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Cost of living in Shenzhen

Shenzhen is one of the most expensive cities to live in China, but still relatively cheap compared to most Western major cities.To give you an indication of how much things cost, I collected some prices. I'm sure prices will vary a bit depending on where you buy and which brand you buy, but this should give you a good indication. I rarely eat in Western restaurants and have adopted a Chinese eating pattern. If you enjoy Western restaurants, you obviously will spend more. Living costs are relatively most expensive, house prices came down in 2008, but have risen a lot again and buying a house in a good location in Shenzhen is expensive.

The areas near the border with HongKong (traditionally Futian and Luohu, but now also increasingly Nanshan) are a bit more expensive to live. Living in the center also has other benefits, for example closer to library, more shopping malls, more restaurants etc. Bao'an is currently fast expanding and when the subway finishes in 2011, Bao'an will be more convenient to live as well. Whenever you go to Bao'an (where the airport is) you definitely feel that it's further away from the center: less high buildings, broader roads, less people.

Compared to the Netherlands, Shenzhen is still much cheaper to live. Especially eating in restaurants in much cheaper. House prices had gone up a lot and were approaching Dutch levels, but have since dropped off quite a lot; since the start of 2009 they are rising again. Never trust prices you see advertised online, but come here and look around. Because house prices dropped so much, it's now easy to find a place to rent. Also realize that 100m2 is already quite big in China and it should cost below 5000Y/month. (I sometimes see advertisements targeted at foreigners asking ridiculous prices -be warned and just look around and bargain). 

According to Mercer's 2009 survey of living costs Shenzhen is now 22nd on the list of most expensive cities in the world for expats! Mercer's Cost of Living survey covers 143 cities across six continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

1. Tokyo - Japan

2. Osaka - Japan

3. Moscow - Russia

4. Geneva - Switzerland

5. Hong Kong

8. New York 

9. Beijing

12. Shanghai

16. London

22. Shenzhen

23. Guangzhou


This is my personal, unscientific, list of daily items. Just use common sense in China and live like a Chinese, then you will see that the cost of living is not so high.

Price (Yuan)
 milk, small paper cup  2.90
 white bun supermarket  1.8
 half sliced bread  5
 apples (per kg)
 water (1.5 liter)
 lettuce (0.5 kg)
 rice (0.5 kg)
 pork (0.5 kg)
 spareribs (0.5 kg)
 bag of nuts
 Daily usage  
 big bottle soap  20-30
 t-shirt, men  20-50
 shirt, men
 dinner, 2  person  30-120
 lunch, 2 person  25-50
 chinese fast-food order (incl. delivery)
 some dishes
 fish  20-100
 vegetable  10-30
 meat  20-50
 rice/bowl  1-2
 rent house, 50m2
 2.000Y/month * see note below
 rent house, 100+m2, good location  8.000Y/month
 buy house (normally 70-150m2)  7-25K RMB/m2
 utility (electricity, water, management)
 internet 2MB ADSL
 native english teacher, fulltime
 10.000+Y/month *see note below
 taxi 5 km (start 12.5)
 bus/subway  2-5/trip


Also take a look at the Chinese supermarkt folder I scanned, this will give you an even better idea of the things you can buy and for what prices.

* note about apartment renting costs July 2009: 

Just like salaries, the prices for renting an apartment vary hugely. You can go from 1500RMB/month for a cheap community, where normal Chinese people live to extremely luxurious which are twenty times as much ! Also be aware that the English-language classifieds are usually not the cheapest. Best option is just to look around while you are in the city and go to some Chinese real estate companies. Prices have dropped a lot in 2008, but have been rising since the start of 2009 again. Some examples of expensive apartments on offer at ShenzhenParty :

 Location  Size (m2)
 Description  price RMB /month
Futian CBD 109
 3 bedrooms (one master bedroom), 2 bathes, 1 large living room & 1 dining room  8.500
Futian Honey Lake  200  3 bedrooms, 1 study room, 1 living room, 1 dining room, 1 kitchen, 1 balcony.  30.000
Futian, near to Co-co park 151  3 bedrooms ,and 2 bathrooom, fully furnished and equiped  12.000
Futian Che Gong Miao Metro Station 116
 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 study room, 1 living room, 1 dining room, 1 kitchen  8.000
Luohu center,beside Diwang mansion  63  1 livingroom,1 big bedroom,1 kitchen,1 washroom  5.500
Luohu KingGlory plaza  42    2.000
Nanshan Coastal rose garden  127  3 bedrooms 2 bath  5.900
Nanshan/Shekou Sea Taste Garden  78  2 bdrooms, 1 bath , 1 nice kitchen , 2balcony , 1 living rooms  3.800

As you can see, 2000 is about the minimum you pay in reasonable locations. You can go lower by looking around in the city. It's easy to spend over 8000RMB/month for big apartments.


