Expats in China earn 2nd highest pay packages in Asia Pacific

Expats in mainland China are earning the 2nd highest pay packages in the Asia Pacific region, according to an annual survey conducted by ECA International.
China has risen two spots since 2015 to beat out Hong Kong (ranked 4th), Taiwan (12th) and Macau (which doesn’t even make the list), but still trails behind Japan in the rankings, which look like this:
1) Japan
2) China
3) India
4) Hong Kong
5) Australia
6) Philippines
7) Republic of Korea
8) Indonesia
9) Singapore
10) Vietnam
11) Thailand
12) Taiwan
13) New Zealand
14) Sri Lanka
15) Pakistan
16) Malaysia

The value of a typical expat pay package on the mainland now clocks in at $282,500, compared to $265,500 in Hong Kong. The survey takes into account benefits, allowances and taxes.

In Singapore, which has been named the world’s most expensive city for expats for the fourth year in a row, expat salaries have fallen to a five-year low. Meanwhile, Malaysia lucks out at the bottom of the list.

However, it’s still comparatively cheap for companies to hire foreigners in mainland China as the yuan continues to weaken against the US dollar.


Recently, China has been introducing more measures to attract the “right kind” of foreigners with new 5-year work permits and green cards galore. But at the same time, authorities have been cracking down on “illegal” foreigners over the past year, making it tougher for unqualified laowai to get a work visa. However, as long as you’ve got a decent foreigner ranking, then you could be in line for a nice pay day.