Work: salary, benefits and bonus
Let's start with stating the obvious: it's very hard to provide specific figures for salaries etc. Look at my article about the costs of living in Shenzhen and then you can make up your mind how much you should be earning to have a comfortable life. My advice would be anything over 10K RMB/month up to several times this depending on position and experience. When you are negotiating your salary, benefits and bonus for your new job in Shenzhen, I believe you should consider these items (housing, insurance, holidays, visa, special government policie, transport costs etc):
- Housing. If the company arranges a fully serviced appartment in a good community, that would be a huge benefit. Although living costs are not so high in China, they are the biggest part of your salary. Some companies have several appartments available, make sure that the appartment you are being offered is up to your expectations. Some houses are really beautiful in China, but there are also lots of very bad ones. Get specific about location, size, furniture etc etc.I would say a 100m2 appartment fully serviced in a good community in either Nanshan, Futian or Luohu with free swimming pool and other facilities would be a huge benefit.
- Insurance. Try to get your insurance fully covered, because this
can be quite expensive. They probably have a limit on how much you can
spend. Insurance is much cheaper in China compared to other countries,
but it is still quite a large chunck of your salary
- Holidays: Companies can have special benefit programs for foreigners, which include things like extra holidays. Useful if you
want to travel in China :)
- Visa costs etc. Visa for one year can cost 800RMB, I think this
should just be arranged and paid for by the employer. Also make sure
you get a real working visa, not some business visa (illegal)
- Government has a policy that allows you to pay less tax over certain
items, depending on your salary. It works like this: you collect
invoices for eating and a few other selected expenses. Then you hand in
those invoices (up to a certain limit, depending on your salary) once
per month to your employer and they do the paperwork. In your salary
you have to pay less tax (for example I hand in 2000Y/month invoices
for eating. I will get back 400Y tax in my salary). It also includes
items such as 'one-time-moving fees' or 'children tuition'. Read more about IIT and tax benefits here
- Food allowance, especially for lunch this should be possible.
Sister of my girlfriend gets 30RMB/day in coupons. Not a major cost
saver, but still nice to have. I personally don't have this. If you manage to get 50RMB/day, then you can eat quite good everyday :)
- Laptop or computer, phone etc. Although common to get this in
Netherlands, I believe most people don't get it here in China. Getting
like 200 RMB/month to cover phone expenses is more common and if you
are expected to make many phonecalls using your private phone, I think
this is reasonable. If you want to receive foreign TV stations you need to pay extra. I don't have this either.
- Transport: it would be nice if the company will pay for taxi
everyday, just because public buses can be overcrowded in the morning.
It depends how far you have to travel, but you probably spend about
40-100RMB per day on taxi. If you take the bus or subway (recommended)you spend less than 10RMB/day for sure.
- Bonus: just do whatever percentage is common in your industry.
- Stock/options: try to get these as well if your company is
listed. Normally they have a vesting period, so it's also a method for
the company to make sure you will stay in China and not run away after
a few months.
- Gym/sports: I don't know if companies in China offer this, but
you could always try. The summers are very hot and running or cycling
are not very nice in this weather. Perhaps your community has a swimming
pool or tennis court? Otherwise you probably need to pay 20-30RMB/time
you go swimming. Having free access to this would be great.
Last Updated ( Friday, 19 February 2010 )