Survey: Cost of Living in Eight Chinese Cities

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May 14 – A research team at Dezan Shira & Associates recently concluded a survey of the cost of living and doing business in the eight mainland Chinese cities where the firm has offices located: Beijing, Dalian, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Guangzhou, Zhongshan and Shenzhen.

They used the following as price indicators set in minimum and maximum amounts: office rent in a grade A building, centrally-located western-styled apartment rental fees, minimum net salary for Chinese resident, average net salary of an unskilled Chinese resident worker, average net salary of a Chinese resident employee with 3-years work experience, taxi ride per kilometer, average Chinese canteen lunch set menu, average western food lunch set menu, price of one ticket for a newly-released Hollywood movie at the cinema, price of a dish of noodles and price of a pint of a western-style lager beer.

The survey showed Shanghai as being the most expensive city to live in, followed by Guangzhou at a close second. An average cafeteria meal in Shanghai would cost at least RMB9 compared to Guangzhou’s RMB15 while a central located western-style apartment would be rented at RMB44 per sqm. compared to RMB50 per sqm in Shanghai.

In Guangzhou the minimum net salary for a Chinese resident is set at RMB860 compared to Shanghai’s RMB960. Taxi rides in Guangzhou costs an average of RMB2.6 per km after an initial fare of RMB8 while Shanghai charges RMB2.1 per km with an initial fare of RMB11.

The city that pays the lowest minimum net salary for Chinese residents is Beijing at RMB580. The average cost of an order of noodles in Beijing would be set at a minimum of RMB4 and a maximum of RMB6.

For a more detailed look at the figures, click here.