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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I might be moving to China very soon and I have a few questions. A lot of the chinese cars do not really attract me and I would like something Japanese, something sporty and safe. I noticed however, that these cars, even basic ones are very expensive compared to their USD counter part.

My question is, are the any benefits or qualifications that I might fall under and pay less? Especially if I am an american citizen moving to china/working there.

I have a car now, what if I want to bring it over? It is 4 years old. Would I have to pay anything besides shipping fees?

What are all these taxes I hear about? Do I qualify for an exempt?


Thank you all!! :thumb:
 

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Hi Zig.......


First of all, welcome to China Car Forums, and WELCOME to China soon!! Have you been here before? May I ask what city you'll be in? I'm a american living in China (6 years now) and I know a few things about cars here in China! You CAN bring your car here, but people do not do it very often. You'll have to pay for import and inspection fees, and if you sell it here (unless you plan on taking it back to America in the future) you will have to pay the import sales tax on it - depending on the kind of car you have it could be expensive. Buying a car over here does not have to be expensive, there is a growing number of used cars coming on the market (lots of VW's, Toyotas, Hondas, etc....) that are reasonably priced (depending on the year), and some chinese cars ARE pretty darn good - seeing them in person is different then seeing them in pictures. Anyway, welcome to China - and ask any questions you wish, I'll try to answer them......or someone else here will!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tianjin, china is the city. What kind of inputt fees are we talking about? Are the used cars modern? I have an 04 acura tl and wouldclove to bring over or possibly get another one there but not if it means I have to pay double of hat it's worth


Thanks!!!


Also, how are Americans treated over there, socially and job wise. My field is information technology.
 

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Well, the good news? Tianjin is a port city, so potentially easier to bring your car in via ship right to Tianjin. Let me tell you what I do know........

Before you think about shipping your car to China, it's going to need to be inspected IN THE USA by a customs official from China. I do not know the cost for that, but probably not cheap. You can probably get more info from the websites from the various chinese embassies in the USA, or at least get a phone number and call them. The car will need to be inspected again once it is in China, but this will be much cheaper. Now.......if the company you are working for can set you up with a "foreign experts certificate" (you should be able to get one based on the kind of job you will be doing), you can bring your car into China tax free (the regular import tax can be up to 47% of the value of your car) - a BIG savings if you can get the foreign experts certificate. China does not recognize international drivers licenses, so you must get a chinese drivers license - pretty easy, you can just go to the local license office and show your american drivers license, visa, etc. Can you sell your car in China once you go back to the USA? I THINK so, but I do not know any details about that.

How are americans treated over here? IN most cases, foreigners in general are treated very well over here. The big problem (at least with americans) I see is when they expect to live a "american" lifestyle over here, and then get upset when things aren't that way. Tianjin is a big city, and you'll be able to find most western food items you wish in western food stores (and if not, Beijing is a 1 hour train ride away). Pizza Hut, Papa John's, KFC, McDonalds, Starbucks and even Subway are popular here (Papa John's is still pretty new but the rest are well established) and Beijing even has Burger King and Sizzler's there. When in doubt, always remember one word - PATIENCE. In general, the chinese lifestyle is more "relaxed" then America - meal time is social time here, so expect 2-3 hour dinners when you first arrive. People will show you respect and will want to know you - you'll get lots of questions as well. Tianjin is a pretty international city, so the sight of foreigners walking down the street there is not uncommon. Still, get used to people looking at you.......you ARE a 'laowei' (foreigner) and still a item of curiosity for many people. The "do unto others" rule applies well here........if you show them some respect, they will treat you just as well.......better even. Look forward to a amazing experience here, keep a open mind and have PATIENCE - and I think you'll love your time in China!!:nod:
 

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Once again a well-thought out and informative answer, jmsteiny. The thought of living and working in China has occurred to me before as well. I work in the Allied Heath field, I would think my job skills would apply to similar jobs in China. I like to be a fair person in dealing with others and see the value in letting others speak and express theirselves. You'd be surprised how rare that quality can be.:rolleyes:

jmsteiny, how would it go for an American to work and live in Shanghai?
 

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Rally Red, that's a easy answer...........NO PROBLEMS AT ALL. Shanghai is the most "western" of any city in China - it is TRULY a cosmopolitan city. It is also a city of contrasts - in the middle of the world financial district, you'd swear you were in New York or Chicago with the tall buildings and the hustle and bustle.........yet 1 kilometer away you can still find old ramshackle apartments, people buying food from little outdoor markets - just amazing. Shanghai is a cultural city and FULL of foreigners (I was in a upscale bar there recently in the Bund district......excepts for the workers, there were virtually NO other chinese in there - I thought I was in Europe there for a minute) - people are friendly and well educated for the most part. You want to drive in Shanghai? Get ready for traffic jams to equal the best of Los Angeles (and EXTRA crazy right now with all the construction getting ready for the world's fair next year) - but very little road rage in comparison. That word PATIENCE comes into play again.....

