Food

    4) Water Electricity

    5) Tax

    6) Any other expensed like medical etc

    Basiscally I need to know if the offer is worth and can I save something decent.

    Please reply me asap.

  82. I think to rent apartment for 6000 RMB per month(in hongqiao area,hongqiao area is good place for foreigner).

    food:3000 RMB(buy food in Carrefour supermarket).


  83. hi.. i would like to find out about the current costs of living in shanghai – Food, accomodation, clothes, transportation, etc. For example, how much is considered cheap and expensive for a bowl of noodles, for a t-shirt, etc?

    In addition, it would be great if anyone could provide me information related to female fashion trends and women’s spending power in shanghai.

    Thanks in advance. Appreciate all help. =)

  84. Hi Wang,

    Nice to see such an informative blog.

    I got an assignment to work in Shanghai for 6 to 8 months as software engineer from august 2006.

    Could you please tell me the minimum expense per month.

    i was said lke i got to work near a place pudong area and could you please tell me how to go about for a rented apartment for two members in this area and how much the rent for average house.

    please reply to my mail id mentioned above.

    thnaks in advance.


  85. I’m moving from Buenos Aires (Argentina) to Nanjing. It would be very helpful if you could give some information about costs in Nanjing.

    Thanks in advance.

    Gabriel Tassain

    Buenos Aires


  86. 1) Education 1300RMB Per month

    2) Rent ( 3 bedroom in Puxi area): 6000 RMB per month(in hongqiao area,hongqiao area is good place for foreigner).

    3) Food 3000RMB Per month

    4) Water Electricity 500RMB per month

    5) Tax 800RMB per month

    6) Any other expensed like medical etc (300-1000RMB)


  87. Shirley,

    You must be joking! 1,300 rmb for English standard education for children? The cheapest international school education you can get in Shanghai is around $8,000 USD per year upwards to $20,000 USD (Shanghai American School).




  88. Shirley

    Think that Scott is right…I hv checked many Intl Schools and they are pretty expensive….Lowest for good school is USD 800/month.

    Scott….how do you guage this offer??

  89. Thanks for a very informative page Mr Wang. I will be moving from South Africa to Shanghai in a couple of months with 2 small children. Is there a website giving you things to do with kids on the weekend?



  90. Hi,

    Regarding apt rentals, does Shanghai use the same system as Hong Kong? That is,

    in addition to monthly rent, is the renter charged ‘rates’?


  91. Hi Wang,

    I’m from Singapore and in the midst of deciding to take up an offer for Shanghai post. Yr blog was very helpful for me.

  92. Hi Wang,

    BLK from Singapore again. My wife & 2 sons (10 & 6) might be moving to live in Shanghai becoz of my job. If you are giving housing to work in Shanghai. Which location would you choose to live besides the city? I need to consider btn school, comfort of living space & surrondings, travalling time to work. I might get a car and what is the cost of mantaining a car in Shanghai. I know comparing ownership of car in Singpaore are very expensive. Thanks.

  93. Hi Wang,

    I am KT from Malaysia and I will be relocated to Shanghai later. I need your latest update for the living costs in Shanghai. Here are my questions for you: –

    1) My office is located at Asia-Pacific Plaza, Zhaojiabang road, could you please recommend me a place to live? (I am looking for a MEDIUM standard living environment)

    2) What is the transportation cost (say 2 trips daily) from the place that you are going to recommend me?

    3) My friend told me that the Food costs for a day in shanghai ranging from RMB50-RMB100 (3 meals ie breakfast, lunch and dinner), is that true?

    4) How about other expenses such as electricity & water, gas, broadband internet, laundry and telephone?

    5) What other factors/expenses that I missed out in the previous questions and you may want me to consider when negotiating with my employer?

    Look foward to hear from you, thank you very much :)

  94. There are many residential buildings in that area. You can easily find an apartment there.

    For transportation, average bus is 2 RMB, and your round trip will be 4 RMB.

    Food cost is 50 – 100 RMB. That is correct. It is something like 10 RMB as breakfast, 20 RMB as lunch and 30 RMB as dinner. If you cook yourself, it can be cheaper, if you want to go to some good restaurant, there is upper limite.

    Rent is about 2000 – 3000 RMB (this is the very basic standard in that area), and gas and electricity won’t be a big number compared to the rent, something like 100 – 200 RMB when I just came to Shanghai.

    To live in Shanghai is simple – there are not too much other cost. (Clothing? It is not in this discussion)

  95. Dear Wang,

    Thank you for your prompt reply, I look foward to meet u if I confirm my trip later.

