7 Common Scams in China and How to Avoid Them

Although China is relatively safe compared to other countries, there are still dangers. City life is never 100% crime-free – there are pickpockets, unscrupulous shop owners, and dodgy taxi drivers everywhere. Although personal safety is mostly common sense, knowing what to look out for can make a world of difference. Here are some common scams you might encounter in China, and how to stay one step ahead.

1) The teahouse scam A lot of people fall for this one when they first arrive in China. It is most common in Beijing and Shanghai, but it also happens in other big cities. A couple of young people will approach you, often asking if they can practise their English. After a brief conversation, they will offer to take you to a teahouse. Aft... Read More>>

All the Single Ladies! Why Does China’s “Leftover Women” Phenomenon Exist?

Watch out folks, there’s a new breed of women in town. China’s notorious shengnv (剩女)—literally translated as “leftover women”—are the lucky ladies who’ve reached the age of 27, but have not yet married. This term was added to China’s Ministry of Education official word list in 2007, and the government has been aggressively using it to warn women what will happen if they don’t marry early. Leftover women, sharing a name with the sloppy doggy bags carrying remnants of meals gone by, is an interesting social phenomenon in China. Why are these ladies being se... Read More>>

Lost in Mistranslation

I’ll start by coming clean – after nine years in China, my Chinese still isn’t very good. The main reason, I think, is the lack of incentive. I speak to my wife and sons in English and it’s the main language at my work as well. Now, my workmates speak the language quite well but they’re comfortable with basic, functional English. They’re not so familiar with some of the more advan... Read More>>

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