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Tipping in China


In one of the lessons, it was mentioned that although tipping is not customary in China, to do so will be greatly appreciated. This may be true in tourist areas of Beijing and Shanghai, but this is very bad advice in 95% of China. I lived in Chongqing for four years and have spent a great deal of time in the traditional areas of China, and to give someone a tip is considered insulting. When you give a tip to someone who has provided you a service, you are, in essence, saying..."You are poor and incapable of making a sufficient living to support your family, therefore I am giving you charity". My Chinese relatives and friends have told me this and I have seen it myself. Canadian friends visiting me in China have ignored my advice and offered a tip, and the reaction was anything but cordial.


thanks for the tip Brian ! good to know.


Very good to know! Thank you!


I agree with Brian. Tipping in most of China is not done nor a good idea. It is usually viewed as a putdown.


I went on a Tour bus from Haikou to Sanya. As soon as the bus was on it's way, the tour guide was demanding a tip and even told my wife how much. I refused to tip, due to the circumstances. For two and a half hours at the hotel that night he refused to give us the keys to our room, that we had paid for and had a receipt. They even tried intimidation, 4 guides surrounding me but I was so hot by then I didn't care, they were more nerves than I was! Only when I started to make my way to the hotel front desk, with the receipt, did he give us the keys to our room. I would have slept outside before I tipped. If the guide would have conducted himself in a professional manner and I was informed properly that tipping was expected, I still would not have tipped because I was the only non-Chinese on the bus and the only-one expected to tip!


The tour guide sounds like a real jerk. Usually tipping is uncommon. I suppose that as they experience more Americans they expect it.

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