China reopens: all you need to know if you plan on traveling!

January 8th will mark the end of most travel restrictions for people arriving in China from abroad. These changes stem from authorities downgrading Covid-19 from a Class A (which, for instance, includes the bubonic plague and cholera) to a Class B infectious disease and imply that local governments are no longer empowered to impose lockdowns, isolation and quarantine or enlist law enforcement to aid with disease control.

Great news! But, in practice, what will it change for you if you plan on coming to or traveling from China?

ASI Movers prepared a summary of everything you need to know before your departure!

Going to China

To access the Customs Pocket Declaration miniprogram, scan the above QR codes or click here.

To read the minute of the Dec. 27th Foreign Ministry's press conference and the full set of announcements, read this article.

Traveling from China

Since Chinese authorities have announced that requests for ordinary passports issuance will again be accepted and examined, and in light of the end of the mandatory quarantine upon arrival, Chinese citizens and expatriates have been quick to look online for outbound flights, whether for a weekend escapade or the upcoming CNY holidays.

Destinations such as Macau, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, and South Korea are among the most popular. The return of Chinese visitors will significantly impact many countries’ tourist sectors after three years of hiatus!

However, be sure to check the latest policy updates before booking your flight.
Indeed, some countries and regions have rapidly issued travel restrictions specifically targeting travelers coming from China. The below list summarizes those that have been announced prior to the publication of the present article. Note that the latter is likely to change rather quickly; we thus recommend you further check the relevant regulation before your departure.

ASI Movers team wishes you a happy new year 2023 and stress-free global mobility, ay you travel and relocate peacefully from, to and within Asia!

If you plan on relocating this year, check our latest relocation guide!

ASI Movers is a China-born international relocation company providing moving solutions to individuals, families and businesses alike.

Who are we? A multicultural team of relocation specialists strong of a decade-long expertise.

What do we do? We provide high-quality, tailor-made moving solutions and the know-how of a dedicated team to guarantee your peace of mind!

Our vision of relocation? Built-to-suit services and a customer-first mindset. Whether you plan to move a big volume or a lighter one, whether you prefer cost-effective solutions or the velocity of airfreight, we design the relocation project that best fits your needs!

How? Thanks to our tailor-made solutions, wide-array of value-added services, and worldwide network.

Relocating out of China Soon? Read this guide!

We often wish that relocating could be as simple as boarding a plane and heading to new horizons.

Yet a move, especially to another country, involves slightly more than packing a suitcase. From making sure we retrieve all the administrative documents we might need, to saying goodbye to friends, all the while scouting for a new home at destination, and ensuring our pets can travel safely... it's a full time job!

To help you forsee your upcoming move concern-free, let's have a look at what lies ahead and how to best prepare for it!

At ASI Movers, we believe moving your belongings should be the least of your concerns!
Our goal? Ensure you can focus on what matters: closing a chapter of your life lightheartedly while preparing for what comes next peacefully!

The relocation process

A bit unsure of how a relocation unfolds?

Here is a step-by-step guide for you to get a clear picture of what lies ahead!

Handy relocation checklist

Relocating to a new country also means preparing for a new life chapter. Here are our tips to ensure you will leave lightheartedly, problem-free, and with all the documents necessary!

Unlink your phone number from your WeChat account before closing it, or you might lose all your contacts!

Go through the same process for your Alipay account before closing your bank one.

Make a quick stop by the police station to get your criminal record, then via the Notary of Public Affairs to have your official documents lawfully translated.

Besides the criminal record, do not forget to check with your future employer and rightful authorities about your host country's immigration policy and requirements. In addition, remember to ensure the needed documents are valid on D-day, such as your passport, medical checkup, vaccination record, and letter of acceptance from your future employer. Also note that part of these documents might be necessary to allow your personal goods to be imported.

If you have a pet, consult your vet to ensure your companion is healthy enough to travel and adapt to a new environment, has received all vaccinations needed (especially rabies), and has the host country's required certificates. Some countries require your little friend to have a microchip and require a quarantine period.

Make sure to inform your landlord of your departure at least a month to a month and a half before the actual date. Remember to check your contract or the policy of your building. Heavy furniture may not fit in your elevator if you live on a higher floor. The moving company can arrange a forklift to process such a matter.

