Discussion » Nonsense » Laowai taxes

  • Tuco
    Tuco wrote:

    No I am not talking about the tax we pay on income. I am referring to the unofficial, unspoken "tax" that is slapped onto everything we buy. From water to housing.

    I don't know how my Chinese friends really feel about this but honestly I have to say it that it is really not a nice thing to do to people just because we are visiting your country.


    Just about everyday for 8 years I have had to complain to store owners or the vendors that the price on what i buy(cigarettes, red tea or sth) is not the price they ask.

    How much do you pay for 1 bottle of coke a cola? Most people told me 2.5 yuan but in my experience it has been 3 rmb for some time.

    Don't get me wrong folks, I can't say everyone here is out to stick it to the foreigners but a lot of them are.

    I am highly displeased with this type of treatment. I find it to be really unfair and totally disrespectful.

    Housing is another problem.  I pay close attention to ganji.com or 58.com and do plenty of 'window shopping' at the "real estate agents" a.k.a. theives, and notice the current market prices and evaluate markets within different areas.

    My current fang dong is trying to phuck with me by telling me:

    1. the "new washing machine" that won't bring water in(haha new?) should be paid for by me. which is a load of shit because I have a student who is friends with the seniors of the company who made the machine and they said the only way that would happen is after 5000 hours of use. Well, i don't think Ive used a washing machine for 5000 hours in one year.

    2. he is trying to up the rent in my home only because he knows i am a foreigner and after watching the market in my area for several months, I can see that just about everything here has gone down in prices.

    from rentals to purchases, not much has increased at all.

    Just to keep ranting, thank you very much, I have been kind enough to tolerate such immature business practices for 8 years. Now I have had enough of it.

    if you think that a foreigner should pay more, let me ask you this...


    our salaries are higher?

    Does that mean if you got a job that pays you 2-3 times of what you are making today that you would expect yourself to pay more for housing? no i don't think so.

    You guys happen to have some benefit of being local. and many companies give their local staff housing or allowances for housing.

    We hardly ever get this. There are not even many places that we can ever work at.

    How many different industries can a foreigner work at in China? not many.

    So to any business person, rental agent, street vendor.

    If you think that by taking advantage of a visitor in China is profitable. You are narrow minded and unkind because the image you leave in his/her mind is that many, NOT ALL, many people who do business with foreigners in China are just very dishonest.


    You really should be ashamed of yourself. With such bad business practices it is no wonder that you and your business will never flourish.

    and no, I am not finished with this.

  • Martin Svean
    Martin Svean wrote:

    just so you don't think I am just a little bitch complaining about shit

    for most of my time in China I have had a great many friends and so many people who were kind to me and showed me a great many things about how things are here and more etc.

    People have helped me with finding housing, work, activities, where to go shopping, travels, cultures, and so much more.

    I try not to let these little things piss me off very often however, some days I just think about how some people in this world are towards others and get fed up with the nonsense.

    off topic:

    dando, i finally installed Ubantu on my EEE

    back to the noise.

    because that is what it is. Noise.

    I guess that I shouldn't be too upset because my Chinese friends tell me that this type of thing happens to them as well. But, i still think that there really are some dishonest people here in bjb doing business.

    for example


    I went down to Xinjiekou a numbers of years back with my bass player.

    he's bj ren.

    We looked at guitars for a few hours in a few shops. We stopped at one store which had a great many Jacksons. I was impressed.

    I forgot which model it was. Maybe solo1?

    store price: 25,000 RMB and this was over 5 years ago folks.

    Store owner to my friend.(he didn't realize this was a good friend)

    "hey, we raise the price on this guitar and give you some money and we can cheat this foreigner"

    My friend

    "hey, we better leave now because this guy is a thief"


    we were gone in 2 seconds.

    No joke folks.


    Now, I am just 1 man in a world of too many. In my country, I never seen this happen. Or at least my eyes were not open to this? perhaps. regardless,


    the store owner was/is/shall be SB.


    For those musicians who read this and are new to China.

    Don't buy shit in any store without finding  me or someone who has been here a few years.

    Another thing, sure, this is China but in Beijing there are a phuck load of laowai.

    We bring a lot of business to this city. I think its time that there was a better English program for most areas of this city...


    tit for tat mofos!!!


    anyway, I have always worked fairly hard and have been stable and paid taxes for a long time. I think that this type of bullshit going on just is such a waste of energy.

    I don't see a lot of smiling faces on the subway.

    Is Beijing a good city?
    yes and no.

    It rocks compared to other places for us offlanders but it has its weaknesses.

  • Ejdnzlaj
    Ejdnzlaj wrote:

    I have Ubuntu on my EEE too. I hate it. I think I hate the EEE more than Ubuntu but the two together make me weep frequently.

  • Martin Svean
    Martin Svean wrote:

    well have to see about that for myself.


    wo cao

  • Ejdnzlaj
    Ejdnzlaj wrote:

    I think your safe so long as you don't have one of those 1st gen EEE 4Gs like me. My desktop in the 90s was actually more powerful and had more resources. No word of a lie.

