Insider’s Guide: Life in China According to Glassdoor Reviews

Insider’s Guide: Life in China According to Glassdoor Reviews

China is a country known for its rich cultural heritage, booming economy, and diverse population. Working and living in China can be an exciting experience, but it’s also essential to understand the nuances of the country’s work culture, lifestyle, and environment. To gain insights into this, we turn to Glassdoor reviews, where employees share their experiences and offer valuable advice to those considering living and working in China.

Work Culture in China

The work culture in China is influenced by traditional Confucian values, including respect for authority, harmony, and dedication to work. According to Glassdoor reviews, it is crucial to understand these cultural aspects when settling into a job in China. Here are some key observations:

Long Working Hours

Many employees mention that working hours in China tend to be longer compared to Western countries. It is not uncommon for employees to work overtime or on weekends, especially in industries such as finance and technology. It’s essential to discuss workload expectations during the hiring process to ensure a healthy work-life balance.

Respect for Hierarchy

In Chinese workplaces, there is a significant emphasis on hierarchy and respect for authority. Employees are expected to show deference to their superiors, addressing them with appropriate titles. According to some reviews, decision-making authority is often concentrated at the top levels of the organization.

Cost of Living in China

The cost of living in China varies depending on the city and lifestyle preferences. Here is an overview of the major expenses you may encounter:

Housing Costs

Housing costs can vary significantly across cities, with major metropolitan areas like Beijing and Shanghai having higher prices. Rent typically constitutes a significant portion of monthly expenses. Some employees mention the importance of negotiating housing allowances or subsidies with employers to mitigate costs.


Public transportation in China is well-developed and affordable. Many employees recommend using the metro or buses as they are cost-effective and convenient ways to travel within cities. Taxis are also an option, although they can be more expensive during rush hours.

Lifestyle and Leisure

China offers a vibrant and diverse lifestyle with numerous opportunities for leisure and entertainment. Here are some aspects highlighted by Glassdoor employees:

Nightlife and Entertainment

China’s major cities boast a dynamic nightlife scene, with plenty of bars, clubs, and karaoke venues. Expats especially enjoy the vibrant nightlife in areas like Beijing’s Sanlitun or Shanghai’s Bund. There are also numerous cultural activities such as traditional music performances, fashion shows, and art exhibitions to explore.

Cuisine and Dining Culture

Chinese cuisine is renowned worldwide for its wide range of flavors and regional specialties. Glassdoor reviews mention the abundance of affordable street food options, as well as high-end dining experiences. Exploring local cuisines and dining etiquette is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it difficult to find housing in China?

A: Finding housing can be a challenge, especially in major cities where demand is high. However, with thorough research and the assistance of real estate agents or online platforms, it’s possible to find suitable accommodations.

Q: How is the healthcare system in China?

A: The healthcare system in China has made significant improvements in recent years. Major cities have international hospitals and clinics that provide quality care. Expats are advised to have comprehensive health insurance to cover any medical expenses.

Q: Can I use social media and online platforms freely in China?

A: In China, there are restrictions on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. However, popular Chinese platforms like WeChat, Weibo, and Douyin serve as alternatives and are widely used by locals and expats alike.

Q: How safe is it to live in China?

A: China is generally considered safe for expats. However, it’s advisable to take standard safety precautions, such as being aware of your surroundings and not carrying excessive valuables. Following local laws and regulations is also important.