If you’re traveling to China, you should know about some of the more bizarre rules and laws the country has in place. Chinese culture is built on a series of laws that may not make much sense to foreign guests but are essential within the country. Tourists who inadvertently violate the rules or visit the country without understanding the culture could make themselves vulnerable to legal issues.
Some of the more bizarre rules in China include:
1. The Use of VPNs Is Heavily Restricted
Using a VPN is the best way to ensure your data is secure. However, China VPNs are heavily restricted and government-regulated. The Chinese government is very strict about data access within the country and doesn’t want people using VPNs. A VPN could bypass China’s national firewall and uncover sensitive information.
However, there is a way to still rely on a VPN while in the country. You just need to download a VPN app before entering. The app will allow tourists or multi-national businesses to continue to protect their data with their desired VPN.
2. It’s Illegal for Cars to Stop at Crosswalks
In most countries, drivers will get ticketed or fined if they don’t stop at a crosswalk to allow pedestrians to cross. Yet, in China, motorists are not legally allowed to stop at a crosswalk. Article 40 of Beijing’s traffic laws states that no power-driving vehicle like a car or motorbike can stop at a crosswalk. If visiting, wait for the cars to go by, then walk.
3. Office Romances Are Illegal
In other cultures, office romances may be frowned upon if the people involved are not at the same level within the company. In China, office hookups are a matter of law. For starters, men at the company who have been there less than a year aren’t allowed to date any of their colleagues. If women who have worked at the company for at least three months want to date someone, they must submit that person’s information to the company so the employer can determine if they are suitable.
4. Silk Secrets Get Taken to the Grave
It’s illegal in China to share the secrets of sericulture or silk making. Silk has been a massive part of Chinese culture for so many centuries that the Chinese want to protect the methods they have perfected. It’s a bit extreme, but Chinese law says that anyone who shares the secrets of making silk must get arrested and tortured to death if found guilty.
Parents Can’t Name Their Children Odd Names
When Chinese parents have a child, they can’t name that child however they want. The Chinese government will reject names that are strange, rude, or so unique that others would ridicule the child. If a name isn’t approved, parents must rename the child immediately.
1. Kids Must Wave to Cars
If you see small children on the street raising a hand in greeting to every passing car, that might look strange, but there’s a good reason for it. By law, children in China must raise their hands in a type of salute to passing cars so that the drivers can see them. The rule came about as a safety precaution, especially when you consider the heavy traffic common in China’s large cities.
2. Student Loans Are Predatory
While many people around the world complain about the deceptive and unfair practices associated with lenders specializing in student loans, there are regulations in place that keep lenders from completely ripping off consumers. That isn’t the case in China. It’s common for students to get loans from loan sharks for schools in China. The unsavory lenders offer hugely inflated interest rates with limited repayment timelines.
3. You Can’t Own Land
You can buy a home in China but can’t own the land that the house sits on. Only the government is allowed to possess the land. Chinese homeowners can pass on their home to their children or grandchildren, but only the house itself and any contents inside.
4. Food Regulations Don’t Exist
When visiting China, make sure you take special care of your food. You must confirm what you’re eating is fresh. There are no fundamental food safety regulations, and vendors can sell food regardless of age. A couple of years ago, meat smugglers tried to sell more than 100,000 tons of 40-year-old meat on the Chinese marketplace. No laws exist to prosecute this type of sale.
A Few Final Words
Although China does have strict laws compared to Western countries, travelers will enjoy exploring the ancient architecture and iconic landmarks. Keep in mind these nine bizarre rules and stay with a trusted guide while visiting the country.