A moving project that fits your need

ASI Movers provides you with door-to-door, built-to-suit relocation solutions enriched by a wide array of value-added moving services to fit your needs.

At ASI Movers, we are dedicated to making your relocation process the easiest and smoothest possible, because there is so much more in your mind than just moving your belongings!

ASI Movers is a China-born international relocation company providing moving solutions to individuals, families and businesses alike.

Who are we? A multicultural team of relocation specialists strong of a decade-long expertise.

What do we do? We provide high-quality, tailor-made moving solutions and the know-how of a dedicated team to guarantee your peace of mind!

Our vision of relocation? Built-to-suit services and a customer-first mindset. Whether you plan to move a big volume or a lighter one, whether you prefer cost-effective solutions or the velocity of airfreight, we design the relocation project that best fits your needs!

How? Thanks to our tailor-made solutions, wide-array of value-added services, and worldwide network.

The Expat Guilt: Breaking Down this Common Phenomenon

Guilt, as defined in psychology, is an emotional experience that occurs when one believes – accurately or not – that one has compromised one’s own standards of conduct or violated universal moral standards, and thus bears significant responsibility for that violation.

More simply put, guilt can be understood as a social glue which drives us to be mindful of others and take their feelings into account. To paraphrase Sartre talking about shame, guilt is the guilt of oneself in the gaze of the other. The other - and thus his gaze, feelings and opinions about ourselves – can either be real or just a projection.

In either case, the effects on the way we feel and act are real. It can end up paralyzing us through resentment, avoidance, or reluctance to enjoy life. Recently, many expats have spoken about feeling guilty about their condition, for various reasons. As stated, if not acted upon, this guilt can easily hinder expats’ mental health, as well as professional and personal accomplishments.

Today, ASI Movers takes a look at what the expat guilt is, its various roots, as well as the many ways one can solve or overcome this guilt in each case.

The Guilt Toward Those Who Stayed Back Home

This one might be the most common. Many people living abroad have had to answer the question “why are you leaving?”, received texts from relatives directly or indirectly making them feel guilty about doing it or not visiting as often as they should. This guilt is fueled by the feeling of “not being there” for important events, rough times, or more simply for the nonetheless important daily life.

Since even the so-called “guilt trips” back home feel a bit bitter, no matter if the others actually blame you or not, this guilt is still at the back of your head, how to not only overcome this feeling yet solve the root of the issue? Obviously the answer differs from person to person.

One way of avoiding it is to take a step toward those back home and ask them what they expect to share with you during your visits, or even when you are away. Is it regular calls and thorough life updates? Participating in family reunions? To walk down memory lane by visiting places where you shared memories at? To enjoy simple things like cooking together? It will help you and your close ones share quality time that you know are enjoyed by both.

If this doesn’t really solve the issue or if you feel the others are too demanding, remember that making others happy at your own expense is not sustainable. Compromise is everything when it comes to relationships, no matter what they are, and these compromises are based on communication. Even if the first step toward each other might be hard, remember that if some people resent you for leaving, it’s because they care. Thus, seeing you happy is also part of their own happiness, they might just seek to be included in it.

Guilt Surrounding Social Inequity

In many countries, being an expatriate means that your living standard is higher than the one of a smaller or larger part of the population. When unused to it, you might ask youself: why do I have these privileges compared to some locals since I am not even from here?

Realizing your privileges is an important step, but it shouldn’t paralyze you or make you withdraw from the reality of the country you live in. Educating oneself about the latter is key. Giving back in the way you find fitting can also help: charity work, going to the local market and support the vendor instead of resorting to big foreign supermarkets for instance. In these situations, feeling good about yourself actually comes second: you felt this guilt because you realized your privileges, make them purposeful to others by educating yourself and acting upon the social inequity you realized existed.

