How to give a tip in China

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Plan your China tour? Do you think of tipping policy in China? To tip or not to tip in China is a question which has confused many foreign visitors. Those against tipping in China argue that China has no tradition of tipping; those for tipping in China think that China is changing and tipping has become more and more popular as a kind of etiquette as well as bonuses for service providers like that in the west.
 
There are plentiful reasons to disagree or agree with the tipping in China. So it is advisable to avoid meaningless argument over the tipping policy in China. Let’s focus on the present tipping practices existing in China (seeking truth from facts), then regulate our way to deal with the tipping issue properly in China. 
 
Do I have to tip in China?
You don’t have to tip in China even though in some cases you are expected to give a tip. You have your own choice of giving or not giving since tipping is a personal matter. 
 
 
The tipping practices existing in China
No matter you agree or disagree with the present tipping practices common in China, they do exist in China, especially in the following sectors:
 
1.  Tipping waiters and maids in high-level western restaurants
2.  Tipping bellboys who take your luggage to the room at your luxury hotel 
3.  Tipping tour guides and drivers on an organized private or group tour 
4.  Tipping the staff on the Yangtze River Cruise
 

tipping

Non-tipping sectors in China
Though tipping has become more and more popular in China, there are still many places where you don’t need to give a tip.
 
1. Taxi
2. Street side restaurants
3. Normal Chinese restaurants
4. Restaurant chains like Pizza Hut, McDonald’s…
5. Pubs and bars
6. Massage studios
 
How much should I tip?
Though traditionally there is no tipping (except Hong Kong and Macau). However, hotels may allow tipping. Tour guides and  drivers expect tipping. Then how much for the common tipping practices in Beijing China? Below is just for your reference:
 
1. For the tour guide and the driver: RMB 20 -80 a day per person  
 
2. For the bellboys or waiters at high end hotels and western restaurants: RMB 5-30 per person
 

to be tipped

 
Hopefully you can act easily and properly in terms of how to tip in China based on the present tipping practices in China. 

2 Responses to “How to give a tip in China”

  1. Alex says:

    When you say to tip the guide and driver RMB 20-80 a day per person- does that mean they should each get a tip of 20-80 or total combined tip of RMB 20-80?

  2. Daniel says:

    hello alex,

    Each give them RMB20-80 separately. This is just my personal opinion. If more people in a group, you may give them less. For a private tour ( for example, just 2 people ), people will give more. But anyhow, tipping is not compulsory, just do as you feel it is ok for you. Tipping is very personal, no same answer. The most important is that the guide and driver must offer good service. Have a good trip in China!

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