How to give a tip in China

Plan your China tour? Are you thinking of the 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

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

Further Readings

Top 10 Places to Visit in China
How to Pack for your China Trip
Plugs and Sockets in China
China Tour Packages
Learning Useful Chinese Phrases for Travellers 
How to Recognise Chinese Currency

Top 10 Travel Experiences in China
10 Most Scenic Drives in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Mountains in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Lakes in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Grasslands in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Rivers in China
Top 10 most beautiful waterfalls in China
Top 10 Places to See Autumn Leaves in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Villages in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful old towns in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Museums in China
Top 10 China Tourist Scams
Top 10 Souvenirs in China

2 thoughts on “How to give a tip in China

  1. 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. 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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.