*note about salaries foreign teachers:

The State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs has updated the salary guidelines for a foreign expert or teacher in July 2009. Salaries start at 3,000 to 4,100 yuan per month for bachelor degreed teachers in underdeveloped western areas to as high as 12,000 to 15,000 per month for full professors in first-tier east coastal cities such as Shanghai and Guangzhou. Although these salary guidelines are more realistic than the previous recommendations, they are still lower than what a foreign teacher should expect. For more information, read this excellent overview .


update december 2009:

Question (from a visitor to my website) :

"My company is considering opening an office in China.  I ran across your website while doing a search on living in Shenzhen.  I was surprised to read that the cost of living in Shenzhen was so high!  Based on your experience, do you think that Shenzhen is a good place for western technical companies to relocate?  How do you think westerners fare in Shenzhen?  Do they integrate into the culture?"


There is a saying in Chinese:

"You think you're brave until you go to Manchuria, you think you're well read until you reach Beijing and you think you're rich until you set foot in Shenzhen". 

That's definitely true and it depends on your business if that's a good or bad thing :) If you want to setup a factory and need to compete on price, then Shenzhen is not the best place to start. Away from the big coastal cities the wages are much lower. If you are doing something related to Finance or high-tech/IT, then Shenzhen is definitely a good place to invest. Nobody with a good education wants to work for low wages inland when they can earn more in Beijing, Shanghai or Shenzhen.

Recently the Shenzhen government has unveiled several plans to promote Shenzhen further as a high-tech and financial center. Several companies have announced they will open offices in Shenzhen. Of course Tencent has its HQ in Shenzhen, but we also have Microsoft, Philips, Oracle and IBM. Alibaba will open a center in the city. I believe the government even has favorable (fiscal) policies to attract high-tech companies.

Besides that, I think Shenzhen is a pretty good city to live. Houses/offices are indeed expensive, but the rest is still quite cheap. Because the wages in Shenzhen are higher than in lots of other cities, there is also no shortage of talent. The weather is great and city does live up to it's reputation as a garden-city. Integration... I'm not sure about that. Though of course less than HK, Shenzhen is also quite an international city. Most Chinese in the city were not born here either and came from other provinces. Integration all depends on the individual. You can go either way.


update January 2010:

Some more questions from a visitor:

Q: Is there income tax?

A: Yes, Every foreigner (and Chinese) needs to pay income tax. I heard that the income tax in Hong Kong is much lower than in Shenzhen; but you can only qualify for HK-tax if you work below a certain percentage of your time in Shenzhen. For more information, see this article about Individual Income Tax (IIT) in China .


Q: How much does a car cost, do you even need on in Shenzhen, I would imagine not.

A: My girlfriend just got her drivers license, but we do not plan to buy a car in the near future. Our company provides free shuttle buses in the morning and evening and in the weekend we just take the bus or subway. You also need to pass a theoretical exam if you want to drive in China, because international drivers licenses are not valid in China. Cars are quite affordable in China and many Chinese buy their first car these years. The result is that traffic jams are becoming more common nowadays.A BYD sedan 2.4liter costs around 110K RMB I believe. That's a Chinese brand I would definitely consider. For 100-200K you have lots of different options. There are also some Chinese cars below 100K (even as low as 50K), but I'm not sure about the quality of those cars.


Q: What would you say is the typical monthly cost for all groceries for a single person who is a vegetarian.

A: It really depends on how you intend to shop. Upscale supermarkets are a bit more expensive and imported fruit and vegetables also cost more. Organic fruit and vegetables are appearing in more-and-more supermarkets and cost often twice as much as normal ones. That being said, vegetables and tofu are cheap. It's really difficult to spend over 50RMB/day on vegetables if you do your own cooking. Very few people are vegetarian in China, so eating in restaurants will be difficult, depending on your flexibility. If you want to go for western food including sandwiches, fresh orange juice, exotic imported fruits, perhaps you can reach a daily amount of 100RMB for food.


Q: The prices on the grocery pages you should seem higher than you were describing, do the numbers equal yuan or some fraction of yuan?

A: there might be some differences, but the prices should be more-or-less the same. Prices are usually in yuan. Almost no product costs below 1RMB nowadays.


Q: Is there sales tax?

A: No idea about this.

Q: My office will be in the OCT district. What is the closest reasonable place to live for a single person who doesn't mind living in a "non" western style apartment. 1 bedroom apt 65 m2 with nominal amenities.

A: There are really good houses everywhere, you just need to look a bit around (with the help of a Chinese preferably). If you mean OCT in Nanshan district, that's quite a famous (and good) community. You will perhaps find something in walking distance of your office and otherwise a short taxi-ride away.


Q:What would be the cost of western style gym, like a ymca type place? Would they have spinning classes if you know what that is. Cost of a reasonable bicycle?