The Guilt About Your Living Situation

Some expats can feel guilt regarding their living situation i.e. the apparent comfort of their lifestyle. Expat packages, nice apartment, having a housekeeper, travels, living on your companion’s income and not working yourself, or more simply being able to have a job while the job market back home is saturated… In many cultures, hard work is rewarded, and easy lives are frowned upon as undeserved. This can fuel guilt for what you have compared to what you would have had if you had lived a normal life back home. In an article for The News Lens, Nicholas Haggerty quoted a friend saying that “he himself is an economic refugee, only able to have successful career in Taiwan after his dreams crashed on the shoals of the brutal academic job market in the U.S.”, which perfectly reflects how such a feeling of guilt can emerge.

As stated before, guilt is something you create on your own, and which is directed at considering the others’ feelings and opinions in regard to your own situation. As such, it is very likely that others will not see your living situation the way you do, or see you as underserving of what you have. It is key to look at your path with an unbiased eye, at the work you have put in your expatriation, the sacrifices you have made, the efforts which have brought you where you are as well as the opportunities you have been able to seize.

This kind of guilt can also be fueled by the feeling of not doing enough. If it is your case, you might want to commit in activities you think are purposeful and which, as such, will make you feel deserving you what you have.

Talking about this feeling with understanding people is also key. If you feel like friends and family back home wouldn’t, the local expat community or dedicated Facebook groups can the right place for you to do so. People living the same lifestyle in the same environment most likely have experienced this feeling and will thus be able to empathize and maybe even give you some guidance.

The Guilt Over Things You Feel You Should Do but End Up Not Doing

When one moves abroad, it’s always with great plans in mind. More often than not though, you end up not learning the local language, not participating in events, not doing all those cool things that were on your bucket list, not taking advantage of the moment. This guilt is related to feeling you are missing out and not seizing the opportunities.

It’s easy to forget that, apart from your exciting expat journey, you still have obligations and a normal life, and that expatriation is a mentally tiring process. First, everybody needs time to settle down and find their marks in a new place before doing all the exciting things they have in mind. It’s important to give yourself time. Second, planning on traveling every weekend, on participating in all the events which are offered to you, on experiencing every bit of the local life, is actually overlooking the fact that life abroad is very much alike to life back home. You still have chores to do, stress to deal with, administrative work to take care of and rest to allow yourself to take. As such, making less ambitious but more sustainable plans is key.

Nevertheless, it is also important to not indulge in the settling down state, which can be very comfortable at first. Listen to yourself but also give yourself the small impulses which push you to make the great plans you had been delaying for weeks.

As for everything, it’s a question of balance, in this case between self-care and getting out of your comfort zone. It’s actually very likely that the more you go out there, the more your comfort zone will expand and doing these things will become your routine.

The expat guilt is protean and easily triggered by a wide array of elements. Summed up, the expat guilt is rooted in the fear of being a “bad expat”. Many have experienced these conversations with fellow foreigners around what an expat should and should not do. Not knowing the language, having only a superficial knowledge of the country, taking the expat privileges for granted and being inconsiderate of the feelings of others (the locals and the ones back home) are the main characteristics of this “bad expat”.

However, feeling this guilt demonstrates the sensitivity of the one bearing it, as well as the will to change. In his article in The New Lens, Nicholas Haggerty also urges expats to change the view they have of themselves as migrants. The bad expats “are here to live out the middle-class lives that they were born into but are now unable to live back home” says Nicholas Haggerty, or at least they are thought by many to do so. He argues that we should reject the idea that access to healthcare, housing and basic material security are privileges for the deserving, which implicitly means that some migrants are more deserving than others. His conclusion is that any decent society should provide the above mentioned “privileges” and advantages. This means that expats should not feel guilty about enjoying them, yet should however be aware of what they have and mindful of others.

Expatriation is not always as mentally easy as it may seem to some. It actually requires to adapt the way you think and act on a daily basis. At ASI Movers, we dedicate ourselves to make your relocation process the easiest and smoothest possible, because there is so much more in your mind that just moving your belongings!

Immigration Update: Coming back to China Without PU Letter

For several months, and due to the rapid spread of Covid-19 worldwide, the Chinese government suspended the entry into China of foreign nationals holding visas and resident permits. This measure included those holding a valid one at the time of the announcement in late March.

The First Easing of the Regulations: Obtaining a PU Letter

A relative easing in this measure was later announced. It stated that foreigners who are coming for necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological reasons, or are needed for urgent humanitarian assistance could then come in the country.