    Keep in touch.

  96. Hi Wang,

    Is a salary of 1000 $ per month can cover my family’s expenses( my wife and a 1 year baby. ) in Shanghai providing that the appartmrnt is already paid for 1 year?

  97. Dear Wang,

    can you help me with this?

    I was offered (sept 2006) 2700 USD a month starting salary for a teacher job in a design college in Shangai. Would this salary allow me and my husband a confortable living in this city?

    I tahnk you in advance your answer.

  98. hello

    i am indian interested to come to china to learn chinese language by joining with a chinese language teaching institute.

    i can live in a very simple accomodation, even dont mind to share the room with another person,can cook by myself.

    i can teach english to school children.

    how much i may require to study chinese? and for my living expenses per month in U.S.$?

    how much i can make by teaching english?

    plz kindly get me the details i require.


  99. Hi Wang,

    I was wondering if you could do me a huge favor.

    I’d like to know the websites for Shanghai Electricity and Water Supply.

    I want to read and know more about the charges per meter / kilowatt.

    Can you help me on that??

    Also,one more thing,how do you calculate the usage??

    Electricity : xxx.x * RMB x = …..

    Water : xxx.x * RMB x = …..

    Thank you so much.

    I need it as soon as possible.



  100. Hi Wang,

    Its me again,Lyn.

    One more thing,do you think RMB3000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment around YanAn Xi Lu

    is too expensive?? _ plus,of course,the monthly water and electricity. The size is about 48 to 50 mtr sq. Aarrgh….Im so confused. Help!

    Dont forget the full information on Shanghai Electricity and Water costs.

    Thanks really.


  101. It is not that expensive if you take into the account of the location – Yanan Road should be a good area. It seems fare to me for that location. However, you still can get much cheaper place if it is outside the downtown Shanghai.

  102. Hi,

    My brother would like to go for a job in a hotel (not to high start hotels).

    We are not sure about the salaries and other details.

    What is the wage and the safety for these workers in Beijing?

    Expect the reply with little bit details if you can

    Thanks in advance


  103. Hi there!!!!!!!!!

    Could somebody tell me how much TV cable and internet connections at the house would cost me in Nanjing?



  104. Hi Shuo Wang

    I am a Singaporean and recently got interested in a recruitment by a Dubai base shanghai branch company. They paid for tax, have annual ticket and also housing allowance

    1) My kid is 16 months and scannong many schools but the range is like hundresK RMB, are there any international school that gives priviledge because say i am a singaporean (shanghai-singapore int’l school?)

    2) I read thru the living expenses, so if i have a job offer of 25000 RMB/month excluding housing allowance as this is given by company, i will be living very comfortably?

    3) Comparing owning a car and taking taxi to work, which is more convinent and affordable?

    4) International connection, cable and mobile phones – how much do they costs?

    5) To draw up a bank account with a branch of my current singapore bank in shanghai – is it possible?

    6) Can you check out for me how easy is foreigner to gain sales in a forwarding company as compared to a local?

    7) Shanghainese – Is it an absolute necessity to know?



  105. Hi William,

    I am an Indonesian expat here in Shanghai. And here’s some of the answers

    1. I don’t know about shanghai sing int’l school. but they do have a lot of int’l school.

    2. As a young professionals and having a lot of fun. I spend around like 2000 per week. So, i think 25,000 would be a good amount.

    3. owning a car or taxi. i love taking taxi here. it’s so convenient and you don’t have to worry about crazy driver.however, it’s always nice if your company pay for the driver and the car. but if you have to provide it yourself, take cab. you can even sleep and not worrying about driving home. ^^

    4. international connection is cheap here. 130 rmb for unlimited cable connection per month. mobile phones. it cost me around 300-500 rmb per month as i sometimes make international calls. you can use ip card to make an international call.

    5. what is your current bank in spore? they do have a lot of HSBC and citibank here. however, the weird thing about chinese bank is they don’t connect. for example, you cannot transfer from Bank of China to Industrial and Commercial Bank of China or any other bank.

    6. forwarding company. well it depends. who is your target market? if it’s international market, i would say yes. but if it’s chinese market, i would say it’s hard. it’s kinda hard to learn the trick, at least for me.

    7. shanghainese? to know what? haha .. i don’t even know a word. shanghai is the melting pot of China. no worry!

    Welcome to Shanghai!


