Moving to China Checklist – 2017

china checklist

If you’re moving to China for a year or more, you’d better bring the essentials.

This my updated China Checklist with all the items I would recommend you bring. Note that you will still be able to find some of these items in the country. I just feel that having these things will make your conversion into China life from the West much smoother.

Smart Phone – iPhone, Android, or Windows phone. After you get into the country, you can buy a China Unicom SIM card for local service. I advise you buy a phone before you get to China to cut costs. Before you arrive you can also download the air quality index app from http://aqicn.org/
You’ll be able to monitor pollution levels in your target city.

Understand that using your smart phone in China might not be as simple as I’m describing it here. You could run into compatibility issues and there are other things you need to account for. I recommend you read up on this very good article on the topic.

Subscribe to a VPN – What is a Virtual Private Network? A VPN is a server that allows you to sidestep the Chinese firewall that keeps China’s citizens from accessing foreign-hosted propagators of information such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

If you want to access these sites you need a VPN service. I have been using StrongVPN since I’ve been in China and it still works for me to this day. Just realize that there will be some days when you simply can’t connect and there’s nothing that can be done about it.

china checklist

3M Dust Masks – Might want to bring along a pack of these for when pollution levels are too high. If you can find more fashionable or comfortable solutions, bring those instead.

Deodorant – You should be able to find deodorant in China, but there doesn’t seem to be very many different kinds of effective antiperspirant. If you have a favorite brand (like a stick antiperspirant), you might want to bring a fair amount, as it only products available in China seem to be roll-ons and sprays.

Laptop or Tablet Computer – Contrary to what some may believe, China isn’t exactly swimming in cheap tech, despite being the place where most of this technology is manufactured. You can get a cheaper, higher-quality computer in the West, so snag a one before you go. Don’t worry about the authorities trying to scope your adult data. They don’t care.

Learn About Bitcoin – To easily send money home, or to withdrawal money from your domestic bank accounts without incurring huge fees, you might want to study up on Bitcoin. Open an account on Coinbase and Local Bitcoins and learn your way around.

china checklist

Floss – Personally I prefer the kind that comes in a roll as opposed to those plastic frames with a length of floss in the prongs. If you’re like me, you might want to bring plenty of your own. I don’t know why rolls of floss are difficult to find in China. It might stem from a cultural aversion to having their fingers in their mouths.

Antacids – Snag a few containers of chewable Tums. You’re gonna need them and you probably won’t find them anywhere in China.

Imodium – You will get the runs in China as your body adjusts to the different microbes. I guarantee it. It doesn’t help that when many foreigners come to the country they gorge themselves on too much alcohol, spicy food, and oily, greasy shit. Do yourself a favor and bring along a few boxes of anti-diarrheal medicine. And drink plenty of water.

Get Your Shots – This isn’t exactly “something to pack” but I still think it warrants mentioning. Before you leave for China, make sure you get vaccinated for possible health risks in the region you’re going to go to. I went to a place called Passport Health where they monitor health information from around the globe and sell you vaccinations for possible illnesses depending on the region.

china checklist

Take note, this service is very expensive. You will be thanking yourself though, once you get to China and the people who didn’t pay for all their shots get deathly ill while you carry on healthy as a horse: www.passporthealth.com

Bring a Wardrobe – Clothes aren’t much less expensive in China and I have found the quality to typically be lacking; pants and jackets fall apart after only a few months. Also, if you’re tall, good luck finding items in your size. To help you think about what kind of clothes you might need, included here is a list of what I believe makes up a complete wardrobe with the essential items you’ll need to live comfortably:

Suit of some kind: Trust me, you’ll want to bring one. You might get approached to be on television or get invited to a banquet with Chinese government officials. I’m not joking.
Peacoat or Trenchcoat: Something you can wear over your suit.
A few pairs of jeans
A windbreaker
A couple pairs of slacks or dress pants
Track pants
Dress shoes
Sneakers
Belts
A few ties
Holdall or Briefcase – Don’t want to be walking around with a backpack, do you?
Hoodie
Wife beaters or White T’s
Sweatshirt
Thermal Underwear – a couple pairs of tops and bottoms
A few button-down shirts
T-shirt
Sweater
White collared shirt
Socks
Boxers or Underwear

And there you have it! Is there anything else you think I should’ve included in this list, but didn’t? Please leave a comment below.

How to Study Chinese in China

If you want to study Chinese in China, you’d better have serious discipline.

I’ve been studying Mandarin for years, but not consistently. My studies have tended to slip a bit when I get caught up with work or other projects. That said; I’ve studied to take the HSK level 5, which is the standardized Chinese proficiency exam. Though I am a far cry from what could be considered fluent, I have enough skills to carry on basic conversations and wrangle out meaning when confused. No matter how much time I’ve spent listening, I’ve still had times where words seem distorted and little phrases or idioms trip me up.

learn chineseHere, I am going to tell you what you need to know if you want to build a strong foundation to succeed with this language. If you take a look at all of the tools that are available to us now for purposes of learning, such as smart phone apps and online translation services, there really should be no excuse to improving if you dedicate yourself to the task. Just imagine what life was like for people learning the language before all these amazing resources existed. In this section, I will include a list of some of the tools that I think you’ll find to be most useful.

