Relocating With Valuable Art Pieces – An ASI Movers’ Story!

Relocating with your art pieces can be stressful.

When moving from one place to another, it can indeed be challenging to find elements surrounding you which bring you comfort, and the feeling of being home. Some elements though, especially the ones that are meaningful to you such as art pieces you chose, are among these things that can help you appropriate a new home. 🌏

However, how to protect these master pieces, these fragile items and their details you care about? 🖼

At ASI Movers, moving is our art. Our expertise enables you to enjoy your art piece wherever you relocate, without even noticing that you moved! 🌟

We pack with care and design a solution adapted to your items and your relocation project for you to leave your special objects move lightheartedly!

The Painting

We thank Christian de Laubadère for granting us the pleasure to admire and move one of his beautiful paintings, which are combined with antique fabrics, printed paper and sculpted coifs. At the meeting point between a traditional Chinese visual vocabulary and European paintings, his "Necks" series focuses on the backs of women's heads and their hairstyles, jewelry, and clothing.

We would also like to thank ArtCN gallery which landed us the painting used in this video and thus trusted our expertise in moving delicate art pieces.

What To Do in Shanghai in September

September is here! Whether you just arrived in Shanghai for the first time, are returning from well-deserved vacations outside the country, or are prolonging a Summer at the office, it is time to take advantage of the many activities as to offer. With the new scholar year, come new habits but also the will to avoid the “back-to-school” blues.

That is the reason why ASI Movers has decided to recommend you 4 events for you to make the month of September the most enjoyable possible! And there is one for every taste!

At ASI Movers, we have been helping expats move to Shanghai for more than 10 years and also know how difficult it can be to get familiar with a city, understand its atmosphere and get involved in its cultural life. We hope that these recommendations will make it easier for you!

For Families:

(Même) Pas Peur

Looking to a fun activity to start the scholar year with your children? There is the perfect event for you and your family!

(Même) Pas Peur is film-concert centered around the story of a not that scary wolf going through a lot of adventures. Funny and friendly, this spectacle will certainly seduce you as well!

The movie is thus accompanied by instrumentals from musicians Anne-Laura Bourget and Ollivier Leroy. Made with percussions from around the world, unusual instruments, keyboards (Indian harmonium, toy, piano), diverted objects and vocals; the music will provide you and your child with a unique experience.

September 7th

10:30am and 3:30pm

1862 Theatre, 1777 Binjiang Dadao, Rizhao Road.

Nb: the performance is in French with Chinese subtitles.

For Jazz Lovers:

JZ Festival

Eager to enjoy experiment a jazzy vibe in Shanghai? Then you should head to the JZ festival, which indeed is China biggest jazz and blues festival, one of Asia’s most famous, and which is also celebrating its 15th anniversary this year.

This year, it brings to you artists such as Lalah Hathaway, Jacob Collier, The Heart Wind & Fire Experience Featuring the Al McKay Allstars, Marcus Miller, Jaga Jazzist, Tia Ray, Cui Jian, Li Quan, the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertbouw Amsterdam, Viento Terral with Andy Hunter. All in all, 75 musicians and bands will be performing over the course for the festival.

The music will cover a lot of styles, ranging from jazz, blues, funk, latin, fusion, r&b to hip-hop.

September 13th-15th

Shanghai Maxus Datong Music Valley

177 Sendi South Road, Shanghai

For Sportspeople & Fashion Aficionados

Fashion RunRunRun

“Fashion x Sport”, pretty self-explanatory! If you are the kind of person who would run a marathon all dressed up in your coolest outfit, then this event is definitely for you! Even if you are not, you should definitely have a look at this unique show!

Two separate runs will be held: the Fashion Run and the Family Run. Consider bringing your friends and/or family along with you!

September 14th-15th  

Fashion Run:

Sep 14th & 15th, 1pm-6pm, RMB200 for one adult.

 

Family Run:    Sep 14th & 15th, 10am-1pm, RMB300 for one adult and one kid, RMB 500 for two adults and one kid.

 

Fashion Run Package:

Sep 14th & 15th: 1pm-6pm, RMB900 for five adults, RMB1,600 for ten adults.

Jing’An Kerry Centre, 1515 Nanjing Xi Lu, by Changle Lu, Shanghai.