This opening was still very narrow: those aiming at coming and meeting the requirements, had to apply for an Invitation Letter (also called PU letter) issued the China Foreign Affair Office. The latter would then judge whether or not the applicant were indeed needed in China. Those meeting the criteria usually were senior managers of medium and large companies or were involved in research of key projects.

New Announcement on August 10th 2020: Great News for those Holding a Valid Residence Permit and Who Are Nationals of the Listed Countries

On August 10th 2020 however, a very exciting news has been announced by the Chinese government for those outside the framework of the PU Letter issuance. The Chinese authorities have confirmed that holders of valid resident permits (work, private affairs or family reunion) and who are nationals of certain countries, are now able to apply for a visa at a Chinese embassy or consulate in these countries without a letter of invitation. This process is free of charges.

Those countries include Albania, Ireland, Estonia, Austria, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Belgium, Iceland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Denmark, Germany, France, Finland, the Netherlands, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Romania, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia, Cyprus, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, United Kingdom.

It has not been stated yet if this measure will be followed by new ones, broadening the scope of those able to enter the country. In addition, no measures were announced regarding new work visas, and those interested in it still have to go through the PU Letter application process. Yet, it is again a very good news for all those who were awaiting for several months to come back and for the families separated by the closed borders.

It is also important to note that the process might still not be as smooth as it was before the pandemic. Many European citizens eager to come back have indeed noted that the airplane tickets are far more expensive than normally. The fares are nevertheless expected to gradually lower as they did the other way around (China to Europe).

ASI Movers wishes all those returning to China a smooth journey back. Our team is at your disposal to plan and assist you in your upcoming move.

For those who have left China without having the opportunity to repatriate their belongings yet, we also provide dedicated services to assist you in this process.

What Opportunities Can Expats Find in China after Covid-19?

Following the Covid-19 crisis, many expats and “nomads” had to put their international journey on hold, and maybe even rethink the career path they had envisioned. As a matter of fact, some international assignments have been reconsidered, while the job market for foreigners has been shaken due to the extra cost these employees might bring along compared to the local population.

As such, some foreigners used to or considering working abroad are now considering new career options aside from the traditional ones.

A recent report by Startup Genome ranked Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou as part of the top cities for those eager to become to entrepreneurs. Among cities such as New York, London, Boston, Seattle or Stockholm; Chinese cities seems to have gained a good reputation amid start-up-savvy people. In anticipation of the post-covid crisis, it is nowadays relevant to have a look at what are the opportunities awaiting those eager to start a project abroad, more specifically in China.

The Situation During the Crisis

It doesn’t come as a surprise that the Covid-19 crisis has had a huge impact on entrepreneurship in China. As of January 2020, we could already see the pandemic's (at the time only epidemic) outputs:

“When we break down the numbers by region, we see that China saw the biggest drop in funding, followed by the rest of Asia. This is not surprising considering the importance of Chinese capital throughout Asia’s startup ecosystems and the start of the virus in Taiwan and Korea in January” Startup Genome noted. It is worth noticing that this drop was not only due to the Chinese New Year – normally quieter – period. The 3 previous years actually show an equal or higher number of deals in January which highlights even more the effects of the pandemic.

An Economic Recovery to Benefit Entrepreneurs?

Because the pandemic first started and thus ended in China, this is no surprise that the economy will revive there first. The Global Times indeed underlines that after a 6.8% contraction of its GDP (year on year) in the first quarter 2020, the second quarter showed a 3.2% increase.

Even if China leading the economic recovery depends largely on whether or not other countries also restart and thus act as economic partners, Chinese imports and exports both increased in June, showing good signs for the future.

CGTN credits the Hi-Tech startups companies and entrepreneurs for this recovery, highlighting that they created and are creating new business formats which not only answered the Chinese population needs during the lockdown, but also changed the way they think and consume, paving the way for a post-covid business environment.

Experts thus talked of a structural change which favors entrepreneurship, especially the technology-based kind. This is particularly true in China where new technologies have been adopted at a greater rate, and whose use is more widespread.