If you’re someone who is going to China and has never studied the language, you have your work cut out for you.

I would recommend you at least take some introductory survival Chinese courses before you set out.
If you’re like me and you have already studied Mandarin for a year or more before coming to China, one of the major problems you will have is hearing what’s being said. Sometimes, you hear words you’ve already studied and they still won’t register. Difficulties hearing Chinese will only be compounded by the fact that every part of China has a local dialect where they switch around consonants, drop others, and use distorted words and expressions for everyday things.

Learning how to read Chinese characters will go a long way toward improving your understanding of the language.

As soon as you start to recognize the way different components of different words are employed, so many doors of understanding will open in your mind. Learning to read Chinese has been one of the most rewarding parts of learning the language for me, and when you finally fill up a whole page of writing in characters you’ve learned without any outside guidance, you’re going to know that it was well worth it.

So, here are some resources that I feel you should look into/adopt to enhance your progress, should you choose to learn Chinese:

Books


My Chinese Classroom
Next thing I want to recommend are a series of books called “My Chinese Classroom (我的汉语教室 – 中级)”. These are labeled as intermediate books, but most of the content wouldn’t hurt a beginner if they wanted to jump right in. The reason I recommend this series is because of the audio materials included with each book. Listening to the recordings and then checking the transcript to see what you might have missed is a very helpful exercise.

Pimsleur Mandarin II
While very expensive, this series is very good for developing your listening abilities. I didn’t actually pay for it. But I have listened to both the Mandarin I and II programs. The audio materials are built on repetition, introducing new vocabulary, and then building upon the concepts that you’ve already heard. I feel it would be most helpful for someone after they’ve already established a book-learned basic vocabulary. That way they already have some idea of what all those words are. A pretty good exercise would include listening, then writing the sentences down in Chinese.The best thing about it is getting to hear Chinese in action while being supported by an English framework.

Chinese Dictionaries

First thing that you should take advantage of are Chinese character dictionaries. Some students study for years without realizing that you can look up characters directly using online dictionaries like that at yellowbridge.com. They have an option to look up characters by drawing them with their mouse and selecting the one they’re looking for. This is unbelievably helpful. You can also find some apps on your phone that may have some of the same capabilities; drawing characters with your finger. I recommend you use Chinese characters as your guide when delving into the language.

Podcasts

learn chinese
If I had to recommend a podcast, it would be Popup Chinese. They have a subscription service that is a little expensive, but it’s great for listening to colloquial Mandarin. One thing to remember about these podcasts is that even their elementary stuff can be a little daunting to new learners. They do have HSK materials and flash cards, which are great for practicing characters.

The HSK is the standardized Chinese proficiency exam. If you want an institutional job that requires Mandarin fluency, this is the go-to evaluation. There are different levels; 1 being the lowest, and 6 at the highest command of the language. Popup Chinese has HSK materials already integrated into their website.

They also have headlines in Chinese, which you can attempt to read news stories and roll over the characters you don’t know for definitions and pronunciation.
Some other people have recommended “Chinesepod,” and while I have listened to them, they never quite clicked with me the same way Popup did. But, I advise you try them both and see which one you like.

Apps

Because I opted for a Windows phone instead of an Android or an iPhone (I’ll expain why later), I bought an app called YiXue, and it turned out to be one of the most helpful I’ve come across. It really helps in building lists of characters that you don’t know. It also features audio support for extremely helpful tests. You should have no excuse for saying a word incorrectly after listening to the recordings.

I asked some people to share some of their favorite apps on Android and IOS, and they overwhelmingly said that Pleco is the best for their purposes. This is followed by hello Chinese, DuChinese, and Skritter.




Rocket Chinese
If you’re just starting, I feel Rocket Chinese is one of the best programs out there. It combines the different areas of language learning (listening, writing, speaking, and repetition) into one tidy package with plenty of tools for you to measure your progress. This is the kind of supplement I wish I’d had when I first started. Combined with classroom study, I feel this program will get you to the level you need to be at to survive overseas.
***

One of the key things to keep in mind about trying to learn this language is unless you are very self-directed and have a clear motivation to learn, you’re not going to see progress.

So, make sure that when you make the decision to learn this, you have a clear vision of how it is going to improve your life – it doesn’t just have to be an economic improvement either. There is so much more to the experience than just the probability of using language skills for making money.

There have been times when I’ve felt overwhelmed by how much I don’t know, but there have also been times when I’ve been astonished by the sheer number of things that I do. One of the interesting parts of learning a language is once you’ve really absorbed it, it becomes a part of who you are. There are certain words and concepts in the Chinese language that I don’t think I could ever unlearn, even if I decided to live in an English-speaking country.

Try not to tune out all the Chinese you hear. The brain gets frustrated sometimes when it hears words it can’t process. You may be tempted to regress back into your own thoughts and hum quietly to yourself. Open up your ears and reject the assertion that you can’t understand what you’re hearing. Once in a while, you’re going to pick up on the things that you do hear, and that’s one small step in the right direction.

