100,000+  jobs in China
Bad habits to avoid picking up as an expat in China
Author: EnglishTeacher    2023-02-20


Living as an expat in China can lead to developing bad habits, and it can be challenging to recognize the negative behaviors. Whether you are new or an experienced expat in China, beware of the following habits and try to avoid them.

1. Relying on locals to speak Chinese for you


It is natural to feel overwhelmed when learning Mandarin upon your arrival in China. However, to function effectively in your daily life, you need some level of Chinese proficiency, whether it's for serious matters like renewing your visa or trivial ones like ordering lunch or calling a cab. While it's understandable to seek help from Chinese friends or colleagues initially, relying too much on them can lead to dependency. Therefore, try to wean yourself off gradually by working on your Chinese skills one step at a time, rather than depending on others.

2. Complaining about life in China


Culture shock can be a significant issue for many expats in China, leading to disagreements with local customs or practices. However, complaining about these differences endlessly will not solve anything but fill your day with negativity and bring those around you down. Therefore, before complaining, ask yourself if it will help you or if the people around you want to hear it.

3. Eating out all the time


Eating out or ordering food in is very convenient in China, with a wide range of international cuisines and affordable delivery options available. Moreover, socializing with friends or attending events can make eating out more attractive than cooking at home. However, this habit can be expensive and unhealthy, with unknown ingredients and wasteful packaging. To combat this, try to schedule in cooking one or two meals at home every week, cook a favorite recipe, and invite friends to join you. This can lead to a more substantial savings potential and a healthier lifestyle.

4. Letting your health slide


Staying in shape can be challenging for expats in China due to the oily, delicious local cuisine, busy working schedules, and plenty of socializing and drinking opportunities. This lifestyle can lead to noticeable weight gain, but this can be combated by committing to a gym routine or joining sports teams. Starting a gym routine can be challenging at first, but once it becomes a habit, it can energize you for the rest of the day. Similarly, joining a sports team can also be an excellent way to stay active and meet new people.

5. Being addicted to Taobao


The final bad habit may be the most simple, yet also the most difficult to overcome. Let's be honest, we all love Taobao. It has become so intertwined with our lives in China that no matter what question is asked, the answer inevitably involves "Taobao".

Although Taobao undeniably offers an unmatched selection and unbeatable prices, it can lead down a slippery slope. Not only does it drain your finances without your awareness of your spending, but also when you purchase items online that are easily available at nearby stores, you are essentially taking money away from the local community.

It's a cause for concern when you catch yourself aimlessly scrolling through the app or receiving a constant flow of packages at your doorstep. Breaking your reliance on Taobao can be challenging, but setting limits for yourself and enforcing them strictly can help. Before making any purchase, ask yourself if it's truly necessary, and if so, whether it can be found locally. Set a monthly spending limit for the app. Although it may be tough to break your dependence on Taobao, you'll thank yourself in the long run when you can no longer rely on it for everything.

Choose City
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou Shenzhen Tianjin Chongqing Chengdu Hangzhou Suzhou Nanjing Shenyang Dalian Qingdao Jinan Fuzhou Wuhan Ningbo Wuxi Xiamen Kunming