In comparison to the early effects of the pandemic, startups seem to have done fairly well during the international crisis in China. Calvin Jiang (founder of a high-tech consulting firm in Beijing) stated in his interview to CGTN that “Hi-Tech startups and small businesses are robust despite the Covid-19 outbreak”. It is added that “after the 2008 great recession, top universities in the United States have launched various startup incubation to find a way out there to boost the labor market. According to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average employment in 2011 at high-tech and information and communications technology firms surpasses those across the private sector as a whole. In turn, China is experiencing a similar kind of stage currently that a new cycle of job creation is yet to come”.

What Does It Mean For Expats?

The Covid-19 crisis has been the occasion for many creative people to work on entrepreneurial projects they had in mind for some time. It has also been a great opportunity for others to acquire new skills through online resources and e-learning, those skills potentially serving their entrepreneurial visions.

Where can these projects develop then? The article from we previously mentioned, and which is titled “how to succeed as an overseas entrepreneur after the covid-19 crisis”, argued that major cities like New York, London, Boston, Seattle, Stockholm, but also Beijing and Shanghai were interesting options. Guangzhou has also been recognized as an emerging city for entrepreneurs to develop in.

Expats eager to become entrepreneurs might thus find great opportunities in China once the immigration regulations have resumed to their normal state. As we pointed out in a previous article, a Business Startup visa does exist in China. It enables those having it to live in China while launching their innovative business. It also allows them to conduct auxiliary businesses related to their business launch while developing their main activity. Note that this visa is available for foreign students, foreigners planning to invest in Shanghai or to innovate in business, as well as for excellent overseas graduates.

While older and large (and thus traditional) firms are the major source of employment in China, new and young businesses are the ones creating the most new jobs, underlines Donghui Mao in his interview to CGTN. Donghui Mao is the director of X-Lab in Tsinghua University, a non-profit university-based educational platform that aims at nurturing STEM students into social entrepreneurs through international incubation. This acknowledgment shows that new and innovative businesses are the most prone to answer modern customers’ demands, and thus the most effective at grasping opportunities.

The aftermath of the Covid-19 crisis might be a key turning point – either by choice or by necessity – in many creative minds' careers. The general trend as well as the positioning of China on this matter makes it likely that foreign entrepreneurs will find great opportunities in the country to develop their innovative project.

While many in the world are still greatly impacted by the crisis, the progressive reopening of borders enables those eager to do so to envision what their career could be like in a post-covid world.

The recent pandemic has greatly challenged global mobility, some of those living abroad have even found themselves unable to come back to their country of residence. Many have contacted us worried about retrieving the items that stayed behind.

We know how precious some of them can be, and have thus designed tailor-made solutions for those finding themselves in such a situation.

How We Take Care of Your Belongings: a Visual Guide

A relocation is, more often than not, pretty stressful. If you move to another neighborhood, city, or to another country, it means you have to adapt to a new environment and make this new place yours, deal with paperwork and, if you move with your family, that you also need to take care of your loved ones.

As a moving specialist, our aim is to make sure the relocation itself is not one of these concerns.

To give you a better idea of what moving with ASI Movers means, let us introduce you to how we take care of your belongings as well as to our 7-step relocation process.


Fragile Items

Art Pieces

Special Items

Our Philosophy

Our 7-Step Relocation Guide

The recent pandemic has greatly challenged global mobility, some of those living abroad have even found themselves unable to come back to their country of residence. Many have contacted us worried about retrieving the items that stayed behind.

We know how precious some of them can be, and have thus designed tailor-made solutions for those finding themselves in such a situation.

ASI Movers team would like to address a special thank you this week to the family who kindly let us document their move, and for their thoughtful insights!

Covid-19 and Working Abroad: What Is to Be Expected?

The Covid-19 is obviously having and will have huge impact in terms of employment.

Many SMEs’ and even bigger businesses’ activity has suffered from the pandemic and the lockdowns it induced. The OECD predicted that the world will thus register its slowest growth rate since 2019, inducing job losses as well as difficulties finding a job.

The examples of the US and China are quite striking in that sense, as 6 million people have filed jobless in the former and 205 million workers having lost their jobs in the latter, according to the South China Morning Post.

