Working in China (Shanghai)

Microsoft Wozicuycjz
Jun 11, 2018 65 Comments

Hi,

I recently received a 235K TC (including benefits) job offer in China (shanghai) EDIT: i think we have someone below that didn’t understand this is USD. 1.5Million RMB.

I know China relatively well as i go there a lot for work and i can speak the language with 80% fluency. Can read a basic newspaper. Can type. Can do biz meetings. Can not explain product well nor do i know like academic or literary vocabulary.

I’ll be working in media and taking on a much more senior role than i am in Microsoft. I’m an IC here at Microsoft but will be a leader at this company.

It’s a very well known American brand and functionally similar to what i do now at Microsoft. At Microsoft I’m doing very well. Fast promo velocity. Great manager. Great team. Only reason I’m leaving is i want to manage a team and i want to live in China. The TC is also higher as it’s a very senior role and i will be he youngest person at that level at the China office.

I’m very excited about this opp but I’m scared of leaving Microsoft. I love what i do right now. I feel I’m paid well. I’ve had 3 jobs since undergrad and this is my best job ever as great hours. Smart ppl. Interesting work. Great international travel when i want and where i want. Nice office. Manager awesome. Skip level visionary. I know I’m lucky. But this opportunity seems to good to turn down. A few warning signs as they’re not giving me all the niceties of an expat package that I’ve heard of but it’s good money.

My parents and siblings are here in the us. I have friends there from bschool. Life is easy. Zero stress.

Is there anything i should be careful of?

Anything about working in China that has changed? I worked in China 4 years ago for 6 months but now am moving there long term.

Any advice. Thoughts. Feedback. Musings. All helpful. Prefer no trolls as I really am excited and hopefully won’t be too many downers.

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TOP 65 Comments
  • Microsoft GjfG3n
    Been there as expat. Life in China is really bad, you will be suffering and regret about your move.

    How are you going to survive with this salary in Shanghai?

    I would not return back for any money.
    Jun 12, 2018 12
    • Google KjDt62
      Guess GjfG3n has never been to Shanghai. Smoking is banned in most places and weed is illegal. Public area is clean as there are 200k janitors in the city. Especially public transportation is very clean, and the underground Metro can take you to every corner of the city.

      If you can bear with San Francisco or New York, you won't have any problem living there. Just take a vacation trip to see how the urban area looks, how the food tastes and how much fun you will have there.
      Jun 13, 2018
    • Microsoft GjfG3n
      Oh sure, tell me. Have you ever been there yourself?

      You didn't see a taxi driver smoking inside of the car? Or smoking in restroom of shopping mall? Or smoking in restaurants?

      Or everyone spit on road so you have to walk carefully to not step into anyone snot?

      Or mother making her crying baby a pee-pee on stairs of supermarket?

      Or a big fat rat jumping though a counter in KFC and no one gives a fuck?

      Or when it's literally impossible to sit in a coffeeshop with laptop because people loud as fuck or they kids crying and parents didn't give a fuck about it?

      Or dumb electric scooters driving at full speed at dusk with lights off just to save battery?

      I would skip quality of food, internet, convenience of banks and security of local online services (did Baidu and Unicom switch already to HTTPS or still sending all passwords via plain HTTP?)

      YES, Shanghai is a fucking hell.
      Jun 13, 2018
    • Google KjDt62
      I lived in the city for 20 years and I didn't encounter most issues you are complaining. There used to be a lot smokers in public area in my childhood but there are very few 10 years later. I seldom see ppl spit on the streets. Supermarkets are clean 24/7 since they always have janitors working as long as they're open. Stray cats are everywhere so I'll be surprised a fat rat can survive. You should go to public libraries because coffeeshops are not supposed to be a quiet place. Scooters are not popular in Shanghai and I seldom see ppl riding those.

