Guide to Living in Beijing, China, Working

Contract Terms – Guide to Living in Beijing, China

China, Beijing, Expat, Expat life, Contract, Employment

When you sign a contract for a job in China, you need to keep in mind a few things to not get upset with your conditions when you are here.


Make sure your company provides you with full medical coverage. It should be an international insurance that will cover your treatments in international hospitals in the city where you are based.

In case you don’t get you will have to deal with the huge hospital bills and long waiting lines. Also, you need to check with your HR team what is included in the coverage, for example, in Beijing I face a lot of things, which might not be covered.

Salary terms.

Make sure you mention your NET DESIRED SALARY. If you mention it as GROSS, you will be surprised how much you will actually earn. There quite a few deductions that you get such as medical, pension (will return to you when you leave), unemployment and other.

You medical deduction equals 2% of your salary.

Your pension deduction is about 8% (or can be a fixed amount).

And finally your personal income tax, which can vary depending on your contract terms.


Make sure your contract indicated your probation period and its terms. I found out I was on probation 3 months after working in my company. My contract did not mention anything about it. However, your pay terms and entitlements can differ if you are on probation.

Best example is that there is no sick leave entitlement and medical coverage if you get sick during probation. However, you still pay for the medical insurance or if you contract indicates other terms you are safe…

Sick leave and vacations.

You need to make sure it is properly indicated. Also you can negotiate on this terms. In China the annual leave entitlement is 10 days as per local contract. If you have an expat contract you can negotiate for more – up to 14 days.

However, I have seen people who have around 1 month too!

As for the sick leave, you normally can have 6 days per annum as per contract. However, if your contract does not show anything, you might not have it at all.

Resignations terms.

It is a very tricky term. But you need to make sure that you protect yourself as you never know how everything is going to turn out.

First thing for you to know is that most likely your notice period will be around 2 months because as a foreigner you are not easily replaceable – visa process takes time. However, this is also something you can negotiate on. It can be either a reduction or pay back term.

Secondly, the thing you need to consider is your resignation charges – what happens if you leave before your contract is over? Normally, you will be charged your working permit fee. However, there are companies, which will also charge the cost of hiring, training and developing. Others can also add some miscellaneous charges. Be careful, as you never know!

Starting a new job is always exciting, but make sure your excitement does not make you overlook your employment terms. Read it carefully, ask questions and get lawyers to check it for you and you will be safe!

Good luck!

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