Time: GMT + 8 hours.
Currency: The Renminbi (CNY, ¥), meaning “The People’s Currency", is the official currency of China. It is also referred to as yuan. The units are yuan, jiao and fen although Fen has almost disappeared. 1 yuan is equal 10 jiao and to 100 fen. You can check the latest exchange rates here.
Electricity: The electrical current in China is 220 volts, 50Hz. Different types of plugs are used but the two-pin flat blade and oblique three-pin flat blade plugs are common and expats should make sure they have compatible adapters.
Safety: China is safe in terms of violent crime. Expats usually feel safe to walk home at night in major cities, although obvious risks and bad neighbourhoods should be avoided. Expats have to be careful in crowds as they can be victims of petty crimes, such as pick-pocketing and scams. The largest danger to expats is food safety as many people suffer from disease and bacteria resulting from unclean or improperly cooked foods.
Expats should also be aware of the risk of heavy rains and typhoons, which cause hundreds of deaths each year, particularly around the areas bordering the Yangtze River.
Communications: Expats relocating to China should note that the outgoing telephone code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (eg 0027 for South Africa) and the international access code for China is +86. International Direct Dialling is available in most major cities and phone cards are widely available. Expats will find that mobile phone networks are very advanced and mobile phone operators use GSM 900 networks and have roaming agreements with most non-North American international operators. Internet cafes are available in most main towns and high speed broadband ADLS Internet is found in most major cities.
Climate: China covers extensive territory and the weather differs from region to region. The south-east can be very wet with high temperatures all year round. In the central Yangtze and Huaihe River valleys, extreme temperatures can be experienced with hot summers and very cold wet winters. The north is dry with sunny summers and long cold winters, while the coast is humid and entailing a risk of monsoons during summer.
Embassy contact details
Chinese Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 328 2500.
Chinese Embassy, London, United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 7299 4049.
Chinese Embassy, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 789 3434.
Chinese Embassy, Canberra, Australia: +61 (0)2 6273 4780.
Chinese Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 431 6500.
Chinese Embassy, Dublin, Ireland: +353 (0)1 260 1119.
Chinese Embassy, Wellington, New Zealand: +64 (0)4 472 1382.
Foreign Embassies in China
United States Embassy, Beijing: +86 (0)10 8531 3000.
British Embassy, Beijing: +86 (0)10 8529 6600.
Canadian Embassy, Beijing: +86 (0)10 5139 4000.
Australian Embassy, Beijing: +86 (0)10 5140 4111.
South African Embassy, Beijing: +86 (0)10 6532 7323.
Irish Embassy, Beijing: +86 (0)10 6532 2691.
New Zealand Embassy, Beijing: +86 (0)10 8532 7000.
Wordtravels.com has an extensive travel guide to China: http://wordtravels.com/Travelguide/Countries/China
Banking, Money and Taxes in China:
List of Chinese banks: www.portalino.it/banks/_cn.htm
Taxes in China:
Tax information: www.chinatax.gov.cn/n6669073/index.html
Tax adviser: www.lehmanlaw.com/professionals/tax-advisors.html
Working in China:
Chinese job listings: www.zhaopin.com
Chinese job listings: www.chinahr.com
Recruitment company: www.wang-li.com
Work Permits for China:
Visa agency: www.mychinavisa.com
Visa agency: chinavisaservice.org
Shipping and Removals to China:
Allied Pickfords: www.alliedpickfords.com.cn
Air Freight: www.worldfreight.co.uk/commair.asp
Shipping and removal company: www.kellysuts.com
Pet relocation: www.aemovers.com.hk
Shipping services: http://www.shipping-international.com/