Answers from Our Experts (1)
Travelers to China often ask about tipping etiquette in big cities like Shanghai and Beijing. In general, people do not tip.
You will almost never see tips left at a restaurant or on a bar top. Cab drivers aren’t tipped either, but if one has been particularly helpful, a few one RMB coins would be well received. At hotels, on the other hand, tipping is more common and has come to be expected. But while in the U.S. you’d just slip a few singles to the bellhop, tipping small amounts in China can feel a bit awkward if you're not used to so many; there are one RMB bills, but they’re the coins are much more common. The next denomination up is a five.
A good rule of thumb for tipping etiquette in Shanghai is simply to go with your gut and know that it’s highly unlikely a tip will be turned down.