Shanghai, China
Shanghai, China
Shanghai, China

Cost of Living in China

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: What is the cost of living in China? Hear what expats, digital nomads and retirees living in China have to say about the cost of housing, health insurance and general living costs.

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Is the cost of living in China high?

We asked people how much they someone comfortably live on in China, they wrote:

"It does not take much but unless you marry a Chinese citizen you can only stay here for one year and then you have to leave and get a new visa. In order to get a new visa you have to go back to you home country. And, there is no guarantee China will give you a new visa. No reason they won't either," said another person in Nanning, Guangxi Provence.

"In Xi'An $1,600 a month easy including rent, $500 2brm, 2 ba apt. Hans (Think Heineken flavor) qt. size beer here .35 made by Ting Tao. We have eaten multi-course meals here for 4 people for under $30 with beer or Chinese vodka incl. at nice restaurants. Be aware that prices change dramatically for foreigners. I've gotten in the habit of staying out of sight while my wife shops at little kiosks (they're everywhere). Major dept stores are better, prices are marked. Carry a calculator to do exchange rate bec. no matter how smart you are, one slip or momentary lapse can cost you $. Shop around as prices from one street vendor to another may vary dramatically. And even though it may seem like a good deal by American standard prices, just shop around a lil bit first. And one imp. thing, walking away from a vendor does not mean that they will call after you and lower the price as in some other countries. It does not mean the first price they gave you is the lowest and a good price. That being said, we had someone call after us and lower the pricetowhat we thoguht was a good price only to find the same item later at less than half that price. hence, know your prices," remarked another expat in Xi'an.

Expats in China may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, whose plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Get a Quote

Expats in China may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, a leader in international insurance for expatriates. Allianz's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Their flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget..

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Living in China GuideLiving in China Guide

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Meet other expats and talk about living in China.

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Expats offer insight into the cost of living in China.

Moving to ChinaMoving to China Guide

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