Thinking about applying for a transfer to a position in China
September 30, 2013 12:27 AM Subscribe
Question written by my boyfriend but asking for both of us. Boyfriend is a western game developer considering a job in Shanghai. The position would be a promotion within the same corporation, but to a different studio. We have some questions about salary and the cost of living in Shanghai, with a bonus question about a visa for me, the girlfriend!
posted by imalaowai to work & money (7 answers total)
I’m a western game developer considering a job in Shanghai. The position would be a promotion within the same corporation, but to a different studio (I’d be moving from a mid-level position to a senior-level position). I currently earn $75,000/year. In the U.S. I’d expect to be earning at least $80,000/year with such a promotion.
We currently live in California and spend about $2,000/month in rent and utilities for a 730 sq. foot apartment. I have no other financial obligations aside from groceries, gas, and car insurance (I spend about $750/month on those). I typically save about $500/month for my emergency fund. I save another $400/month for vacations/travel. I spend about $400/month on eating out, doing things, buying stuff. My girlfriend saves a little less and spends about the same. Obviously she will not be able to contribute much, if anything, to our income in China, as she would not have a work visa.
My question is, how much would I need to make in RMB at a minimum to continue such a lifestyle? How much should I expect to make? When western employees are transferred to positions in China, do they typically earn their ‘western’ income or something more in line with a local income? I assume I would be paid in RMB and not USD?
Other details: we do not plan to live in one of the foreign ‘enclaves’ like Hongqiao – we would want a nice place but do not want to be living the luxurious, gated expat lifestyle. My girlfriend and I are interested in being immersed in another culture. I speak no Mandarin and my girlfriend studied Mandarin for about 4 years. My girlfriend spent 3 months in Shanghai back in 2007 (hence her Mefi name!), so is fairly familiar with the city, whereas I’ve spent about 2 weeks there.
On a different note, and this is something I am sure the company could help with if I were hired, but would it be possible to bring my girlfriend along under my work visa? Or would she need to figure out another way of getting there? We have been together for five years and have lived together for 3. One thing we have thought of if I’m not allowed to bring a non-spouse partner is that she could enroll as a student of Chinese at a language school in Shanghai. But do you think such a work-around would be necessary?