A: I don't have experience with gyms, but I wouldn't expect them to be too expensive (except perhaps the very good ones).  Bikes in supermarkets often start at a few hundred yuan to good ones a few thousand max. Not a major cost, but be careful when you go cycling! There are few dedicated cycling paths and it can be very dangerous on the big roads!


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dswei  - exactly it's true     | |2009-08-26 18:04:11
internet 2MB ADSL, 1440Y/year. it's china telecom
Thijs  - haha correct   | |2009-08-26 23:13:31
you are right
Linda  - thanks!   | |2009-10-07 10:54:06
my daughter needed to know how much rice cost in China!
dswei  - dswei     | |2009-10-07 16:14:56
rice in china is so cheap, less than 5 rmb yuan. some restaurant is even cheap than 1 yuan
Thijs   | |2009-10-28 22:20:16
People normally buy big bags of rice for home-usage; like 5, 10 or 25 kg. In the restaurant a small bowl of rice normally costs 1 yuan (for 1 person), in more expensive restaurants 2 yuan.
5kg bag of good rice would cost around 40 yuan.
Roberto Marcos  - TV Cable   | |2009-10-20 03:55:56
What is the cost of the tv cable in shenzhen
Thoks   | |2009-10-28 22:18:05
our basic package costs 28 yuan / month. We do not have any pay-channels or HDTV channels (which will cost you extra)
jaysan  - Insurance premiums tax deductible?   | |2009-11-17 03:31:40
Are private insurance premiums tax deductible - in other words, can the gross salary be reduced by the premium amount for calculating taxes?
Manu   | |2009-11-23 17:41:11
About the housing-prices in Shenzhen: is 7-25K RMB/m2 still accurate, or is that outdated? I've lived in Guilin for 2 years, and there the housing-prices are considerably lower (I guess 2.5-5K RMB/m2); unfortunately, the salaries are a lot lower too

Btw, do you know if there exists a list which compares the ratio of (average housing-prices / salaries) for the major Chinese cities, for multiple professions? For example, does an IT-er in Shenzhen have to spend a lot more on housing, than an IT-er in Shanghai or Beijing? I doubt that there will exist a list of that (since it's very difficult to get an average of that), but you never know
Thijs  - Housing prices     | |2009-11-23 20:24:36
I think those prizes are still accurate. Housing prices went down at the end of last year, but have since rebounded again. I would say most people are now buying (unfurnished) houses around 10K RMB/m2.

There are some good websites about the current prices, but they are all in Chinese For example
If you want to see some English advertisements, try or When we visited Guizhou last year, we were surprised by the low prices. In Shenzhen everything is just much more expensive, but you indeed also earn much more.

I'm not aware of such a comparison. If I find it, I will post it on my website
Jessica Frazier  - Cost of Living   | |2010-01-28 05:07:13
Thank you for this report, it is helping me out a lot. I have a offer to work in Shenzhen as an Architect. I am in the middle of negotiating a salary. My latest salary here was 55k per year down 10k from 2 years ago due to the economy. I am trying to figure out what is a reasonable wage there. I know the cost of living is less, but I will still be paying alimony to my wife kids here in the Tennessee, USA. So I need to figure out a few more things that I don't see on your website.
Is there income tax?
How much does a car cost, do you even need on in Shenzhen, I would imagine not.
What would you say is the typical monthly cost for all groceries for a single person who is a vegetarian.
Is there sales tax?
The prices on the grocery pages you should seem higher than you were describing, do the numbers equal yuan or some fraction of yuan?
My office will be in the OCT district. What is the closest reasonable place to live for a single person who doesn't mind living in a "non" western style apartment. 1 bedroom apt 65 m2 with nominal amenities.
What would be the cost of western style gym, like a ymca type place? Would they have spinning classes if you know what that is.
Cost of a reasonable bicycle?
Do you know of any other transgendered americans or europeans there? I am a man who is now a woman fyi.
I know this is a lot, but since you went to the effort to put this nice website together I figured you might enjoy answering these questions.
Jessica Frazier   | |2010-01-28 22:13:44
Thanks for the updates, they will be very beneficial in my decision to move to shenzhen.
kae  - mr   | |2010-06-13 17:32:19
i will be moving to shenzhen in a month time. office is located in futian district. is futian a nice residential area to live? pls suggest any nearby residential areas. thanks alot !
Jessica   | |2010-06-13 19:25:40
This is a big town, you need to get more specific than that. I know just saying Futian seems like you can narrow things down, but Futian is huge and encorporates a large part of Shenzhen. I don't not live in Futian so I don't know the residential aspects of it. I work in OCT which is considered part of Futian and Nanshan, but is closer to futian in my mind. It is the most expensive part to live in. I here a lot of talk about Coco park being a good place for expats and a lot of them live there. I have yet to actually physically go there but I know where it is. Finding an apartment is a very tough and challanging thing unless you speak chinese. I did it through and interpreter friend and a realestate agent. It might have cost me a little more but I felt like I got the right place for me. I would suggest getting a hotel room in the area you want to live and setting up something with a english speaking realtor, they can be sharks so watch out. I would start with Coco park first. It is hard to find on google maps you can google it and eventually you will find it. That is about all I know about Futian. Louhou is older and cheaper, Nanshan where I live is affordable, and there are some good places for expats down in Shekou if you can live close to it. I commute 30-45 each way to get to work, but I don't mind. Sure I would be closer in OCT, but I would also be further away from English speaking people, and that is critical here.