      VPN is an issue, for sure. You can take a trip there and experience yourself at any time.
      Jun 13, 2018
    • Uber / Eng shANq80
      GjfG3n all your comments are fucking stupid. Clearly you have no idea about Chinese cities like 上海 in this _modern_ age.
      Jun 24, 2018
    • Workday / Eng Wtfwfh
      Lol a lot of comments GjfG3n made sound more like BART and KFCs in Bay Area.
      Jul 1, 2018
  • If you are single, congrats & best of luck; if you are married, best of luck for your marriage
    Jun 11, 2018 2
    • So true
      Jun 11, 2018
    • Pinterest PfU7s
      Why is that?
      Jul 7, 2018
  • Are you Chinese? If not, I find it hard to progress. Not trying to be racist and maybe that's my limited experience.
    Jun 11, 2018 5
    • Microsoft Wozicuycjz
      OP
      Are you kidding? Most head
      Of China’s or ceo of China for American companies are American. If you’re american you climb the fastest.

      People that come back from China stints are usually promoted the fastest?

      This is not for a Chinese company ... do you feel Chinese people at American companies at get promoted faster than their white ppl counterparts. I certainly didn’t feel this way at Microsoft.
      Jun 11, 2018
    • Booking.com nolovelost
      I believe he meant if you are Chinese you'll have better chance in China then if you are not. Not in the US. But I think that's anedoctal data based on single experience. I was in Shanghai for a short while for an American company and got the opposite impression.
      Jun 11, 2018
    • Point taken. I worked for a Chinese company, one of the biggest, and they treat us foreigners like slaves. Yes American firms will probably be the opposite (although I hear that's not the case in a few firms )
      Jun 11, 2018
    • Microsoft Wozicuycjz
      OP
      Can i ask - what type of role did you have at the Chinese Company? If you can be the white guy bridge to America - that’s your role. If you’re just trying to be an engineer among Chinese ppl that’s a recipe for losing.
      Jun 11, 2018
    • Management training at a top company. But I do not speak Mandarin. Most of is Laowais were treated like shit and given menial work. Half of them ended up quitting. Only the Chinese and a few Taiwanese stayed
      Jun 13, 2018
  • New / Other ↔️
    Are you white? We really don't need more colonizers there 😁
    Jun 11, 2018 2
    • Microsoft Wozicuycjz
      OP
      I’m asian american. Some ppl may call it abc.
      Jun 11, 2018
    • New / Other ↔️
      Okay you're approved then
      Jun 11, 2018
  • Google mqyagz
    Congrats! How is the TC calculated? What benefits are included in that number / what would the TC calculated in a traditional base salary + stocks + bonus way be?
    Jun 11, 2018 3
    • Microsoft Wozicuycjz
      OP
      175K usd base. 30K bonus. 30K benefits.
      Jun 12, 2018
    • Google mqyagz
      Very high base. What’s included in the 30k benefits? Rent?
      Jun 12, 2018
    • Microsoft Wozicuycjz
      OP
      Some rent. Gym. Medical. Retirement. Stuff like that.
      Jun 12, 2018
  • Uber DAmZP3
    If you think 1.5M RMB is a lot of money, you are wrong.
    Jun 12, 2018 7
    • Microsoft Wozicuycjz
      OP
      Why is renting and diding everywhere a miserable life? Traffic is really bad. Houses are super expensive?

      I don’t understand your priorities?
      Jun 12, 2018
    • Uber DAmZP3
      Talk to the local people. They are dying to buy houses and cars. Ask them why they wanted houses and cars so badly. Why don't they rent and didi.
      A license plate alone costs more than 10K USD. Things being expensive is the result of people wanting to buy them.
      Jun 12, 2018
    • Microsoft Wozicuycjz
      OP
      They’re Chinese. I’m american. I have a house in America.
      Jun 12, 2018
    • Uber DAmZP3
      Then what good is it that an American live in China?
      Jun 12, 2018
    • Microsoft Wozicuycjz
      OP
      Of course - i can rent. And live an american life. Beautiful apartment in jing an. Didi everywhere. Eat out everywhere.
      Jun 12, 2018
  • Amazon wwqwwq
    Shanghai is pretty expensive, 230k there is like 230k in NYC
    Jun 20, 2018 5
    • Microsoft Sosuevev
      Rent is cheaper than ny for sure

      Taxis cheaper

      Subway cheaper

      Food cheaper no tax and tip

      Shanghai is about the same as Seattle in Rent.
      Jun 20, 2018
    • Uber / Eng shANq80
      Are you sure? you likely pay higher income tax at ∼45%. man why I had to pay more to drink Starbucks?
      Jun 24, 2018
    • Microsoft Spwoshb
      Yea. Starbucks is more.