In your field (health care), things are somewhat different here - the medical system here is much more subsidized by the government (similar to Canada or England), so medical costs are MUCH MUCH less than in America. One example - I have a minor procedure done every 3-4 years or so (an old injury) that would cost about $300.00 in the USA - here it's about 70rmb (about $10 USD). I do have medical insurance here (80/20 coverage on major prodecures)..........I pay 1600rmb ($235.00 USD) for the YEAR. Shanghai also has a few hospitals that cater to foreigners - english speaking doctors, the latest diagnostic machines, etc........but expect to pay much more for the service. Personally, I do not mind chinese hospitals - I go to a medical university teaching hospital here in Nanning. The student doctors speak surprisingly good english, and the senior doctors are always around to keep a eye on things. Service is first rate, and the prices are unbeatable! I'm sure Shanghai has a medical university too - that's where I would go if I lived there. For things like flu shots and other minor issues, there are always little neighborhood medical clinics - prices are really cheap, the quality is acceptable - just bring a translator if you do not speak chinese!

For food in Shanghai..........no limitations at all. You'll have plenty of western food stores, and if you want a world class meal, go to a place like the Hyatt Regency in the JinMao tower.........TRULY a 5 star hotel in every sense. There is even a Taco Bell in Shanghai............but it is a sit down luxury style restaurant!! Arts and culture? No problem...........a great symphony orchestra there and even the big broadway musicals that are starting to come to China will do a 1-2 month run in Shanghai at the Grand Theatre. Lots of live music too.............jazz clubs, rock clubs, techno clubs.........it's all there.

Rally Red, you should visit sometime! Bring the wife and make a vacation out of it........then you can get a idea for yourself what China is all about. Visit Shanghai, soak it all in and see what you think - I think you'll love it!!!:nod:
 

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jmsteiny-I would love to go to Shanghai to visit and see how we like it.

A while back my sister and her husband adopted a Chinese girl. Expensive but she is worth every penny.

I asked my Mom and sister during a recent vacation to Seattle how the little girl is doing at school. My Mom told a story about the 6 year old's techno-gadget class they are now teaching very young students in the Issaquah School District (just east of Seattle). She said that the teacher told them that if she had to be absent for some reason that the little girl could teach the class! I kid you not!

I am very impressed with the Chinese people and their industriousness. The suitable cars built by the Chinese automakers will come eventually to the U.S....I just know it.
 

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The chinese are VERY industrious people - it is just AMAZING how fast things get built here. When I first arrived in Nanning 6 years ago, the eastern district of the city (the Lan Dong district) was literally open fields. Today, it is literally a NEW CITY - the face of the new, modern Nanning. The centerpiece there is the ASEAN (Asia's version of NAFTA) Expo center, the annual site of the ASEAN trade expo. Next to it is the 10,000 seat outdoor ampitheatre, across the street is the biggest indoor shopping mall in the Guangxi province (featuring a Wal Mart supercenter). The upcoming Marriott is next to the shopping mall, on the other side of the mall is a Best Western Red Forest Hotel (a 5 star business style hotel). Less than a kilometer away is the financial center, with the centerpiece there a 230 meter (55 stories) tall world trade center (I know, not that tall - but it is the tallest in Nanning). Take a look at the picture I attached - NONE OF IT EXISTED 6 years ago (except for the road, it's the main east-west thoroughfare through the the city).

It's like this ALL OVER China..........it's as though China is literally "reinventing" it's collective image to the world. Shenzhen (next to Hong Kong) is perhaps the most dramatic example.......25 years ago it was a fishing village of 50,000 people, today it is a metropolitan city with over EIGHT MILLION permanent residents. Just as western as Shanghai (however with a Hong Kong influence), but a more open, go for it attitude - a very vibrant city. Shenzhen is in the midst of doubling the size of it's metro subway system (3 brand new lines and twice the kilometers covered) in preparation for the 2011 World Universiade, Guangzhou is doing the same in preparation for the 2010 Asian games. Bullet train (up to 350kph) or high speed (200-250 kph) rail lines are being built all over the country right now, and FINALLY the collective voice of global warming and green technology is starting to be heard here.......I could go on and on. The most amazing thing about living here? Watching a society struggle to retain as much tradition as possible while embracing the future at the same time - I'm right in the middle of a turning point in this country and it is a VERY exciting time to be here!:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thank you all for the answers! How, lastly, how is the job market overthere. Currently, I work in the IT field and I am wondering how i would go about getting a job... The reason I am moving to china is because, well, my wife is chinese.
 

