This site is the best source of information about China whether you're a tourist, shopper, doing business in China or an expatriate. We aim to build a friendly, open and unbiased community with the best information about China. -- Areeb Yasir
Shopping is a large reason why many people visit China but there are just as many reasons why people have misconceptions about the shopping experience they should expect. China is relatively expensive for comparable Western goods especially when compared to North America, this means the same name brand clothes, goods, housewares and electronics will typically cost the same or even far more by Western standards.
China is full of new modern shopping malls which by many standards may exceed the offerings and exuberence of what we Westerners are used to at home and you can typically expect the same or better service than you'd find at home. One great thing is that there is no consumer sales tax in China so there are opportunities to save on sale items.
Another perspective about China is that many people believe the whole country is awash of cheap goods because much of the world's products are produced there, however as I alluded to, this is not at all true. The only way to find better deals on items is usually to shop where locals shop or to go to the equivalent of a flea market or shopping center which are also prevalent in China but often not in the main areas. In these less travelled area if is often possible to find "factory seconds" of brand name clothing or "replicas/knockoffs/copies" as some people refer to them, however it's not clear that all this merchandise is not legitimate as many items you'll find are in full packaging without spelling mistakes and has the full tag and are even often of extremely high quality materials. This is not to say that's always the case but this has been my experience with shopping in various Chinese cities.
In many of the above mentioned locations, especially with prices being unmarked for items you can barter/bargain and for some this will either be frustrating or entertaining, if you have a good sense of humor and patience, you can find both the bargain and a great day out while doing this, but it can take practice to find out what the real price/best deal is and even then this is in the eye of the beholder of course.
Whatever your taste is and style is, you will certainly find a vibrant, entertaining and diverse shopping experience while shopping in China.
I am mentioning these as small list since they are typically the most commonly first travelled locations by foreigners visiting China and I would agree make an extremely good starting itinerary.
Under the one country 2-systems rule, which means their system of government has been kept even as China formally asserts its long-standing ownership and control. To be clear, these terrorities are all considered to be part of China but they are often referred to separately and distinctly and even crossing in and out of them from the Chinese side is considered leaving and entering the country for the purposes of customs.
Who wouldn't want to travel to China with it being both full of modern marvels and eclectic historical throwbacks. this includes an amazing rise and transformation as the world's superpower and with it being the largest country on earth for many other reasons than just geography. But you may already know this since you're excited enough to visit China whether it's simply for the tourism aspect, to relocate for work and/or to pursue business opportunities, if you follow our site you won't be disappointed!
The other great thing about travelling to China is that you can have many different experiences even while visiting the same cities/places a few years later, with the rapid changes and modernization you'll find entire new sections of brand new buildings, shops, apartments, roadways and find that some of what you know is no longer valid in terms of information or geography.
China is now the world's number 2 economy and is ultimately projected to become the number 1 economy within 10 years the rate of growth between the USA and China is constantly growing. There's a reason why so many foreign companies, especially from Corporate USA have setup shop in China and that's because they're making huge profits, in fact many of these companies growth are being sustained largely by their Chinese operations. This doesn't mean China is a gold mine for everyone and that you can just walk in and get rich, but with such a huge population and growing economy where the middle class is not only thriving but increasing, and the wealthy elites are being created, you can probably see why many foreign companies are flocking to China.
Doing business in China requires you to make both a cultural/societal connection in addition to understanding how the finance, business and regulatory environment works, especially for your particular industry and location you plan to do or establish business. There are no hard or set rules that we will spell out as there are too many rumors and unsubstantiated facts possibly lead on by your possible competitors or companies who specialize in B2B setup within China. This is not to say business is easy in China, but it isn't always as hard as people make it sound.
In all major Chinese cities you will be able to find all of the Western goods from clothing, electronics, and most of your favorite foods including chain restaurants, ethnic cuisines fairly easily. For those with insurance, they have SOS medical facilities which are pricey but appear to be the same or possibly better than the healthcare you would receive at home. The catch though, is that I believe if an ambulance were to be called for you, it would by default take you to a Chinese-style hospital which may be uncomfortable for foreigners.
Foreigners are limited to owning 1 piece of property in China at a time in order to help cool the real estate market.