  106. My son is in Shanghai Singapore international School, Preschool. The school fee is about 12k USD per school year. And it go up with the grades.

    School year start at Sept instead of Jan as in Singapore. Meaning 2007 Jan Pri 1 actually start Sept 2006.

  107. very interesting Miss Dewi, thanks very much for the information. i would also like to know if it is maybe cheaper staying in a place like Suzhou, rather than directly in Shanghai??


  108. Hello Wang,

    Hello Friends,

    I am Indra (Indonesian) and will be assigned in Changchun (Jilin Province) starting on April. Is there any of you have some information about the living expenses right there, as I know that it must be pretty lower than the one in Shanghai. Or probably the specific links for the information?

    Thanks a lot and really appreciate for the answer.

    Cheers, Indra

  109. Hi Weepin,

    Regarding the international school, is the charge much cheaper if the pupil is a Singaporean? I heard about this, but need some advice. Thanks.

  110. Hi

    Could someone provide some advice about the level of air pollution in Shanghai (Pudong). Is it atrocious or manageable? I am considering relocating to Shanghai, and am not keen to pick up any respiratory problems. Of course there will be good days and bad days according to the winds, but as a matter of course is there a dark pall of smoke over everything with pongy air, or is it much less than this?

    Thanks. Andrew

  111. Hi Indra,

    You are right the living cost in Changchun should be much much lower than Shanghai.

    The thing you need worry about is the weather. It is extremely cold there. Nevertheless, stay in the room is still quite ok. Enjoy!


  112. scott,kevin,

    I don’t know International schools are very expensive.

    I know many chilren schools is 1300 RMB/Per month,(English and chinese child school 双语幼儿园,包括一些台湾幼儿园).



  113. All,

    The education for kids in Shanghai for overseas returnee and expats are the major major expense! First all, if you have a 8 year old, you can not expect him to go to local school even if he speaks chinese for many reasons (some would not admit and also school differences). There are however some bi-lingual schools. However, many of them are still mostly teach in chinese. Only have portion of classes in english. I would say that if I have kids and consider to live in Shanghai, I would place children’s education on number 1 consideration. The cost and problem associated with is very significant.


  114. Dear Wang,

    I would like to find some info on remittance restrictions for a company operating in China. Could you advise where I can get advice on this?

    Thanks & Regards.

  115. I’m interested in the living costs in Shanghai…what normal salaries are in USD for foreigners and the rent for a medium apartment in the city. Also how mush does it cost to buy a car, pc, food and other necessaties of life???

  116. Dear All,

    I’m interested in the living costs in Shanghai…what normal salaries are in USD for foreigners and the rent for a medium apartment in the city. Also how mush does it cost to buy a car, pc, food and other necessaties of life???

    Looking forward to quick and positive response.



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    RHYME CULTURE is a professional training organization, providing the foreigners with the courses of learning Chinese and the Chinese traditional culture.

    Our teachers are all professionals with ample experiences and relative certificates in teaching Chinese. With great communication skills, they would use advanced teaching theory and effective teaching methods to provide every student with great effect for their study.

    We have designed various Chinese courses, arranging from primary to advanced level. We also provide the professional training courses including HSK, Business Chinese to meet the demands of the students. At the same time, we provide China’s traditional culture courses.

    We would serve you with our great passion and carefulness. In order to ease your living in China, we would help solve your inconvenience, including Visa, renting houses, IP telephone, housekeeping services and so on.

    We sincerely hope that our passion and hard-working would help with your living in China. And we also hope that our RHYME CULTURE would be your truly friend in China.

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  118. Your site is very intersting.I think the currency money is the yuan so I’m surprised when you use the RMB instead of Yuan.What is the equivalence of 1RMB in Yuan.could you inform me if student with 1100 yuan per month can save money in shanghai compared of the standard living.Many thanks

  119. Hi All,

    I will be relocating to Shanghai soon, and the company has given me apprx USD120 allowance to cover for:-

    ~ Transpor

    ~ Utilities

    ~ Internet

    ~ Mobile Phone

    May i know if this is a reasonable amount, and can anyone advise what is the monthly expenses of water,gas,electricity for standard weather VS winter (u use more heating!); as well as monthly fees for broadband?


  120. Hello, i am 21 moving to Hangzhou from the UK, for a 12 month Industrial Design placement. I haven’t yet received my contract but i would like it someone could give me a basic idea of how much i should be getting a month. My accommodation is paid for by the company. I just need enough to live, go out and travel.

    Thank you.