Before You Build Things Online …

Here are some of the things you need to know before attempting build things online and make money:

Since I wrote my ebook and built my website last year, my business model and strategies have changed quite a bit. After paying for more courses and continuing to study internet business and money-making strategies, there are a few things that I wish I’d known from the very beginning.

Make Your Site About ONE Theme / Topic

Some people when they’re first starting out will include all different kinds of topics and articles under a domain name that doesn’t even relate their content. Don’t do this. Make sure your site is about something that can be described in one sentence.

Be Willing to Spend Some Money

If you really want to create a profitable website, then you should be willing to make an investment starting with at least $1000. There are plenty of guides out there that explain ways you can create a profitable niche site for under $40. I imagine you can, technically. The question is how long you are willing to wait for it to become profitable. Three years? Five? After that long, what’s the point?

If you want to be competitive, you need tons of content. You can try and write out all of that material yourself – but that might not be practical, especially if you have a day job.
The 50 pages of high-quality content you require to build authority and get links isn’t something you can achieve overnight. $1,000 will still not be enough to achieve this, between the content you pen yourself and the writers you pay.

So, you should think of your website as a real business, not just something you can passively engage in and make money with. This means that you need to create a business plan, you need make a budget, and you need to set goals and benchmarks to see your progress through to completion.

Knowing How Long it Takes to Rank

Another important aspect of this work knowing how long it takes to rank. I didn’t have reasonable expectations when I started, and this put me in danger of giving up. You need to know, it could take as long as a year for Google to start sending you visitors!

You have to have stuff posted for a long time before the ball really gets rolling and you start to see visitors rolling in from Google. Ahrefs has an excellent study on this topic: https://ahrefs.com/blog/how-long-does-it-take-to-rank/

Less than 5% of the results on the search engine results pages are posts from this year. This should tell you something. You may have to wait a long time before getting traffic, let alone landing a sale.

Spend some Money on Tools

There are some tools out there that require subscription services. Take a look at my Entrepreneurial section for a list of tools I recommend.

build things online

The Importance of Keyword Research.

Yes, this might seem like a no-brainer, but let me explain. When I was getting started, I believed that if I simply created useful content, traffic would show up on its own. I listened to the thought leaders when they explained that Google was getting smarter and it was more capable of serving the best content to users even if you didn’t use exact keywords.

By underestimating the importance of keyword research, I made ranking unnecessarily hard for myself. There’s no point in avoiding this. Before starting on your next blog post, pop the keyword into a tool like Mongool’s keyword finder and take a look at what kinds of items come up as far as volume and difficulty.

Then you can start planning. Making money online all derives from this very simple principle: find what people are looking for, provide the very best information on the topic, and then give them a link to an affiliate product or resource that pay commissions. You don’t have to adopt this exact strategy, as some people make their income from advertising instead of selling things, but this is the most basic system to make a return on your time spent building your website.

Build Things Online

Have a Backlink Strategy planned from the very beginning.

Think about how you’re going to get backlinks and when you start planning your content. If you know what your website is about, then you should be able to identify your competitors. Take a look at which pages on their sites are linked the most. Take note of which keywords they’re ranking for. This is how you identify profitable opportunities. You can create content that is better in some areas than your competitors, then shop it around for links.

You can look for broken links to fill with your content. You can run queries and look for resource pages on other sites. You can write reviews for other people’s content to get links. But never, ever pay for links! Not even once.

Website Analysis Tools

Ahrefs: www.ahrefs.com
Serpstat: https://serpstat.com

Mongool’s Keyword Finder: https://kwfinder.com
Mongool’s Serp Checker: https://serpchecker.com

Organization Tools

Headline Checker: http://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer
Sitemap: https://www.mindmeister.com
Workflowy: https://workflowy.com

Authority-Niche-Sites-12

The Next Big Niche
For building niche sites while abroad, I recommend Aaron’s Next Big Niche course. It taught me everything I needed to know about WordPress, plug-ins, menus, and more. Can’t beat the value you get for the price, though some of the videos can be difficult to watch in full from China unless you’ve got a good VPN.

Conclusion

There are other considerations that I will add to this list in the future, but these are the basic things that I would tell anyone before they decide to start a site for purposes of profit. It’s easier to make money in the real world getting a job than it is trying to build websites and sell affiliate products. But if you have the fortitude, it could prove to be a worthwhile endeavor. I just feel there are too many people out there profiting off of telling others how they can make money online without ever making any themselves.

Earn Bitcoin

Earn Bitcoin

If you want to create easy income streams, learn how to earn Bitcoin.

When I first started buying Bitcoin, the price was at about $700 a coin. Now it’s over $1,200. Buying and holding, I essentially made money sitting on my ass. So this must be what it feels like to make a worthwhile investment. For the most part, I’ve always felt that stocks and other investment vehicles have been excessively overvalued, which makes trying to implement investment strategies like Warren Buffet impractical.

