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I was in Shenzhen a few weeks ago. It's indeed a wonderful city.

Originally the massive manufacturing industry was accelerated by the large amount of people from rural areas flocking into the city due to reform and opportunities. The increase in population resulted in a large unskilled workforce and thus very cheap manual labour and large factory assembly lines.

It's a lot better now given a much more competitive market. Salaries are higher and quality of living is better than the rest of the country. A lot of people became very rich in Shenzhen within the last decade.

I pay my Chinese employees in shenzhen the same wages I pay my workers in LA. The cost of living, from what I can tell, is fairly comparable.

Are they considered independent contractors or do you pay them through a Chinese subsidiary? I'm looking into issue currently and all the bureaucracy (on both sides) is driving me mad.

Arguably the easiest thing to do from the China side is to pay people with a normal international payment via SWIFT in USD. Benefits for them include: they get to store their cash in USD, they can convert USD to CNY or whatever else at leisure, they can always exfiltrate funds.

Another option is to open an international account link with HSBC so that you can ping money from the US to China quickly, then pay out locally. However foreign banks including HSBC have strict rules on what they are allowed to do in country so you may need to do a bit more shuffling to make this route happen.

Recommended domestic bank (Shenzhen based) is China Merchant's Bank.

That is actually much closer than I expected it to be.

> Prices Including Rent in Shenzhen are 36.96% lower than in Los Angeles.

To compare,

> Prices Including Rent in Los Angeles, CA are 36.34% lower than in Zurich.

LA is basically the same price for rent as third tier Chinese cities. (Source: I lived LA 2010, China before and after) However, you don't need a car in China, other aspects of cost of living such as food, utilities, transport and appliances are a lot cheaper, and the government doesn't really try to tax you (and certainly not on foreign earnings). Plus, you get to learn a new language. Flip side, no LACMA and it's a bitch to get decent avocados or orange juice, and a lot of alcohol is cheaper in LA.

Median or average cost of living doesn't necessarily translate across the entire population. Technology employee salaries skew towards the higher compensation edge of the distribution. If you assume that the income inequality in China is higher than that of LA, it stands to reason that cost of living / typical compensation for a technology employee salaries would be roughly the same.

It highlight the difficulty of comparison, that this tool assumes a western diet. I'm talking about milk, cheese as part of the cost of living. Nearly all chesse is imported and milk is rare. Also boneless skinless chicken breasts?

Not sure the solve for this, just found it interesting.

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