Send me an email if you need more info, or go to there is a ton of info there and some good forums and blogs. We all share knowledge there and there is a sense of community amongst us non chinese speakers.

Take care, and good luck,
Thijs  - Jessica is right     | |2010-06-14 00:13:16
Jessica is exactly right. I can add that Futian is a good area to live, just like Nanshan. I live close to Coco Park as well myself (Gou Wu Gong Yuan in pinyin) and it's nice centrally located with easy access to the rest of the city and subway. I always advice people to first take a hotel room for a few weeks and take your time to look at some houses. Like Jessica mentioned, take a translator with you and be sceptical of high prices (for foreigners). Goodluck!
Sohail  - Guide me about the Wage   | |2010-07-17 17:04:03
Can anybody give me idea about Marketing Manager salary in Shenzhen, with 7 years of experience?

I am being offered 15KRMB, i am not sure if it's good salary or average? Can anybody please guide me?
ziqiao   | |2010-09-06 18:32:07
I think it's a little bit under average,but not much
Janet   | |2010-07-30 19:39:23
if for a mananger, 15k RMB its a low salary as I know. with 7years of experience at least rang 20k to 40k before tax?
Ben  - Living inShenzhen   | |2010-09-16 03:13:18
I am a foreigner and just got an offer from a Chinese company. I will be positioned in Shajing, Bao'an factory. So now, I have to rent a house (apartment)somewhere near to factory to avoid high transportation cost (taxi). Is this area safe and has low crime rates? Where would you recommend?
Thijs  - Living in Baoan district     | |2010-09-16 14:37:47
Hi Ben

first of all, taxis are not so expensive but you are right that it's nicer to avoid it

I don't have any experience with living in Baoan district. I only know that it's a very big district, that stretches all the way towards Guangzhou. Currently they are working on the subway/metro lines in Baoan and they should be finished next year. So if you are planning to stay a long time, that might be something to consider. Shajing is a bit to the north of the airport and the new metro will go to the airport in the future (final station).

I think Shenzhen in general is very safe, I have never had any problems. Baoan is currently growing a lot. Many people cannot afford to buy houses in Nanshan/Futian/Luohu anymore so they move to Baoan for example. This means there are many very new communities and facilities. I think it's best to stay in a hotel (not expensive anyway) for a few weeks and then just look around locally. Your company can probably help you get a good offer from a nearby hotel for a discount.
sukumar  - salary   | |2010-10-22 22:07:13
I got an offer in an IT company at shenzhen. They are offering me 18k RMB + accomodation. Is it a good salary. What will be the average expenditure on groceries for 2 persons per months?
Thijs     | |2010-10-22 22:25:15
It's a bit hard to estimate, because you didn't mention your experience and what kind of responsibilities you will have. That being said, 18K + accomodation is good. Daily expendatures you can read above, but i think you will spend less than 5000 rmb/month for 2 persons. Depends a lot on your lifestyle.
vertex  - vertex   | |2010-10-23 19:42:50

Thanks a lot for all information.

I've been offered a job as an architect in one of companies in Shenzhen.
I have 2 years of experience and description of job was just wonderful.

I got offer of 12 000 rmb per month and 3000 budget for the rent - could anyone tell me how good is this offer, cause i am suspecting that is not so great. I've been working in Moscow for past two years where i got much more, but then again... i guess costs of living were much higher.... so i am kind of lost in the scale.

I appreciate your help
Thijs   | |2010-10-23 22:49:37
I would say for Chinese it's quite a good salary, but internationally it's indeed not so special. The renting budget is quite nice to get in addition to the salary though you will not be able to rent very big. I would not only focus on the salary though, but also on the job description. Like you indicated, I also think that's very important. Since China is getting more important experience in China is getting more valuable I think. Bottom line: it's ok to start with that salary. Make sure that your salary can go up if you perform well.
Sohail Shaikh  - English Schools   | |2010-10-23 20:32:21
Can you guys guide me about the English Schools + Montessori in Nanshan area? And how much they cost ?
Thijs   | |2010-10-23 22:51:24
see my article about international schools in the Shenzhen - Life category. I don't know details about cost or Montessori beyond what I mentioned in the article
Starzzz  - Salary Package?   | |2010-11-02 14:41:15
I am being offered salary of 18K with no other benefits for the post of Operations Manager in Shenzhen based company.