Realizing that there are still huge investment opportunities in crypto-currencies, I also purchased Etherium. When I bought in, it was sitting at about $6 a coin. Now, it’s north of $12. As blockchain technology matures, so will the related opportunities to earn.

While there are still some hurdles that will need to be cleared before we can think of Bitcoin as a genuine currency, it’s on its way. Bitcoin is still pretty volatile. As a result, people perceive it more as something to buy and hold onto, like a stock. Still, there are more and more online services accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment.

I became interested in other ways to earn Bitcoin while abroad. I felt that if there are people out there using it as money, there should be other ways to accumulate it. Here are a few things I’ve found, and while most of them require you to have your own website, it’s not absolutely mandatory.

Supload

This is an image hosting platform that splits the advertising revenue with you in the form of Bitcoin. If you like creating memes or posting naughty images, this might be one way you can earn some coin. For every image you post, there is a link you can use.
earn bitcoin
If you have a website, you can also link back to the images from the platform. To make a demonstration, I’ve linked to my Supload images on this post.

The Sun Exchange

Earn Bitcoin
This company is so amazing in many different ways. By using your Bitcoin to purchase solar cells, you can receive passive rental income when it comes time for them to be used to generate electricity. In return for purchasing the cells, you are paid monthly in bitcoin over a term of 20 years. As of the time I’m writing this post, they have no open projects, but they said they will be accepting pledges for a new enterprise very soon.

Using Bitcoin, we may soon be able to circumvent certain regulatory barriers that kept us restricted from these kinds of investments. I look forward to a future where I can use Bitcoin to make even more micro-investments, benefiting with passive income streams from small investments in new businesses. The fact that Sun Exchange deals in green energy solutions makes the whole prospect even more incredible. Participating in projects through this company is one of the best things I’ve been a part of since I started dealing with cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase

There’s nothing like getting $10 in referral money from Coinbase when you don’t expect it. I woke up one morning to find that I’d made a little bit of money from referring users to Coinbase on this site. But here’s the thing you should note: it’s not just me that benefits. Everyone down the chain gets a kickback of $10 if they bring in more users. Here’s my referral link if you want to get started:

Buying Stuff Online

I feel that this is a very attractive little system, and while having a website was one of the things that helped me secure this income, you can share you referral link pretty much anywhere if you do it right. You should share the link on WeChat, Facebook (if you space out the link correctly), Twitter, anywhere. There is no reason you shouldn’t take advantage of this program if you like to buy and sell Bitcoin.

Local Bitcoin Affiliate

This program doesn’t pay an immense amount, but I feel you’ll make much more doing this than you will attempting to mine coins on your PC or use Bitcoin fountains. When logged into your Local Bitcoin account, click the word affiliate at the bottom of the screen. On the following pages, you’ll get a link that you can share with people on your social networks or websites.

earn bitcoins

After users sign up through your link, you’ll get tiny commissions commensurate with the amount of coin they purchase over the site. So far out of the few users I’ve signed up on the site, I’ve received about $0.60 cents in passive income.

Other Affiliate Programs

If you have a website or microblog, I recommend checking out some of the affiliate programs listed over at 99Bitcoins.com. Their list of bitcoin affiliate programs is pretty extensive and the rest of the website is pretty excellent too: https://99bitcoins.com/get-earn-bitcoins-massive-list-of-bitcoin-affiliate-programs/

Conclusion

The reason earning Bitcoin is such a great idea is because I believe that the currency is still wildly undervalued. Because it’s decentralized and omnipresent, it can’t be messed with the same way FIAT currencies are. People have been slow to adopt, but the tide is shifting. As of this month, Bitcoin broke a record high on price. I have a feeling whatever Bitcoin you can accumulate now will pay dividends in the future.

I will continue to update this guide as new opportunities become available.

China: The Based Bachelor’s Guide: How to Build a Successful Life in China

Struggling in the Middle Kingdom? You need the Based Bachelor’s Guide

When I first came to China, I lost direction for a while. While teaching English, I was eagerly looking for employment to put my business education to use. I believe my asking salary was too high because every time I had an interview, they hired a Chinese person instead.

Based Bachelor GuideBeing a little disenchanted with my failure to secure more gainful employment, I started to get into a bit of a funk for a while, playing video games and gaining weight. I went through a few failed relationships in the East, which didn’t help much for my self-esteem.

I saw that there was am online contest opening called Nanowrimo, where people attempt to write a book in a month. Writing a novel was something that I always wanted to do. Because I finally had the time to achieve this, I set out to make an attempt. Though I failed to produce 50k words before the end of the month, I did have a pretty good rough draft.

After completing the novel and doing several revisions, I paid three editors to help polish the manuscript. Afterward, I self-published, and so far the book has been well-received. I believe that if I’d been living in the U.S. at the time that inspiration struck, I would have never completed the project. I would have been too busy working a job that I probably wouldn’t have liked.

Based Bachelor GuideThe Based Bachelor Guide is going to eliminate all of the anxiety and guesswork that comes with moving out of your comfort bubble and into the unfamiliar.

