Engineer moved to Shanghai: jiaban, fapyao, mysterious Chinese

We continue to talk about the popular areas of relocation for domestic IT specialists. There were Budapest and Germany, and on the agenda was Shanghai: one of the largest cities in mainland China, willingly accepting immigrants.

Despite the fact that the states of the Eurozone and the United States continue to top the lists of “dream countries” of Russian developers, more and more programmers are turning their attention to the Asia-Pacific region, in particular, to Chinawhose IT market developing rapidly… Shanghai, the economic capital of the country, attracts professionals from all over the world thanks to abundance of jobs and loyal attitude towards foreigners

Due to the situation with the pandemic, it is unclear when air links with China will be opened. News appearedthat flights to Shanghai will resume from October 1st. While we are waiting for official confirmation – let’s consider the pros and cons of moving to one of the largest metropolitan areas of the Middle Kingdom.


In 2020, according to the international consulting company Mercer Shanghai hit in the list of 10 most expensive cities to live in, but in terms of quality of life ranks 103 – the best result for the settlement of mainland China (Moscow – in 167th place).

In terms of prices, Shanghai is largely concedes popular among expats Hong Kong, but the cost of goods and services is higher than in Moscow, on average – by 26.45%… The cost of renting real estate in China 67.68% morethan in Russia, and a standard set of food products will cost an expat 2–3 times more expensive: for a liter carton of milk, on average, you will have to pay 19 yuan (about 209 rubles), for white bread – 14 yuan (150 rubles), for a kilogram of local cheese – 105 yuan (1167 rubles), and for a kilogram of beef – 94 yuan (1039 rubles) ).

Average prices in Shanghai according to

Despite the fact that Shanghai has a reputation as an “expensive” metropolis, lunch in local cafes and restaurants is cheaper than in Moscow: 35 yuan (386₽)… But not all foreigners like the spicy and spicy Chinese cuisine.

The average cost of renting a one-room apartment in the center costs about RMB 7,861 or 87,000 rubles, and “odnushka” in remote areas – 4029 yuan or 45,000 rubles. Therefore, some expats recommend pay attention to the rooms (it can cost 2 times cheaper) or rent an apartment together with other immigrants.

Salaries and taxes

Developers are in great demand in China – they live in the Celestial Empire the largest number of internet users in the world, mobile and PC market is growing, and there are not enough competent specialists in the country.

How to estimate what kind of salary plug you can count on? You can use, for example, our bot @g_jobbot… Just customize it for yourself: choose a direction, location and salary. That’s it, then the chatbot will send you suitable vacancies – the more there are, the more accurately your skills correspond to market demands. The hero of one of our articles thus found out that he was getting 60% less than he could (and quickly corrected the situation with the help of a bot).

Bot setup @g_jobbot

According to Glassdoor information, the income of an experienced developer (Senior Software Engineer) in Shanghai is on average 283,810 yuan per year (about 3 million rubles at a rate of 1 yuan = ~ 11 rubles), however, the salary of specialists in local branches of large international companies (for example, Intel Corporation) can reach 378,588 yuan per year (about 4 million rubles).

How much do Senior Software Engineer earn according to Glassdoor

Personal income tax in China is calculated on a progressive scale – the higher the monthly income, the more tax the government will have to pay. After the changes made to the law in 2018, the amount of tax deduction increased: 5,000 yuan per month or 60,000 yuan per year are deducted from the taxable income of Chinese citizens for both Chinese and foreign citizens.

In 2019, a new version of the law was issued, it touched foreigners in China: Until December 31, 2021, you can choose to use the old tax credits or the new special deductions. The previous tax breaks were for housing, relocation, travel, language learning and children’s education. Starting in 2022, it will be possible to use only special additional deductions: for the education of children, for continuing education, for the treatment of serious illnesses, for the payment of interest on mortgage loans, for paying rent for housing, for material assistance to elderly relatives.

You can calculate the amount of personal income tax using tax calculator

Income tax calculation table

Mentality and language

Jiaban – in Russian “processing”. Moved called jiaban a cultand whether overtime is paid depends on the company.

Chinese workaholism surprises: local experts are ready not only convert, but even spend the night at the workplace, and in many companies afternoon naps are allowed. “After lunch, almost all Chinese go to bed. I am amazed at their ability to turn off instantly, ”says UCWeb employee Alexander.

Despite the fact that knowledge of the Chinese language is not a prerequisite for moving, it is not uncommon for Shanghai companies to refuse to hire English-speaking employees. An exception can be made for highly qualified specialistswhose professional skills are superior to those of the locals. International companies are willing to hire people with knowledge of only English, but expats recommend learning the language to strengthen mutual understanding with partners and colleagues.

How to get a work visa

In case of “professional” migration, you can legally work only with a work visa type Z. In order to obtain it, need to find a job in the companylocated in the country. The visa is issued only after obtaining a work permit and receiving an official invitation from the employer.

A permit to hire an employee is drawn up by the employer after the applicant provides copies of the passport and diploma of higher education (with translation into English), resume, photographs, completed application form, police clearance certificate, as well as copies of work and medical records. All documents are submitted on a special website… After that, Work Visa

Besides work permits and invitations, may need more copies of contracts, a letter from the employer and a test for COVID-19.

How to find a job in Shanghai

You can find a job on local job boards or recruiting sites for specialists. Attention, most often they are in Chinese! Popular resources with jobs in English (,,…) are more often tailored to the search for English teachers and teachers. Websites on which we found IT jobs:

Vacancies for with the translation of googletranslate in Chrome

Expats advise posting on these sites a resume translated into Chinese: not all HR professionals know English.
In addition to local sites, a popular way to find work is through WeChat groups (Android, iOS).

For more information on the company and average salaries, try the local Glassdoor with testimonials from former employees –


You can get tax deductions or reimburse work expenses at the expense of the employer or client by obtaining fapiao – a document confirming payment for goods and services.

Fapiao with VAT are used to obtain tax deductions – in this case, the invoice must contain the name, company stamp and tax identification number. In addition, a number of organizations reimburse the daily expenses of employees – it is enough to present a check-fapyao received in a taxi or cafe. It is important to know that Chinese employers may require fapiao for rental housing in order to obtain a work visa.

Fapiao can also be created via WeChat: here instruction

How to rent a house

Experienced expats advise start searching for housing on major English-language resources. This guarantees the knowledge of the language of the agent or landlord with whom the lease is to be concluded.

Please note that the cost of housing “for foreigners” on such sites may be overstated, and there are fewer offers than on Chinese resources. On the Baixing (Chinese equivalent of Craigslist) you can find more profitable rental options, there is also an application ziroom… Alternatively, use WeChat groups to find accommodation.

Agency services can lead to additional costs – for example, a large commission. Plus, when looking for an apartment, you need to be prepared that you can get caught by scammers: the photos sometimes do not correspond to reality.

If a suitable option is found, the next step is to conclude an agreement with the landlord. He will protect the landlord from dishonesty and settle everyday issues. Experienced expats recommend add the following to the contract:

  • host’s name and ID card,
  • exact address of the property, monthly payment and payment schedule,
  • contract time,
  • responsibility of the owner and the tenant for emergency situations (who and when is responsible for the repair of furniture, household appliances),
  • clause on forfeit, which the owner pays if he asks you to move out before the end of the contract.

It is useful to include in the contract a list of household appliances and furniture located in the apartment at the time of rent.

What to read about moving:

Use the g-mate bot (@g_jobbot) to receive vacancies in your profile with the possibility of relocation to China, Poland, America and dozens of other countries directly in Telegram. Companies can post the first 3 vacancies for free – go link

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