For Exhibitions Addicts

International Photography Fair

For the sixth year, PHOTOFAIRS comes back to Shanghai. This is a unique exhibition in China, since it is the only international art fair dedicated to photography in the country. It has become a driver of Chinese photography market. During three days, you can have a look at the work of famous artists such as Marina Abramovic, Yang Fudong, Vivan Maier and Robert Mapplethorpe.

September 20th-22nd

Standard tickets: RMB98 before September 18th, RMB125 after September 18th

VIP tickets: RMB580 before September 18th, RMB620 after September 18th

Shanghai Exhibition Center, 1000 Yan’an Zhong Lu, by Shaanxi Lu

How to Send Your Money Overseas If You Live in China?

As an expat working in Shanghai, you might consider sending money to your family abroad. Sending the money out of the country might be challenging. ASI Movers compiled advices and tips that might be useful to you during the process.

Through Your Bank:

When it comes to money transactions, China is very strict! Using Alipay, Paypal or even sending a Chinese bank card overseas and withdrawing from a foreign country are all considered ILLEGAL!
China has a suitable system if you are willing to send money abroad. You basically need to show that you earned your money in a legal way, and you have paid tax on it.
On your way to the bank, you need to bring your work contract and the yearly income tax statement (you can get this document from the HR or finance department of the company you’re working at). Additionally you will need your passport with a valid Chinese visa (your visa must not expire soon) otherwise the bank will refuse to carry out any kind of transaction. Moreover, you need to provide the bank with the foreign account details: such as the account holder number, name, address, telephone number, the bank Swift and the bank phone number.

the bank teller will certainly be thorough and will reject your application if even one document is missing,so be diligent and make sure you go in prepared!

Once you make sure your taxes are paid and you have all the documents mentioned above, you are good to go, you can send up to 50,000 USD annually, and the limit can vary from bank to bank, so make sure to do some research first.

Note: you might spend a considerable amount of time at the bank, patience is the key!

Taking the cash on a plane:

One other way to send your cash outside China, would be through airplanes, yet the rules are clear, for Chinese and non Chinese citizens the maximum amount that could be carried is 5000 USD.

For more than 10 years, ASI Movers has been accompanying expats and helping them with their relocation from, to and within China. We are aware of the struggles expats might face when moving in or out of China and are dedicated to providing you with the most accurate information regarding your life in the Middle Kingdom, as for your international journey to be the smoothest possible!

Healthcare for Expats in Shanghai:Everything you Need to Know!

Planning to move to Shanghai soon, alone or with your family? You want to know more about the healthcare system in China? ASI Movers delivers you a full guide to facilitate your journey!

About the Insurance

First thing first, before looking for hospitals, you need to fully understand your insurance policy and see what it covers. Keep in mind that, you cannot use a simplified travel insurance once you become a resident. You will have to consider additional fees for certain services (e.g : maternity, mental health, orthodontics..). Generally the cost per person can range between 5 500 RMB and 20 000 RMB annually, the out-patient coverage will be everything else and makes up the majority of insurance claims.

ASI Movers would advise you to consult an insurance provider and choose the package that suits you the most!

Which hospital to choose in Shanghai?

Now what happens if you are sick or need to consult a specialist for any other reasons? ASI Movers has decided to provide a handful guide regarding hospitality facilities foreigner-friendly in Shanghai.

This cosmopolitan city has a wide range of hospitals & clinics to offer. Main options consist in International Hospitals, Local Hospitals and VIP Clinics.

International hospitals

Shanghai United family hospital

  • The price ranges between 1500 RMB and 2000 RMB;

  • They offer services like dental, sports medicine, etc.;

  • Address : 1139 Xianxia Road, Changning District, Shanghai 200336
    上海和睦家医院上海市长宁区仙霞路1139号 邮编:200336

  • Phone number:400 639 3900

Jiahui Health

  • Prices are reasonable for an international hospital however they do not have emergency services;

  • Prices range from 300 RMB up to 1000 RMB;

  • Address : 689 Guiping Lu, by Qinjiang Lu,
    桂平路689号, 近钦江路;

  • Phone number:400 868 3000

Local hospitals

Usually not the option an expat would opt for. Local hospitals do not accept international insurance. They may be very crowded, but you are still likely to find an English speaking doctor and staff in the biggest ones.