This isn’t your standard travel guide. It’s not just about going to places to sightsee and party and waste a bunch of time. It’s about using your moments abroad to take control of your financial future. Here I have put together all the resources and advice you’ll need to minimize hang-ups, avoid social problems, optimize your mentality, and put your time to productive use.

You see, by quickly learning how to live in China, you’ll have ample free time. But that alone is not enough. You also need to have goals and practical guidance on how to achieve them. Even if you don’t know the first thing about entrepreneurship or building a business, this guide will give you an idea of where you can get started now.


It covers:

• What kinds of goals to set
• Mindset
• How to deal with culture shock
• Your Medical Examinations
• Banking and Personal Finance
• Finding a place
• Language Challenges
• Internet Challenges
• Making Friends
• Dining
• Meals
• Transportation
• Dating & Sex
• Healthcare
• Teaching
• Building a Business
• And MORE.

Who this guide is for:
This guide is for single men, most likely college grads, ages ranging from 21 to 40, who are ready to build a successful life in the Middle Kingdom.

Who this guide is not for:
Probably not women. It’s also not for people that have an aversion to working hard and achieving results.

This guide gives you all the details that you need to get started in China without having to Google all your questions – and it comes from someone that has lived in the country for more than five years. This is the guide I wish I had before coming to the country.

To summarize again, this guide gives you all the details you need to get started in your life in the East and how to direct your energy into a more stable and fulfilling future financially.

You can now download the ebook by opting into my Newsletter. Or if you want to buy an official Kindle edition, you can get the book on Amazon.

Just imagine coming to China knowing what to expect and what you’re trying to achieve. Imagine how much more advanced you’re likely to be than anyone else that’s going over with you.

But if you don’t scoop this book up now, I can’t guarantee you’ll get the results you want out of your time in the East. China has chewed up and spat out plenty of foreigners. Some people don’t even make through their first year – they don’t have the constitution. But I have a feeling that’s not who you are, is it?

Buying Bitcoin in China: a Step by Step Guide

Buying Bitcoin in China is Easy.

Part 1: Buying Bitcoin

关于中文版,点击此处
There used to be more ways to do this, before China closed down their BTC exchanges. But don’t worry. This still works. If you’re looking to move China money to U.S., this will work for you.

Just a quick note before I go into this: Bitcoin is not FDIC insured, and the price fluctuates often. So it’s up to you to do your homework to ensure these different exchanges don’t erode your wealth.

If you don’t know much about Bitcoin, this is one of the best tell-me-like-I’m-five guides: http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-explained-five-year-old/

Buying Bitcoin in China

 

Here are the steps:

1. First, you need to have a way to pay electronically for the Bitcoins, be it bank transfer, Alipay, or WeChat wallet. If you don’t know how to get your WeChat wallet set up, you can take a look at my previous post.

2. Next, you can go to Local Bitcoins and check the listings. Just a quick note: If you’re in mainland China, you’re going to need a VPN to register on the site. For more information on VPN recommendations, you can go here

After you register and verify your email address, you’ll see “Quick Buy” selected at the top of the main page. Change the currency to in the box to CNY. Now you’ll see all the people who have Bitcoin in China who are looking to sell. In the middle column, you can see what kind of payment they accept.

Buying Bitcoin in China

You’ll find that if you purchase larger amounts, say over 10,000 RMB worth, you’ll get better rates. I recommend testing it out first by buying and transferring about 500 RMB, just to build your confidence.

Note: Some people get scared off by the price when they see how much they’re paying over the market rate. Take notice that every region has a different rate. To see China’s rate, run a search on Google, “BTC to CNY”. You’ll notice that all of the prices on Local Bitcoins are much higher than that. To get some perspective, you must also look at the rates on the sellers’ page. You’ll find that they’re not only are people selling at well above the market rate, they’re also buying back at higher prices.

After deciding on a seller and making sure you have the means to pay them, make sure that you check their ratings. By clicking on the name of a trader, you can take a look at their history and how many coins they’ve traded. Everyone you do business with should have a 100% feedback rating.

buying bitcoin in China

3. After deciding on a seller, click the “Buy” button at the end of the row. Then enter how much in Bitcoins you want to buy into the CNY field.

Buying Bitcoin in China

Note: You can buy ANY amount of Bitcoin, even $5 worth. Many people are scared away by the prospect of buying Bitcoin when they see the price of one coin and think, “I can’t afford that.” You don’t have to buy a whole coin! If you want to buy 300 RMB worth, you can! 

Buying Bitcoin in China

After you hit the “Send trade request button,” a notification will be sent to the seller that they’re in business. In the next window, the seller will respond. Each time they send a message, you should get a message directed to your email.

4. After they’re ready, it’s time to pay the seller. If you want to pay via WeChat, you can add their ID into the contacts field and transfer the CNY. As soon as you’ve made the transfer and the seller accepts it, make sure you click the button on the site to report that the seller has received payment. At that point, the seller is obligated to release the coin to your account.

5. After the seller releases, and you see your Bitcoin number in the upper right, make sure to thank them. Give them a trusted ranking. If you’ve had difficulty with any of these steps, either leave a comment below, or send me a message here. I’m happy to help.