I will be moving with my wife and a daughter, i would like to know the suggestion from you guys is it a good offer? As i will be moving with my family and paying all expenses, tution of my baby etc?
Thijs     | |2010-11-03 21:52:27
Hi, for Chinese it's quite a good salary and you can live from it with your family, but it's definitely not very luxurious. Try to see if you can get tax-deduction (I wrote an article about it as well) at least. I also recommend trying to get some housing subsidy, because rents are quite expensive (not to mention buying...)

I think it depends if you want to go for the adventure and value the experience of working in China. If so, then just go for it (I did and never regret it). If not, then the salary is not something to go for.
Starz  - avg. expenses?   | |2010-11-06 12:15:45
What will be the average expenditure on groceries for 2 adults and 1 baby per months? as i know in any foreign countries the expenses of babies are really high

So can you please guide me what will be avg. expenditure (including raw food, living (nanshan sheoku area), travelling etc) I should keep in mind before moving to Shenzhen.
Thijs     | |2010-11-06 12:30:45
wow, that's very difficult to answer. We don't have a baby yet, but I noticed that all Chinese parents (who can afford it) buy foreign baby-related stuff. So they all buy for example Dutch milk powder, foreign brands bottles etc. Anything that is directly related to health is non-Chinese. They do buy Chinese baby clothes, bedding etc. We're on the same path, so I guess it's about the same as what you would spend abroad.

If the baby is old enough to eat the same as you, then I think it should become cheaper, unless you insist on eating Western food every day Supermarkets are still cheaper and restaurants as well. I listed some of those prices in the article and they are still ok.

Travelling inside the city with a baby(car) will probably involve a taxi or the subway. Currently the subway to Shekou is not yet finished (scheduled for 2011 I think). Taxi start around 12RMB, you spend less than 100RMB to drive from Shekou to downtown Futian I think. Normally taxi drives are more like 20-30RMB. Subway/bus are much cheaper (2-5 RMB for long distances)

Living expenses will be by far the biggest concern. Houses in Shenzhen are just expensive. Renting a normal appartment in Shekou will easily cost you over 5000 RMB/month. Buying is very expensive as well, mostly over 20.000 RMB/m2. I advice you to take a look around in the city before binding yourself to a long-term renting contract. There are many different locations and prices.
Starz   | |2010-11-06 13:26:42
hmm thank you that's enough info. But can you give me just rough idea that how much i am gona spend on raw foods for 3 peoples?

Because i am being offered 18K RMB per month with no other benefits so i am confused if i can live with my family in Nanshan, Shekou area... while paying all expenses, as my office is located in Hi-Tech industrial park area so my traveling will be there only.

Besides can you confirm me how much one has to pay as Utility bills, like electricity, gas, water etc?
Thijs   | |2010-11-06 13:41:35
Shekou to HighTech park is not so far, perhaps you can even just take a public bus. Especially if you can find a line that's not so busy, sometimes it's hard to squeeze into those overcrowded busses during rush hour Taxi would probably cost around 50-100 RMB per day.

150RMB per day for 3 persons is enough if you cook yourself. So that would include meat, vegetables, fruit, drinks etc. So that would be about 4500 RMB per month (or about 500 euro).
jyothi  - monthly expenses and salary   | |2010-11-17 15:38:48
I got offer in IT company in Shenzen. I have 4 yrs exp and they offered 15k RMB/month + accomodation. Is it good salary?

What will be monthly expenses for 2 people?
(grocessories,utility bills etc..)
Thijs     | |2010-11-18 12:28:37
it's comparable to the offer above. The salary is nothing special (assuming you have BSc/MSc), but if the accommodation is nice, that would be a huge benefit. So it's most important to get details about the apartment. How big, location, which floor etc. Good apartments can easily cost over 10K RMB/month. On the other hand, there are apartments for about 2.5K RMB/month, then it wouldn't be so much difference.

Besides salary, you should also ask about other benefits such as the IIT tax relief program (see on my website), and getting for example your medical insurance reimbursed. Also see if you can for example get some language training.
Starz  - How much Utility Bills?   | |2010-11-18 16:45:33
Hey Thjis;

How much usually in Shenzhen, Shekou area, utility bills (Electricity, Gas, Water etc) cost?
Thijs     | |2010-11-18 22:01:30
2 person, 70m2 appartment in Futian:

gas: ~30 RMB/month
water: ~30 RMB/month
electricity: ~200 RMB/month
management fee: ~40 RMB/month (but much more in other communities and depends on size of the house, other houses likely over 300 RMB/month)
garbage fee: 13 RMB/month
television: 28 RMB/month (standard SD, no extra channels)
sukumar  - working hours in IT companies   | |2010-12-01 23:24:50

I got an offer in IBM china, i would like to know what are average working hours in IT companies in china.