Here are some top ranked local hospital, ASI Movers would recommend you:

Huashan Hospital

  • One of Shanghai’s biggest hospitals;

  • Specialized in neurology;

  • Prices range from 38 RMB up to 318 RMB;

  • Address : 12 Wulumuqi Zhong Lu, near Huashan Lu , 华山医院 乌鲁木齐中路12号15楼, 近华山路

  • Phone number:5288 9999

Ruijing Hospital

  • Very easy access and affordable;

  • More specialized in hematology and infection diseases;

  • Prices range from90 RMB up to 300 RMB;

  • Address:197 Ruijing Er Lu ,near Shaoxing Lu瑞金二路197号, 近绍兴路

  • Phone number:6437 0045

VIP clinics

VIP clinics’ concept consists in local hospitals having international divisions. , It is a great alternative to international hospitals which offers very convenient options for expats, as it provides premium services with a medium price. All the VIP clinics are present in most local hospitals.

After having spent 10 years helping expats relocating from, to and within China, we know how essential knowing where and how to find reliable healthcare services is when moving to a new country or city is. For choosing your best healthcare provider as for moving your belongings, ASI Movers is here to provide you with accurate information, expertise & recommendations!

Relocating Abroad With Children: Which School to Choose?

Managing your children's education is obviously one of the most important task as a parent. But when relocating in a new country, it can be hard to make the right choice.

Especially when you do not know the local system, the options available, and if you do not have the opportunity to go on site check the facilities.

That is the reason why ASI Movers has decided to provide you a handful guide as to help you choose the right education system for your kids. More precisely, since our main office is based in Shanghai, enabling us to deliver you a firsthand source of information based on our experience and network, we prepared a comprehensive summary of the options you have on hand in China.

With Summer already being here, it's time for newcomers to investigate their options, and for those already established to learn more about the upcoming back-to-school period!

Which school system to choose for your child in China? ASI Movers will help you make the right decision!

Four options are available for you:

  • Public School (also called State School or Government School);

  • Private School;

  • International School;

  • Homeschooling.

Public School

Public Schools are the ones major part of the local population attends.

ASI Movers would advise you to choose this system if you are considering staying long term in China, as it will enable your child to grasp the local language quickly, become instantly and naturally familiar with the host culture, and merge in the country.

 

How Does the Chinese School System Work?

The Secondary School content can be divided in two parts:

  • Subject courses such as math, science, foreign languages, etc.;

  • Activities

If your child wants to pursue Undergraduate or Graduate Program in China, within the traditional Chinese framework, they will be required to have at least HSK 6 level. Otherwise, English-taught programs for non-Mandarin speakers exist.

 

Features, Pros and Cons

The Chinese educational system is oriented toward preparing for the高考(Gaokao), the local curriculum. Unlike the International Schools, your child will not prepare and pass the International Baccalaureate or you home country’s curriculum.

The courses will only be taught in Chinese, if your child is not familiar with Mandarin, he/she might be held back a few grades as to be able to catch up.

The priority and philosophy are different from the ones in the West: Chinese system relies on rote memorizing, is exam-driven, emphasizes on results and discipline, and primarily focuses on math and science.

Classes are hold 5 to 6 days a week from 7-8am to 4-5pm.

Chinese children usually enroll in extra-courses after class and on weekends, tutoring-like system with extra-curriculum activities (art, sport) is widely spread.

International students will be required (unlike Chinese citizens) to pay a tuition fee of approximately ¥28,000 (~$4,415), which is significantly less than the other options.

As stated before it will enable your child to grasp the local language and customs more easily and to merge into the local culture.

Nevertheless, being the only foreign child in the school can be psychologically challenging (beware of bullying or them feeling excluded).

 

Admission

State Schools are obligated to accept foreign applicants.

The requirements depend on the school, nevertheless you will be asked to provide:

  • Formal application;

  • Passport and visa;

  • Health records;

  • Previous school(s) records;

  • Work and residence permit;

  • (Recommendation letter);

  • (Assessments);

  • (On site interviews and language examination can be held).

Private School

Features, Pros and Cons

Private Schools, like Public Schools, prepare for高考(Gaokao).

They sometimes integrate aspects of international programs or offer courses in English.

Private schools are generally known for their students performing better at the exams.