Part 2: Sending Money Home

These steps will differ depending on your country of residence. I am an American, so what I tend to do is send the money back to my Coinbase account connected to my U.S. Bank Account. But you don’t have to. You can also simply turn around and sell your coin for the currency of your choice through any of the other payment methods included in the LocalBitcoins drop-down menu. I DON’T recommend selling through Paypal. It’s too easy for someone to ask for a chargeback and scam you out of the money while keeping your Bitcoin. Transferring to Coinbase and selling is much safer. 

If you decide to open an account at Coinbase, make sure you follow the necessary procedures described on the site to secure your account. After signing up, it will take a few days before the service is available for use. Here is my referral link to get established at Coinbase:

Buying Stuff Online

On the Coinbase main page, you’ll see in the upper right a link that says “Get bitcoin address.” You can copy/paste that long string of letters and numbers back into your “Receiving Bitcoins Address” on LocalBitcoins.com. After clicking the blue button that reads, “Continue,” you’ll get an email notification if the transfer is successful.

Buying Bitcoins in China

After the money is in your Coinbase account, you can either sell it or hold it as an investment by transferring the coin into your Bitcoin vault.

 

Part 3: Selling Bitcoin in China

Let’s say you’re running low on the cash you need for food other utilities while in China. You can easily buy Bitcoin with a credit card or debit card through Coinmama (Check the “Buy Bitcoin” widget in the lower left corner of this website), transfer the Bitcoin to Local Bitcoins.com and then sell it for RMB.

Selling BTC on Local Bitcoins.com is about as simple as buying it.

If you’re already registered on the site, you can click “Quick Sell” at the top of the main page. After selecting China and RMB, you can take a look at the listings below until you find a rate and a payment method you agree to.

Buying Bitcoin in China

Click “Sell” and you’ll find a similar menu to the buy one you’ve seen before. Enter the amount of money in Bitcoins and then click the green button. You can send them your contact information, whether you want the buyer to send you payment through WeChat or Alipay.

buying bitcoin in China

After the money is confirmed in your account, all you have to do is click “Release Bitcoins,” and the money in your LocalBitcoins wallet will be transferred to their account. Give them a trusted rating.

Conclusion

And there you have it. You now know of a way to circumvent a time-consuming day spent at the bank by conveniently exchanging money in the privacy of your home. I hope you found this guide helpful. Let me know if there’s anything I should clarify better.
FCC Compliance: This post contains affiliate links.

WeChat Businesses

WeChat Businesses and
How Chinese College Students get their Side-Hustle on

“I sell socks.”

I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised when one of my students revealed what kind of widgets he was peddling to make money, but I wasn’t expecting that.

“Okay, you sells socks,” I said, “but who buys them? And do you reap an income big enough to make it worth the time you spend selling?”

He wouldn’t give me an exact figure, but my suspicion is still no. I’m pretty sure the time vs. money exchange is very much skewed in someone else’s favor (like so many things these days), but I still thought that WeChat Businesses were worth investigating.

wechat-business-2
If you live in China, you’ve probably already seen this phenomenon in mobile app culture. After adding an acquaintance, you might find that instead of personal updates, they share pictures of products in their moments feed.

When I starting seeing too many images of sneakers and beauty products from one person, I just went to their settings page and opted out from seeing their posts. I imagine this is what most people do when they realize they’re being sold.

But some users are craftier than that. They might sneak in a personal photo along with the pack of nine other images of products. When a girl adds a cute selfie into the mix, some people might think twice before opting out. These are people you know in real life after all. Some of their posts are like personal updates, only laced with commercialism. The social manipulation is real; it’s just another example of the way that marketers ruin everything.

Reading the comments below one post, I saw a woman leave her friend business recommendations. She wrote, “The lighting and the positioning on the first photo needs an adjustment.” I realized then that some of the promo shots were being taken by the individuals themselves. I thought, ‘Wow, what a sweet deal for whoever is getting these people to sell for them.’

The Truth

Despite my misgivings about the paradigm, it would appear that some people have successfully used WeChat sales to support themselves. If you ask around, you might find at least one person that sells on WeChat for a living.

One student told me that her sister (cousin) feeds her son with the money she makes. When I asked the student why she didn’t participate in the system if she knew so much about it, she said, “You have to know how to self-promote and have lots of friends. You also have to spend a lot of time chatting with people to make money.”

She also said, “If you want to do good business for the long term, you also have to verify that the products are real and of quality. In many cases, that means purchasing the items for yourself.”

Taking a poll in one of my classes, I was surprised to find how many people have occasionally made a purchase from these WeChat salespeople. Most were female, and they said that they purchased clothes, but one student explained that she bought her most recent laptop from a person she’d added on WeChat.
wechat businesses
When I asked these students why they would buy from a person on social networking instead of going to a store, they gave me a few good reasons. One said, “Convenience,” of course. Another said “Quality and you know who they are.” And then I understood. Trust. Because China’s online commerce is rife with fraudsters, having a real person vouch for the authenticity of your purchases increases buyer confidence.

