One Country, Two Systems

This article was taken from  Get a taste of what it might be like to live in a foreign country.

One Country, Two Systems

By Mike Finstad is the Editor for ShanghaiExpat

I have to get my scooter fixed because it broke a few weeks ago. But I am wondering whether I should go myself, or possible ask one of my Chinese friends to go instead and tell the mechanic it’s their scooter. Why go through this nonsense, you ask? It’s because of the well-known fact that there can be two different price systems in the course of daily business in China — one for locals, and one for foreigners. If you don’t agree, please stop reading and turn on a Disney movie, which will take you even further from reality.

Many of you know the situation: you go up to a dumpling stand and place an order for one plate of dumplings, and you get charged 6 yuan. The local guy standing right behind you orders the same thing, yet he pays only 4 yuan for the same plate of dumplings! It’s blasphemy, we know, but many expats have come to expect this sort of thing, and some accept it as the “Laowai Tax,” or just another expense of doing business in China….

But that’s just one expat’s take on the subject, you can chime in on this forum if you wish.

Mike Finstad is the Editor for ShanghaiExpat. If you have any comments or questions, you can send Mike an email at:

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