      Income tax with tax break is much lower than the us. Every company gives you fa piao
      Jun 24, 2018
    • Uber / Eng shANq80
      Lol I heard that. Good call. China is learning western tax system. We'll see.
      Jun 24, 2018
    • Microsoft euwhvzb
      It really isn’t. I save 7K usd a month and i buy anything and everything i want. In Seattle i saved 3k
      Aug 10
  • Cloudflare fsHQ33
    I’m also interested in China. OP, I’m curious how an opportunity like this came up for you. Were you connected to someone at this firm that you’re considering?
    Jun 24, 2018 1
    • Microsoft Spwoshb
      PM me. Prefer not to share details super publicly. Can you speak mandarin ?
      Jun 24, 2018
  • Nice! You’re going to get so much
    💃🏻👯‍♀️🐱
    Jun 11, 2018 0
  • RBB Bancorp YEBr33
    How do you like Shanghai so far?
    Aug 10 4
    • Microsoft euwhvzb
      It’s been a year. Absolutely love it! Save so much money too. I save about 7K usd a month. Way more than in the us. I don’t watch my spending.
      Aug 10
    • RBB Bancorp / Eng
      KevinMac

      RBB Bancorp Eng

      PRE
      HSBC
      KevinMacmore
      I’m moving to Shanghai next month. Hopefully I’ll enjoy my life there.
      Aug 10
    • Microsoft euwhvzb
      nice. Lemme
      Know if you have questions
      Aug 10
    • RBB Bancorp / Eng
      KevinMac

      RBB Bancorp Eng

      PRE
      HSBC
      KevinMacmore
      Thank you
      Aug 11
  • Amazon / Product Allon
    How is 235k 3k per month?? Are you forgetting a 0?
    Jun 12, 2018 3
    • Microsoft Wozicuycjz
      OP
      He was assuming it was rmb. Why wouldn’t he ask? It clearly is US dollars. He clearly didn’t read the post.
      Jun 12, 2018
    • Microsoft GjfG3n
      No, I didn't. Should I spend my time on it?
      Jun 12, 2018
    • Microsoft Wozicuycjz
      OP
      Why reply then if you’re not going to read?
      Jun 12, 2018
  • Uber / Eng shANq80
    1.5m RMB TC is good... you'll be fine, but places around Jing An, Gao An Road can be very expensive. It depends on your life style. My suggestion is you might as well sharp your Chinese language, live like a local, and then get an opportunity to work for Chinese companies like ATM because they will pay easily more than double of this offer.
    Jun 24, 2018 2
    • Microsoft Spwoshb
      Atm works you hard. 996. You can make 3M for your life or 1.5 and have a life.
      Jun 24, 2018
    • Microsoft euwhvzb
      Btw Ali p8 doesn’t pay much. 700K rmb base with 2.8 million in stock on 0-50-25-25. Average tenure at Ali is 14 months. You probably will just make 800k in 14 months.
      Aug 11
  • NASA Sybil
    How many years of experience do you have if you don't mind me asking?
    Aug 2, 2018 1
  • Amazon wwqwwq
    Food and entertainment is great though
    Jun 20, 2018 1
    • Microsoft GjfG3n
      What kind of entertainment is great there? Square dancing?
      Jun 20, 2018
  • Amazon wwqwwq
    Bars, club, ktv, etc
    Jun 20, 2018 0
  • Microsoft Wozicuycjz
    OP
    I’m sorry - 235K is US dollars. 235K rmb is poverty line. Why on earth would you assume i would accept 235K rmb? The offer is 1.5Million rmb. I work for Microsoft now. Which leadership position at which American company would pay 40K a year? Why on earth would i go from 200K usd to 40K usd. For what?

    I feel like based on that assumption alone you don’t really understand how big companies work.

    Do you work at Microsoft? Do you not know what Microsoft pays?
    Jun 12, 2018 0
  • Google QvCc10
    I think MSFT is if you want to coast. This other opportunity sounds like a chance to have impact, do something more unique. Maybe you end back at msft in higher level 5-10 years from now.

    Depends on your priorities. Gratz.
    Jun 11, 2018 0

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