  • Daniel
    Daniel wrote:

    The first tuk-tuk ride I ever took was with another member of the foreign staff at the university and his wife, and when we arrived at our destination they had a big argument with the driver because she (the driver) wanted to charge us 5rmb instead of the 4rmb that the couple were used to paying. 

    I guess I don't really mind for small stuff: if someone thinks they're masterfully getting one over on me by extracting an extra 1rmb, then they probably need it a lot more than I do. I agree it gets ridiculous and annoying when you get to the upper limits of taxation though, like the first prices in Yashow or Silk Market for customers that seem even remotely foreign. 

  • 雪地
    雪地 wrote:

    Hey, some fellow Linux users here, nice ^^


    About the price, i cant complain much, 'if' i have to go to yaoshow or so ( friends visiting beijing ) i hate it, but with the right methods, just go away if it not the pice you want to pay, its getting quite smooth then.

    For regular shops/restaurants, i only had this laowai tax on very touristic areas, you should get a goods feeling how much the prices are usually, and then just don't buy in that places.


  • Martin Svean
    Martin Svean wrote:

    yea dude i know man. i am familiar with the methods of negotiating but here is another example. yesterday i stood outside a real estate agent and a woman asked about an apartment the man said 2500 rmb a month. 5 minutes later i went in and asked he said it was 3000.

    1 rmb fine but 6000 rmb(years rent) is not right.

    when i walk past real estate agents, i cough "thief" under my breath.


    My EEE is not first gen. i just got it about 1.5 years ago or so. 10"

    I have much to learn about using linux systems again. it has been a very long time.

    but I went into the commond line for shitz and giggles and remembered a long list of commands from the old days.

    for example

    VI editor. i couldn't believe I remembered those commands. its been over 10 years since I even used them.

    hehe i like having my little eee back

  • 雪地
    雪地 wrote:

    hehe, as is was over 10 year you used vi last time, a little hint: now there is 'vim' vi-improved :-P

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    I'm about to switch my ThinkPad back from Fedora to Ubuntu. I'm not ready for big kids linux after all.

  • Rune
    Rune wrote:

    it's not a laowai tax, its a dumb tax. They think you're dumb and are try to trick you out of money. They'd do the same if they saw a chinese guy who seemed dumb.

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)


    Hahahahaha ... till this date, I dont really understand the complex minds of locals ...

    As English (and also Cantonese) is natural to me, when I first landed here, it was what I usually used, but when I realised that more people at Silk Street can understand what I said, and even tried to rip me off, I gradually stopped using that, and switched over to Cantonese, and though they dont understand it, they know that it is one of the Chinese dialets and they stopped ripping us off ...

    ... and it had worked fine ...

    My advice to everyone ... whichever language you speak ... do your homework, and stand your ground when it comes to pricing negotiation ... you should pay what you think it is worth, but no more ...

    ... now back to more 2G, 3G and 4G ...

  • Martin Svean
    Martin Svean wrote:

    however, there is nobody stopping them from doing it. let alone when we get an apartment. you know they raise our rates.

  • Iain Bonner
    Iain Bonner wrote:

    of course they are going to charge you more. why shouldn't they ? if you're not aware you lose. isn't that the rule of the world ?

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)


    Hahahahaha ... which is why, when you do your homework, it helps to have a Chinese friend tag along ... someone you can trust ...

  • Shane
    Shane wrote:

    I notice when I dress in a suit and tie people try to cheat me more / less cabs stop for me. Maybe I should dress in rags and see if it has the reverse effect?

  • Ejdnzlaj
    Ejdnzlaj wrote:

    I like how there are two conversations going on at once

    Pretty much the only commands I ever have to actually use are: "apt-get" ones and the "nano" text editor thing

  • Mari Vidste
    Mari Vidste wrote:

    Tuco, despite your longwinded disclaimers, I still think you are a little bitch complaining about shit.

    My disgust for petty little cheapskates like you far outweighs any financial concerns I might have, thus I enjoy smilingly and knowingly paying more just to fuck with morons like you who cough 'thief' when they pass real estate agents like totally pathetic deuchebags.

  • Martin Svean
    Martin Svean wrote:

    @ Amanda. I took pics of all things in my apartment . documentation works.

    @ 柯南 

    Why don't you take a break? You don't need to be a fuckhead, asshole everyday you know.


    Sure, we mostly know that this is how it is for locals and visitors but its worse for us visitors.


    @shane .. I never wore a tie my entire life here. I understand what you mean though. There have been days where the taxis just kept on rolling.


    by the way, I am not a cheapskate.  I just do not enjoy people trying to fuck with me and feel even more sorry for the newbies to China.


    financial worries you have? well I really doubt that considering its easy to find work in China. Can easily sell you to some farmer's wife. I am sure they wouldn't mind having you around to clean up the outhouse.

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    Ain't it, @Kieran?

    I don't normally have to fuck around with bash commands, either, and the repositories for Fedora are generally easier to deal with than Canonical (I never did get Skype to work for my Acer Aspire One).