The Process

While I was starting to see the merits, I was having trouble reverse-engineering the sales process in my mind. So I asked my sock-dealing student, “How exactly does it work?”

He said that after adding countless people to his WeChat funnel, he would spend the day posting different images of socks. Once in a while (and I imagine once in a great while), he’d get a bite. From there he would chat with the prospect, and if they decided to buy, he would sit in front of a desktop and enter the customer’s information into an online form. The customer then would make a payment through WeChat Wallet, and after a period, the salesman collects his commissions.

Immediately, this triggered an image in my mind of a Chinese businessman idly scrolling through his WeChat feed on his phone at lunch while chowing on noodles. He scrolls past a photo of socks with his thumb, then quickly swipes back. Socks! I need socks!

In case you would like to see all the platforms that are available, you can run a search on Baidu for the word “Weidian” (Wēi diàn = 微店). As you’ll find, so many platforms have popped up. All of them work in about the same way.

The Future

After having a chance to think about it, this kind of experience could be beneficial for a student to develop business skills before graduation. It really runs the gamut of prospecting, marketing, sales, and administration.

To make a prediction, perhaps this will be the future of income for society after all the jobs are either too specialized or lost to automation. I imagine that this trend will not only be in China but everywhere in the industrialized world.

Everyone will have a store. Everyone will become a brand. Everyone will support each other, spending the money they earned from selling in their virtual stores to buy products from the virtual stores of their friends and relatives. And the cycle will perpetuate itself for as long as the commission percentages allow.

This new, emerging standard is right around the corner.

Is this a phone? No, this is a home business. This is a WeChat Business? No, this is an opportunity!
Is this a phone?
No, this is a home business.
This is a WeChat Business?
No, this is an opportunity!

How to Use WeChat Wallet as a Foreigner in China

If You’re Going to Live in China, You Should Know How to Use WeChat Wallet

Allow me to explain something that will make your life in the Middle Kingdom just a little bit easier.

I’d been using WeChat for years after I’d come to China, but never knew that I could use the WeChat wallet service as a foreigner. Because I’m one the tiny fraction of people that uses Windows Phone instead of an iPhone (mostly because it was more convenient for me when accessing and paying for Western apps), I had mistakenly thought that it was my version of WeChat that was to blame for not having the Wallet option on my Services page.

Has there ever been a time when you’ve been invited to join a group but couldn’t because you didn’t have a bank card registered? Well, this is what it was talking about: you didn’t have a bank card connected to your WeChat wallet.

As it turned out, I was wrong. My version of the application was fine. The problem was that unless I selected the Chinese language version of the app, the WeChat wallet feature was inaccessible. After I had changed the language, all of the features were identical to that of my Chinese friends.

How to Use WeChat Wallet

So here is how you change your language settings. Go to Settings> General> Language> and choose 简化中国 (Simplified Chinese).

If you ever need to change it back, you can go to 设置> 通用> 多语言> English, but if you’re accustomed to the interface and know where everything is, you might not need to, even if you don’t speak Chinese.

After you open your wallet menu, you’ll find that there are different ways to send and receive money. Transfers and Bank Cards.

You can add a bank card by tapping the option at the top, and there you’ll be instructed to enter a six-digit code for when you intend to pay for something. You might not want to use the same six-digit pin you use on your bank cards for security reasons. Enter the complete number from the bank card you want to connect; then you’ll be prompted to enter your name and ID type.

Banks that will accept your passport as validation include ICBC, Bank of China, and China Merchants Bank, and China Construction Bank. Other choices include Industrial Bank, Bank of Communications, China Everbright Bank, Huaxia Bank, and ABC.

Put in your full name, the same way you entered it when you created your bank account. Enter your passport number and registered mobile number. After, it will send you an SMS verification code. Enter the code, and you’ll be registered.

TIPS: If you’re having trouble when entering your bank card into WeChat, try the following: Chinese banks don’t know how to deal with foreigners names. Sometimes they enter all of your names in ALL CAPS because that’s how it’s displayed in your passport. Another thing you might try is entering your LAST NAME FIRST. I’ve had it entered this way before when trying to get my card linked. 

If the app still fails to verify, ask a Chinese friend if you can sign in on their mobile app. Some of the features might be missing on your version of WeChat. 

Now you can send digital red pockets to your friends with a limit of 200 RMB. It works well for special occasions. If you are ever in a hurry for cash but have no time to visit an ATM, you can send someone money directly from your account in exchange for bills. Or if you need to put money in your account, you can do the opposite. For a larger amount, you can select a WeChat transfer. You can use the service to pay at some businesses. You can also use the WeChat option to make purchases off of Taobao!

How to Use WeChat Wallet

Enjoy! You are now modern!

Edit: Some users have told me that by receiving a hongbao from a friend they were able to unlock the WeChat wallet feature. So if the language trick doesn’t work for you, this is something else you can try. If you’re still having trouble entering your passport and/or name into WeChat and you can’t figure out what the problem is: Go to the bank! Chinese banking systems are not really meant to support foreign names, so sometimes they put the last name first or have everything in caps. Make sure you take note of how your details are entered into the banking system. 

