City in China

Which city in China should you choose to live in?

by The Panda Team in Cities 14/04/2017

For many people, one of the most important factor that goes into choosing a job is location. Whether you prefer a large, medium, or a small-sized city is entirely dependent on the person. I will offer some pros and cons of different city types so you can decide on which type of city you prefer more.

City Tier

In China, every city belongs to a certain tier level. First tier cities are the most developed cities each with population over 10 million people. For that reason, there are more job offers and expats in these cities. There are also more services catering to foreigners such as restaurants, shopping districts, and products. Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou would all be considered first tier. If you don’t like crowded cities, then you might prefer tier two and tier three cities. Tier 1 cities also tend to be more polluted than the smaller cities.

All other provincial cities in China are considered second tier. Chengdu, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Qingdao, and Xiamen are examples of second tier cities. Second tier cities are usually fast growing cities with many of the same aspects of life as first tier cities. Their population range from 5-10 million and job opportunities are just as good.

Third tier cities are medium sized cities with population ranging from one to five million people. They are more developed than small towns and villages but don’t have as many services catering to foreigners. There also isn’t as much job opportunities. However, this doesn’t mean you should ignore them. There are hundreds of third tier cities in China and each are very unique. Some people prefer living in less populated cities.

Before deciding where to live, I recommend you read more blogs about the city and check out some travel vloggers on Youtube. A lot of people just end up choosing a random city and it usually turns out to be a great fit!


If you got any questions, feel free to ask us at