Digital nomads is a lifestyle that interests many people today. As a digital nomad, you have the freedom of choosing where to live and where to work. You can move around the globe while being your own boss.
For digital nomads, there are many countries and places to choose from. Some popular choices include Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Austin, Melbourne, Perth, LA, Taipei, Ho Chi Minh City etc.
Is China a good choice for digital nomads?
To answer this questions, we should consider the following factors:
Cost of Living:
China has been developing at a very fast speed and the cost of living has also been rising in big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. However, the overall condition is still relatively good. You can find cheap places to live, especially if you choose cities that are not among the largest ones.
Most people in China don’t speak English. In big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai you might find some English-speaking people, but in smaller towns, it might be difficult to get around without speaking Mandarin. Therefore, language is one of the biggest problems for digital nomads in China. However, if you speak good Chinese, then you will find yourself have much more choices.
Pollution is a big problem in today’s China, especially in the Northern China such as Beijing, Tianjin etc. Many foreigners can’t stand the bad air quality in those places. The overall air quality is better in the Southern part of China, such as Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen etc. But even in those cities sometimes you will have to tolerate some air pollution.
Places to Work From:
In today’s China, you can find cafes such as Starbucks in most cities. You can work there and many cafes offer free Wifi. In addition, there are more and more co-working spaces in China these days, especially in large cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.
In today’s China, high-speed Internet connection is available almost everywhere. However, one big problem is that the so-called Great Firewall of China blocks many overseas websites and services such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, Instagram, news websites and much more. As a digital nomad, you might find this very frustrating. Many people (including local Chinese people) use VPNs to bypass Internet blocking. If you do want to stay and work in China, getting yourself a reliable VPN that work in China is very important.
Fun and Culture:
China is a country with a long and rich history. There are many tourist attractions that are worth checking out. In addition, in big cities you can easily find places such as nightclubs, movie theaters, shopping malls etc. that are not that different from those in other big cities around the world.
Most big cities in China are safe places to live. The crime rates are not high and there are not many “dangerous” neighborhoods. However, it’s always a good idea to watch out and make sure you are safe.
Is China a good place to stay and work for digital nomads? I think the answer is not that straightforward. On one hand, China is a country with a rich culture and many interesting places and the cost of living is not that high. However, on the other hand, there are problems such as language barriers, air pollution, and Internet blocking. Therefore, it’s up to you to decide whether it’s a good choice. Maybe it’s a good idea to take a short trip to China and try it yourself first.