Newbie Guide To China

Ok so you have just accepted an offer to work  in China and are wondering, what should I pack, what  do I need to take with me?
How  much you decide to bring will  be dependent on many personal factors  such as if you are single or part of a family, if  you have a moving allowance  and how much it is  as well as your personal preferences. I arrived in China with  two backpacks of  clothes, bedding and a laptop and have not had  any major  issues looking for anything.
Food
Food in China  is very  cheap especially  if you cook yourself. However nearly anything imported can be quite expensive. Supermarkets often have an imported section and especially in big cities there are many shops specialising in imported goods. My advice is  that  it is not worth bringing food with you. Perhaps bring some spices or sauces.
Electronics
Whilst easy to purchase electronic  items  in China they  are rarely  cheaper than in your home country. This is because anything foreign-branded that are made for export but  manufactured in China must  also include an import tax. If there is a problem, you will have to deal with low product support and a lack of instructions in English. The voltage in China is 220, with most outlets having several configurations of  plugs - very useful! (my Australian and Thai electronics all work.) At the  time of writing this I am thinking about buying a new laptop and debating whether to buy it in the UK where it will be cheaper but more difficult  to take back if there is a problem or buy  it in China and have to deal with potential software problems, I worry about the quality - Chinese products are known for breaking, but if  it breaks I can take  it back easily....
Labour is cheap here so if you have a broken laptop or phone and thinking about getting it  fixed before you come, if you can wait  and it will be a lot  cheaper to  fix  in China.
VPN
For most expats a VPN is vital for living in China. I would recommend installing your VPN before you arrive as  once you are here they can be blocked making it impossible to download. It is not just facebook and Google that are blocked so I would seriously recommend anyone who intends  to use the internet to get a  VPN.
Wechat
Most people in China use wechat so if you are coming here it is a good idea  to  install it. Whatsapp  works fine but not  many local people use it. Businesses tend to use QQ instead of e-mails which can also be used as a messaging service. Skype will work, although if you are talking to someone in China, Wechat  seems  to work better in my experience.​
Line  is blocked but works sporadically (some people have no problems some people have no access at all) Whatsapp works fine as well as Skype
Language
The level of English in China is very low, so  it would be beneficial to learn some Chinese before you arrive, maybe just  the basics like numbers can be very handy. Google translate is very useful (if  you install it  before you arrive, you don't need a vpn to run it)
Clothes
Clothes are very cheap in China but  it can be difficult  if you are tall, especially tall and not fat. Shoes again are  difficult to find  if you have big feet, although most big cities have clothes shops for people who are bigger.
Hygiene Products
Especially for ladies, when you first arrive  here  it is  a good  idea to stock up on personal hygiene products. Due to  the language  barrier you may find it difficult  to get things  like period pads etc without a little  bit  of experience. Also as regards to soaps and shower jell, like most of Asia  nearly  everything contains some form of whitening.  

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