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Shanghai unveils handbook for expats

China Daily| Updated: October 11, 2023

To attract more expats to Shanghai and help them better integrate into the city, municipal authorities on Thursday released a handbook, which explains local policies and provides service information for expatriates.

The handbook was compiled by the Foreign Affairs Office of the Shanghai municipal government in collaboration with the Shanghai People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. It provides comprehensive information for both new arrivals and longtime expat residents on various aspects of everyday life in Shanghai.

The handbook has four sections — Shanghai essentials, living in Shanghai, exploring Shanghai, and a service directory.

The "living in Shanghai" section includes practical information such as administrative procedures on arrival, useful mobile phone apps, as well as details on public transportation, housing, education, healthcare, emergency hotlines and public holidays.

The "exploring Shanghai" section provides information on cultural venues, international exhibitions and events, shopping, landmarks and local specialties.

The handbook, which took into account the views and suggestions of many expat residents, has around 40 illustrations and 36 QR codes, which can connect users to service information and instructions.

Kong Fu'an, director general of the municipal foreign affairs office and executive vice-president of the association for friendship, said expats are valued members of the community who make significant contributions to the city's development.

"Together, we aim to build Shanghai into a global hub of talent where people from every corner of the globe can converge and thrive. We'll continue to introduce services and measures to provide thoughtful services so that expats can enjoy a pleasant stay and successful career here," he said.

Natacha Tarascon from France, who has lived in Shanghai for a decade, said that life as an expat in the city is easy and safe. High-quality education and medical care are also reasons that the mother of three chooses to stay in Shanghai.

"My kids, who were all born and raised in Shanghai, have been learning Chinese, French and English since they were born. Diverse learning and mixing cultures will surely open their minds," said Tarascon, who founded a children's skin care brand in Shanghai in 2019.

She said she started her business in Shanghai because the city has always been open to new brands and the municipal government is very supportive of startups. "Also, we can easily collaborate with high-end suppliers and innovative factories here," she said.

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