Since the virus is still present worldwide, it is quite difficult to anticipate with exactitude the impact it will have on those eager to or already working abroad. However, some elements indicate a general trend for the so called nomads.

Today we have gathered a relevant summary of what is happening and will happen in a post-Covid-19 world for those who have decided to leave their home country.

The Situation During the Crisis

AIRINC earlier published a report on expat assignments (Pulse Survey: COVID-19 and International Expat Assignments) which provides an interesting analysis on the current impact of the pandemic on the latter.

More specifically, we can see that most expats stayed in their host country and remained on their assignment.

One of the testimonies quoted in the survey stresses that “the greatest challenge has been the relocation and accelerated repatriation of short-term assignees who might otherwise have gotten “stuck” without ability to travel”.

This statement is not only true of the so-called expatriates, but also applies more generally to those working abroad. Since the above survey only tackles expats, it may overlook the larger population of people living abroad, while many have left their host location.

In addition, the challenges do not only apply to those eager to leave their host country, but extends to all those who are unable to leave a place they were only planning on staying at for a short period of time. In a nutshell, global mobility has been put on hold on an international level.

As we touched upon in our previous articles, and this is particularly true of foreigners normally living in China, it created a lot of challenges. Many were unable to come back to their host country, where their job, sometimes family, belongings and overall life remain. Others came home unexpectedly and will not go back to their host country, which means they do not have a place of their own to live in, their children will have to leave the local school they were enrolled in, etc.

Working Abroad in a Post-Covid World

Both multinational and local companies have taken measures regarding the impact of Covid-19 on their business and their management of foreign assignees, namely pulling expat employees out of high risk areas delaying the start of expat assignments, and suspending new hires.

The traditional dilemma between employing expatriates/foreigners and resorting to the local workforce will be highly reflected in a world post-Covid-19. This especially true given the global recession the IMF is currently anticipating.

Except when one is looking for employing very specialized profiles (science, innovation, AI, most of the time, even though the sectors vary depending on the location), hiring a foreigner comes with sometimes deterrent drawbacks.

As a matter of fact, salary expectations are generally higher compared to employing a local worker. For expats usually benefitting from the full package traditionally coming with their status, the cost rises even higher with companies often endorsing the housing and international school expenses.

As such, the International Labor Organization (ILO) expects the chances for expats to get employed to drop. There is indeed a risk that companies will rely more and more on informal employees which means less chances of getting hired abroad.

However, one should not get too pessimistic regarding the situation.

The company Career Trotter (which specializes in international recruitments) for instance, stresses that “despite the Covid-19 virus, numerous companies are still looking to hire multilingual talents”. In addition, they note that many of the companies they work with are “going remote, so [one doesn’t] have to leave the comfort of [one’s] home for interviews, training and the job itself”.

If one thing, the virus indeed pushed many companies to go online and administrate their business remotely. The now widespread use of Zoom is the perfect embodiment of such a trend.

On one hand, it means that the way one works could be influenced long-term by the habits developed during the pandemics i.e. working remotely. Nomads might thus see their work practicies change toward more online tasking.

On the other hand, it means that, even when the world is still in partial lockdown, it shouldn’t deter those eager to work abroad from searching for adequate opportunities. While waiting for the situation to go back to normal i.e. free international mobility to resume as well as the economic impact of the pandemic to unwind. It is indeed still possible to apply, get a formation, and start working remotely. As we touched upon before, an expat status is maybe not the easiest one to get nowadays, yet one can expect more informal positions to open.

The recent pandemic has greatly challenged global mobility, some of those living abroad have even found themselves unable to come back to their country of residence. Many have contacted us worried about retrieving the items that stayed behind.

We know how precious some of them can be, and have thus designed tailor-made solutions for those finding themselves in such a situation.

Moving Memories – ASI Movers Relocation Story


Some items are simply more precious than they seem.

They carry with them part of your family history, good memories, or simply are familiar objects which make you feel at home.

Whether it's a porcelain set, decoration items, your book collection, this guitar you used to play, or simply some clothes which remind you a certain period of your life, the fact remains they never leave you, no matter where you go.