Most of them provide a boarding option, which can be interesting for expats having heavy loads of work or having to live/work in rural areas with no suitable schools available.

The infrastructures are usually better than those of Public Schools.

They charge tuition fees both for locals and foreigners.

The students are from diverse backgrounds but you usually find foreigners and wealthy Chinese.

 

Admission

Private school decide autonomously who they accept.

The process of admission:

  • Examination;

  • Upfront payment of the tuition fees;

  • (Reports from previous school(s));

  • (Formal interview).

International School

ASI Movers would advise you to choose this system if you want to make the transition the smoothest possible for your child, will not stay for an extensive period in the host country, or if you want your child to easily reintegrate into your home country’s school system.

Features, Pros and Cons

Some International Schools adopt the curriculum of the country they depend on, others are fully international and follow the IB (International Baccalaureate).

International Schools organizations and accreditations:

Teachers are qualified, the schools are often inspected (relevant reports are available on the Internet), and accreditations or school partnership enrollment account for International Schools’ academic level. All in all, the latter is generally high.

Courses are taught in English or home country tongue.

They usually provide host country’s language and culture classes.

Tuition fees are pretty high, ranging from $10,000 (~¥63,500) to $33,000 (~¥209,500).

Nb: Your company can offer to bear the costs of your child’s education.

International Schools are used to receive new students every year from all over the world and will thus easily handle your situation.

These children are from a similar background thus the integration is facilitated.

There are very few (if any) Chinese natives in International Schools.

 

Admission

China counts 340 international schools in total, major part being located in big cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou.

Nevertheless, due to the increasing number of expats coming to China, the demand for these schools is high and there often are waiting lists. Be sure to contact them way ahead of your arrival.

Documents and formalities required:

  • Passport and visa;

  • Previous school(s) records;

  • Health records;

  • Recommendation letter;

  • (Interview);

  • (Entrance Exam).

Homeschooling

Even though gaining popularity among expats, homeschooling is still unlawful in China (due to the fact that every child should complete at least 9 years of compulsory public education) thus, one should carefully investigate the consequences of such a choice on the child’s future academic life.

To make your final decision, your moving partner ASI Movers would advise you to go to your embassy or consulate web page as to gather information about the school options in your area, as well as hanging out on expat forums as to collect firsthand testimonies.

For choosing a school as for moving your belongings ASI Movers is here to provide you with clear information, expertise, and advice!

We have been helping expats families move abroad for more than 10 years, and understand your concerns as well as the specific challenges coming with moving with children.

Celebrating Dragon Boat Festival

This Friday June 7th, your favorite relocation partner office in China will be closed due to a national day-off. The Dragon boat Festival is taking place each 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. ASI Movers will tell you the history behind this day, and how people use to celebrate this event in China.

The history behind the Festival

This day has been a national holiday break for a while now, more than 2,000 years. Originally, this day aims to prevent the population against diseases, by using herbs and medicine. Herbs and ointment used to be sacrificed to the spirit on a dragon boat.

Later, an important public figure died during this day: Qu Yuan. Qu Yuan was a poet and minister of the King of Chu. As a clever and wisdom man, always putting the country and its people first, he was source of good advices for the King, but also created jealousy among its peers. Some official were plotting to make him exile. He composed during his exile one of the most famous poem of the Chinese Literature: 離騷 (Lí Sāo) – Encountering Sorrow. This poem narrates its own life, its fall from the King’s grace, but also its travel around the Chu kingdom after being exiled.

Photo by Wang Qi. Image available under a Creative Commons license.


How well I know that
loyalty brings disaster;
Yet I will endure: I cannot give it up.
I called on the ninefold heaven to be my witness,
And all for the sake of the Fair One, and no other.
There once was a time when he spoke with me in frankness;
But then he repented and was of another mind.
I do not care, on my own count, about this divorcement,
But it grieves me to find the Fair One so inconstant.

Source: From Anthology of Chinese Literature, Volume I: From Early Times to the Fourteenth Century, edited by Cyril Birch (New York: Grove Press, 1965), 51-62.

When he learnt that the kingdom was taken by the Qin, exactly in 278 BCE, he jumped into the Miluo River to drown himself, exactly the 5th day of the 5th month. Respected and appreciated by many locals, the people of Chu were looking into the river with their boat to save him. They were also throwing some cooked rice and poured wine, to feed the fish and avoid them from eating his body.

