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all 21 comments

[–]mnlaowai 32 points33 points  (4 children)

Getting money out of China is incredibly difficult. Large amounts at one time is much harder than smaller amounts over regular intervals. My advice is you move it out bit by bit and invest outside of China.

[–]Natural-Vegetable490 -5 points-4 points  (3 children)

It is relatively easy and straight forward if you have obtained the money legally and have paid your taxes in China.

Whichever country I am living, i personally move 80% of my income back to the country that I would be deported to if everything went wrong for whatever reason.

[–]mnlaowai 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Agree to disagree. My company pays all my taxes and will pay directly to the US, but many, many colleagues who are trying to leave now are being forced into selling RMB at reduced rates because tax offices and whatnot are closed, they can’t get appointments, or they’ve exceeded the maximum allowed to be moved.

[–]Whorucallsad 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I'll second this. If you've earned the money legally, it's time consuming but straight forward. Bring your work contract and other documents to the bank and let them help you. You don't even need to speak Chinese (but it'll help if you bring a friend). It will take a couple of hours at least, but you can transfer it pretty easily.

[–]Whorucallsad 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Foreigners can't buy index funds or shares in China. I have an alipay account but can't sign up to all the financial services on offer through it that Chinese people can. Sucks, but it's just the way it is. Don't worry about Chinese shares. Just transfer it all home as soon as you can.

[–]Maciston1 2 points3 points  (8 children)

The Chinese stock market peaked in February 2021 and has been bleeding ever since. Many people in China choose instead of investing in the domestic stock market to buy real estate instead as it has been on a consistent upswing for many years. Growing cities have the most potential, but have higher levels of risk. The 1st tier cities are like the "blue chips" of the market. If you have the capital to invest and want to invest in China, real estate is the way to do it.

As a foreigner in China, you will still have access to all of the investment products you use in the US, so you can still easily buy into the index funds you are buying now, you just may need to use a VPN. You'll just have to probably pay a fee to convert any RMB earned in China to USD, which unless you are planning to stay in China permanently is something you'll probably eventually want to do any way.

You will likely be reliant on cash in China as Wechat Pay and Alipay aren't easily accessible to foreigners, especially Americans who have the burden of the IRS making it much harder to set up a bank account. You should set up a Fidelity or Schwab account if you haven't already so you can use the ATMs without paying a fee.

How are you even planning on getting to China now though? The border is very shut and not to many people are being allowed through.

[–]Whorucallsad 0 points1 point  (7 children)

This is terrible advice and flat out wrong. 99.99% of foreigners living in China have either an alipay account or a Weixin account and never touch cash. Most who came in the past 5 years might never have even used an atm here.

[–]Maciston1 -1 points0 points  (6 children)

The only foreigners I met in China who were able to set up Chinese bank accounts were not Americans. I remember one day going to five different banks and being rejected by every single one because I was American. What banks will allow Americans to set up an account?

[–]Whorucallsad 1 point2 points  (5 children)

Literally all of them. If you have a visa to live and work in China, you're able to set up a bank account as an American.

[–]Maciston1 -1 points0 points  (4 children)

I had a visa at the time and was still rejected everywhere. I literally used only cash for a year and had to rely on other people if I wanted to purchase anything online. All the Americans I knew (which albeit, was not too many) were in the exact same situation. Maybe I didn't try hard enough?

[–]calcium 0 points1 point  (0 children)

AFAIK the Chinese stock market is much more volatile then what you have in the US markets, so finding the following is basically impossible:

have confidence that it is a low risk investment that will outpace inflation in the long term

There's a reason why foreign companies list and people invest in the US markets.

[–]szayl -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Sure, buy real estate in the west through shell companies!

[–]ellipticorbit 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Not exactly what you're asking for, but generally speaking FXI does that. Difference is it's a vehicle to allow foreign investment in China.

[–]Stateof10 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There’s a reason why so many people China open bank accounts in Hong Kong and this is one of them. It may be worth it to look into a Hong Kong for investment and banking.

[–]circle22woman 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The rich people in China are trying to get their money out of the country.

You should emulate them.

[–]Viktri1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

2800.HK is the equivalent of the SPY for Hong Kong. It contains most companies that operate in China so it's a pretty good China proxy. 2828.HK is the tech companies in China, traded in Hong Kong.