  121. HI there, your site help me in some ways, I will be given an offer soon to move to china, contract for 2 years in pudong area, my current sallary is 2300USD (In Israel) I hope to get an offer arround 2800-3000 (of course i want more but i think this is impossible in china), is 2800USD will be enough for me to rent a nice accomodation in pudong area and save money?

  122. Dear all,

    Thanks for all the precious information about living and working in Shanghai as an expat. I am a native Chinese and have been living and working in the United States for over 10 years. Recently I have been thinking about looking into relocating to Shanghai. I do speak Chinese and English fluently. As I understand, foreigners are greatly accepted in the Chinese community especially in Shanghai. I wonder if a returning Chinese will get the same kind of welcoming. Are there any one of you who has the same background as mine and who can kindly share your experiences with me? I’d gratefully appreciate any advices and stories.

    Best regard!

    Crystal Chen

  123. hello people,

    im a 21 year old fresh graduate with a master degree in business administration. im moving to shanghai approximately in 3 weeks. However, the company im moving to work with have offered me a salary of 300$ a month, and the company claims that is a good pay. but honestly, i have doubts, i think $300 is a rather low salary in my perspective. PLEASE somebody, advise me onto whither the pay is as good as they claim. and please i need to know..what can of lifestyle would $300 a month provide for me. Moreoever, the house, food, bills and transportation are all provided to me by the company for free, so $300 are basically my pocket money.

    PLease somebody advise me… :)

    thank you

  124. @Osman, no one can tell whether it is good for YOU or not, since it depends on yourself, not the standard. For the life with 300 USD, you can compare it to the living cost I described in this series of articles of “living cost”. There are many facts.

  125. hi, i am planning to come to Shanghai for some kind of work. and i will be drawing usd 3500 per month. i will be facilitated with logding and fooding by the employer. so after the remaining normal expense in an average style. how much i would save per month (in usd). pls looking forward for the quick answer.

    kind regards,

    Sansar Shrestha


  126. Hi there,

    I am visiting Shanghai in February 2008.

    How is the living conditions there.



    South Africa

  127. I am moving to Gaugzhou ,China from Pune ,India .. What is the salary I should have to live good life and save a lot of money too

  128. I am an Indian working in China for five years now. I am soon going to Shanghai because I need to buy Indian food stuff and other Indian goods in Shanghai. Could you please give me the address of some shops in Shanghai where I can buy such India made goods of home and kitchen use?

  129. wow,,,

    its really gr88..i m living in shanghai right now….& this information is really interesting n useful for me…

    thx a lot gr8 guys…keep it up


  130. Hey guys,,,its great 2 know this place,,,i jus moived 2 shanghai from South Africa…even im chinese,,,but its stil kinda hard 2 get used 2,,,,well big city life, hard 2 survive….haha,,cool bro,,if any of ur guys need all kinda help,,,jus draw me a line,il do my best 2 help. cuz when i first got 2 South africa i got a lot of help from ppl i dont even know……now its time 4 me 2 give back!!!!! ~~

  131. I was offered a post in Shanghai with a month salary of approx RMB50,000/mth housing provided. Is this good? This is the first time I’m going to Shanghai and I don’t know anything about living condition there as everyone tells me that Shanghai is among the 10 most expensive city in the world.

    Thanks for any information from any of you guys.

  132. LeoAT,

    Just to demolish this myth of Shanghai being amongst the most expensive cities in the world: This is simply bullshit! There are many ways to measure the expensiveness of a city, let me highlight three of them:

    1. Given Shanghai’s rapidly growing Westernization, the city is likely to drop further in global cost of living differential tables. This is relevant for expatriation consideration.

    2. In absolute terms, it ranks far below the most expensive cities in the world.

    3. Only in relative terms, i.e. if you measure the ratio between local price level and local income level, you can argue that Shanghai is expensive.

  133. Hi @DB -I agree completely with the message you are trying to convey here, but disagree a little with the method. Let me briefly explain why…

    In absolute terms, you are quite correct, Shanghai doesn’t even come close to being one of the most expensive in the world.

    In relative terms (your point 3), I do not have data to support my observations, but for the average local hard-working Shanghainese (let’s say in the construction or manufacturing industry), I’m led to believe that the cost of living is extremely high.