Celebrating Dragon Boat Festival

To commemorate this day and the spirit of Qu Yuan, people are now eating some Zongzi, sticky rice commonly wrapped in reed leaves (bamboo leaves sometimes), and drinking wine. There is a Zongzi for every taste: they can be filled with date as well as red bean, meat, egg yolk and ham. You can find all around the country some delicious and colorful Zongzi.

The old tradition of preventing disease has not been forgotten. The elders still wear odorous herbs bag on themselves or hanging in the house as well as some other charms.

The most popular activity during this day is definitely the dragon boat racing. This really large boat has a shape of long traditional Chinese dragon (sufficiently long to have sometimes as much as 60 rowers!), opening largely its mouth. The race cannot start without performing a ceremony where rowers paint the dragon’s eye to make it “alive”. A drummer is sitting at the front of the boat, to give rhythm to the rowers. The race illustrates the attempt to save Qu Yuan, and the winner is the team managing to reach first the destination point. Most famous dragon boat race are taking place in the Miluo river at Yueyang (Hunan province), Hong Kong, or Hangzhou in the Zhejiang province. But nowadays, we can actually see this kind of race overseas! This event has become more and more popular overseas, in countries where Chinese ethnics are strongly present (e.g. Japan, South Korea, Australia and Vietnam) or where rowing is already a popular sport (e.g. Britain). Wherever you are in China or anywhere else around the Globe, do not hesitate to take part to this race. It is a good occasion to practice a team sport, and enjoying a day off.

ASI Movers team wishes you a good week-end, and we hope you will enjoy and make the most of this moment, eating some good Zongzi or discovering a fabulous dragon race boat!

Children and Expatriation: Moving abroad with your Kids

Mummy or Daddy is relocating to China for work and the whole family will follow her/him in this brand new adventure. Finding a new home, moving out and in, finalizing administrative tasks, saying goodbye… this fresh start requires a lot of preparation!

This key step in one’s life, physically and emotionally challenging, is impacting the whole family, particularly the offspring. Thinking that they are too young to understand the ongoing preparation, that they will adapt easily to any kind of environment, and so exclude them from the preparations and from the moving process would end up in minimizing the impact of such an event can have on them. Contrarywise, any expatriation project and its preparation should be thought with the help of the offspring, in order to avoid them feeling unwell at their arrival in a new country.

Everyone Has a Different Way of Experiencing It

If the parents could see in the expatriation many opportunities for their children, a “chance” for them to discover a new culture and a new language, the child might not have the same opinion.  With each age comes its own expectations and concerns, its reactions to a switch environment.

Indeed, moving will be differently experienced depending on your child being 3, 7, or 14 years old. It is mostly due to already built landmarks, as some will need to be deconstructed when he/she will arrive in the new place.

Todlers could be easily appeased by some familiar elements, like games or their favorite teddy bear. Nonetheless, they might be destabilized by moving into a new room, or a parent becoming less available for them.

Don’t we say often « 7 years old, the age of the reason?” It is also around 7 years old that children start building their own environment and identity, at school or by playing sports or practicing music. Moreover, they start learning foundations, like writing and mathematics. Environmental change could be really disrupting and have an impact on how the child will behave at home and out, as well as on its school commitment.

Teenagers, who are also building a sense of identity, might be unsettled by these changes. They might bond more with the nuclear family rather than finding new friends, or on the contrary, withdraw from their family circle, looking for more emancipation.

Abnormal behavior might be the result of a delicate expatriation for a child: sleeping and eating disorder, gloomy and irascible attitude, emerging difficulties at school (in its learning as well as in its integration), etc. are few examples.

Communication and Participation Are Key

First of all, it is important for the parents to take the time to announce the move to their offspring, to avoid doing it at the last minute and into the rush. Children can easily feel anxiety toward the idea of moving, and need time to eliminate their apprehension. One should let the children enough time to get familiar with the idea, as for them to make the most of these last moments, even organize a farewell.

Being a young expat involves many lifestyle changes, that could be stressful. One needs to listen carefully to one’s children’s apprehension and appease any of their doubt, introducing them the positive aspects of this departure, but also being honest regarding eventual new challenges coming with this trip. Having knowledges about the host country and making the child discover it before the arrival is a plus. It would help him/her to face culture chock and make his/her adaptation easier. Expats associations and clubs are numerous around the world. Contacting them is a good way to forge relationships before your arrival. 