I heard chinese people work more and they will work approximately 16hrs per day in IT companies. Is it true?

Thijs     | |2010-12-02 09:38:24
Hi Sukumar, it's a good question. I work at Tencent and when I just started working here I also worked long days (we start at 9h and although we are officially off work at 17:30h, I often went home only at 21h or 22h). So those were days of 13 hours max. I know some students like to stay very late to study stuff, but I think it's uncommon. 16 hours is unusual; never heard of it. Nowadays I work more sensibly and go home around 18h every day (so about 8h per day), unless there is some urgent problem. So it depends on how comfortable you are I think. I feel that I am now quite an efficient programmer and can solve problems quite fast, so no need to stay long. I have to say that I usually am the first to go home, but that's not my problem

Don't worry about such long working days at IBM
JOE   | |2010-12-02 09:34:05
Nonsense, few Chinese workers are going to work over 16 hours a day, except there is a bloody urgent project...To work OT or not mostly depends on which kind of company you are in. For example, if in a TaiWan/Hongkong company, you are more likely to work OT, In a Mailand company, you might be 50% to work OT. But as giant company as IBM,i think Chinese works(except workholic) are most likely to spare more time with their friends and family.

Even though according to the law, OT can not be a compulsory part of your work, but many native company see it as a assessment of your performance that might put an influence on you bonus.
Nathan G.  - Advice needed   | |2010-12-16 01:31:28
Hello everyone!

I want to know what would the absolute minimum, satisfactory and good monthly salary be for a single guy renting 1 bedroom apartment in Futian and living a decent life ( I don't need much, just to have a normal everyday life with occasional fun )

I am considering a job offer to work in Nanshan
PTK  - Got a Job Offer in Shenzhen   | |2011-02-10 02:43:08

I have 3.5 years experience and got a job offer in an IT compancy based at Shenzhen with a salary package of 17.5K RMB.

Could someone tell me is this a Good package? And is it affordable with the cost of living in Shenzhen?

Please Suggest Me
Thijs Terlouw     | |2011-02-10 09:17:34
Hi PTK, 17.5K RMB is a good salary, based on your experience. It would depend on your role of course, but you can live quite good for 17.5K RMB. I always suggest people try to get at least insurance covered as well, and preferably housing as well (though the latter is unlikely for a local package). Housing is expensive, you can easily spend 5-20K RMB/month, but if you downsize a bit, you can go to around 3K/month. Also consider if there are bonus/share/stock plans available (in the future). Many Chinese companies have those.
PTK   | |2011-02-14 15:21:16
Thanks Thijs,

Insurance benefit is also offered by this company. How much a single apartment fully furnished with kitchen costs?

I am single and want to do self cooking.
Thijs   | |2011-02-16 08:25:30
All apartments should be fully furnished + kitchen. When you live alone, 40 m2 is probably already enough. I guess around 2500-3000 RMB/month.
sukumar  - cost of living in hongkong   | |2011-02-15 22:05:34
can any one tell what will be average cost of living in Hongkong for a family of 2.

I have 4yrs of experience in IT. what salary i can expect (with accomodation / without accomodation)?
Thijs   | |2011-02-16 08:26:14
I believe especially rents in HK are much more expensive than in Shenzhen, but I don't know details about salaries or rents.
Payal Majumdar  - salary for postdoctoral fellow in Shenzen   | |2011-03-22 22:17:40
I have been offered postdoctoral research fellow position in Shenzen. I have just completed PhD.I have been offered 130000 RMB per annum and 10833 RMB per month. In probation period for two months, I will get 8667 RMB. Even if I have to spend 2000-3000 RMB for rent.Is this offer good enoug?Shall I accept it?Kindly reply soon
Thijs   | |2011-03-24 13:44:12
Seems like a typical Chinese starting salary for PhDs. Not very impressive for a fulltime job in a commercial companies. Rent will easily be over 3000/month in the city center: housing is very expensive! So that would leave you about 7000/month. This is enough for eating, shopping etc, but you will not have much money left for savings. Perhaps the experience of working in Shenzhen will be valuable to you though and you could learn Chinese here. Also inform about health insurance and special policies to attract highly qualified foreign talent to the city. I remember reading that there are special housing plans and other incentives for researchers to come to Shenzhen; but I am not sure about this.
Anonymous   | |2011-03-24 14:23:48
Besides the offer mentioned in my previous mail,the institute is offering accomodation for 1800RMB and health insurance will be provided by them.80000 RBM per annum will be given to me for visiting India do yot think my poptdoc offer is good enough then?
Thijs  - much better   | |2011-03-24 20:28:12
Sounds much better, especially the money for visiting India is nice! 1800 for living is not so much, but it will cover probably more than half of your expenses and if you live cheaply, it can almost cover all. I think for a postdoc research position it's quite good.
ann  - commuting   | |2011-03-29 18:39:37
We are considering a move to Shenzhen. If we lived in Shekou how long would it take and how much would it be to travel to Longgang district? is the metro finished yet?
Many thanks
Thijs  - Shekou - Longgang   | |2011-03-29 22:55:25
Shekou's subway has opened, but not the whole subway system has been completed yet. By bus it easily takes an hour from Shekou to Futian, so I assume 2 hours to Longgang. With the metro it should be much more convenient. The blue Longgang metro line has been partially completed currently, but does not fully connect to the Shekou-line yet (I expect it to be completed before the Universiade starts in August 2011).
Btw if you work in Longgang, consider living in Futian or Luohu districts. Also very nice places there!
ann  - longgang   | |2011-03-30 02:19:00
Thank you. Just exploring all the areas at the moment. We have school age children and I think the best schools are in SHekou. How long would it take to drive from Shekou to Longgang? When the metro is complete how long do you think it would take and with how many changes?
Do you know any town house (with private gardens) developments in Futian or Louhu?
Thank you again - so good to have someone on the ground!
dol  - details     | |2011-04-18 18:07:55
I got an offer in it company in shenzhen, with salary of 7500/- RMB having 3 years exp, as well they r providing Accomidation & travelling expences, i need spend to my food, what about your opinion on this, whether it is good or bad or k, just let me know the food expencives per day in restaurent as well self cooking
Thijs     | |2011-05-18 10:20:12
7500 RMB/month is low, even though they provide living expenses. It should be over 10K/month now
tinkesh  - average package   | |2011-05-17 20:38:56
hi All,