    In the ‘early’ days of my marriage (whilst living in Shanghai), it was not uncommon for me to buy a particular item, and then make a statement as to how extremely cheap that item was (obviously when said item was bought from my Australian salary, and when the same item is compared to Australian prices). Such a statement actually put strain on my relationship (one of the very few issues we had when ‘blending’ our cultures) – my wife would immediately reply that it wasn’t cheap – for us, and compared to Australia, yes it didn’t cost much relatively, but for the average Shanghainese, the item was unaffordable and considered and impossible luxury.

    So I fleshed this out a bit more with my wife over the years, and now understand that although I may see something as inexpensive, it is not appropriate – and often downright offensive – to comment on the same to local Shanghainese – it can be perceived as showing-off or trying to act elitist (even though this was clearly never the intent). Nowadays, out of respect to my in-laws, my wife and I can discuss perceptions on living costs in Shanghai relatively (between ourselves), but would never again consider ‘belittling’ my Shanghainese relatives and friends by making the same relative statements to them.

    As I said – I have no data to support the relative cost for locals in Shanghai, but I do hear from many people who are struggling day-to-day to make ends meet – having said this, I know people in many other countries that are facing the same problems – if I talk to many SGpeans, I get the same response – cost of living is way too high relative to average wages (whereas I find SG extremely inexpensive – once again it’s relative)… these days I find Australia very expensive (which before relocating to SG, I had never even given a thought) – I can buy an entire dinner for my family at the local hawker center in SG for the same cost as two soft drinks in a 7-11 in Melbourne (although I earn much more in SG than I did in Australia, partly due to the massive tax advantages in SG).

    Anyway, in summary, I agree completely with the point you are making on absolute terms, but I think for you to rate number (3) as a valid way of measuring cost of living in Shanghai, then you have been a victim of your own observations with your opening comment that “this is simply bullshit”… to your position and income, relatively perhaps it is – but for the local Shanghainese, such a comment could be considered offensive (the latter making up a large population of Jian Shuo’s readers).

    Take care @DB…

  134. @ AussiePB:

    The words I had chosen (“simply bullshit”) might have sound a bit harsh and offensive. Apologies for this.

    I have no data to support my statement on Shanghai’s relative expensiveness either. However, we once had a discussion approx. 18 months ago at my university involving internal professors and externals as well. Although there was no consensus on how reliable this method of measuring is, it was widely believed that if one applied this method, many cities in Africa (such as Lagos) and Latin/South America (such as Mexico City) would rank higher than Chinese cities. This may not convince everyone, but I have found this thesis to be fairly plausible given the extreme poverty in some regions in Africa and Latin/South America. The main reason for me is: While I understand that many people in Shanghai are struggling to make ends meet, I don’t see any danger for them to become homeless or die of starvation. In Africa and Latin/South America, I do see these dangers for a certain part of the population. But I admit this is not necessarily what you consider substantiated data. Anyway, let’s not start with a debate on data again.

    What I do agree with you on is the doubt on the tenability of this method of measuring. But I think it’s acceptable in the end, even though it would be strange to see cities like Mexico City and Lagos on the top.

  135. Thanks you guys, DB & AussiePB, very informative. Looks like I should be able live quite comfortable and also save some money with the salary package I’m getting. Now can anyone advise as to the best location to stay for a single expat like me considering that I won’t be driving, somewhere convenient and near to all the clubs as I love clubbing occasionaly.

  136. Hi ! Very nice blog! I have been a english speaking student at Fudan for a period (MBA). Shanghai rocks !

    I am considering setting up a import business for buying tailormade shirts, jackets etc in Shanghai. I need one or more persons that I can trust to work for me ordering shirts, shipping via UPS, EMS etc. Where can I get in touch with those people. They need to speak english. What would a reasonable salary for those people be?

    ALternatively: do you know any tailor that speaks english or a webpage where i may order directly in small qtys to start with?

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  138. This is the best blog I had read thus far – I was hoping that maybe you had one for Beijing or Guangzhou? Thank you!!!

  139. Hi, i want to know about the information on the expenses in shenghai city,can you guide?

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    5. best protection of your account.

    6. Email notification when start and done your order.

    7. powerleveling report update every 24 hours.

    If you have any questions, plz feel free to contact with us by livechat or give us e-mail to Tks

    Welcome to :

    Add new game :Warhammer Online Gold and Powerleveling


  141. is THE best place to buy World of Warcraft gold without a doubt.Combining quality service from the USA, with highly competitive pricing and a guarantee that your WoW gold will be delivered 100% safely, there is simply no other company like Gmest.

    Gmest are the safe and cheap wow level site.Here are our promise of our wow leveling service:

    1. level up by our two hands, no bots for ever.

