China is an incredibly charming country!
A huge number of new digital workers made the decision to go nomad just to have the chance to live and discover for a while this country, from the main cities to the outskirts, still so authentic and full of traditions.
Moreover, China is presently one of the best countries where to look for new clients as a digital nomad, since the local industry is quickly growing and the Companies work ethics is very high!
But before packing and leaving as if we were students, we must keep in mind we are not students at all. We are freelance and nomad workers, and as we pack we must think about all the tools that will make our job possible.
So, let’s see some very useful (I’d say crucial) tools a digital nomad can’t do without for a period in China.
A good and secure VPN to work via the Internet
Even if China is charming, we must keep in mind it’s a country where state censorship is very restrictive and you’ll need a secure VPN to access your Internet services and websites regularly.
As the Internet marketing guru Ariel Hochstadt says, “China is trying to block VPNs, so make sure you’ll be protected before you arrive”.
I suggest you to learn more about the best VPNs to use in China in this linked article (some of the resources indicated are totally free).
The first working days in China can be challenging, because there are many online services and Apps we can take for granted you won’t be able to use there. Yet, there are alternatives that will allow you to work regularly, as the thousand Expats living in this very big Country can attest.
- Ehi, if you are heading to China you might be interested in learning about 5 Things no one tells about Tibet tour to Everest base camp
- And if you are a Digital Nomad you might be pleased to know
How do freelancers and digital nomads manage to find new clients
A map of coworking areas.
Before you leave, create and print a Map of the best coworking spaces spread all over China.
Many of them are very cozy, efficient and “international”, crowded by Digital Nomads from all over the world and Chinese professionals eager to make new partnerships.
This map might be crucial in your choice of the cities and areas to visit, so you can put together job opportunities and your will to discover such a vast country.
For the above-mentioned censorship issues, you can’t use WhatsApp while in China so, if you want to keep in touch with your family, friends and colleagues, download WeChat (ask your beloved to do the same).
WeChat is very popular in China, also in work environments not just for chatting and sending pics and videos but also because it’s a tool used to pay when you don’t have cash.
App to learn and understand Chinese
No matter if you have studied Chinese or not, the first time you go to China communicating in Chinese will be challenging.
Even more so, if you go there for work and to find new collaboration opportunities, interaction becomes crucial.
One of the best App to learn and communicate in Chinese is Pleco, that allows you to switch from a language to another, as well as making real time translations and helping with the complicated Chinese phonetics.
There is a free version but I recommend you download the upgrade (about 10 dollars) with many very useful features, such as recognizing and translating the Chinese ideograms just with your smartphone webcam.
Insurance… for digital nomads
No matter where you go, but particularly if you are heading to such a vast country whose language and culture is so far different than any western community, a travel medical insurance for Digital Nomads is a MUST.
There are very flexible insurance contracts you can sign, such as SafetyWings that I already mentioned in this post about non-material things a Digital Nomad needs no matter where she/he goes.
Money and payment
Another essential for a trip to China is a rechargeable card part of an international circuit such as Visa or Mastercard or an even better credit card and cash that can be exchanged for Chinese currency, as soon as you land.
If in the biggest cities you can easily pay with cards, in smaller communities they tend to prefer cash and remember for “cash” they only mean local currency.
Good news for you digital nomads: you can use PayPal also in China so you can get paid by your clients no matter where you’re traveling in China.
Would you consider going to China to live a period as a Digital Nomad?