At ASI Movers, we understand the sentimental value that can be attached to your belongings.

Our 10-year expertise in international relocation from, to and within China taught us that a move needs to be performed with care, for our customers to keep enjoying the things which matter to them.

Our aim?

Making sure that, no matter where you go, the volume, or the nature of the items, you experience an easy and stressfree relocation process, from end, to end.

The recent pandemic has greatly challenged global mobility, some of those living abroad have even found themselves unable to come back to their country of residence. Many have contacted us worried about retrieving the items that stayed behind.

We know how precious some of them can be, and have thus designed tailor-made solutions for those finding themselves in such a situation.

Returning Home: Why It Doesn’t Quite Feel Like Doing So

With the recent development of the COVID-19, and some foreigners now being prevented from reintering China (following the Chinese Government notice published last week), many of the people living abroad have experienced or will experience what going back home deeply feels like. Some of them might indeed not return to China after the epidemic.

Regardless of the latter, and the peculiar daily life it induces, returning to where you grew up, for a couple of weeks or a longer period, often comes with a weird feeling. Most of the environment you grew up in is similar to what it was when you left, and yet, you do not feel quite the same toward it.

The reason is simple: people living abroad go through very peculiar experiences that change what home means to them, as well as their identity. Understanding why and how these two notions evolve can be challenging, especially when being in the middle of it.

Today, we present you with an overview of why and how “home” becomes a blurrier and blurrier notion for those who have made the choice to leave their original one, and how is one’s identity modeled by one’s chosen location.



We also take the occasion to tackle a challenge that recently arose for all those who did not re-enter China before last week's announcement.

With China's recent notice stating foreigners cannot enter the country anymore, in order to prevent the spread of the virus, many people have started to to plan repatriating their belongings from China while already outside the country.

As such, if you or your relatives are in such a situation, ASI Movers team expresses you its deep support in these difficult times.

We obviously remain at your disposal to help coordinate this unplanned move the best way possible.

Stay safe and take care everyone!

Why Does Living Abroad Affect your Definition of Home

You arrive in this new place, whom customs, traditions, and maybe language you are not familiar with. The concept of culture shock is a useful tool to understand how the sense of home is built when relocating.

In The Art of Coming Home, Craig Sorti breaks it up in 4 steps: honeymoon, negotiation, adjustment and adaptation. It’s also useful to note that, if we consider going to another country after, or back home, the process follows a W shape.

What makes us able to overcome the crisis state, and eventually adapt to the new place we live in, is our emotional resilience.

Emotional resilience is the psychological ability to adapt to the challenges coming to you by developing psychological and behavioral capabilities that allow you to remain calm during crisis, moving on from the past incident (in that case relocating to a foreign environment) without long-term negative consequences. Depending on the person, this process can take more or less time and effort. For most global nomads, this ability indeed increases, becoming a habit. It's aslo a useful concept to understand our reactions toward the epidemic the world is currently living.

When completed, it nevertheless has changed you as you have indeed faced an identity dilemma. You have accepted and overcome the discrepancies between your past and present lives and environments. It requires you to determine what your core values and beliefs are, which will remain constant throughout your life, which ones will be ditched, and integrate aspects of the local identity into your own. The "nomadic lifestyle" can thus be summed up in a search for congruence in our sense of who we are, no matter where we are.
This integration can also be very trivial and as simple as changing your consumption habits, the way you behave in the street or address people. In that sense, you are changed by your new environment, which now becomes home to you.

Why Going Back Home Often Doesn't Quite Feel Like Doing So

When returning back home, you would at first expect to completely fit in, as you have just got back to a familiar environment and set of known cultural references. However, it’s often not the case, for three main reasons:

  • You have adapted to your life abroad: as stated, following the U-curve previously described, you have adapted to your life abroad, picking up the local habits, the codes, and the way of thinking. You thus now have to go through the second part of the curve i.e. readapting to home. Your whole lifestyle has been affected and might not be congruent at all with your original one.
  • You have changed because of your experiences abroad and what you have learned being far from your home country. What you know about the world, and thus your opinions, have enriched and might not totally fit with the lifestyle you used to have.
  • Home has changed and/or is not similar to the image you kept in mind. Living abroad also means life continues back home without you being completely involved, the environment you were used to (economic, political, cultural, and even physical) has evolved, and even your friends have changed with time. You might also have kept in mind an idealized or, on the contrary, a negative image of home, and comparing it with the reality when returning is can be disorientating.

