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China – Finding Property to Rent

Popular Rental Areas for Expats in China

China is a vast and diverse country with a wide range of cities and regions where expats choose to live. Popular rental areas for expats in China are often determined by factors such as job opportunities, lifestyle preferences, and proximity to international schools and amenities. Here are some examples of popular rental areas for expats in China:


Shanghai, China’s largest city, is a major international hub and a top choice for expats. It offers a dynamic urban lifestyle, a thriving business environment, and a wide range of cultural and recreational activities. Popular expat neighborhoods in Shanghai include Jing’an, Xuhui, and the Former French Concession due to their proximity to international schools, restaurants, and cultural attractions.


Beijing, the capital of China, is another prominent destination for expats. It offers a blend of historical landmarks and modern development. Popular expat areas in Beijing include Chaoyang, Sanlitun, and Shunyi, known for their international schools, embassies, and a vibrant expat community.


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Guangzhou, in southern China, is a thriving metropolis with a strong business scene. It’s a popular choice for expats seeking opportunities in trade and commerce. Popular expat areas in Guangzhou include Tianhe, Zhujiang New Town, and the Pearl River New Town for their modern amenities and international schools.


Shenzhen, adjacent to Hong Kong, is a rapidly growing city known for its technology and innovation. It attracts expats looking for job opportunities in tech-related fields. Popular expat neighborhoods in Shenzhen include Futian, Nanshan, and Shekou, known for their modern living spaces and international communities.

Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region)

While technically a part of China, Hong Kong has its unique expat community due to its distinct legal and political system. It is a global financial hub, attracting expats in finance, business, and various industries. Popular expat areas in Hong Kong include Central, Mid-levels, and Discovery Bay.


Chengdu, in southwestern China, is known for its relaxed pace of life, Sichuan cuisine, and cultural heritage. It’s a choice for expats seeking a more laid-back lifestyle. Popular expat areas in Chengdu include Wuhou, Jinjiang, and Tongzilin, known for their local charm and expat-friendly communities.

Main Websites for Properties to Rent in China

Expats searching for rental properties in China have access to various online platforms and websites that list a wide range of properties. These websites offer user-friendly search options, property details, and contact information for landlords or agencies. Here are some of the main websites for finding rental properties in China:


SmartShanghai is a popular online platform for expats looking for rental properties in Shanghai. It provides comprehensive listings of apartments, houses, and serviced apartments. The website also features articles, classifieds, and event information for the expat community in Shanghai.

The Beijinger

The Beijinger is a well-known resource for expats in Beijing. It offers a classifieds section for rental properties, allowing expats to search for apartments and homes in Beijing. The website also provides information on events, dining, and lifestyle in the city.

Ideal Shanghai

Ideal Shanghai is an online portal for expats in Shanghai to search for rental properties. It offers a variety of property listings, including apartments, villas, and townhouses. The website also provides guides and articles related to life in Shanghai.

Idealista China

Idealista is a global property website with a presence in China. It allows expats to search for rental properties across different cities in China. The website offers filters to refine property searches by location, type, and price range.


591 is a popular property website that also serves expats in Taiwan and China. It provides rental listings for apartments, houses, and commercial properties in various Chinese cities. Users can filter their search based on location and property type.


Housing.cn is a Chinese real estate platform that offers rental property listings across the country. Expats can use the website to search for apartments and houses in their desired city. It provides detailed property information and contact options for landlords or agents.

Main Letting Agencies in China

Letting agencies and property management companies play a crucial role in assisting expats with finding rental properties in China. These agencies often have multilingual staff, local expertise, and knowledge of the rental market. Here are some main letting agencies in China:

JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle)

JLL is a global real estate services firm with a presence in major Chinese cities. They offer a range of property services, including rentals. expats can visit their website to explore available rental listings and contact them for assistance.


Savills is a leading international property agency with offices in several Chinese cities. They provide rental services and have a diverse portfolio of properties. Expats can browse their listings and contact them for inquiries through their website.

Knight Frank

Knight Frank is a global real estate consultancy with offices in China. They offer property services, including rentals, and cater to expats. Expats can explore their listings and contact them through their website for assistance.


CBRE is a well-known commercial real estate services company with a presence in China. They also provide residential rental services for expats. Interested expats can visit their website to view available rental properties and get in touch with their team.

Juwai IQI

Juwai IQI is an online platform that specializes in international property listings, including China. They offer a wide range of rental properties across Chinese cities. Expats can search for properties on their website and contact agents for more information.

Other Ways to Find Property Rentals in China

In addition to online platforms and letting agencies, expats in China can explore other avenues to find rental properties:

Local Newspapers and Classifieds: Some expats prefer to check local newspapers and classified ads in print or online for available rental properties. Local publications often have property listings.

Word of Mouth: Networking within the expat community and seeking recommendations from fellow expats or colleagues can lead to rental opportunities that may not be publicly advertised.

WeChat: WeChat, a popular messaging app in China, also has groups and official accounts dedicated to property rentals. Expats can join these groups or follow accounts for property updates.

Local Real Estate Offices: Visiting local real estate offices or agencies in the desired city can be an effective way to access rental listings and receive personalized assistance.

Expats should exercise caution when renting properties in China, ensuring that lease agreements are clear and all legal requirements are met. Additionally, it’s advisable to visit properties in person and seek legal advice if necessary when entering into rental contracts.

Overall, with a variety of online resources, letting agencies, and alternative methods, expats in China have several options for finding suitable rental accommodations.

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