Your guide to expat life in Mainland China

On the route to success in Asia


Overall ranking

View detail

With so many opportunities to succeed, expats don't want to leave mainland China

As a country which is reshaping the global economy, mainland China remains hungry for talented expats eager to accelerate in their career. Mainland China is one of the best destinations in the world for people keen to climb quickly up the career ladder, and employers are offering salaries to match. Unsurprisingly, these professional benefits make it hard for expats to leave mainland China, with many taking time to make the most of their higher wages.

Although the energetic cities of Shanghai and Beijing can leave newcomers feeling overwhelmed, the country as a whole is considered very safe, another key benefit, with many parents in particular feeling safer and more secure than they did at home. It is by no means all easy for young families moving to mainland China, however. Mandarin is one of the hardest languages in the world for non-natives to learn and many children struggle to pick it up.

With more money at their disposal thanks to increased earnings, expats can reward themselves for their hard work with a trip to The Great Wall or a tour of Beijing's Forbidden City, to name just two of mainland China's sightseeing treasures. All the benefits of living in mainland China mean that many expats change their minds about leaving and end up making the cultural wonderland their long-term home.

Show more

Mainland China highlights



The Renminbi, also called the Chinese Yuan

More on banking

Quick Facts

  • Population: About 1.4 billion
  • Capital city: Beijing
  • Neighbouring Mainland China: North Korea, Russia, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macau
  • Main languages: Mandarin is the official language, though there are hundreds of local dialects throughout the country. Cantonese is spoken almost exclusively in Hong Kong, Macau and parts of Guangdong and Guangxi provinces.
  • Time: GMT +8

Enjoy the magnificent sights, interesting sounds and rich culture but be prepared for rapid changes to all!

Expat Explorer respondent

View more hints and tips for Mainland China


Relocation Checklist

Our checklists give you a comprehensive overview of the kinds of things you need to do before you move and also what to consider in your first few months in your new country or region.

More information



Next public holiday

Qingming Festival

More public holidays

Enjoy the lifestyle and culture and meet and make new friends.

Expat Explorer respondent

View more hints and tips for Mainland China