Many psychologists and expat parents acknowledge that involving the kids in the departure’s preparations is essential. The idea behind it is to not let them feel that the moving decision is one-sided i.e. only made by the parents, but rather letting them understand that their opinion counts, and how it will impact their future. For example, you can together browse information about the host country and its usages, asking his/her opinion about the new home and his/her room layout, or his/her future school and activities there. In some cases, you can even plan schooling at home. Arranging the move with him/her is essential, to let him/her choose what he/she wants to keep.

Living abroad is a challenge, no matter the age. For sure, children have a great adaptability, and being a young expat will make them become “Third Culture Kids”: multicultural and open-minded kids, mostly bilingual or even trilingual, with a strong international background. But this capacity should not be overestimated, and its positive impacts should not make the difficulties invisible. Children’s priorities are completely different from an adults’ ones, their view differ in many aspects. Children’s participation and parents’support are crucial and will determine the success of this project. Taking everything into account, and involving your offspring will make the best of this meaningful experience: happiness, stability and cultural fulfillment.

Where to live in … Shanghai!

At ASI Movers, we know how important it is to have our “home sweet home”. It is not an easy task to find a new one, especially in a big and unknown city. Furthermore, depending on your family status, your age, and your priorities, many criteria will ponder your choice.

Thanks to its 10-year experience in moving, as a Shanghai based relocation company, ASI Movers is now happy to provide you a small and comprehensive guide the main features and characteristics of Shanghai's main areas.

The Former French Concession

The Former French Concession (also called FFC) is one of the fanciest areas to live in. It is compound by Xuhui district, and a part of Huangpu district.

The FFC is filled with colonial style villas, most of the architecture is reminiscent of the art deco era (1920-40s), with their interior completely renovated for many of them. The streets are pretty silent, peaceful and lined with plane trees (as you can often see in the South of France). In some areas, you would not believe you are in China. This area is appreciated by the young expats,  also because you can find many little shops, bars and fancy restaurant serving occidental food.

However, due to its central geographic positioning and success, the FFC is quite expensive, considered rather upper class residential area.

  • Price range: Expensive
  • Life in the district: Many fancy cafes, bars and restaurants. Chinese alternatives can also be found.
  • Who: Young couple, it remains upper class. Not so many family live there, as many of the villas are divided in smaller apartments.
  • Transportation: Centrally located, the FCC is well served by the metro and buses. You can also easily access the city center walking or biking.
  • International Schools: No main international school is located in the FFC, but school buses exist, and the transportation system is convenient.

Jing'an

Jing’an is a popular district, close to the FFC. It is a great compromise for those who are interested in being in the core of the city, have a rather westernized way of living (due to the numerous occidental options available in terms of food, cafés, boutiques, etc.), for a lower budget than a house in the FFC.

Jing’an being busy and active (with fashionable boutiques, bars, and cafés), it is busier and less quiet than the FFC for instance. You can find there classical and pretty recent compounds, sometimes equipped with gyms and other facilities, as well as high-end houses.

  • Price range: Average to upper.
  • Life in the district: The most popular bars and restaurants are located there and some streets get quite animated at night with expats gathering to have dinner or a drink (the atmosphere remains healthy however). The neighborhood directly surrounding the Jing’an Temple itself also offers access to many shopping malls.
  • Who: Jing’an is popular among expat students, interns, young actives and couples.
  • Transportation: This district is well deserved by the metro. The fact that is central prevents its inhabitants for long journeys across the city.
  • International Schools: No major international school is located in the Jing’an district, and the latter is not close to the areas they developed in either.

Minhang

Out of the city, Minhang district is well appreciated by the expatriates family for its houses and villas, located inside secure compounds. Mostly comprised with a private garden, they offer some facilities for the whole family, and kids can go out of the home to visit their neighbor friends quite safely. However, offering larger green space and mansion options means being far from the city center, which might be inconvenient for the parents, taking into consideration the traffic congestion.

  • Transportation: This district is deserved by the end of some line subway, but you may have to consider take your car, at least to do a part of the trip.
  • International Schools: Major international school are located in Minhang district, such as the Lycée français de Shanghai, the British International School Shanghai and the American Shanghai School.