    But my ThinkPad has a touchscreen and I still haven't figured out how to update the drivers for it. So, I guess I'm just stuck with the stylus and that little clitoris looking thing in the center of the keyboard.

  • Ejdnzlaj
    Ejdnzlaj wrote:

    Well I've kind of stopped bothering with the software centre for ubuntu. Software is buggy as shit and crashes all the time because it never seems to configure it right so I've got into the habit of compiling it from to source code myself. Sometimes it can be hell though. Basically when you have to resolve like 30 package dependencies. I once just wanted to install a metronome to practice drums with. It wasn't happening. I had to get balls deep in some serious system file editing to get JACK and ALSA playing nice. Which they didn't. 4 hours and three big bottles of Yanjing later I was ready to throw this here computer out the window.

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    I haven't yet figured out how to install from source.

  • Olaf G.
    Olaf G. wrote:

    Before you complain too much you should consider some points:

    1. Foreigners get up to 5 times higher salary for the same work as chinese do. That was the case in my previous company. Surely they have unique skills and work a bit harder - but that does not allow such a hugh difference.

    2. Most of the times foreigner pay the same prices than locals. Just dont go to Silk Market and such places.

    3. Different stores have different prices. In Beijing you pay for a coke in the street usually 3 yuan. In a supermarket (where you have to queue 20 min at the cashier) you get it for as low as 2,30 (Dia Supermarket seems to be the cheapest). In Tourist Spots you tent to pay 5 Yuan. At touristic places you can often bargain as a foreigner. Chinese dont do that. So in the end foreigners even get that cheaper.

    4. Its true that the agents cheat you when you want to rent a home. But I asure you: They also cheat chinese. The prices quoted on the websites are not true. Not for foreigerns nor for Chinese. They just try to attract people with cheap prices and then tell them: Sorry, this house is just gone. But we have here something else for you: half the size but double the prize.

    According to my experience (talking for beijing) there are now very few places and situations where foreigners have to pay more than locals. In less developed areas this changes however.

  • Ejdnzlaj
    Ejdnzlaj wrote:

    Installing from source is not actually as tough as you think. Usually there is a readme that will tell you what to do. Otherwise there is usually a "configure" script that you run and then after that there will be an install script created that you run after. The configure part seems to be where it irons out the kinks so programs don't shit themselves all the time.

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    That does sound easy. Actually, maybe I did this successfully but didn't realize exactly what I was doing. You mean installing directly from a .tar.gz file, right? I think maybe Fedora's file manager runs the same scripts when I double click the tarball file.

  • Ejdnzlaj
    Ejdnzlaj wrote:

    Yeah, that is what I mean. Sounds pretty sweet that fedora tries to do it automatically too. I find in Ubuntu you can usually just double click on the scripts and not even have to use the command line if you doing stuff as root user.

  • Martin Svean
    Martin Svean wrote:

    our salaries should be higher.

    we do not get a pension plan, most of the time no medical and we have to worry about getting a visa half the time let alone pay for a trip back home.

    so thats why we deserve that.

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)


    Hahahaha ... I have never lived in the States, nor Europe, but, I would imagine the same, or similar, situation applies to the foreigners working in US or UK?

    * perhaps off topic *

    A friend of wife had successfully emigrated to Oz, worked a few years, got her citizenship ... but instead of settling down and got herself any presentable asset (a property, a proper superanuation plan etc), she came back to BJ around 2007, and has been working as a foreigner ... so, she is now NOT entitled to any local benefit, none of the social security, especially medical and pension ...

    Heehee ... I think I had lost track of what I had wanted to say ...

  • Martin Svean
    Martin Svean wrote:

    either it was bash commands or something about pensions.

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)


    Hahahahaha ... thanks?

    Ahhhhh... I think ... what I was about to say was that we made choices all the time ... and most of us in this forum, or on this web site, had "chosen" (or was chosen) to come to Beijing or China for one reason or another ...

    In my case (and I would bet most people must have got sick and tired of listening, heehee), it was because of family reason ... secondly, because of a badly informed career decision, which, till this date, I often laughed about it ... but otherwise, I complain pretty much about everything else that was not part of the decision to come here in 2005/06 ...

    ... I mean, seriously, if I had done my homework, and knew that my IT background is mostly useless in Beijing, I might not have come here at all, or, at least, planned a bit better or something ...

    My point is ... if anyone has come here "hoping" for something "better", because you were badly informed (or someone intentionally lied to you) or even not informed at all (i.e. ignorant, or because of some fantasia photos of China, or worse, someone you "met" via Internet, heehee), then, and I will be very very cold-hearted about it, dont complain ...

    Off to work ...

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:





    Isn't that what sudo is for? Mortals are not meant to wield such power.

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    @Tuco, y so butthurt? Chinese folks in the US don't get the kind of preferential treatment we do. BOHICA, smile and nod.

  • Ejdnzlaj
    Ejdnzlaj wrote:

    I got into the habit of doing most of my command line stuff as root because I had a bunch of times with editing system files where sudo didn't cut it.

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    Well. I'm running Ubuntu 10.10 now. We'll see if the older version is more stable.

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