i am a programmer, of 2 years of experience.
i got offer in china in Shenzen.
How much package should be expected for living of 2 people with normal lifestyle haveing occasional fun?
Accomodation is proveded by complany.
And also can you please help with the things which i should be knowin in advance.

Thijs   | |2011-05-18 10:25:23
I think you should have at least 10K RMB/month (assuming the accommodation is nice). Also pay attention to other things mentioned in this page: insurance, visa, tax-breaks etc. Feel free to email me for more questions (see contact on the top left menu)
Abhay  - Need some help...   | |2011-06-03 17:19:06
I'm being shifted to shenzhen by my office who will be paying almost every expense for living. They will pay for housing rent (max. 3500 rmb), telephone, internet, travel to india twice a year, and food expenses (not very expensive but normal). Apart from all this they will pay me 4,330 RMB (roughly).
Now, i wonder if that is a fair salary to lead a normal life in this glamorous city with all the mentioned benefits. I will need to travel in the city, so, which place will be the best to live in the city which has a good public transport connectivity and is fairly good place for rent of 3500 RMB. Being an Indian myself, I'd prefer to find some Indians around my place. Also, is it easy to find a fully furnished apartment for that rent?
Thijs     | |2011-06-03 22:00:24
I'm not sure how the wages in India are, but this offer is not very good. It's nice they pay all living expenses (for 3500 rmb/month you can find a medium sized (60-90 m2) appartment. In expensive neighbourhoods smaller obviously. The salary though is extremely low. 4330 rmb/month for a fulltime job? English teachers normally start around 10K rmb/month. Fully furnished is no problem, but it really depends on the location.
Abhay   | |2011-06-14 14:32:14
Thanks for the quick response. I was just wondering, how much in opinion should be the pay apart from the benefits to be a fair amount?
Thijs     | |2011-06-14 23:07:41
It depends a bit on your experience, education and the sector. I would say at minimum 7000 RMB/month (considering the extra living expenses you get) for entry level and several thousand more for experienced/MSc.
Abhay   | |2011-06-20 14:18:23
OK. Thanks that is really helpful, i had a discussion with my superiors, there might be a change in the pay. you are doing a great job here helping people out. Hats off..!!

Abhay  - Update on me..   | |2011-07-13 20:53:55
After a few discussions, negotiations with the management they finally agreed to either offer the previous salary component (as above) or they can offer to pay 12K RMB Yuan per month without any expense beared by the company. They might just pay for the 2 trips annually and insurance only (in addition to 12K) and of course, the cost of learning mandarin.

Now im a little skeptical about this new thing, how good is this idea according to you? Should i go for it? if not, can you just give a general break up of every cost, so that i can justify what i'm asking from them. I'm coming to Shenzhen with my boss around 29th of this month, is there any way that i can convince him to pay more after he visits the place with me?

All help is greatly appreciated.
Thijs   | |2011-07-27 18:48:13
I think it doesn't sound very appealing, but if your plan is to learn Chinese and use this skill later to earn (much) more money, then I think it's not such a bad option. Living in Shenzhen really becomes more and more expensive every month it seems.
Abhay  - Thanks :arrow:   | |2011-08-01 23:13:04
Thanks a million for all the help. I have finally decided to come and become a part of SZ. You quite captured my idea about learning Mandarin Money does matter to me a lot.. The trip got delayed due to some engagement, im flying tomorow.