Men’s Clothes in China

When buying men’s clothes in China, you’re going to need to check the equivalent sizes.

Men's Clothes in China
I’m only average height and build, so finding clothes that fit haven’t been as much of a chore for me while living in China. But if you’re tall (or fat), you might have a hard time.

You’ll find this out the first time you go to buy new shoes or a jacket: if you go by the typical Small, Medium, and Large sizing that you’re used to in the West, you’ll probably pick something that doesn’t fit. I find that XL to XXL shirts fit me best, and I’m only a Medium by Western standards. Because this can be a little confusing, I’ve included here a handy size conversion chart to help you with your purchasing decisions when you shop for clothes.

Men’s Jackets, T-shirts, Suit Sizes:

China S M L XL XXL
Global 165/88-90 170/96-98 175/108-110 180/118-122 186/126-130

 

Men’s Shirt Sizes:

China S M L XL XXL
Global  36-37  38-39  40-42  43-44  45-47

 

Men’s Pants Sizes:

China 42 44 46 48 50
Global – Waist 68-72 cm / 26-28 inches 71-76 cm / 27-29 inches 75-80 cm / 29-31inches 79-84 cm /
31-33 inches
83-88 cm /
32-34 inches
Global – Length 99 cm /
38 inches
101.5 cm /
39 inches
104 cm /
40 inches
106.5 cm /
41 inches
109 cm /
42 inches

 

Men’s Underwear Sizes:

China 72-76 76-81 81-87 87-93 93-98
Global S M L XL XXL
US – inches 29-30 30-32 32-34 34-38 38-42

 

Men’s Shoes

Foot Length cm. 2
4
5
25 25.5 26 26.5 27 27.5 28
 China  3
9
40 41 42 43 44 45 46
 US  7  7
5
8 8.5 9 9.5 10  10
5
 UK  6 6
5
7 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5
 Europe  3
9
 40 41 42 43 44 45 46

<br=”left”>If you ever run into any snags, you can bookmark this page for reference.

This post is an excerpt from my book, “The Based Bachelor’s Guide to Building a Successful Life in Middle Kingdom.”

Meditation with Headspace – A Based Bachelor’s Review

Why Meditation is Important while Living Abroad


One evening, I was going down the street on my e-bike and saw a student leap down into the road in front of me without even looking to see if traffic was coming. I slowed and honked, and prepared to turn, but the man didn’t get out of the way. He just continued loping along, never once looking to see I was coming up behind him. I was stunned that I would have to pull the brakes and honk my horn because I might hit him.

When he suddenly realized I was about to run into him, instead of turning to the left or right, he did this awkward kind of jump further down the road in front of me. Twice. That was peculiar to me; even his self-preservation instincts didn’t guide him to move out of my path. He eventually managed to get out of my way, as though his discombobulated brain had finally realigned.

I continued on my way home, thinking about the way my perceptions could have shaped the way I reacted to that incident. Most of the time when something like this would have happened, I’d get irritated or angry. I would start cursing, muttering something disgusted like, “What the hell is wrong with that idiot?”

Meditation with Headspace

But as I have been continuing to practice mindfulness, and continuing to accept certain sorts of quirks in my mind, I’ve found that acceptance and a degree of empathy is much easier that mentally grating against everything I dislike or find irritating as I go about my day. The brain is a chaotic piece of technology, and deliberate training only tempers it.

Luckily, I have found a solution to efficiently acquiring this kind of training, and it has led to a much more fulfilling experience in my time abroad.

The program is called headspace.com. While I have only ever used the desktop version of the website, there is a popular app for the site available on Android and iPhone. The program features lists of guided meditation exercises, for different purposes and durations. Andy Puddicombe instructs each exercise, walking you through each of the steps.

While I had studied meditation before, and also tried using guided meditation recordings, they didn’t click with me as well as Andy’s. Now that I understand the methods, I can implement the steps all on my own, with only a reminder of when to stop so I can get back to my work.

Having access meditation recordings served in specific, bite-sized segments has allowed me to engage in the activity of sitting without it feeling it’s a blind pursuit. I started to understand the value of every mental exercise introduced, and how it might benefit myself as well as the people I interact with daily.

Meditation with Headspace
After sitting for ten minutes became a habit, I tried doing fifteen instead.

The more time I spent on practicing mindfulness, the better I felt, and it wasn’t something thing hanging over my head anymore, like the obligation of work after a Sunday.

Just like I’ve heard some followers of Buddhism advise, you can see for yourself empirically if the practice of sitting has a pleasing effect. As soon as you go about other tasks, actually living in the moment, it’s quite a clear distinction. When your mind no longer desires to always to be doing something, you’ll find a new degree of calmness and purposefulness in your endeavors.

I feel that meditation is the most appropriate activity for coping with culture shock. Living in a place like China, where personal space isn’t always respected, it’s imperative to observe the mind. How we react, how we engage, and the attitude with which we choose to see the world has everything to do with clarifying our experiences. How you put these insights and observations to use is up to you.

Meditation with Headspace