Seven Common Questions You Need to Ask Before Accepting A Job Offer In China

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Many expats often make assumptions about their jobs and employers in China based on their experience in Western companies, which is likely to cause disappointment, pain and even economic loss. It is necessary to ask the employer more questions before you fully understand the situation. "It all looks good!" does not mean that it is actually the case. "Looks" always contains a lot of risks. And try to ask questions like these:


  1. Can you write it down?

When you don’t see the real contract, don’t assume that the rights and terms added in the negotiation will be written into the contract. Verbal agreements are always unreliable. Make sure you receive an email containing the proposed contract before accepting the job offer. If possible, you'd better choose to sign an employment contract in China (apply for notarization by a notary organization)




  1. Will I have a legal work permit and work visa?

Remember, all expats who want to work in China must have a Z-Visa (work visa). Using a tourist visa to work in China may cause you to be fined, detained or even deported.


  1. Is this pre-tax salary or after-tax salary?

Some "smart" companies usually promise foreigners a very attractive salary, but fail to inform them that they will pay a large amount of tax, which makes many foreign employees feel cheated. Therefore, when you are promised a high salary, make sure that it is what you will get after paying taxes.


  1. Will my income be shared for tax evasion?

Some Chinese companies usually do not report foreign income to the Chinese government in order to evade taxation and get more profits. Even if you get more wages because of this, you will face greater penalties once discovered.


  1. How long should I inform you of my decision before resigning?

Some companies will cancel the employee's legal severance payment if they you do not inform the resignation within the specified time. Generally speaking, you need to inform them 30 days before leaving your job.


  1. When will I receive housing allowance?

Some companies will give their employees a fixed amount of housing allowance in advance, but some companies will choose to give their employees a housing allowance as a percentage of the specific rent. Therefore, you need to pay the rent in advance and present the official receipt to your company so as to get the housing allowance.


  1. Will I be asked to work on weekends? Will I get extra salary if I work overtime?

Overtime culture is very popular in China. Some company leaders will ask employees to work overtime to increase productivity, but their extra labor will not get any or just very little return. Teachers are sometimes required to start work on Saturday/Sunday, because many school activities are held on weekends.

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