Singapore vs Shanghai

Hello, my name is Onial Besad and I am a freelancer. I enjoy helping people with their projects by creating content for different websites. is one of them!

Yes, I agree that both these places are globally-renowned hubs of finance, as well as marketing. As you might be aware, Shanghai is well-known as the manufacturing gateway of China while the Lion City is mainly known for its logistics industry. Now, you might be thinking that living in Singapore or Shanghai means the same as both these are metropolitans with lots of advancements. But, I don’t agree with this. It’s because there is a lot of difference between these two cities when it comes to expatriates. Let me now explain those differences to you here…

Differences in Chinese Culture:

Although Shanghai has become an international hub for trade, I would say the city is still more Chinese! It will take some more time for the city to become more international. We can see that it continues to be the cultural center of Chinese traditions and when the expatriates arrive here, there can be some difficulties to adapt to these traditions. On contrary, the Lion City is more open to the globe with the Chinese cultures here diminishing with time. And, the state has already started to mingle with other parts of the continent!

Differences in Language:

The commonly spoken language in Shanghai is ‘Mandarin’. This is not usually known to the expats. Besides Mandarin, there is a vernacular language called ‘Shanghainese’. This is found to be prevalently spoken by the locals there. Yes, I agree that the global language is becoming popular here but not among the old generation. The older, as well as the less-educated people are still finding difficulty to understand the international language. Therefore, if you know only this, you will have hard time here.

This is not the case in the Garden City. This state has all the following as its official language:

  • English
  • Tamil
  • Mandarin
  • Malay

Also, there is another vernacular language called ‘Singlish’.  It is more commonly spoken by the locals. Moreover, it’s to be noted that the businesses are conducted in the global language here. So, you will not have any difficulty in coping up with the locals once you arrived at Singapore.

Differences in Cleanliness:

When you decide to travel to Shanghai, it should mean that you have prepared yourself to tolerate cleanliness issue there. You would find people spitting on the sidewalks and you could even find them dropping garbage in these spots! Here, the people won’t clean their pet wastes in public spaces and hence, you may have a tough time with the locals. On the other, the Lion City is globally famous for its cleanliness with all the regulations for smoking, littering, night gatherings, and so on. More importantly, you can’t even see an individual chewing gum in public places. This activity is considered illegal in Singapore. In simple terms, we can say that the whole nation has committed to clean surroundings and hence, you need not worry about this aspect when you have decided to take off to this Asian city. For more information about immigration to Singapore please visit

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