Changning

Two of the main places you would be looking for to live in are Hongqiao, which includes Gubei; and the surroundings of Zhongshan park. These residential areas are located in the Western part of Shanghai, a little bit out of the city center. These are rather popular area among expats, filled with high-end housing facilities. The perfect compromise for the family, at mid-way from the international school and the city center.

  • Price range: Average.
  • Life in the district: Western supermarkets and medical facilities are easily found in Changning, as well as chain restaurants and bars popular among adult expats. Nevertheless it is more of a residential and quiet area where you can find green spaces and pedestrian streets to hang around.
  • Who: Expat families, with an important population of Korean and Japanese in Gubei.
  • Transportation: Better served by public transportation than its west neighbor Minhang and Qingpu.
  • International Schools: A large panel of International Schools can be found in the area (Shanghai Community International School, Livingston American School, Shanghai United International School, among others).

Pudong

Located on the Eastern side of the Huangpu (river), it is also one of the largest districts: indeed, this district is as large as Singapour. Being very recent (before 1990s it looked nothing like today), you will easily spot the very modern architecture of the area closest to the river, which also is the financial and industrial heart of the city.

  • Price range: Average, this side of the river is generally cheaper than the other.
  • Life in the district: Office building but the district is becoming more and more residential if you are going further east, with a general aspect somehow reminiscent of the suburban American communities.
  • Who: Expat families eager to find a comfortable westernized life, being close to their office and schools.
  • Transportation: Far from the city center, yet well-deserved by the metro. It is also close to the Pudong International Airport.
  • International Schools: Many international schools also have a campus located in Pudong (Yew Chung International School, Lycée Français de Shanghai, British International School, Dulwich College, Shanghai Japanese School, among others). Even if you decide not to settle in the Pudong area, International Schools usually arrange buses to help to children living in the city to come to class.

About the Chinese Individual Income Tax

In any country you will live and work in, one question might be raised: where and under what kind of taxes will you be subjected?

This issue is appreciable for our individual customers, who will have their residency in China mainland. Some recent changes in the Chinese Individual Income Tax regulation have taken place in January 1, 2019. As such, it is important for newcomers as well as for those already living in China to be aware of the new regulation.

ASI Movers - as expats' best relocation partner from, to and within China - will offer a brief overview on the topic for those planning to move in China this year.

Who Is Subject to China's Individual Income Tax?

If you are planning to stay in mainland China for more than 183 days (cumulative), with a domicile or not, and in a single tax year, you will be therefore considered as a Chinese tax resident and must pay the Individual Income Tax. This will be derived from any income earned inside China as well as overseas income.

In the case of individuals who have no domicile in China but stay longer than 183 days (in a tax year), they shall be exempted from this Individual Income Tax if and only if they are out of the country for more than 30 consecutive days within the 6 years. To benefit from this exemption, this trip shall be notified to your local tax bureau in advance. Before the updated regulation, this exemption was known as the “Five-Year Tax Rule”, as the count was hold for 5 and not 6 years.

For those who are non-resident, and stay in China for less than 183 days (in a tax year), their China source income is still taxable.

Which Income Are Taken Into Consideration & At Which Rate?

Taxes will be collected, directly on wage, on the following income:

  • Income from wage, from your employment contract;

  • Income from contract or lease of a business;

  • Author’s remuneration and royalties;

  • Interest, dividends and profit distribution.

Under the new Income International Tax, these four categories followed the same seven brackets of progressive tax rates.

Commissions and bonuses are included in this calculation. Some deductions (up to monthly RMB 5.000) can be applied for the following expenses on the cumulative individual income:

  • Children education: 1.000 RMB monthly per child;

  • Continued education: 3.600 RMB/year;

  • Caring for the elderly (over 60 years old): 2.000 RMB/month;

  • Medical expenses for serious illness: less than 80.000 RMB;

  • Housing loan interest and housing rent: depend on the city.

 

The individual income tax impacts both local and foreign employees who received income from a working contract in China. These new regulations take into account the situation of the expatriate families with children or dependents elders.