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IT is a big field, Zig................here is the big question - do you speak chinese? That would be a BIG help for you to get a job in your field - but you might be able to find a job with a foreign based company. Lots of those in Tianjin!! What you CAN do for right now is start doing some google searches for things like "expats in tianjin", "jobs in tianjin", "foreigners in tianjin", etc.....most big cities have some websites for expats/foreigners. shenzhenparty.com, for example is a pretty complete website with job listings, apartments, restuarants and bars, etc.......I'm sure there will be some websites for Tianjin expats/foreigners as well! Also, think about this - if your IT background is pretty solid, you might consider TEACHING IT instead of simply working in the field. Colleges here are always interested in good foreign teachers - and not just necessarily in english. Something to think about anyway..............keep on asking the questions, I'll keep trying to answer!!:D
 

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jmsteiny-cool...this thread has become my favorite one on CCF! It is indeed kind of intriguing to consider moving to another country. Indeed it sounds like opportunity could be waiting for both Zig and I.

I am a Respiratory Therapist, a Certified Respiratory Therapist, and my wife and I both love southern Arizona. We live in a small town called Willcox, the home of the singing Hollywood Cowboy Rex Allen. Tucson, a city of around a million people, lies about 80 miles west of us. We go there to catch movies, shop and eat.

We're pretty happy here so probably won't do anything but it's just that the thought has occurred to me before, something I find interesting and so hence my interest in this thread. I think it's do-able.

Anyone lurking ask questions, too, so all that are interested can learn more about this fascinating subject.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I believe i meet the requirements for transporting my vehicle. It will be awesome if I could take my acura to china! there aren't many there from what I've heard so it will feel nice driving it around :)

Another question is, what about future car purchases, I looked at vehicles that I wanted to purchase in the near future and they are considerably higher in china than the states (BMW, M-benz, etc). Are there any tax breaks we qualify for? How are the used car lots in china? Are taxes considerably lower for used cars? if so do they have some weird rule like like the percent is based on year built or something? What about other vehicles like Supras, Integras, tuner cars. Is there a good scene of those? You mentioned cost of living, how are apartments over there? Would I be able to have a nice garage at an affordable price? Say, if i want to own more than 1 car, (2 or 3 would be nice).

I have so may questions! :nod:
 

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Damn, this is turning into QUITE a thread, but it's great! Rally Red, I've been through Wilcox many times (I-10) and most likely have stopped there for gas or a bite to eat. Beautiful, wide open country out there, I can understand why you love it so much! As far as your career in China........I think your talents could quite useful, actually. Unfortunately, TB and lung disease is seen more here than in the USA - hence the need for people with experience similar to yours. Remember, China's population is 5 times that of the USA......and smoking is a lot more common over here as well. In the biggest cities like Shanghai and Beijing, you could probably work in one of the hospitals that caters to foreigners.......and if you spoke chinese, you could work just about anywhere you wanted I think. Truth be told, I have never met a foreigner yet who is working here as a doctor - but I'm sure there are in the bigger cities.

Zig.........I'm sure it will be no problem, but DO check your owner's manual (or talk to your dealer) about using high-octane gas in your engine - because China does NOT use gas that is lower than 93 in octane level. There are 3 levels - 93, 95 and 97. I know in America most of us just pumped good ol' 87 into our cars, but not here! I'm sure it's not an issue, but better to check it out and be safe! Now, as far as future car purchases? Well, with M-Benz most of the cars are imported into China, hence the import tax. No way around that, I'm afraid - if you buy it here, you pay the tax. Some BMW's are built in China, so they aren't quite as expensive (but yes, still more expensive than in the USA - because some of the parts that are used are still imported, and those parts are taxed). Taxes ARE lower for used cars, but I'm not sure of the rate. Cars like Supras, Integras, etc. are pretty rare here (some in the biggest cities but still not common at all), the street racing scene is still in it's infancy for the most part (hell, 10 years ago almost no one OWNED a car). Right now, the trend is starting to go DOWN (as in downsizing). Because of the tax incentives of buying a car with a engine size of 1.5l or less, smaller cars are getting more popular......besides, with the streets getting more and more crowded, smaller cars are much better suited for city driving. Used cars are not a bad deal at all if you know something about cars and can spot problems, but beware - once you buy it, it's YOURS. There isn't much in the way of consumer protection laws here yet! The retail dealers are starting to catch on though, they're starting to set up "factory certified" used cars at the retail lots, with warranties and all the extra goodies to attract the consumer.

