Tipping Etiquette in China

Many people ask themselves the same question when they travel abroad, how much should I tip? This post is here to inform you about the tipping etiquette in China.

In some areas of China tipping is actually illegal, weird, right? For most of us westerners this sounds insane, we usually tip for everything! However, China is –obviously– different. The reason why tipping is usually not accepted is because it may be considered rude, the Chinese natives take pride in their hard work. Another reason is because of old Chinese history and customs dating back to their Empire years. There are some exception to the tipping rule, such as foreign tour guides who depend on tips for a living. I underline foreign because they depend on foreigners for tips because Chinese natives do not tip in their country (or most countries). These tour guides will sometimes include the tip in the price as a ‘service charge’ to make sure they make money, or they will just beg a lot for a tip.

Restaurant employees, taxi drivers and most hotel staff get paid a set salary based on industry standards. In fact, I had a taxi driver who did not look appreciative of a tip. On the other hand, it is usually okay to tip at some hotels for having bellhops take your luggage to your room.

*Please note: western cities like Hong Kong accept tips more widely than in cities like Shanghai and Beijing.


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