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Beijing most expensive city in country

(Global Times)

09:40, December 08, 2011

Beijing has overtaken Hong Kong to become the most expensive location in China for expatriates, according to a survey released Tuesday by ECA International, a human resource company.

Beijing and Shanghai, which rank 35th and 41st globally, are now Asia's seventh and eighth most expensive places for expats to live, while Hong Kong has slipped from being sixth to ninth in Asia since last year, the survey says.

The survey also found, on average, the actual prices of goods and services purchased by expatriates have risen by 9 percent in China over the last 12 months.

For example, the cost of living in Chinese provincial capitals such as Chengdu and Wuhan have increased greatly, Chengdu rose 21 places to 144th and Wuhan went up 20 places to 146th in global rankings.

"Living costs are affected by inflation and exchange rates," Yang Fan, professor with the Business School at the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times yesterday.

"It makes sense that the strong currency of yuan and rising prices have allowed Beijing and Shanghai to overtake Hong Kong," Yang said. "Expatriates may feel the increase clearly, as they tend to choose more expensive goods and services."

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