Shanghai & Expatriates: a Long-Lasting Dynamic

Shanghai and expats’ relationship is as long as it is peculiar. From the 18th century premises, to nowadays dynamic foreign population, expats have been witnessing and participating in the city’s expansion. To understand why Shanghai is still one of the most attractive cities in China, ASI Movers - expats best relocation partner for more than 10 years - has thus decided to take a look back at the past but also have a look at what characterizes the expat population today.

Let’s explore who were and who are the foreigners living in Shanghai!

Shanghai: Expatriation as a Tradition

The Premises

It all started in the 18th century, when Chinese silk, porcelain and tea started to become popular in Great Britain and imported there. While Chinese rulers at the time were not interested in foreign goods, Great Britain nevertheless took advantage of the possibilities Chinese population represented and started to export Opium to the Middle Kingdom, as to re-equilibrate the balance. The infamous Opium Wars started just after, with the outcome we all know.
One of the many of the consequences has been the installation of a British autonomous settlement along the Huangpu River, whom « remains » are still visible today and among the most famous elements of Shanghai Patrimoine.

 

The Golden Age for Foreigners

American, French, and German quickly joined, forming a great foreign community and gathering in international concessions. The particularity of these concessions was that trade within their « borders » were not subject to Chinese law and could therefore trade freely.Then began a period prosperity for Shanghai’s « expat » community, not only in terms of trade, but also in terms of infrastructure (from new roads to fancy hotels, Shanghai looked nothing like the rest of China), making it the wealthiest and most cosmopolitan city in Asia. In the 1930s, Shanghai foreign communities already counted at least 60,000 individuals. Cultures started - if not to mix - to cohabit and westernized leisure places started to flourish (cafes, restaurants, international clubs, etc.) paving the ground for what Shanghai looks like today.

The Modern Times

This era of blossoming Shanghai took an end after the Japanese took over the country and did not resume when the Communist Party took power since the foreign way of living as well as the foreign communities were looked down as forming part of the « Four Old »: old habits, old culture, old customs and old way of thinking.
It’s only a decade after the first economic opening measures that took place in 1978 that Shanghai started to re-conquer its old status as the flagship of the revenge the country was going to take over its History. As such, investors were enjoined to take part in the cities’ development. From then on, Shanghai’s development has been impressive, and the degree of change has nearly no equivalent elsewhere in the world.
Job opportunities came along with investment opportunities as the country’s opening-up process increased.

What Is Shanghai Expats Community Like Nowadays?

Shanghai expat community is now China’s first (2017), before Beijing and Hefei, with about 150,000 foreigners registered as of 2019 (the real figures are thus believed to be greater).

In terms of country of origin, one might not find the ones who ran the international concessions back in the early 20th century, as Great Britain does not even appear in the top-10.

Japanese, US citizens and South-Koreans account for respectively 17,8%, 13,6% and 12,2% of the international community, Japanese and South Koreans alone accounting for nearly 30%.

Data source: Shen Xinyi / SHINE

The three main reasons for expats to relocate to Shanghai as in 2016 were work (50,6%), family reunion (26,5%) and education (10%) (Shen Xinyin/SHINE). This is aligned with Shanghai current dynamic as a hub for international trade and investment. Consequently, when one member of the family moves for career purpose, her/his family follows.

Shanghai also is home for many students eager to get familiar with Chinese language, way of doing business, and culture.

As for China is general, the average age of expats is 41.7 years old, there is a majority of male and most of them are in a relationship.

Nowadays, Shanghai has reconquered its reputation of Chinese most vibrant city. With business still flourishing, expats are naturally attracted by the opportunities it represents.

A younger population is also coming, with the idea of learning about the country but also be part of what is happening here in mind.

The city can be disarming for newcomers, as change happens fast and in impressive scales. Not only is it true for the city itself, some neighborhood disappearing and being replaced in a blink of an eye; it is also accurate when it comes to the business environment: it follows trends, and the opportunities available as well as the way one is exercising one’s job can vary rapidly. For someone to stay long-term, it means it requires to be adaptative, responsive to change.

However, that does not mean the city has no soul or deep identity, change is simply part of its nature and - as we have seen throughout its History - the constant is its dynamism.

ASI Movers has been helping expats relocating from, to, and within China for more than 10 years, accompanying them in their international journey with the most qualitative and comprehensive support. Because moving is always a challenge, we aim at making this journey the easiest possible for you!