Consequently, home, more often than not, feels foreign. Not only has it changed while you were away, but you also see it differently, as if you had put new lenses on. In some cases, you can even feel marginalized, become critical toward your home town/country which can eventually lead to exhaustion and depression.

Home for Global Individuals: A Complex Notion

As such, the notion of home has a very peculiar sense for global individuals. This is due to the fact that it is tightly linked to their identity, and the latter is in their case more prone to acculturation (the assimilation to a different culture, typically the dominant one). Remember that your identity is obviously also shaped by your social groups, your role in a given society, your "group memberships", etc.

One can then easily understand how the place we live in affects our identity and thus where we feel at home: a different place means different social roles, different interpersonal interaction, different believes, etc. As such, one is continuously building his or her identity along the way, far from were he or she grew up. Coming back might then not feel quite aligned with who we are now. One is entitled to social roles and practices he or she has grown away from.

Yet, because the global lifestyle means having experienced sometimes multiple places of residence, one has often the feeling of belonging to all of them and none of them at the same time. The identity and sense of belonging to somewhere or something has grown apart from a specific location or culture, and is more linked to the nuclear family one has been moving with, a set of familiar objects, or even just the feeling of being in a foreign environment. In that respect, the sense of home is complex because it is intangible and its construction differs from one global individual to another, depending on his or her own journey and emotional resilience mechanisms.

In normal times, preparing your return, reviewing your expectations as to know which ones might not be met, defining a routine you feel comfortable following prior to coming back, enrolling in projects and activities that stimulate you and are in adequation with who you now are and taking time to reconnect to those who stayed are useful tools to make the best of your journey back.


In times like these, one might be in search for a feeling of safety which one’s home country can provide if the process is handled with enough preparation and care. It is indeed the perfect time to reconnect and share your experience!

For those undertaking this journey, we wish all the best, and good health on the way!

Take time for yourself, your loved ones, and the projects you care about!

ASI Group Sending 5,000 Masks to Wuhan Baijia Maternity Hospital

The personnel of  Wuhan Baijia Maternity Hospital receiving ASI Group's package

In order to contribute to the Wuhan's population's, medical personnel's and authorities' efforts to combat the Covid-19, ASI Group sent two packages of masks last week. They have been delivered to the Wuhan Baijia Maternity Hospital, an institution of particular importance given its purpose.

为了支持武汉人民、医护人员和当地政府对抗击新型冠状病毒所作出的贡献和努力,ASI 集团上本周初寄送了两箱口罩给武汉当地一个特别重要的机构——武汉百佳妇产医院,以实际行动践行社会责任与担当。


A total of 5,000 masks - 2,500 provided by ASI Logistics and 2,500 provided by ASI Solutions - have been received by the personnel on March 11th.

3月11日,医院的医护人员共收到5000 个口罩,其中2500个由ASI集团下ASI物流提供,2500个由ASI集团下泛景贸易提供。


The masks sent are in compliance with the recommendations applied to the medical facilities. They protect wearers from the splashes and sprays. It is essential for the medical personnel to be equipped accurately as they are in daily contact with potential or confirmed infected people, they also work in daily contact with fragile people who need to be protected from any form of threat to their health.



This product is thus detrimental in such a context, medias have even reported some US hospitals having to close due to the shortage. As such, we are pleased our humble donation can help those in the frontline to be safe while preventing further expansion of the epidemic.



Before the epidemic, China was manufacturing 20 million masks per day according to the state media Xinhua. In the aftermath of the outbreak, the production has been boosted and some carmakers have even been enlisted to increase the manufacturing capacities (Bloomberg).



We hope that these measures ensure the safety of all Chinese civilians and medical workers.


ASI Group team is wishing the best to all the people directly or indirectly affected by the virus not only in China but all over the world!

ASI 集团的每一位成员,祝愿在中国,乃至全球所有直接或间接感染该病毒的人,早日康复。