OK, apartments? Depends on the city and WHERE in the city you are. For foreigners that are working for a foreign company (and making a foreign salary), they will usually live in one of the TOP complexes in that city. Pool, gameroom, gym, local shopping, medical services all within the complex - very nice and modern. For a 3 bedroom, 2 bath unit (120-140 sq. meters in size), expect to pay 8000-10,000rmb a month for that ($1100-1400.00 USD). Now, that's the high end for the most part.........the AVERAGE apartment will be a 2 bedroom, 1 bath (maybe a study room/office as well), balcony, 80-90 sq. meters in size. In a nice complex (but not the best), figure about 2000-4000rmb a month depending on the area (is it near the center of the city, is it near a metro station, is it near major shopping, etc.). You're fortunate, you'll have a car - so you COULD live in a nice place farther away from the center of the city (cheaper that way) and just commute to work (but will need to spend more on gas). Depends on what you prefer, I suppose! Now....as far as a garage?? Don't count on it. There WILL most likely be a underground garage (for all residents), and you'll need to pay a extra fee monthly to park your car there (unless the owner already purchased a spot with the apartment). Figure 100-200rmb a month to park your car in the garage......maybe a little more, but I doubt it. VERY few people own more than one car here, simply because it's difficult to find enough space to park them all! For the most part, life is "downsized" here - no "super/jumbo size" portions at McDonalds (the large here is a medium in the USA), very few houses (takes up too much land), smaller cars, etc......it's actually kind of liberating in a way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
No problem here with the octane, my car is built to use premium and thats 93 grade here. I'm sure its going to LOVE 97 lol. My biggest fear is not being able live the life i live here over there, or make the same money here over there to support my lifestyle. Can I expect to make the same amount of money over there, as I do over here? Here, I am 24 years old, and I make roughly $40,000. Not a lot of money, but excellent for my career path and age. Thats roughly what, 20,000 chinese dollars. Can I expect something like that? Or is that wishful thinking.
 

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jmsteiny-wow, I can't believe you've been to Willcox, AZ, before! It's a small world. The movie 'Red Rock West' with Dennis Hopper and Nicholas Cage was filmed in Willcox, AZ. Pretty entertaining flick, a wild, wild west film set in the modern age, with lots of plot twists, mystery, action, etc. The hospital I work in is in the movie, too! Yeah, this thread is really getting interesting.

jmsteiny, did you come through here on business or during a vacation? I will think more about this idea of coming over there-I can see that working at a hospital that caters to foreigners would be a possibility...I don't speak Chinese.

Keep the information coming-it's fascinating!
 

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Hey Zig..............I highly doubt that you would make the same salary here as you do in America............UNLESS you are already working for a company in America that wants to transfer you to China to do a job there. In that case, you would make your normal salary, plus additional for a overseas posting. I assume you will be looking for a job on your own here, hence a chinese salary. It really is no big deal........first of all the exchange rate. At present it is 6.8/1 (rmb/usd) - meaning for every US dollar, you have 6.8 chinese rmb. Cost of living is cheaper here than in the USA (A big mac meal with fries and a drink is about 20rmb or $2.75 USD), many other things are much cheaper still. Let's say you get a job earning 10000rmb a month (about $1400 USD).........2000-3000rmb a month for a decent apartment (with garage space for your car), another 1000 a month (probably less) for all utilities.........PLENTY left over to buy whatever food you want, go out and eat when you want (a really good meal for 2 in a nice chinese restuarant will be no more than 200rmb - not counting wine/drinks, most meals less than that), have fun in some clubs and STILL be able to save a nice chunk of change every month. Just remember..................this is NOT America. It WILL NOT be a american lifestyle over here. No gazillion TV channels on the digital cable - you like the NFL, watch it on the internet (I do every weekend during the NFL season). Starbucks in not on every corner, you can't drive thru ANY restaurants and get ready for some of the craziest driving you've ever seen. But..............you'll also meet some of the nicest, most friendly people on the planet, stand face to face with 5000 years worth of culture, eat some of the most amazing food you'll ever taste..............and learn a lot about our own country while living in China. Maybe you should think about visiting first and see how you like it???

Hey Rally Red - I always went thru Willcox on business (touring with one of the marching bands/drum corps that I would teach or write music for). I'll never complain about the heat there again - once you've lived thru a few year of tropical humidity in southern China, the dry desert heat of Arizona doesn't seem nearly as hot anymore!!!:D
 

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jmsteiny-yep, it's a dry heat here in Arizona. I want to get that t-shirt that has these skeletons sitting around drinking margarita's. One of them is telling someone that it's a dry heat. They basically look like they're on fire or already burnt to a crisp!:lol:

Yeah, I think a visit there to China first would be a smart thing to do-for sure.
 
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