Just one last thing about this. Someone suggested me that its better to take up a course on Mandarin from ShenZhen University (probably 4-6 months duration) to learn good spoken and written Chinese. What do you think about that? I'll be in shenzhen by 4th (after 2 days in HK), shall I contact any other professional (Mandarin) training institute and find out the possibilities? Any particular trainer or institute you suggest?

Im so sorry for annoying you so much with silly questions. This will be the last question... Promise..
Mike Ross  - More on Salaries & cost of living   | |2011-06-06 21:33:01
Hi, just a general querie on salaries ... I have over 20years experience in Telecoms & am being interviewed (2nd) for a job in Shenzhen ... I believe the salary to be around 80K euros is this reasonable & what does that equate to in the local currency ?
Thijs     | |2011-06-14 23:10:27
80K euro/year is a good salary everywhere in the world, especially in Shenzhen It would be about 800K RMB/year or 67K/month. You'll be living the good life in Shenzhen!
pinoy   | |2011-07-31 16:18:05

i got an offer from a company situated in shenzhen. 5500 RMB with free accomodation and meal allowance plus leave benefits and airfare going home for vacation for once a year. i dont have experience in their products but i've been working for 7 yrs as engineer.
is the offer okay?
Thijs Terlouw   | |2011-08-02 22:08:10
The salary is really quite low, even though you get some additional benefits. If this is a fulltime job, you have a university education and 7 years relevant work experience, you should be making over 10K/month for sure. Ticket to go home probably only costs around 5K/year, food is not so expensive, so the largest cost would normally be housing. For this salary I don't expect very good housing though.
Nirkish  - new job in Shenzhen   | |2011-07-29 19:26:28
I am an IT Architect and have an offer of €150k (per year) from a Chinese Telecom company, to be based out of Shenzhen. Don't know full details on the exact location but I am in the process of finding out more.

Can someone suggest what kind of lifestyle can I expect with a £150k p.a. (about 1.1m Yuan a year), bearing in mind I have a wife and 2 kids.

Thijs Terlouw     | |2011-08-02 22:13:08
1.1 million RMB per year is very nice and you can live comfortable from it with your family. If I just divide it by 12, that would be about 91500 RMB/month. That's a HUGE amount of money. Even if you rent expensive (20K RMB/month), that leaves quite a lot of money. I would say international education for your kids, house rent and medical insurances will be your biggest costs.
Ammar   | |2011-11-09 04:56:34
Hi all,
I am negotiating a job offer in Shenzhen. Salary will be around CNY 50K-60K a month. Do you think I can afford to live a comfortable life with two school going kids in this salary? I will have to send them to an International / British curriculum school. Not sure if they have a British school in Shenzhen.
mie  - mr.   | |2011-12-09 17:16:19
1stly, congrats.!! Ur blog is awsome!!
Im from malaysia, currently got offer from ibm shenzen for 21k rmb. Is that good salary for sr. Technical support? They also pay 30% living allowances. Do u think 3k rmb is enuf for single person linvin in city center?
Usually how much i need to spend for rental close to ibm tower in shenzen?

AT  - Salary in Shenzhen (6.5 Yrs IT Professional)   | |2011-12-14 04:47:17

I have 6.5 years exp. in IT Industry (Investment Banking Specialist [Technology]).
Can you please help me to Know what is the good salary for a person of my skills in Shenzhen.

pete  - enquiry   | |2012-01-17 05:54:56
hi, im pete and i have an offer in shenzhen with ibm for the IT dept and have been offered 8000k per month with accomodation, please let me know if this is ok for a start.. i am an indian and planning to save some money ....
pepe  - accommodation   | |2012-01-19 06:40:45
hi! it is the first time I write in this blog!
It has been very useful because I am thinking about going to Shenzhen to study form a semester next year but before that I would like make sure few thinks, for exmaple, I've seen that in a residence the accommodation fees for all the semester is 1500 RMB, can this be true?? I think it's impossible because in Barcelona, where i'm from prices are about 1000€/month.
Please tell me something.

PS. intereseting data in the blog
@VB  - Salary ? + Cost of Living?   | |2012-02-13 18:32:03

I am suppose to give expected salary for IT job in Shenshen as Business Analyst. My total year of exp is 6 years (5 years as Business Analyst). If offered then I will be moving down to Shenzhen with my wife.

So i have few queries to ask: -
1) How much salary should i ask for (i have searched on google and usually with such exp, foreigners get in between 20K - 30K RMB as monthly gross)?
2) How much will be per monht cost of living including rent + approx travel cost + gas + water + electricity + TV (considering that we will cook veg food at home)?

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