All buildings need a good foundation. This is what I have done to start my foundation for a good life in Shanghai:
VPN – I set this up before leaving the US. I think it is essential for American expats who want access to all sites that you can use at home. #greatfirewall
Apartment- DH’s company provided excellent assistance with this overwhelming task. We looked at 8 properties, and ended up choosing the first one we saw. It isn’t on a high floor, as recommended by others, but it is elegant and the view is of the park across the street, instead of another high-rise.
SIM – Our interpreter took us to China Mobile to get a local phone number. Plans are different from what we have in the US; the biggest difference, so far, is that many plans don’t include text/SMS because everyone here uses WeChat.
Bank – Our interpreter also helped us at the bank. There are still things we are trying to figure out, such as transferring money from the US.
And now that DH has his Chinese bank account, he can get paid! But this also allowed us to set up Alipay. I will cover this in a separate post, but know that buying things here is easier with Alipay. US credit card are not accepted at most places.