    2. keep all drops for you during the level process.

    3. banned rate can be controled with 2%.

    4. we will buy new CDkey for you and re-level for you for free if your account banned.

    5. best protection of your account.

    6. Email notification when start and done your order.

    7. powerleveling report update every 24 hours.

    If you have any questions, plz feel free to contact with us by livechat or give us e-mail to Tks

    Welcome to :

    Add new game :Warhammer Online Gold and Powerleveling


  142. CNY60000 Wonderful Old House for Rent – West Jianguo Road – Shanghai (West Jianguo Road)


    Reply to: [?]

    Date: 2008-12-30, 5:10PM CT

    It’s on West Jianguo Road (close to Wulumuqi Road),

    In French Concession, Xuhui District. 6min. walking to Metro Line1.

    287sqm, 4BR+1Garret – 2Living room – 3Bathroom

    Rent rmb 60,000 The price is negotiable if the Lessee are good.

    With a very beautiful and quiet sunshine Garden

    The 1/F: 1kitchen/2living room/1Bathroom

    The 2/F: 3BR/2Bathroom

    The 3/F: Very big Master Bedroom, with the sunshine comes in from the window.

    More over, we have many other old houses and apartments or service apartments for rent in shanhgai.

    If you are interested, please contact with us:



    Cell phone: 15900931827


    Now property services (shanghai) ltd

    4101, Nanzheng Building

    580 West Nanjing Road

    Shanghai, China

  143. My wife and I are considering a job at Fudan international School, and affiliate of Fudan University. I and my wife are from the United States and we are certified teachers with over 3o years of experience. I have a masters plus and have taught at Universites in the U.S. What kind of salary would one ask for ? If this sounds bad, just comment on the school if you know of it. Thanks in advance. We are currently teaching in the middle east.

  144. Hi! I´d like to ask some informations about cost of living in shanghai: I know there are already lots of posts, but still difficult to understand precisely..

    They made me an offer for 5000RMB per month without accomodation or 3000RMB with accomodation (but in one room far from the center): is that enough to live with a “western life-style”? Or what would be the minimum amount of money to “enjoy the city” (I would stay for a relatively short period, 4-5 months).

    Thanks a lot

  145. Dear Wang,

    I am indian and have a offer of job at shanghai. I am pure Vegetarian. qualifications – engineer projects. also having wife and one 9 month baby.

    I just want to know about the weather, daily expenses for indian Vegetarian food, waht are Goverment tax on income.

    thanks in advanced


  146. HI,

    Iam about to move to shanghai for my postgraduation studies funded by third world acadamy of science.

    I can get around 600 US D per month.

    I would like to know is it enough for me and my wife to stay in shanghai.


  147. Dear Wang,

    I am looking for obvious answers which are typically posted in this page….

    I am indian and have a offer of job at shanghai. I am pure Vegetarian. qualifications – engineer projects. also having wife and one 9 month baby.

    I just want to know about the weather, daily expenses for indian Vegetarian food,


  148. Hello everybody. My name is Garry. I go to Shanghai in May. From here on, i will quickly travel to Hangzhou, then on to Shaanxi/Yangshuo for around 90 days. Realistically, how much do I need? Any advice or estimations, I would be indebted to you. Thankyou. Also, if anyone can help me know, how do I arrange an inexpensive apartment to rent in these places. :) xx

  149. hi friends how r u doing? incase if u any a biz partner, am looking a partner to do business/work with here in SHANGHAI or in any city in china and in Africa, like in KENYA, NIGERIA, and Ghana, etc, right now am in shanghai… mail me,

  150. Hi Friends,

    Need to know about the Income Tax Liability. For Foreigners who are working at Short-term assignments in Shanghai, what would be the tax implications.

    Thanks in Advance

  151. Hey there i’ve read all those…and it really helps, but i still have 1 more question to ask…

    My fiance is offered a job in Shanghai… and he is looking fwd and very excited…

    but when i asked him abt the pay…whether its in RMB or USD… he said he is not sure coz the person who called him never mention abt that.

    So im jst wondering… if ppl like us…we count as foreigners….right? so is it…all foreigners will be paid in USD? or RMB?

    (By the way the company that offer him job is a International Company)

    And where could i get info abt apt…like from the cheapest…


  152. I, an Indian must live in shangai changanin dist for six months. please provide the following.

    1.what about indian foods? are they available?

    2.what is the average cost of living Exept accommodation?

    3.Do people speak english there?

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